Birthdays, Breakfast Cereals and Women Who Shredded the Rulebook

Twins Izzy and Sophia Kilburn are our two most recent Child Ambassadors. They recently celebrated their 13th birthday and very generously, asked family and friends to

Sexist Shreddies Design the Twins want to Change

consider a donation to the Mary Clarke Statue Appeal instead of birthday presents. They raised a hugely impressive £95. We are so grateful to the girls and their parents and hope they had a wonderful birthday.

The twins are, of course, seasoned campaigners. Apart from their work to achieve blue plaques in Brighton for Helena Normanton, and Sophia Jex Blake, which we reported on 6 January, they have also recently taken on the might of the Nestle corporation – at the same time giving a name check to Mary Clarke. 

The girls noticed over breakfast one day that the wording on their brother’s Shreddies packet was upsettingly sexist. They felt the slogan “He Who Squares Wins” suggested girls could not be brave and adventurous. They decided to write to the Nestle company and with their permission we quote their letter:

Hello Shreddies team!

Izzy and Sophia Kilburn

Our names are Sophia and Izzy Kilburn and we are 13 years old. Our brother Seb, who is 11, really likes Shreddies but we haven’t really tried them. 

At breakfast at the weekend, we were reading the back of his Shreddies box and saw it says “He who squares wins”. We wondered why it needs to say “He”? We looked it up on the internet and the saying “who dares wins” seems to be from the SAS and despite being a male dominated military group, even they don’t use “He”. The box also says “On your side” but it doesn’t sound like you’re on the side of girls and maybe that’s a reason why we don’t feel encouraged to try them. 

Women and girls dare and win too! We are working on some projects at the moment about daring women. Mary Clarke was the first suffragette to give her life for the campaign for women’s rights to vote and we are helping with the appeal for a statue of her here in Brighton (where we live) see this link:

We are also working on a project to get more representation for women on the blue plaques in town. We were so pleased because we recently got approval for a plaque for Helena Normanton in Brighton. She campaigned for women to be allowed to become lawyers and became the first woman to be admitted to an inn of court, the joint first female KC (now QC) and the first British woman to be issued a passport in her maiden name. She also campaigned for equal pay – and there’s still a long way to go on that. Next on our list is Sophia Jex Blake who campaigned to allow women to study medicine and became one of the first female doctors. 

How about instead of “He who squares wins” having a Shreddies box that celebrates amazing women like Mary Clarke, Helena Normanton and Sophia Jex Blake. “Women who shredded the rule book!” and demanded that genders should be “all square”.

It would be great if Shreddies would take an inclusive approach and would be really exciting if you’d help us on our projects – it would also fit in with Shreddies’ claim of “substance over style”. Then maybe girls like us would be more interested in trying Shreddies knowing you were genuinely “on our side” too! 

We look forward to hearing from you. 

Yours faithfully

Sophia and Izzy Kilburn”

We at the Appeal couldn’t have put it better!

Mary Clarke Statue Appeal