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Girls/ Children

My name is Nora and I'm 12 years old. Recently (mainly this summer) I've started to form some feminist beliefs and I'm reading a lot of feminist books and basically I've turned into a major feminist. Now, I know that this may sound like a bunch of hooey coming from a 12-year-old, but that's my problem: I'm too young to do anything about it, and people won't take me seriously because my age doesn't even have a "teen" on the end. The other day someone said I was "too young" to know what feminism is. I don't want to brag here, that's not what I'm trying to do at all, but I skipped a grade and so I'm with people a year or more older than me and people are always saying I'm so mature and I wish people would just take me seriously based on who I am, not the fact that I'm twelve and I don't look old enough to firmly believe in anything. I've been to all the websites (gurl.com, girlzone.com, girltech.com, etc.) and I read Bust magazine and Teen Voices but I just feel like there's no one my age who cares about anything I do. I'm writing to ask you if you know of any organizations for SERIOUS young feminists, any summer camps, any magazines, any websites, anything like that. I've had enough of "Girl Power!" and "Girls Rule, Boys Drool;" I'm ready for something serious. Books just aren't enough.

I want to set the record straight from the beginning that no one is too young to be a feminist. In fact, we need more people who come to feminism at an earlier age. One, because it will hopefully mean that we are closer to equality; and Two, the older people are, the more they tend to treat feminism as an institution, not as a collective of individuals. Younger people tend to be freer and therefore, more likely to allow for individuality. So, it's confirmed: you are certainly as much of a feminist as Gloria Steinem is at the age of 66.

As for organizations, some of it depends on where you live. One of the first places I want to recommend is Third Wave Foundation, a national organization for young feminist activists. Our target range is 15-30, but our members range in age from 9 to 81 - it's more of a mentality than a strict guide. I'm biased since I co-founded Third Wave, but I think it's great. The problem is that we only have active chapters in New York City, San Francisco, and Madison, Wisconsin - so if you are near one of those places you can actually go to meetings and events! Otherwise, you will get action alerts, our voting guide, our newsletter, and a connection to 5,000 other like-minded people. There is also Girls Speak Out and a book by this same name. They have chapters across the country, but I don't know where. The same goes for Girls, Inc., which has chapters scattered across the U.S. So check out some of these places--and thanks for setting an example for others.


Amy

 

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