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And then once she became political, she was really into the women's movement. But I also think that the more you have a chance at an early age to take a stand, no matter how supportive your parents are, there's a moment at which -- and I'm sure there was a moment for you -- when you say, "I just have to do that myself." And then once you do, if it feels good, and feels right… And I tell this to our young activists, that there's a lot of times that everyone is actually thinking the same thing you are, but either no one knows how to say it, or they're not quite ready to say it, and then you say it and they go, "I'm so glad you said that." That must happen to you all the time. I mean, obviously I'm not afraid to tackle things, because I feel like I've read the news my whole life, and at one point it's like, "I don't really want this to be happening." I feel like I made the connection between the political as personal, and knowing that those things actually affect me.When I started talking about them on social media, I noticed that with teenage girls [and insecurity], it comes from a deep place of shame about their bodies, and everything that they're taught from a very young age. Richards: Social media is an awesome thing, particularly because women's stories are told.Or what do they need in their life that Planned Parenthood could actually be there for?Blanchard: Like I said before, it does feel like when we talk about sexual health in girls, especially girls that are teens, that are still figuring out their bodies and all of these new things, it's so shameful. Girls are getting their first periods, and immediately it's an embarrassing thing that you just want to hide, rather than being a normal thing that you talk about.Whether it was their own sexual health stories, their own things that have concerned them, the issues they've dealt with as a woman. I feel like they've got to be just as interested in these issues.
I was just thinking of this young woman Sadie Hernandez, who is a college student in Texas and who held her own protest outside the Governor's Mansion when Planned Parenthood was cut out of the breast cancer screening program – which I can't even believe I'm saying those words.
Another woman who doesn't get enough recognition is Barbara Jordan.
She was a congresswoman from Houston, Texas and was one of the first prominent African-American leaders in Congress. So there were women in my life that absolutely spoke truth to power in a way that is still very hard.
I feel like there's this macho stigma, where if you haven't lost your virginity by the time you're like, fifteen, it's like you're this or that… What all the studies show is that if young people, at an appropriate age, begin learning about their bodies and are able to have a normal, open conversation, they're actually much less likely to get in trouble for themselves, or to get in a situation that they don't want to be in.
and I feel like we need to dissolve that whole hyper-masculine macho complex and just make it something that boys and girls can talk about to each other, and make it so young men can talk about it just as much as young women can, because it's not something that only applies to women. And I feel like we're also long overdue for having the kinds of conversations young women are having around issues of sexual assault and consent.
I think the new wave of women on social media who are allowing themselves to just be themselves is opening doors for a lot of young girls who wouldn't otherwise have that kind of affirmation to be allowed to be themselves, which is cool. But I recognize that it's also a place where there's a lot of shaming. I think that if you guys can figure it out and if your generation isn't willing to put up with the judging and, frankly, old-fashioned sexism, that's going to be the biggest single culture change in this country.