When I was a little girl, I didn't even know what feminism was, let alone that a feminist was something I could be. In the '90s, any attempts to teach kids about feminism ended up as a kind of watered down, "boys drool," "girl power" slogan. Kids today, though, have a ton of amazing role models for calling themselves a feminist — from Beyonce to Taylor Swift, from Hillary Clinton to Malala Yousafzai — and if these cool little kids who are totally feminist already are anything to go by, the visibility of these role models is definitely paying off. It's not just in foul-mouthed ads that kids start talking about feminism these days — it's something that kids think about, and care about, from early on. It's a beautiful thing, and something people don't talk about enough (since most of the time, older people just like being terrified of younger people and their slang words and music and values!).
Because I truly believe and hope that Whitney Houston was right and children are the future, I present to you a round-up of smart (and adorable) young feminists who aren't afraid to speak their minds and be sassy about it. From girls talking back about sexism to setting rules in their professional and personal lives, these baby Gloria Steinems are guaranteed to make your day a little more hopeful:
1. The Girl Who Confronted Sexism in the Toy Aisle
"The girls want superheroes and the boys want superheroes! ... The companies who make these try to trick the girls into buying the pink stuff instead of the stuff boys want to buy!" Riley, we couldn't have said it better ourselves. Superheroes are for boys and girls. Princesses are for boys and girls. Toys are for whoever wants to play with them, no matter how they identify.
2. "I Don't Want To Marry Someone If I Don't Have a Job First!"
This little girl heads off all her would-be suitors by making it clear her career comes before marriage. She knows what she wants, and she's not afraid to say it.
3. A Little Girl Sets Dating Rules for Her Imaginary Boyfriend
Another girl who knows exactly what she wants in the dating scene. She's not afraid to tell Clint, her imaginary boyfriend, to stop calling her so much so she can concentrate on other things. Pull yourself together, Clint!
4. The Littlest Vegetarian
There are shades of Lisa Simpson in this little girl, whose compassion for little animals despite her skeptical dad shows a young woman starting to make decisions for herself.
This is the best video on the Internet. It makes me burst into happy tears EVERY SINGLE TIME.
Images: Pop Culture Geek/Flickr