Greta Bergman posted this picture along with the caption: “To the 20 some year old man who grabbed my xxxx during Fort Days last year, to the boy who thought it was okay to make lude, violent, sexual comments about me to his friends, to the raised eyes, stares, and suggestive glances when I walk down the street in a mini skirt or jean shorts, to the boys who think that physical appearance is more important that inner beauty, to the teacher who said “lucky you’re pretty” as a response to the test I failed, to the boy who pushed me down on the playground in grade school because I (a girl) beat him in a race, to all the boys who see girls as objects instead of valued human beings, FOR all of the women who have faced any type of sexism, sexual harassment, or violence. #MeToo

Teen girls tend to worry about who Arie picked on this season of the Bachelor, or when the Weeknd is coming out with his new album. These things are the least of 17-year old’s Greta Bergman’s worries. She is more worried about spreading awareness on gender equality and putting an end to sexual abuse of any form.

Greta Bergman is a Junior attending Ligonier High School. She is a member of the soccer team and in her free time enjoys skiing and hanging out with her friends. What many people do not know about her, is her strong sense of self and what she believes in.

Taking on real world problems such as sexism and domestic abuse is something not many young people are ready to handle. Greta is unique in her maturity. She believes that her upbringing shaped her into the strong independent woman and thinker she is today.  

“I am the middle child of three girls, I have an older sister and a younger sister. In my opinion we are all socially aware, strong females and that is because of how we were raised. Our parents are open, tolerant and have encouraged us to be aware and active members of society.”

Greta’s sister is a big reason why she is so vocal about the changes she wants made towards equality and is her overall inspiration.

My older sister is a junior in college and has traveled to India, Thailand and the Middle East participating and organizing women’s empowerment projects in some of the most oppressed societies in the world. She is definitely a role model and inspiring and I hope in return to be a good role model for my younger sister as well,” said Greta.

Being a feminist has a different meaning for Greta than it did for Gloria Allred. The 1960s idea of a feminist, being one that advocates women’s rights, is different than that of a 2018 feminist.

“To me being a feminist means believing in equal rights regardless of gender, race, religion, ethnicity or sexual orientation. It is not about superiority or the hatred of men. It is also not just about “belief” but about the “awareness” and “acknowledgement” that women historically have struggled and continue to struggle to be seen as equals to their male counterparts especially globally,” explained Greta.

Greta utilizes her social media platforms and first amendment right to inform the younger generation on the injustices taking place in our society. She is one of the thousands of women who have come forward to say “MeToo”.

The MeToo Movement embodies women telling their personal stories on how they were either sexually discriminated, harassed or abused. The amount of women who participated in this movement proves to many, including Greta, on the prominence and urgency of this matter.

“I think the number of young girls and women who have come forward to say MeToo shows the magnitude of the problem and is another example of the various ways women are seen in society. Whether it’s verbal sexual harassment/abuse from a stranger or a loved one the majority of females have or will experience it in their lifetime. This should not be the “norm” nor should it be “accepted” as the price you pay for being a female,” said Greta.

Greta has such strong opinions on gender equality because she is naturally outspoken and done extensive research. She believes that speaking out and making an impact on things that are important to you is something everyone should embrace.

“In becoming aware of the issues women face, I have become more interested from an activist and political point of view. I have always been an outspoken person, but I think it’s just as important to act on the issues that are important to you. Women’s empowerment is necessary to achieve sustainable development personally, economically, politically and socially. It is impossible to improve society without the active involvement of women. I believe it’s really important for girls who feel empowered to support girls who don’t. In some societies women have more rights than in others. Just because you may not live in a society where you feel your rights are compromised based on your gender, doesn’t mean others don’t,” said Greta.

Her views and willingness to make a difference makes Greta a young visionary. She wants to see many laws and progressive steps toward equality to take place in her lifetime. “As far as ‘laws’ in the U.S I think the continued Gender Wage Gap needs to be addressed. There is no reason why a woman with the same experience and education as a man should be paid less based on gender. There should be stricter laws protecting women against violence and harsher punishment and accessible reform for abusers,” said Greta.

Along with laws being passed, Greta believes it’s a societal issue. The acceptance towards certain mindsets needs to be changed; She thinks that is what all of our problems have stemmed from. “Outside of laws I also think it’s important for society to pay more attention to what they say and the message that is being sent. For example how many young girls have heard the excuse ‘he teases you or is mean to you because he likes you?’ Or ‘boys will be boys’ as a response to inexcusable behavior? It’s sending the wrong message to young girls and boys. No one should be excused for bad behavior based on their gender and girls should not be taught that if a boy mistreats them it is somehow a sign of affection. Instead young girls should be taught that boys who respect them will not disrespect them,” said Greta.

Greta stands alongside her sister Zoe and mother with signs in hand protesting in front of Washington during the Women’s March in D.C on Saturday January 12st, 2018.