When 16 year-old, Amy Myers decided to run for class president, she had no idea that she would receive an incredible amount of badgering from boys who felt that women rights and women in politics both equaled “stupid”. The big joke told by boys in her school was “womens rights”.
Amy had no idea that boys would be so hard on her, just because she was taking a political stance and she was doing it as a girl. We all have heard that “driving while Black” can be grounds for racial profiling. How many of us knew that “running for powerful political offices while a girl”, even in high school, would cause such a sexist raucous? Fueled by the sexist boys and later by the sexism in politics, lil Amy has become quite the force to be reckoned with. The boys’ reactions and the media coverage on women in politics didn’t discourage her from her vision, only magnified it and gave her the impetus to look into the behavior and commentaries of women currently in the media limelight.
Amy Myers attends high school in New Jersey and is very civic-minded. Thus, she takes time to study her subjects and listens intently to various candidates, especially women candidates, like Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-Minn). It was actually through Amy Myer’s dad that caused her to focus on Rep. Bachmann. He heard her incorrectly state that two Revolutionary battles were fought in Connecticut when they weren’t at all. Amy found out that Rep. Bachmann regularly misstates historic facts without correcting them. While Representative Bachmann does not represent the state where Amy lives and Amy’s too young to vote for her either way, facts are facts, and Amy’s point is that Rep. Bachmann should not make statements that are not historically correct. After all, she is representing women everywhere and if she’s going to reference the Constitution or any historic or civic facts, Rep. Bachmann should state accurate facts. Amy sends her point home with a challenge to the U.S. Representative to public forum debate or fact test. That takes both courage and confidence. Here’s her letter:
Dear Representative Bachmann,
My name is Amy Myers. I am a Cherry Hill, New Jersey sophomore attending Cherry Hill High School East. As a typical high school student, I have found quite a few of your statements regarding The Constitution of the United States, the quality of public school education and general U.S. civics matters to be factually incorrect, inaccurately applied or grossly distorted. The frequency and scope of these comments prompted me to write this letter.
Though I am not in your home district, or even your home state, you are a United States Representative of some prominence who is subject to national media coverage. News outlets and websites across this country profile your causes and viewpoints on a regular basis. As one of a handful of women in Congress, you hold a distinct privilege and responsibility to better represent your gender nationally. The statements you make help to serve an injustice to not only the position of Congresswoman, but women everywhere. Though politically expedient, incorrect comments cast a shadow on your person and by unfortunate proxy, both your supporters and detractors alike often generalize this shadow to women as a whole.
Rep. Bachmann, the frequent inability you have shown to accurately and factually present even the most basic information about the United States led me to submit the follow challenge, pitting my public education against your advanced legal education:
I, Amy Myers, do hereby challenge Representative Michele Bachmann to a Public Forum Debate and/or Fact Test on The Constitution of the United States, United States History and United States Civics.
Hopefully, we will be able to meet for such an event, as it would prove to be enlightening.
My hat goes off to this high schooler who used a sour situation, being teased and verbally tortured by the boys in her school for “running for the school president office while being a girl”, and seeing that women in politics were “fodder” for sexist jokes and to not be taken seriously to spark her to challenge a female political leader for misstating historical and civic facts to a debate or fact test. Amy adds that women in leadership should be accountable for the accuracy of their statements. In fact, Amy wanted those female politicians to know that the world is watching them, not only their constituents.
I’d vote for Amy if she was running for office in my school or in my congressional district. At least she’d have her historical facts on point. Hopefully, she’s got the integrity to match! We need more young folks to challenge what they hear and see, whether it’s the behavior of a politician or one of their own peer members.
Amy might have a good idea here. What would you like to see changed in your environment and what are you willing to do to make a way for that change? I’d like to see a campaign that teaches boys the value of keeping their pants up above their buttocks instead of sagging! Can you imagine what would happen if youth took a stance in developing their own fads, not just accepting some wholesale fad produced by a Hollywood film or gangsters?
Amy Myers is what happens when a young person applies critical thought to issues instead of relying on emotions. There are thousands, millions of Amy Myers whose stories never get told. However, these young people set the standards for their communities. They’re the ones with guts to stand up for their beliefs. They also are the ones who study their causes before taking them on.
1)What would you like to see changed in your environment?
2)What would you do to become the change you want to see in the world?
3)Does this article inspire you? If so, why?
4)Do you know any stories that remind you of Amy Myers? Please share them…
Please leave your answer or any other comment you’d like to make. Your comment may be inspirational to another. Thanks.
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See you next Wednesday for our Emery Book Club meeting and performances of poetry of “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf”!