At only 14 years of age, Girl Meets World star Rowan Blanchard is one of the most outspoken feminists in Hollywood. The wise beyond her years teen has become an inspiration and healthy role model through her important and relatable conversations on feminism and intersectionality.
Blanchard is open and down-to-earth, and in a new interview with Interview magazine she continued the conversation on feminism by recalling the moment that inspired her activism. The moment was distressing, and only highlights what a prominent problem catcalling is – something she experienced for the first time at the tender age of 12.
“I was at a movie with my friend, and we were both in skirts … we were waiting outside the movies for my dad to pick us up, and this grown man came over and was like, “You guys need a ride anywhere?” … I just remember sitting there feeling my heart sink into my stomach. It was such a surreal moment. Because I always see that happening in front of me; I always see girls getting catcalled”.
“But up until that point, I hadn’t experienced it. And it was like I was out-of-body for a second. I had seen that in movies, on TV, on the news. But when it happens to you, it’s like, “Oh, crap, this is real; people look at me this way. And people look at other girls this way.” I went home that night and didn’t tell anybody”.
“I didn’t tell my parents because I was ashamed that it was what I was wearing. I was like, “Gosh, I shouldn’t wear a skirt next time. What am I doing?” My sister was 10 at the time, and I remember lying in bed and thinking, “I don’t want that to ever happen to her””.
This experience was eye-opening and affected her deeply. Once she realised that what had happened wasn’t her fault, she was inspired to speak out and help other girls realise that these incidents are a severe problem, and that they are not alone if it happens to them.
“Then, once it happens to you, you see it everywhere”. She continued. “When you’re watching your favorite TV show, you see a joke that maybe would have gone over your head a month ago. You can’t escape it. There’s really nothing you can do except endure it and try and speak out about it. So that’s what I tried to do. Because it started consuming me”.
“And, when girls would come up to me and be like, “I watch your show,” I would think, “Has this ever happened to this girl? Of course it’s happened to this girl, because it happens every day.” And it just started overwhelming me. So I started putting things on Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram, because I realize that I have a following, and most of the people who watch our show, I would say, are girls. And I didn’t want them ever going through that. I just started doing it because I couldn’t bear it anymore”.
Blanchard has continued to use her platform, knowledge and experience to inspire and empower others. It’s impressive and commendable. Blanchard truly is one of the most interesting, exciting and inspirational voices of her generation.