High school graduate tackles feminism, wage gap in viral yearbook quote

WATCH: High school valedictorian Caitlyn Cannon’s witty yearbook quote is making a splash around the world. Jenny Sung reports.

Most yearbook entries offer pithy quotes from popular songs or misattributed sayings reminding people to dance as if no one’s watching.

But one high school student from southern California is being praised online after her quote perfectly mixed politics, feminism, and satire.

Caitlyn Cannon, a recent alumna of Oak Hills High School in California, explained in her yearbook quote why she needs feminism.

“I need feminism because I intend on marrying rich and I can’t do that if my wife and I are making .75 cent for every dollar a man makes.”

“While most people take the more lighthearted or funny approach to senior quotes, I wanted to quote something that would bring attention to an important issue that we have yet to solve, and make whoever read it think about it for a moment,” she said in an email to Global News.

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She’s received mostly positive reaction, which she called “encouraging.”

But others have been criticizing her, suggesting the wage gap is fake or exaggerated. Cannon, who is attending university in New York City this fall, said she doesn’t take the negative reaction personally, but instead “just as another attack on feminism.”

The wage gap in both Canada and the United States is very much a real thing.

A May report in The Globe and Mail suggested women in Canada get paid about $8,000 a year less than men for equivalent work. Women working in Ontario in 2012 made just 74 cents for every dollar a man made, according to the province’s Equal Pay Commission.

The numbers are similar in the United States where women make roughly 77 cents for every dollar a man makes, according to the White House.