What makes me think that girls are feminists even if they don’t realize it? Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary defines feminism as “the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes” and a feminist as one who believes in that theory. That definition of “feminist” describes every girl I’ve ever met! I’ve yet to know a girl who doesn’t believe that everyone, including her, should have equal rights. To girls, equal rights are a matter of justice, pure and simple. Girls believe in justice for everyone, which is why they can be so passionate about environmental protection, animal rights, and fixing social ills.Before adolescence, girls are to justice what canaries are to miners: a very sensitive early-warning system. Girls have a well-developed sensitivity to the unfair treatment of any relatively powerless group. They have less cultural power than women do, but they still believe in their own knowledge, based in the actual experiences. This combination of clear vision and powerlessness can enable girls to see injustice more clearly than women do.
Nancy Gruver, ‘ “That’s Not Fair!” Nurturing Girls’ Natural Feminism’, in Catching a Wave: Reclaiming Feminism for the 21st Century, Rory Dicker and Alison Piepmeier (eds), 2003