This generation is filled with young women willing to fight for change. (Because seriously, who else is going to fight for us?)
Case in point: Ten women from Glamour Magazine’s 2018 College Women of the Year participated in a Q&A with Glamour on everything from “activism, #MeToo and calling b.s. on perfection.”
Here are the 10 women: Amanda Gorman, the first U.S. youth poet laureate; inventor Ann Makosinski, a Google Science Fair winner; Bushra Amiwala, the first Muslim-American woman and youngest person to run for commissioner in her hometown of Skokie, Ill.; Keiana Cavé, who works to prevent environmental disasters; Leah Juliett, a survivor of revenge porn who is fighting for cyber safety laws and education; Claire Wineland, who has cystic fibrosis and works tirelessly to support others with the disease; Maria Rose Belding, who launched the MEANS network, which connects food banks and pantries to free food; Simone Askew, the first African-American woman to serve as first captain of the U.S. Military Academy’s Corps of Cadets; Zahra Arabzada, an observant Muslim runner who hopes to inspire other hijab-wearing athletes; and Karen Caudillo, a Florida recipient of the Deferred Action Against Childhood Arrivals policy who’s working to defend immigrant rights in her state and beyond.
I’m sure you’ve realized, even without reading their answers to Glamour’s questions, that they are equipped to handle pretty much anything. But when they were asked about the #MeToo movement, some of their responses were heartbreaking to read. Glamour asked:
This movement has started so many conversations around sexual safety, which has been a major issue on college campuses. Do you feel safe on campus right now?
For instance, Juliett expressed how she hasn’t felt safe in her community her whole life: “I was 14 when I was asked by a boy to send nude photos that he later posted on the internet. I’m 21, and those pictures were just taken down; I don’t know if they’re permanently gone.”
Caudillo also touched on the subject, mentioning that women at her school had been raped. “When I ran for student body president this year, women kept talking to me about how they were date-raped on campus. Without feeling safe at school, how are we expected to really succeed?” she said.
It’s a good question, and one we’re happy that women are finally feeling able to grapple with openly. But make no mistake—these women are part of the first wave of what will hopefully be a breakthrough in how sexual violence is discussed. They are truly trailblazers in their communities, schools and on the world stage.