14-year-old Jules Spector is the founder and author of the blog Teen Feminist, which she started in late 2013. The self-proclaimed theatre nerd, who spends most of her time listening to Broadway soundtracks, created this blog because, as she explains, “I don’t want any teenage feminists to feel alone, or like they are not supported. It is important for young girls to be exposed to empowerment, and to know that they are supported wholeheartedly. Girls should feel that they have the power to speak out for themselves, because people will listen.”
In addition to her blog and being a freshman in high school, Jules is also a Teen Advisor for the United Nations Foundation organization Girl Up, which is dedicated to empowering girls in the United States, and helping girls in developing countries get the education they need.
Like Women You Should Know, Jules believes that girls everywhere are the future.
10 Reasons I Need Feminism
By Jules Spector
1. I’m supposed to accept the fact that when I’m older, corporations won’t pay for my birth control, but they’ll pay for my male coworkers’ Viagra.
2. I’ve been taught self-defense in order to protect myself against rape, but people haven’t been taught not to rape.
3. I have to cover my legs at school by not wearing shorts in order to not “distract the male students,” but the “male students” haven’t been taught to respect a woman’s body and not let it “distract them from their studies.”
4. I have to accept the fact that, when I get a job, I will get paid 30 cents less per dollar than every man I work with who does the same job I do.
5. If I get married and have a standard wedding, my father will walk me down the aisle and hand me off to my husband or wife like I am property switching owners.
6. I am taught to not share my opinions and ideas, as it’s not “ladylike.”
7. My friends and I are catcalled on the street, and we’re just supposed to accept that and walk away.
8. I receive rape and death threats from people reading my blog, just because I’m speaking out against the patriarchy. I’ve also been called a “satan-worshipping lesbian dyke whore.”
9. I’m described as a “feminazi.” People literally compare the idea of feminism to the Holocaust.
10. Feminism creates a community of powerful women and men who share the same ideals. It’s so great to have a space like that where we can share ideas and thoughts that are accepted by everyone, and we can have interesting discussions.