Posted by Social Media Intern Michelle Auster

As if it wasn’t bad enough that the Texas legislature banned protesters from carrying tampons but allowed guns as Texas lawmakers prepared to pass the now-Perry-approved extra-crazy abortion ban, let’s add to that the onslaught of online insults a brave 14-year-old girl received for having the audacity to share her opinion at the Capitol, alongside her friends and her father.

Tuesday Cain showed up to the legislature with a simple sign that read, “Jesus isn’t a dick; so keep him out of my vagina.”

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Billy and Tuesday Cain, a father-daughter dynamic duo.

The message of this was clever and clear, and one that has been repeated at length: let’s keep the church separate from the state, and stop having it inform laws on women’s rights. Tuesday was simply speaking her mind and was lucky enough to have the support of her family and friends with her. This was not meant to enrage anyone. But once the photo of her holding the sign appeared online, Cain — who, again, is a 14-year-old — became the target of a huge backlash from pearl-clutching anti-choicers. As Billy Cain writes in this article, “The perception of anonymity that the internet seems to breed is often filled with hate and one-sided monologue.

But while the reactions leveled at Tuesday Cain were unnecessary, uninformed, immature, and ridiculous, her response was anything but. Cain handled herself better than most rational adults probably would. She was graceful and measured in her response (emphasis ours):

I’m going to be honest about what it feels like to be called that as a 14-year-old girl who has never had sex and who doesn’t plan to have sex anytime soon.

I feel disappointed.

It’s hard for me to understand why adults would be calling me this. It’s hard for me to understand why anyone would use this term for a 14-year-old girl.

It’s not anyone’s business, but as I said, I am a virgin, and I don’t plan to have sex until I am an adult.

But none of those facts make me feel any less passionate about fighting for a woman’s right to choose and the separation of church and state in my home state of Texas.

There is nothing pro-life (or, you know, pro-kindness or pro-common sense) about calling a minor “a whore” for having a political opinion. But at least Cain’s measured response shows that pro-choice activists can respond to such vitriol simply by gracefully telling the truth. To suggest that her political opinions carry any less weight because of her age is problematic, and, in this case, just doesn’t make any sense, since she’s already demonstrated her agency and independence through her words and actions. Young activists should be celebrated, not torn down. They are the future of our movement. Tuesday Cain is yet another inspiring woman to emerge from the debacle in Texas. We’re proud of her bravery, and we can’t wait to see what she does next.

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