This Girl's Senior Yearbook Quote Is Going Viral for the Best Possible Reason
Many people include a senior quote in their high school yearbooks, and every year around this time the Internet becomes awash in amusing one-liners. Few, however, are likely to be as memorable as Caitlyn Cannon's.
In one line, the 17-year-old recent graduate of Oak Hills High School in California managed to weave together LGBT equality, the wage gap and feminism to make a powerful statement on all three.
After a close friend uploaded a photo of the quote to Twitter earlier this week, it instantly went viral, receiving more than 5,500 retweets as of Thursday morning.
Cannon credited the original line to Tumblr, but told the Huffington Post she had reworked it to fit a female perspective and to leave something a little different than more traditional yearbook posts.
"I was tired of seeing the same old quotes from popular books and movies and authors, and I wanted to call attention to a problem that women face," she told the Huffington Post in an email. "I've never really been ashamed to say that I am gay, so the LGBT aspect was simply who I am."
While there were the inevitable trolls, reaction from supporters was a resounding "yaaassss."
Part of the reason the quote has taken the Internet by storm is its ability to pack so many issues into one sentence. While some Twitter pundits attacked the legitimacy of the wage gap, the overwhelming majority of evidence is clear. According to the White House, American women, on average, earn just 77% of what a man does for equal work. Breaking down the numbers further shows more dire figures among African-American and Latina women, who earn just 64% and 56%, respectively, of every dollar earned by a white man.
Cannon's casual reference to her own LGBT status also underscores how millennials (or in her case, the even newer Generation Z) have flipped the script on societal acceptance of homosexuality. Today, marriage equality is legal in the majority of American states, while the Supreme Court is currently weighing whether to extend the civil right nationwide. Polls have shown increasing support, with young people like Cannon leading the charge.
Cannon's nod to "marrying rich" is the icing on the cake and should remind everyone that feminism (that is, "the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities") is not a controversial position and something all genders can get behind.
Caitlyn Cannon, congratulations. You have won the Internet.