By Joy Xie
Rowan Blanchard is not only the Disney channel star of Girl Meets World, but she is also an activist for women’s rights. At the young age of 14, she has shown the world her outstanding understanding and maturity about issues that even some adults find hard to discuss. In addition to her acting role as Riley Matthews on Girl Meets World, Rowan has written numerous inspiring pieces and done a multitude of interviews on feminism and universal human equality. She has shown how one person’s words can impact the world.
While supporting feminism, Rowan also emphasizes the importance of intersectional feminism. She claims, “How a black woman experiences sexism and inequality is different from the way a white woman experiences sexism and inequality.” While white women make 78 cents to the dollar, Native American women make 65 cents, African American women make 64 cents, and Hispanic women make 54 cents. Women from different ethnicities are treated differently for displaying a desire for equal rights –when Amanda Stenberg wrote a piece in support of the movement against police brutality, she was called an “angry black girl” and was criticized for overreacting. On the other hand, when white women speak for feminism or race equality like the #BlackLivesMatter movement, they are praised and adulated. This forces women of different ethnicities to choose between a patriarchal movement of race equality and a white movement of gender equality. Rowan applied her knowledge of intersectional feminism to situations that occur in schools, especially with the recent term of “squad goals.” This phrase, according to Rowan, makes feminism seem like “very one-dimensional” pursuit that can “ polarize anyone who is not white, thin, tall, and always happy” because it always seems like a “ very happy, exclusive, perfect thing.” By bringing awareness to the subtle terms and actions that continue to challenge feminism, Rowan Blanchard is advancing the movement farther than anyone could have predicted.
Rowan Blanchard has inspired thousands of people with her masterful essays and evocative interviews on feminism and equality for people of all ethnicities, sexual orientations, and genders. She has furthered the cause for female rights by bringing awareness to the issue and showing that even young girls can make a significant change in this world. As she wrote, “ We need to be talking about this more. Discussion leads to change”. So let’s talk our way to equality.