This article by Kayla Beaconsfield originally appeared at Tour de Couch.

So I’m just a twelve year old girl. But my opinion still matters and I deserve to be heard.

I’m a fan of cycling. Simon Gerrans, Cadel Evans, Tour de France and the Giro d’Italia. I’ve heard about all that stuff and I’m a big fan. But today my dad has taught me something very shocking. So apparently women aren’t allowed to race the Tour de France?

Apparently, women aren’t as good and strong as men. But people are forgetting one thing. People are trying to get kids into cycling, right? But they forget: 50% of kids are girls. And if girls can’t see female cyclists on T.V. as much as the men, or hear cool news about them like we do with the men, well, I’m just going to say, “Screw cycling!” “I don’t want to become a cyclist when I’m older if I’m not going to be treated like an equal!” What kind of person wants to be treated like they’re inferior? Like they don’t matter as much as other people?

As a kid, I’ve had a taste of that feeling, and I do not want it when I’m older. Cycling used to be about fun. About being free. Feeling the wind go past you as you know nothing can worry you. You’re free.

Not anymore. How can you feel like you’re free when you’re being mistreated? How can you feel free when you’re not free? No one can be free when they aren’t being given equal rights. I thought our world had moved on from that sexist-against-women era.

But we’re still the same old people. So if women aren’t given equal rights, unemployed men should just go off and get a job. Because women can’t work. They have to cook, clean, and look after the kids while the men go off to work. We all agree that’s just plain stupid, right?

Then why not give women equal rights? Which brings me back to my original point: if women’s cycling get more publicity, more girls will want to become cyclists. Also, with more publicity, they will get more sponsors and stuff, so there will be more money to pay the female cyclists, which will attract more people to join. See?

Women need equal rights. And they can get it. If you let them try. I will continue to support women’s cycling, no matter what, especially my favourites, such as Bridie O’Donnell and Rochelle Gilmore, along with her whole team full of girls, the Wiggle Team. I hope you can help to raise awareness of this issue and help support it with me.