Freelance journalist Hannah Summers was not expecting the overwhelming response when she tweeted about how her four-year old daughter, who wants to be a firefighter, wanted to be a boy because she thought only men could sign up for the job.
In a tweet posted yesterday, Summers, who is based in London, asks for advice after her daughter Esme told her that she only saw firemen in the books she read.
My 4yr old came home yesterday saying she wished she was a boy so she could be a fireman. When I said girls can be firefighters too she said ‘But I’ve seen in books they are all boys and I don’t want to be the only girl’. Any good vids/books I can show her?
My 4yr old came home yesterday saying she wished she was a boy so she could be a fireman. When I said girls can be… https://t.co/uDIxngD673
Her tweet has prompted female firefighters across the country to post pictures or videos in response to prove that they do exist and that women are also allowed to work for the fire brigade. The hashtags #thisgirlcan and #fightingsexism soon went viral.
Among the first to reply was the West Midlands Fire Service, which posted a video with messages to Esme from serving firewomen.
Esme, lots of our firefighters are girls and boys – some of them want to say hello to you! We would love to meet you and show you what we do. You can be a firefighter too!
@hansummers .Esme, lots of our firefighters are girls and boys - some of them want to say hello to you! We would l… https://t.co/4QQskfyJee
— West Midlands Fire Service (@West Midlands Fire Service)
Since then, more and more female firefighters have responded to the tweet, with some even sending greetings from as far as Germany and America.
@hansummers Hannah!! Saying a big Hi to your little girl. I am one one of 339 women in the #LondonFireBrigade… https://t.co/oPoji7kKb5