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The Financial Times doesn’t often receive Letters to the Editor from 14-year-old readers. But when we do, we listen.
On Thursday, our letters editors received a submission from reader Anna Schleiter Nielsen that swiftly took on both the FT — and gender stereotypes. Miss Schleiter Nielsen was responding to a front-page print headline that read, “Millennial mums going gaga for organics spark J&J rethink.” ( The piece’s online headline was “J&J to relaunch baby brand as millennials go organic”.)
“It’s 2016, FT — parenting is a shared responsibility,” she wrote. “It is disappointing that you are reinforcing the stereotype that it is a woman’s job to look after the children. Could I suggest that you bring your editorial policy up to date?”
The editors have a penchant for young reader letters, and especially liked how eloquently this writer voices her objections to the FT.
They published the letter, Twitter found it, and Schleiter Nielsen and her defence of shared parenting became the subject of conversation:
The print headline and the piece’s lead paragraph were derived from a quote in the story from Dominic Caruso, J&J’s chief financial officer: “It looks like millennial moms are buying new organic products.”
Many on the internet, including a Facebook collective called Women You Should Know, cheered Miss Schleiter Nielsen for speaking out against old- fashioned values.
Our own commenters also appreciated the sentiment.
Other readers suggested that despite a more progressive culture, most buyers of baby products continue to be mothers.
This is not the first letter from our under-18 readership. On April 15, the FT published a letter from a 12-year-old about a Cumbrian marmalade festival that ended with, “A toast to the Union!” Our youngest ever contributor was six.