Last year, Michele Threefoot, an 8-year-old and "proud Hufflepuff," attended a Girl Scouts event focusing on the women's suffrage movement. It was the first time, mom Krista told A Plus, that Michele learned that the girls and boys hadn't always had equal opportunities. The event also touched on modern pay inequality and how women, on average, make 79 cents for every dollar their male colleagues make. Following the event, Michele and her friends made posters that said "Equal Pay For Equal Work" and participated in a mock pay gap protest that wound around a city block.
"They were among the most zealous (and adorable, in my opinion) of the protesters," Krista told A Plus. She pinpoints that moment as the beginning of Michele's interest in the women's movement, and says that since then, the 8-year-old has become a staunch advocate of gender equality.
So it comes as no surprise that when Michele's class was challenged to don a cape for their school's Superhero Day, she chose to dress up as a hero more likely to be discussed in law libraries than comic book stores: feminist icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg, also known as alter ego Notorious R.B.G.
Krista told A Plus that the little girl fell in love with Ginsburg and her work thanks to I Dissent, a book given to Michele as part of a larger push to emphasize reading material with strong female characters and interesting plots. When planning for Superhero day, Michele didn't pause to consider whether she should wear Catwoman's ears or Wonder Woman's boots instead: it was Ginsburg or bust.
"First, I tried my graduation gown but it was way too big," Krista said of the costuming process. "Then we tried a Harry Potter cape, but it wasn't right. And then I remembered the dress she ended up wearing ... It still fit and was perfect. I popped the lenses out of a cheap pair of sunglasses, put her hair in a bun and then gave her a pair of big post earrings. It was surprisingly accurate."
The pair's hard work paid off. Krista posted a photo of Michele in her getup to Facebook, with the words: "Yes, world, girls who read are dangerous," where it went viral. Now the Notorious R.B.G. herself has seen the photo, and she's promised to send a letter to Michele. Although the Threefoots have yet to receive the letter, Michele's teacher has asked Michele to bring it in when she does and read it to the class, praising her for her out-of-the-box costume selection.
Krista, for her part, hopes that people see her daughter's hero-of-choice as a reminder of girls' potential.
"What I think everyone should know is that pretty much all little girls are fierce and mighty," she told A Plus. "We run into problems when we don't expect them to be that way. "