Women on Top: Jules Spector
...and she's only 15.
We all know Hillary Clinton and Malala Yousafzai will change the world, but let us introduce you to another girl who needs to be on your radar: Jules Spector. She’s fifteen and already making waves with her blog about feminism from a teen’s perspective. Jules is a member of the class of 2013-14 Teen Advisors for the UN Foundation, Girl Up, interns for the Harnisch Foundation, and dreams of becoming a journalist for the New York Times. She is genuine, talented and passionate. An ANNA girl indeed.
While talking to her, I felt like a younger version of myself discovering feminism for the first time. Her confidence and wit inspire the bleeding-heart feminist within. In short, assume I did this after I hung up the phone with her:
You’ve been active in various organizations that promote feminism in the United States and globally. What would you consider your biggest accomplishment?
I’m really proud of this one this one blog post about Donald Trump, about him talking about Megyn Kelly’s period. I’m very proud of that post. I just thought it was, like, the epitome of my sass. I also interviewed Malala Yousafzai for ABC news with Diane Sawyer in 2013 and that was amazing. Best experience ever.
How do you see your feminism working in local circles? Particularly, how do your views influence your relationships with your family, friends, and classmates?
At school, I’m pretty much known as the liberal feminist girl, which is pretty cool. I like that. I get in a lot of debates with people. When I was in middle school I was made fun of a lot for being a feminist, which I think is ridiculous. But my family, they’re are all huge feminists and activists and my little sister, who is eleven, is a little mini feminist. She’s adorable and I think I’ve influenced her in her feminist thinking, which makes me really happy.
This is going to be featured in a campaign called #smartissexy, where we identify women who prize intelligence, compassion, and activism over superficiality and "sexiness." What does #smartissexy mean to you?
Being smart is so much sexier than having big boobs or a butt or whatever those weird Western perceptions of beauty are. You can succeed in any field if you’re intelligent and you have the wherewithal to just go after something and do it. That’s so much sexier than having a Kim Kardashian ass.
Of the people who inspire you, who would consider you consider the embodiment of #smartissexy?
Gloria Steinem. She’s everything. And Hillary Clinton. I have posters of her on my wall—that one where she’s texting. I have three just above my bed. I’m obsessed. So, definitely Hillary and Gloria because they don’t take any bullshit. They are hardcore feminists and crazy intelligent and they go out there and get their points across and put their ideas out in the world without caring what anyone else thinks.
If a girl your age who wasn’t familiar with feminism looked at your blog, what’s one thing you would want her to learn from it?
That girls are going to change the world and that people will listen to them if they speak out. Girls’ voices matter and they’re loud and people will care about what they have to say. Girls can influence the world in a beneficial way.
You got an early start as an activist and have already accomplished so much. What are your goals for the future?
Well, first of all, I wanna go to Barnard, an all-women’s liberal arts college in New York City. Second, I want to work for the New York Times. I want to be the next Gail Collins—well, she’s going to work there forever because she’s Gail Collins. But I want to be like a younger version and maybe write a column or be an investigative journalist. When I turn twenty or so, I’m most likely going to pass my blog down to a younger person, maybe my sister, or have a writing contest to see who gets it. I don’t want to be one of those adults who try to be really relatable to younger people, because no one likes them.
feature image: teenfeminist.com