LUOMEI-AND-HER-BOOKIt’s no secret that text written in all capital letters can be off-putting for some people sometimes because it can come off as hostile and/or dramatic. 18-year-old Luomei Lyu, who is aware of this reality, has her reasons for capitalizing the main title of her book YES, I AM A FEMINIST: An Introduction For Young Students On Their Way To Becoming Life-Long Feminist.

“I know using all capital letters might defy potential readers because the feminist word seems very aggressive, man-hating,” the high school senior tells So Booking Cool. “…Like saying ‘I’m a feminist’ in bold letters just seems so unattractive, like cultural wise in today’s social media and among my peer group. But I still chose to use it because I want to be the example for girls and boys to be able to stand up and proudly say ‘I’m a feminist.’”

Boys and girls such as elementary school students are Lyu’s target audience, which is why she says she included a lot of graphic designs and did not make YES, I AM A FEMINIST heavy in writing. Much like her platform, the Chang-E Project, she did not write her book to make money but to spread awareness and make change.

The Chang-E Project is a non-profit organization that empowers young Asian Americans and all voices from the young to take a stand against gender-based stigmas and discrimination including wage-gaps, sweatshop labor, sexual harassment and violence, girl’s education, and son preference. Her board of directors consist of youth from around the world. The story behind Chang-E, which is a tribute to the Chinese goddess of the moon, is inspired by a TED Talk Lyu was assigned to do for her English class.

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“The teacher gave us freedom to talk about anything in our life that’s important to us,” Lyu recalls. “So, the teacher also emphasized the storytelling in a speech and in a TED Talk like a mock TED Talk, so I thought back about my life and the struggles I went through. I realized one big struggle in my life was how my parents treated me differently. I was getting physically and emotionally abused by my parents, so I didn’t know it was because of my gender before that, but after I was researching for my speech project, the TED Talk, I realized that it was because of my gender. And lots of people around the world experience the same thing I was experiencing, so I decided to start the Chang-E Project.”

Watch the interview to learn more about Lyu including how she initially felt about the word feminist; how she was able to enlighten her mother; whether she thinks students should do TED Talks; the misconceptions she thinks people have about gender identity and how people can educate themselves on the topic; her advice for those who want to make a change; whether she sees herself as a businesswoman or not; and more! For more information, visit the Chang-E Project online.

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