It’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.
“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.