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During the Women’s March event in Cincinnati this weekend, one of the speakers was 13-year-old Kelly Helton, who pushed back against religious dogma and conservative ideals.

The video is now online and it’s definitely worth a few minutes of your time.

YouTube video

My name is Kelly Helton, and I’m the equal rights advocate for the Tri-State Freethinkers.

And I’d like to start off by reading you a bible verse, Timothy 2: 11-12: “A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man. She must be quiet.”

I will not be submissive.

I will no longer bow down to the patriarchy. And let me be clear, I am here to dismantle the patriarchy! And most of all, I will no longer remain silent!

We have taken to the streets, and more importantly, we are marching to the polls. We will vote! (And by we, I mean you, because I am clearly too young to vote.) The goal is that you will no longer have to choose between the lesser of two evils when you vote, because progressive women are running for office in 2018!

We need to draw a line in the sand and unite under one banner. And that banner is equality.
We need to send a message — If you do not stand for equality, we cannot vote for you.

If we want equality for all women, then we need to make sure all women are represented. We need to ensure people of color and trans women not only have a voice, but have a seat at the table. United we must stand or divided we shall fall.

I was recently asked why feminists are so angry. Let me share with you just a few things that make me mad:

I am mad because I was told if I have sex before marriage, I’m no better than pre-chewed chewing gum.

I am mad because religious extremists are dictating my health care choices.

I am mad because my transgender friends can’t pee in peace.

I am mad because my genitals should not dictate my pay grade.

I am mad because people that have the power to vote are not using it to protect those who cannot.

But most of all, I am mad because of the homophobic, misogynistic, racism, and incompetence of some of our representatives in government.

I want our representatives to know we are not asking for equality, we are demanding it!

I want our representatives to know there will no longer be decisions made about us, without us.

In school I was taught that we have a government of the people, by the people, for the people. But when I look back and see 20 abortion restrictions in six years, it seems like Ohio has a government of the men, by the men, for the men, without regard for women.

It is said that well behaved women seldom make history. We are the future! And the future is in good hands because we have no plans to behave!

Kelly has often spoken up about perceived injustices. In 2016, she talked about how she got her public school choir to stop singing overtly religious music. She also got students in her class to remain seated for the Pledge of Allegiance because of the words “Under God.” Last year, she talked about the need for comprehensive sex education and inspired the crowd during the March for Science.

(Large portions of this article were published earlier)

Hemant Mehta is the founder of, a YouTube creator, podcast co-host, and author of multiple books about atheism. He can be reached at @HemantMehta.

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