Photo: Pixelchrome Inc (Getty Images)
Sometimes, all it takes is a 4-year-old to start a female empowerment movement, even if that movement involves #FirefightingSexism.
In case you missed it, this progressive brigade all began last week when a journalist named Hannah Summers tweeted this out about her daughter, Esme:
My 4yr old came home yesterday saying she wished she was a boy so she could be a fireman. When I said girls can be firefighters too she said ‘but I’ve seen in books they are all boys and I don’t want to be the only girl.’ Any good vids/books I can show her? #FirefightingSexism
— Hannah Summers (@hansummers) January 18, 2019
The response to Esme’s curiosity went viral immediately, with the West Midlands Fire Brigade (in the U.K.) responding on Twitter first, proving they have a plethora of women wearing helmets.
.Esme, lots of our firefighters are girls and boys – some of them want to say hello to you! We would love to meet you and show you what we do. You can be a firefighter too! #firefightingsexism #thisgirlcan @NFCC_FireChiefs @StaffsFire @LondonFire Let’s keep this going! pic.twitter.com/ZV1IdrGp3S
— West Midlands Fire (@WestMidsFire) January 18, 2019
One family even showed their grandaughter passing as a junior fire cadet, one of many posts using the new hashtag #FirefightingSexism.
Message for Esme …be what ever you want to be…our granddaughter passed out as top firecadet…she may have been the smallest but she had buckets of determination @WestMidsFire #girlscandoanything @NFCC_FireChiefs pic.twitter.com/AzPmMqfZfA
— Dawn Whittaker (@CFOESFRS) January 19, 2019
All it took to start a movement was one simple question from a 4-year-old and an ingenious mother unafraid to find her positive affirmation via social media.
But from what other careers are women seemingly excluded simply for being women? There are several other examples that need to be shown that women aren’t only capable of the same jobs as men, but are just as diligent and successful.
Another successful female role model: Clean Up Your Life With Marie Kondo’s Tidiness Tips
Sarah Thomas: NFL Referee
Thomas was the first female on-field NFL official. She was also the first woman to officiate a major college football game and the first to officiate a bowl game.
Becky Hammon: NBA Assistant Coach (San Antonio Spurs)
Hammon was the first woman to ever help coach a professional men’s team and became the first woman to interview for an NBA head coaching job when the Milwaukee Bucks called her in this past year.
Sharon E.Watkins: Reverend (Christian Church, Disciples of Christ)
Some religions, including several Protestant denominations, don’t allow women to lead. Watkins is a female minister and the first woman ever chosen to lead a mainline Protestant denomination. She was also the first woman to deliver the sermon at the National Prayer Service on Inauguration Day when she led the message for President Obama in 2009.
Wendy Lawrence: Former NASA Astronaut
Lawrence is a trained Navy helicopter pilot who fulfilled her dream of flying into space, going on four flights from 1995 to 2005.
Sadie Samuels: Lobster Fisher
This Rockport, Maine native has been called the “most badass woman on the water.” She started catching lobsters at age 7 and hasn’t looked back.
Caroline Lake: Mechanic
Lake is a garage owner, author, and mechanic who is determined to help women feel more comfortable repairing and maintaining their cars.
Kudos to these fine women who are breaking down gender stereotypes one helmet, whistle, stole, rocket, hook and wrench at a time.
Oh, and Esme? She now wants to be a firefighter.
Women re-defining style: 8 Women Who Rock Pant Suits Better Than Any Man
Josh Helmuth is a sports guy for KSDK in St. Louis who contributes to Mandatory.