by Georgia Luckhurst

The other day, while I was sitting eating lunch with some friends, one of my newest friends asked: “Georgia, are you a feminist?”  Only a year ago, I’d have responded with utter scorn, as back then I still would have been scared of people’s reactions to my feminism – I’d have been ashamed to admit to being an active supporter of women’s rights, as I am today.  Stating the fact that you’re a feminist can lead to a potential minefield of reactions, but luckily, I’m blessed with supportive and understanding friends – people who understand what I’m working to achieve.

Nowadays, I am very public about being a teenage activist.  Activism isn’t just something I do, activism is something I love; it’s the area I want to work in for the rest of my life.  There are plenty of people out there, though, who don’t understand, or maybe don’t want to understand, why teenagers are an important part of activism – an invaluable part.  Before I started blogging for SPARK, I hadn’t realized exactly how much the involvement of teenagers really is to activism.  I hadn’t even realized that there were opportunities – it’s always seemed like a very mature, adult world, which didn’t hold a place for people my age.  Maybe that’s why SPARK is such an amazing thing to be a part of, because it’s defying expectations every single day: nurturing young people and proving we can do as much to change the world as any adult.

There’s a big misconception about activism, which suggests that it’s all about attending protests and giving lectures.  Both those things are very important, but there are so many methods of being involved in activism, no matter what you rights and changes you are fighting for, that those misconceptions are pointless.  I’m a teenage activist, and that might sound like a contradiction, because yes, I am still in high school, and maybe I don’t attend protests – but my method of activism isn’t any less significant!  Just because I am not working as a professional, full-time activist doesn’t mean that my activism is any less worthwhile.  Here at SPARK, every single one of us is an activist, even if our preferred form of protest is unconventional.  Some of us blog, some of us write poetry, some of us create pieces of artwork or travel around the country or participate in theater performances, and yet we are all doing something amazing.

Teenagers, I truly think, are the key to a strong voice in activism.  Teenagers are the future leaders of the world, the future faces of feminism and a (hopefully) healthier, safer world for the coming generations to grow up in.  Sometimes young people are underestimated, but without us, there can be no change: we are the energy behind the desire for a better future.  Young people care just as strongly about social issues as adults do, and our voices shouldn’t be denied just because of our age.