NPR’s Planet Money recently ran a story about Madeline Messer, a 12 year old girl who wrote an op ed piece for the Washington Post about how unfair it was that she had to pay extra to play her favorite video game with a female character. She researched more than 50 games and found that very few of them had female characters available as the free starter character. In conducting her research and writing her letter, Madeline actively engaged in the public discourse about gender and equity.
I remember being about the same age and writing to my US Senator about the lack of movies being made for children. I think that year there were no G rated movies. Senator Lugar’s office wrote back to me. I remember thinking at that moment that what I thought mattered.
These early experiences small, like mine, or larger like Madeline’s provide first forays into our civic spaces. There are easy things we can do to help our children find their voice and follow their interests into the public sphere.