Her Name Is Lola… She’s An 11-Year-Old Feminist Who Sent Us The Most Awesome Note

FeminismGirls 6 Comments

Our Monday morning editorial meeting took the most amazing detour when the following email was read aloud. All we were told was that it was sent to our general mailbox. In the end, there was not a dry eye to be seen, and our WYSKy hearts were filled with pride and joy.

Hi, I’m Lola Steigner, and I just want to say thank you. Before I started reading WYSK I had never even heard the word ‘feminist’ before. My mom had emailed me a couple of your posts, and then one time I decided to start looking at the whole site. WYSK has taught me a lot. It has made me a strong feminist and has made me much more aware of what’s going on in the world. I was reading your post about the Vision Not Victim organization and this popped into my head: ‘When I grow up, I want to be a feminist, a trailblazer, an inspiration.’ Anyone who thinks that girls aren’t powerful has obviously never read about Susan B. Anthony, or Marie Curie, or Amelia Earhart and Harriet Tubman. My name is Lola Steigner, I’m eleven years old, and I am a geek, a (future) scientist, a sister, a daughter, a writer; yes, I am all these things; but I am also a girl, a girl who believes in equality, a girl who believes that girls should reach for the stars, a girl who is a feminist.

– Lola Steigner

Our co-founder Jen Jones had the honor of replying to Lola, and in the process connected with Lola’s mom, Julie, a woman “dedicated to raising a strong, confident, empowered woman.” Julie added to the already joy-filled exchange by telling Jen, “My girl is jumping up and down right now from your email. She’s telling me this is a dream come true.”

From that conversation, this is what else we learned about the inspiring, young feminist who had already blown us all away…

Lola is from a small town in Louisiana, about an hour southwest of New Orleans. She’ll be starting sixth grade this fall, and her favorite subject is science. She’s a voracious reader and also enjoys writing, playing basketball, riding her bike, comic books (particularly Ms. Marvel and Avengers), and playing computer games like Star Wars: The Old Republic, Minecraft and SimCity. She’s “an excellent communicator, wise, confident and humble.”

In a mother-daughter table-turning moment, Julie said that Lola now sends her links from Women You Should Know, and “brings up stories she’s read in conversation with others, and relates many of those stories to her own life and experiences.” Lola counts these two WYSK stories among her favorites… The Women’s Tax, and Strange Like Me: Cartoon Inspired by Frida Kahlo Offers Beautiful Message.

On being Lola’s mom, Julie simply said, “I am overwhelmed with gratitude that she is my kid!”

Doing the work we do, we have the incredible privilege of getting to know some truly extraordinary women and girls. Monday was no exception, and we are overwhelmed with gratitude that Lola and Julie Steigner are part of the WYSK community. While Lola is already an inspiration to us, we cannot wait to see what trail she decides to blaze.

  • Bethany Larsen

    I am very proud to call both Julie and Lola my friends! Way to go, girls!!

  • Amy Luna Manderino

    We will really know that we have transcended the limitations of our gender roles when this person writes an email that says, “My name is Lola Steigner, I’m eleven years old, and I am a geek, a (future) scientist, a sibling, a child, a writer; yes, I am all these things; but I am also a person, a person who believes in equality, a person who believes that everyone should reach for the stars, a person who understands that gender roles hurt all people, male and female.” The “feminist” movement has trained this “girl” to see the world in pink and blue. And I don’t see that as something to celebrate or congratulate ourselves about.

    • Owlec

      So she shouldn’t be proud to be a girl? She can’t feel strongly and resonate with the female gender? It’s wrong for her to express her gender at all?

      I think it is SO amazing to see a girl like her loving who she is and enjoying interests stereotyped as masculine. There’s nothing wrong with celebrating girls, especially because our world doesn’t value them. Look at China, India, Thailand, all the places where having a baby girl is not important, where girls are sold, discarded, thrown away, or killed. This girl stands defiantly in the face of a world that expects her to be small, to be secondary, to be less-than. She knows she is valuable and she knows women are valuable.

      You go, Lola! You’re my hero today.

      • Proud To Be A Girl

        Bravo Owlec! My sentiments exactly… but more beautifully, perfectly, and positively articulated than I would have been able to.

  • AJ


  • Brian Katcher

    Is anyone else hearing ‘Copacabana’ in their head right now?