Girls State (2024) Movie Script

[microphone feedback]
In one of my favorite scenes
of the 1964 Disney classic, Mary Poppins,
Mrs. Banks throws open the door
to her home,
proudly clad in a sash for women's votes.
As she sings of the work she has done
to secure votes for English women,
she uses her soft, fluttery voice
to produce a song that exudes strength.
She does not need to shout.
She is powerfully feminine
and Girls State, so are we.
We, as women, are often taught
that in order to have our voices heard,
we must appear and speak
and debate like men.
We must be strong and overpowering
and demand attention.
In reality, nothing could be further
from the truth.
The truth is that femininity is powerful.
Okay, come on in.
And just take a seat.
- [woman] Welcome.
- [girl] There's so many people.
I thought it was gonna be like,
one-on-one, but okay.
Would you like to tell us
just a little bit about yourself, please?
In 2040, I intend to run for president,
so I think I'm gonna run
for governor of Girls State.
I wanna be liked at Girls State for me,
and not because I wanna get elected.
I am a leader. I am an athlete,
a musician, an actress, and intellectual.
Next, I'm going to be
president of the English honors society.
Sorry, sorry.
I don't know anything about myself.
I'm really passionate
about politics, specifically,
and it's what I want to do
in my eventual career.
I'm super passionate about public health.
[girl] I do believe that
there should be increased accountability
for individuals who own firearms.
It looks like abortion may be banned,
and I think pro-life, pro-choice,
everyone can agree
that abortion being banned
will increase maternal mortality rate.
- Thank you.
- Thank you, guys.
[sighing] Okay.
["Ice Ice Baby" by Vanilla Ice playing]
Is this "Ice Ice Baby?"
[boys rapping]
All right stop, collaborate and listen
Ice is back
With the brand new invention
Something grabs a hold of me tightly
Flow like a harpoon daily and nightly
Will it ever stop?
Bye. Good luck.
Oh, there's people waving.
That's exciting.
[woman] Emily,
I am gonna take your picture.
You can stop smiling now, that's okay.
Thank you.
[Emily] I have so much adrenaline
that I woke up at 4:30 today
and just read through the manual.
Every election that I put myself in
at my school,
I've won, like, since fourth grade.
Do you wanna go through our spirit tunnel?
[girl] Yes.
[Emily] At my school,
I'm kind of known as that kid.
Culture club, Key Club,
Environmental Sustainability, FCA...
Student council, Connect,
Melville Media, step team, lacrosse.
I'm missing things.
Did I say science club?
Oh, and I started a Bible study
at my school. There we go.
So, if you're a Federalist, Nationalist...
- Yeah!
- Forty! That's my lucky number.
Oh, my gosh.
That's the year
I'm running for president.
Emily Worthmore,
"Worth More for America, 2040."
- I love it.
- Oh, my goodness.
Thank you so much.
[Emily] They asked us our freshman year
to pick your top three careers,
and mine says
President of the United States,
broadcast journalist, rock star.
I think I can do all three.
[playing rock music]
Rock and roll
[Emily] People at my school don't know
if I'm conservative or liberal,
and I kind of like that.
When people ask me what party I am,
I don't wanna say what I am
and then have half the room stop listening
before I even get a chance to speak.
But I'm really hoping
that coming out of Girls State,
I'm going to be just openly,
"I'm conservative.
Like, let's talk about it."
This is my patriotic shit, like, stuff.
- [laughs]
- This is my patriotic stuff.
- Oh, I love that.
- Look, see.
And then I have a red headband,
and I have my pearls.
Oh, I love... Yes.
And then I have multiple kinds
of pearl earrings,
'cause I don't know,
pearls feel like government?
I feel, like,
with political polarization right now,
we all need to be
just having discussions.
And I don't know
where you stand politically.
I like Bernie Sanders,
if that tells you anything.
Okay, so we're gonna be good friends.
Yeah. So we're good.
I'm gay, so...
I'm bi. But I have a boyfriend, so...
Yeah, no, I respect it.
- Yeah.
- Very cool.
[girl] I need to figure out
how many things I can try for at once
and what happens if I get multiple.
Supreme Court elections,
that'll be due tomorrow.
Girls States very much
in my comfort zone of activities.
Like, it's talking, it's politics,
there's a bit of school involved.
Look. This looks very pretty.
But it's not Girls State approved, is it?
That you cannot wear it next week?
Technically, these straps
are three fingers long.
[Nisha] But social skills have
never been something I'm confident in.
[sighing] Wish me luck, Bruiser.
This is my first class
as a serious law student.
[movie continues on TV]
[Nisha] I told my friends
I'd never seen Legally Blonde.
And everyone was immediately scandalized.
That is the whitest person I've ever seen.
Legally Blonde is a nice way
to get into that mindset
of social skills, having fun with things.
I tend to be overly serious.
But I guess I'll just figure it out
when I get there.
[Emily] Yes.
I wanna join the Snapchat group chat.
[girls chattering, laughing]
Hey, party.
I'm so excited to see how close we get
by the end of the week.
- If we're like this just a few hours in.
- [girl] This is the first four hours.
And we're already besties, like...
- [all laughing]
- [girl] Yeah, right.
It was super nice getting off the bus,
because we were with the Boys State guys,
and they were just being boys. [laughs]
And it was kind of like, okay,
when are we gonna get to the feminism
and the connection and all of that?
And then when we did,
I was like, "Oh, I love this."
[girl 2] Oh, yeah, let's do content.
[Tochi] I expect Girls State
to be extremely empowering.
Like, I'm hoping that other women
want to see themselves in government.
My dream scenario is kumbaya,
and we're all circling around the fire,
holding hands and singing. [laughs]
[indistinct chatter]
[laughing] I guess my nightmare
at Girls State
is to go into a space
where I'm feeling, like,
"Hey, I don't belong here."
[counselor] Just some things
that we do at Girls State,
which a big one is do not ever
go by yourself anywhere.
Okay? We're not alone on this campus,
so we should never be alone.
We're also co-hosting with
Missouri Boys State for the first time.
I don't know if all of you know that.
I really hope I don't need
to have the talk...
...about what is expected
of you and the boys.
Um, also, backs,
we don't want them low-cut.
So, if you do have cut-out backs,
be sure you do have something
to cover up with as well.
So, your lanyards,
if it's red, you're a Fed,
if it's blue, you're a Nationalist.
How many people do we have running
for governor?
Nobody. Okay, I was like,
"Where are the hands?"
All right, you're here. Okay.
[excited, overlapping chatter]
Hi, nice to meet you. I'm Emily.
What's your name?
- What's your name?
- Nice to meet you. I'm Ally.
Ally. Nice to meet you.
Hi. What are your guys' names?
Hi, I'm Kylie.
- Kylie.
- Alyssa.
- Alyssa.
- Kayleigh.
- Kayleigh.
- Joely.
Joely, Joely, Joely. Joely.
Nice to meet you, Joely.
Joely. Julie. Julie?
- Joe-- Joe.
- Joey? Jody?
- Joely. Joely. Is that Irish?
- There you go. No.
[photographer girl] So cute.
[all cheering]
[woman on PA] Great!
The party is gonna continue
because we are going to learn
the Girls State song.
Heck yeah, we are.
Oh, heck yeah, we are.
[all singing, clapping]
We are the future builders
Builders in a band
And we come from Girls State
The best state in the land
Rah, rah, rah
We are up and coming
Something about this says sexism.
If the boys don't have to do this,
I'm gonna be pissed.
No, me too.
And to our own Girls State
We proudly sing our song
Hey, the moon.
[Maddie] This whole environment's, like...
[strained] ...really intense.
Everything is about building connections
and who you know.
Even, like, during cupcake making...
...there's a funny feeling in the air,
there's something in the air.
And it's politics.
I'm looking for bipartisan support
right now.
And I feel like you're...
Are you more liberal?
- I am.
- Yeah, I'm more conservative, but...
I'm running on bipartisanship, so...
- What are you running for?
- I'm running for governor.
- Good morning.
- Good morning.
Look at all the people.
Everybody's up so early. I love it.
- [all cheering]
- Good morning.
And meet me at the hotel room
Get hyped! We're running for office!
- Let's go! Stat!
- [cheers]
You can bring your girlfriends
- [Emily] It's too early.
- [girl] Nah, this is Girls State.
The hotel, motel, Holiday Inn
We at the hotel, motel, Holiday Inn
We at the hotel, motel, Holiday Inn
I keep wanting to say that
it's more liberal girls at this camp
than there are conservatives,
but I can't tell.
I can't tell for sure.
I can tell the people
who are definitely liberal,
um, like, definitely for sure.
Just because, I don't know, maybe...
maybe they're just louder?
Are all of you filing for state office?
[girls cheering loudly]
All right, come on in.
[Emily] All right. I'm excited.
[indistinct chatter, cheering]
[Emily] How many people are
gonna run for governor? A lot.
I don't know.
How many people are gonna run though,
and not know what they're doing?
I'm worried that I'm gonna look
absolutely horrible when I give a speech,
just 'cause I don't like talking
to faces I don't know...
[Faith] I love public speaking, so...
Yeah. Okay. See, yeah.
I like personal speaking,
and then publicly speaking too.
Do you have speech
and debate at your school?
We do. I'm in journalism,
so that takes all the time.
Right, you said that.
I didn't know if you maybe do both, or...
- No.
- Yeah, I'm a debate kid, so...
- That's fun.
- Yeah.
There's so many of you.
Wow, there's a lot of people.
[overlapping chatter]
I know.
I think it's gonna come down to public
speaking, and I'm worried, but it's okay.
Oh, it definitely will.
[Faith] When I was in Girl Scouts,
we had superlatives,
and I was voted most judgmental,
[laughs] Which is hilarious, right? Um...
But it's just kind of a testament to,
like, my very aggressive personality.
I've always been opinionated.
I was never afraid
to express any of my viewpoints
and that's put me between a rock
and a hard place several times.
[laughing] Um...
But, I mean, I'm not gonna change.
That's how I am.
My brother's argumentative
in the exact same way that I am,
and obviously as a woman
that's not really liked,
just by society as a whole, because
you're not expected to be that way.
You're expected to be a little
more docile, a little more submissive.
What are you guys running for?
- Governor.
- Governor.
Awesome. Are you both from the same city?
- [both] No.
- Friends?
- [both] No.
- Acquaintances?
- Awesome.
- We'll become friends.
Oh, yeah, obviously. [laughs]
Okay, so why governor?
Um, you know, I wanna be in charge, so...
Have the most influence I can.
[Faith] I'm not really worried
about being liked.
What I'm worried about
is to get people thinking about policies
that I personally support.
[counselor] All right,
we are open for filing!
[cheering loudly]
[woman] All right.
I got pictures for you
if you want me to send them to you.
Yes, please, and good luck.
Yep, good luck to you too.
Attorney General?
[Tochi] Yeah.
[indistinct chatter]
[Nisha] I'd like to try
for Supreme Court Justice,
which luckily doesn't require an election.
The Supreme Court gets to change things.
Like, a lot of areas in government don't.
Even the legislatures, because they have
so many people to work with,
it is so hard to genuinely change things.
I'm not quite sure where I'm going.
- [woman] Thank you.
- [Nisha] Thank you.
I'm an especially socially
progressive person
in a not very socially progressive state.
My perspective is very different from
the decent amount of Missouri
that's rural, for example.
So I'm a bit worried,
especially with things like
the recent leaked alleged
Supreme Court abortion ruling.
I think that's something that quite
a few people will want to talk about.
And for that reason,
being on the Girls State Supreme Court
would be really special to me.
[door opens]
[girl] Hello, come in.
Oh, shoot.
My name's Nisha Murali.
Um, here's my name tag.
Um, so, why do you want to be
on the Supreme Court?
I want to be on the Supreme Court,
because they make the decisions
that really affect people's lives.
We're seeing that now with,
like, abortion, gay rights, housing,
the amount of money spent
on a federal campaign.
My parents are immigrants,
so there's always been headlines or news
and policies affecting our status
in the country, our political beliefs.
I would love to judge anything
with environmental law.
We need to make a change now
before it goes to future generations.
I honestly like to listen
rather than express my own views.
I try not to be prejudiced.
I am impartial.
My parents are divorced, so they, like...
I have to, like, mediate between the two.
Like, if there's a problem,
I kind of have to be in the middle.
Have any real-life court cases
inspired you? How and why?
So, I mean, the big one now,
Johnny Depp, Amber Heard.
I did policy debate in the sophomore year
and I chose sentencing
and I talked a lot about
mandatory minimum sentences,
which are normally used
on non-violent drug offenses,
and they really restrict
the court's power to be merciful.
- [women] Thank you.
- Thank you.
[faint chatter]
Watch it!
All right, ready? Did it take?
- That one's a little bit more blurry...
- Blurry. But it's okay.
I'll take it. That's cute, all right.
There's my girlfriend.
[Emily] She's pretty.
That's my best friend. She graduated.
You can't tell
behind the flip phone screen.
It's good.
Me and her low key are on, not opposite
sides of the political spectrum,
but, honestly, I'm more conservative.
- Yeah.
- And she's not, but it's good...
because it's like...
We don't let it get in the way.
So, I just want to put that out there
before it's like a...
- "You're conservative!"
- I'm not gonna dislike you
because of your political beliefs.
[woman] I would like to address you
like I have addressed
every class I have ever taught.
- May I do that, please?
- [girls] Yeah.
Okay. Hey, girl, hey.
[girls] Hey, girl, hey.
One more time. Hey, girl, hey.
[girls, louder] Hey, girl, hey.
[woman] That's what I was going for,
thank you.
We all come from different places.
We all have our own ideas about the world.
But what we really need to focus on
is us as women.
Because although we are all different,
we all have that in common, right?
We all have, in our own different ways,
grown up in a world
where we've never seen a female president.
But how do we change that?
We step up, right?
We want you to be the women
who straighten other women's crowns.
Not the women
who point out that they're crooked.
[cheers, applause]
All right. And I am here to announce
the top 21 persons
who will receive an interview
for the Supreme Court today.
All right.
Katherine Zhou, Pershing City.
[single clap]
- Hanna Yoki, Clark.
- [clap]
- Anne Chalice, Clark.
- [clap]
Nisha Murali, Harbor City.
- [clap]
- [girl] Whoo!
- Heather Austin, Boone City.
- [clap]
- Ashley Green, Grove City.
- [clap]
Brooke Zaylor, Pershing.
- [clap]
- Maddison Griffin, Clark.
- [clap]
- And Ava Lawless from Lewis.
[all cheering loudly]
[woman] All right.
The place where we're interviewing
for the Supreme Court--
Oh, my God, were you shortlisted?
- Yes.
- That's amazing!
It's right next door.
It's across the hall.
Thank you so much.
[woman singing] Attendants!
[man] Okay. A lot of the hot button topics
that we think about in law,
come from the Supreme Court, okay?
Recently, you know,
there was the leaked draft of Dobbs,
that would overturn Roe v. Wade.
Was Roe v. Wade...
[Brooke] I live in a small town.
It's definitely way
on the conservative side.
'Cause I'm just a girl
I'd rather not be
'Cause they won't let me
Drive late at night
Oh, I'm just a girl
[Brooke] All of my friends
are majorly pro-life.
It's been hard
to express myself sometimes.
- [cheers, laughter]
- [announcer indistinct on PA]
[Brooke] Just because
I'm coming from a small town
doesn't mean that I'm gonna be quiet
about my beliefs
or I don't know what's going on
in the world.
This is probably the most
embarrassing blanket I could have brought.
It's a picture of me and my boyfriend.
My boyfriend, my family, everyone's like,
"You got to be competitive
and be on the Supreme Court.
You got to do it.
You got to do it
or you're going to get left in the dust."
And... I'm not one to be left in the dust.
[indistinct chatter]
[woman] 27, 28, 29, 30.
[woman 2] Twenty-five, five.
[Emily] Now I'm comparing scissors.
What does this come to?
I think this one's good.
This one, I'm feeling this one.
[Emily] Okay. You know what?
Maybe I'm thinking
no more double-sided signs.
Hey, y'all. As you know,
vote Tochi for Attorney General.
Keep things truthful.
Hey, y'all. Hi.
My name is Tochi.
I'm running for Attorney General.
If you guys are interested in
hearing any of my platforms,
I'd love to share them with you.
My main platform is the truth.
That's why I'm calling myself
Tochi "Truth" Ihekona.
And as Attorney General,
I would be able to litigate cases
and actually take them
to the Supreme Court.
From the jump, just walking in, I already
knew it's gonna be a lot of white people.
Hey, y'all.
These girls are literally from places
where there's 300 people in their town,
so I'm probably the first Black person
they've ever interacted with.
I just think that
communication is important,
because we're never
gonna get the opportunity
to talk to people
from different parts of Missouri
the way that we are right now.
As far as the white girls go,
they've all been super cool.
Like, I honestly have not experienced
any microaggressions.
I, like-- Mmm.
I probably have.
[girl] I've been wanting to ask you.
Someone told me you speak Nigerian.
I speak Igbo. Nigeria is a country.
[girl 2] Okay.
[girl] Isn't there, a language, Nigerian?
- Yeah, it's Igbo.
- Oh, okay.
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Is it weird if I ask you to say something?
- [Tochi] Uh, It is! Uh...
- [all laughing]
Okay, then pretend I didn't ask.
Oh, my God. Y'all are too funny.
I try to find common ground
and I try to relate to them,
because, at the end of the day,
we're all high school teenage girls
who care about government
and we can connect through that.
Good morning.
I'm on the ballot for governor.
- Whoop, whoop, whoop!
- [girls] Whoo!
I'm here to, like, pitch you, low key.
I'm trying to go around
and get to know people.
This picture will be the first thing
that you see on that governor ballot
and it's not a good picture, so, please.
This probably isn't a good picture either,
but it's probably
slightly better than that, so...
What do you believe, actually?
I'm curious.
It depends based on
the specific issue we're talking about.
[Emily] That's good.
Don't box yourself in.
- I like that. I like that.
- Yeah.
I still like listening to other people,
even though I am conservative,
and I feel like that's
a common misconception.
I'm hoping for, like,
a grassroots-style campaign,
because I really don't know how far
a cardboard cut-out is
compared to having a conversation.
I don't want to come off "weird" because,
you know...
You only have so much time and I do
genuinely want to make these connections,
but I'm also going around
and walking around and being like,
"Hi, nice to meet you. What's your name?"
I feel like it's just
a little too eager, maybe.
You're running for governor?
Yeah. I'm the first on the ballot.
Do you guys know each other?
- Casually...
- No, I just know her name.
- [Emily] I'm conservative.
- [conservative girl] We are too.
- [Emily] Really?
- [conservative girl] Yeah.
I'm gonna be honest...
...I don't really know what to talk about
in my speech, because our party as a whole
has no platform yet, and I probably won't
agree with the platform to be honest.
I'm looking around this place...
Like, I love it, straightening each
other's crowns and all that.
But the "queen, girlboss, slay,"
it's like...
Great. If I were a guy
and you weren't doing it mockingly,
would you say that genuinely?
No, like, you wouldn't.
So, I think it's actually
keeping us down more.
Being conservative
and being a young girl
isn't a combination that you see
a lot around here, I feel like.
I love liberals. I love them to death.
But it's a continuous effort
to listen to people who disagree with me.
I've yet to ever just flip a table
and say I'm done with this conversation.
Maybe there will be a day when I do that.
[enthusiastic girl] Now presenting,
your future governor...
Cecilia Bartin!
[all cheering]
[Cecilia] Thank you so much!
Some of my main running points
are I love to bring the fun
and the spirit back into
these kinds of things.
I'm going to be reposting the results
for this poll on my Instagram.
I'm Cecilia Bartin!
I'm running to be your governor.
I have many beliefs.
I believe we should not have a dress code.
This is the time to empower women,
and last time I checked,
women know how to dress themselves.
[girls cheering]
I find campaigning
to sometimes be really fake.
And there's a lot of people
have come up to me and been like,
"I'm running for governor. My name is
'blank.' Vote for me." And I'm like...
That was a five-second interaction.
I don't-- I don't even know--
I'm not gonna remember your name,
And second off, why would I vote for you,
because you came up to me
and told me your name?
But I guess sometimes that works
with other people, maybe.
Do you wanna follow me on Instagram?
Do you have Instagram?
- Guess you can just pass it around.
- Okay, I will.
There's tons of things I can talk about,
and if you're following my Instagram,
you'll see my campaign and my agenda.
Firstly, environmental policy.
So, researching renewable energy sources
is really important to me.
I'm also interested in mental health care
for military members.
[Faith] I used to be
viscerally conservative.
Some might call me alt-right.
Because I was too baby,
I was listening to people around me
and people around me were my family.
So I was more conservative,
I was more right leaning.
And then I kind of got older
and I was like,
"Mm, I don't know if I agree."
And then it was just kind of
a slow transition out of it.
I talked to one girl and we were talking
about gun control
in the campaigning class.
And she was talking to me
and she was like, "Yeah,"
because everyone at this point
admits that our gun policy is bad.
Kids are dying, there's guns in schools.
We need to change something.
But it's just the way it gets changed.
So, she was saying, "My bill,"
if she did Girls Nation,
"would be to arm teachers."
I don't know. With that one specifically,
I think that arming teachers should be
a thing where they have to go through
a training course
and have them specifically--
See, but I have so many teachers--
Like, I think it's unfair to teachers.
[Emily] It should be optional.
And also it's a constitutional right.
Like, the Second Am...
The Constitution is everything.
Sorry, I got distracted.
[Cecilia] No, no, no. I haven't had that
many political discussions with people,
so I honestly love it,
but there are some things I disagree with.
I probably won't own an AR,
but theoretically, I like the idea
that I have the right to. Um...
If I go through the proper precautions,
right? I like that idea, right?
I wake up in the middle of the night,
somebody's in my house,
somebody has a gun.
I'm going to be shaking a lot
and you have a shot in the dark, right?
It's aiming in the dark, okay?
An AR's going to be a lot more accurate.
Like, I just, I don't see how
it can protect your house
without being more of a danger
to your house.
The only way it protects you
if an intruder comes in
is if it's laying around.
Maybe raise your kids to understand
that there's a don't touch
and you're going to put the lock on it
when they're a baby and pray to God.
Maybe lock your bedroom door
while they're still young,
and then when they're old enough,
raise them right
and make them understand
this is a don't touch.
- I think we have a different view.
- Exactly.
- But I think this is a good talk.
- No, no, no, I'm having fun.
[Emily] We don't like...
It's fun. Nobody talks politics here.
No, I wanted to talk politics.
I'm having fun. I'm excited. I'm pumped.
I live in St. Louis, it's kind of
the liberalest you get in Missouri.
So I knew if I ran for governor,
through campaigning,
I would be forced to go out
and talk to new people.
That's why I came here. I wanted to
meet girls on the other side of the aisle.
I think boys feel like
they can speak louder about politics,
because I think women, often, when we
start talking politics, we get shut down.
I think we're just less respected.
So, you know, by the time we're 17,
we're already socialized
to stop talking about it.
But we do have
strong views about politics.
[melody playing on piano]
[piano music continues]
[girl] So, can I read
my speech to you guys?
Because she said that I can't do it
during dinner, we wouldn't have time.
- Yes.
- Okay.
"Hey, girls, I'm Angie DuSant,
I'm running for House of Reps.
I feel like I'm the best..."
"...for this, because I love people.
I am a student council rep
back at my school.
I'm a people person, and I believe
in giving everyone a voice.
And I can't wait to get to know everyone
and become best friends
with all of you beautiful women."
[girls cheering]
So, like, politically, like,
what are you thinking?
- What are your thoughts?
- [Angie] Politically?
Yeah. Like, do you have a platform?
Like, ideas?
It's okay if you don't.
Like, it's okay, like, I'm not, like...
I just mean, 'cause it hasn't really
been like that, so it's okay if you don't,
because Girls State
isn't really like that.
I'm just, like, throwing it out there,
just in case.
Does it become political at any point?
Well, I was talking to Amy about it,
and she was, like,
usually, girls run on campaigns
that are, like, environment...
- Yeah!
- ...mental health stuff that, honestly...
is typically pretty bi-partisan.
But, like, if you want
to bring politics into it,
I say go for it, a thousand percent.
Like, obviously, you're gonna have people
that disagree with you, but...
- [Maddie] That's politics.
- Yeah.
Yeah, I think it's interesting because
we're talking about how, like,
"Oh, the boys can have their shirts off
and we can't."
- But yet the boys are having, like...
- [Angie] Politics.
I wouldn't know because
I haven't been there.
The boys are actually having
political experiences right now.
- [Angie] Yeah.
- Yeah, and I feel like...
[Maddie] I'm a little sick of the fluff.
- [Emily] Yeah. When does it get--
- [Angie] No, exactly.
Everybody says that they want
to represent their people,
everybody says that they want
to be friends with everyone
and have everyone's voices heard.
- Okay, let's have a real conversation.
- [girl] And get some stuff done.
What do you wanna have done,
what do you want to see?
If we want a genuine experience
on something,
we have to talk about real world issues
and we have yet to do that in any aspect.
[chatter continues, indistinct]
[Emily] I don't want to say
that it's just a female thing,
but maybe it's because
everybody nowadays is told
that we need to really empower each other
as girls, which is true.
But a trap that we risk falling
into with that
is kind of perpetuating the idea
that you're at a disadvantage
because you're a woman.
[under breath] Ow!
I was raised in a house
where I was never told,
"You can't do this
because you're a woman."
Never had I ever heard that.
I found another girl's governor page.
She, like, is really campaigning.
[boys chanting in distance]
[Faith] Oh, no.
I came here to escape men. Why...?
I'm just gonna start yelling, like,
random conservative phrases at them,
- see if they repeat it.
- I will say they will repeat it.
I know they will,
they're little sheep. Baa!
[Emily gasps] Are those the boys?
I wanna go! Sorry, chill, Emily.
[boys chanting call and response]
They just, like, flexed.
This one kid just walked by flexing.
It was so bad.
- [Maddie] That's embarrassing.
- I know.
[Maddie] I think that-- Mm,
that's so just weird picking up people.
I wanna flex now.
I feel like now I wanna be the--
[mocking laughter]
[Maddie] You wanna play this game?
I can play this game.
- You know what pisses me off?
- [Emily] What?
[Maddie] The fact that they
have a gym and we don't.
[counselor] I have yesterday's
Girls State newspaper.
We all know that Boys State's
happening on campus.
- [girls jeering]
- Hey, hey, hey.
The stories that you are writing
are actually going to be printed
in the same paper as the Boys State paper.
And there are a lot of you in this room,
so I'm expecting a lot
of really great stories.
- I love this, every time...
- I love it, I have it.
[girl] Has it occurred to anyone else how
boys don't have to walk in buddy system?
- Yes!
- [Maddie] We asked a bunch of them.
We were walking by them,
we were asking them,
they were like, "Uh, no."
It's for our protection, I get it.
They're trying to do the best for women.
- [overlapping chatter]
- But it, it's, like, pissing me off.
[girl 2] The reason we're
noticing all these differences
between Boys and Girls State is because
they put us on the same campus.
They brought this problem on themselves.
- [counselor] Okay.
- [girl 3] I am so sorry.
[counselor] I also have, like, a few
general announcements, okay?
Um, this is just-- You have to be
productive during this time.
You know what I'm saying?
But you also have to
get dressed for dinner.
As a side note,
you can take your cardigan off,
but as soon as we get to a building,
you'll need to put your cardigan
or whatever your cover is, back on.
Tell the boys they have to
put their shirts back on.
[girl] Did you know the boys
don't have a buddy system?
And, I think they should--
All right, you guys can talk
about Boys State now if you want to.
Talk about government.
[Emily] I just feel like the differences
between Boys State and Girls State,
the counselors don't really want us
to talk about,
because we're supposed to all be, like,
incredibly in love with the program.
And we are... ish.
I would love to go walk over to Boys State
right now and see what they're doing.
Like, I bet they're talking about things
that are really important right now.
Like, I bet they're talking
about Roe v. Wade being overturned.
I bet they're talking
about Second Amendment.
I don't think they're talking about,
like, crop tops.
[boy] This is the single most detailed and
most specific bill on our docket today.
And yet, still you've heard
previous senators say
that having a fine of only 50 dollars
makes the issue of discrimination
seem not severe enough, but I ask you,
what's the fine for discrimination now?
[indistinct chatter]
[military whistle music playing]
It's only whenever we work together
that we can actually get stuff done.
[applause, cheering]
I have a screen recording of...
One of my friends is at Boys State.
And it has, like... Listen to this.
You know the guy I--
- Did I tell you about this already?
- Yeah.
He's talking about, like, women's bodies.
And, like fetuses. It's really weird.
[man, through phone] This is murder.
Life begins at conception.
There is no alternative.
You know, I was a junior
back when Roe v. Wade was passed or...
dictated by the United States
Supreme Court.
I believe in pro-life.
No abortion, no exceptions.
The Lord moves in mysterious ways,
but we all have a soul
and a right to live it to our fullest.
[indistinct chatter]
The Boys State had
a Republican and Democratic...
I can't remember
if it was a representative or senator,
on stage and they were
discussing abortion.
Do they have uteruses? No.
Do we? Yeah.
So, who actually gets the say here?
Not them.
I am pro-life from natural conception
on to death,
because that is the Catholic teaching.
Personally, I'm pro-life,
but I wouldn't try
to convince somebody who's not otherwise.
Like, maybe I'd share my opinion
and talk to them,
but I don't think it's something
that's worth like, "No, become pro-life."
[Maddie] If you say youre pro-life,
you need to assess
what's gonna happen to the kids after.
You need to create programs
for after-life,
which is another piece of it.
Like, I don't think you can say
you're pro-life, and not...
I think pro-life
is its own problematic statement.
A lot of "pro-lifers"
aren't actual "pro-life."
- [Maddie] Right.
- They're pro-birth.
- Yeah.
- Now that is a big difference.
[Maddie] No, I think they're pro-women's
restrictions on women's bodies.
We are taking steps back as a society.
We are taking steps back as a society.
Instead of moving forward
with women's rights.
Instead of moving forward
with us having the right
to do what we want with our bodies,
men are taking it away from us. Again!
It's-- Ooh, y'all gonna get me to cussing.
[faint conversations]
Okay, everybody.
We just need to get rid of the anxiety.
So let's all hold hands,
just really quick.
We are all meant to be here
for a reason right now.
We all deserve this,
but whoever gets it is amazing.
[Brooke] Seven of us are gonna
make it on that Supreme Court.
And we're all gonna be proud
of each other.
- Okay, the nerves are still here.
- Right?
[Nisha] I'm pretty sure
that Brooke and I began talking
because I complimented, like,
a braid in her hair that's really pretty
and, like, beaded with red, white
and blue beads.
But, after that, we just kept talking
because she's really nice
and, like, genuinely cares a lot
about government and so do I.
Okay, try again.
[Nisha] Until now, we didn't have to worry
about any sort of competition.
One of us will be in the Supreme Court,
but there's no way
for both of us to do it.
- It's gonna be great either way.
- Yeah.
- You'd make the best Supreme Court ever.
- Right?
Actually, no because
the best Supreme Court ever
- would have both of us on it.
- [chuckles] Mm.
Nisha came up and talked to me.
And I was like, "Okay, this is...
this is cool, you're cool,
you're a cool person,
you're so much different than me.
And I think that's great for both of us.
Let's talk, let's hang out."
And then we got put
against each other.
But strong girls empower
strong girls, right?
This is intimidating.
I know, right? All right, ready?
- Yeah.
- Awesome.
Do you think the Constitution as it stands
is the best possible basis
for what will create the best quality
of life for American citizens?
I think that with the amendments
that have been made to it, obviously...
[hesitantly] it's just keeps getting,
well, sometimes better.
Sometimes things like
overturning Roe v. Wade,
that's very controversial right now.
And it should be a topic
that is more exclusive, I think.
It should be just a women's conversation,
I think, not a men's conversation.
I would add in a clause on discriminating
on the basis
of sexual or gender orientation.
Are there any qualities that you possess
that you believe make you stand out
when it comes to your ability
to objectively interpret the Constitution?
Um, I think that...
it might not be the most formal way
to hear other people's ideas,
but I am a very social person.
I will talk to a wall.
I've had a lot of practice
separating my own opinions
about political beliefs from fact.
And sometimes I had to have the team
I disagree with win, because...
...they argued their case better.
They knew more.
And the fact that I've been
doing that all year, I believe, makes...
gives me more knowledge
on how to do that in a court system.
- It's nice to talk to you finally.
- [laughs]
- Oh yeah.
- I'm like so intimidated by you.
- No, don't be. Very normal person. Yeah.
- Okay. Okay.
- Have a good night.
- Nice to meet you again.
[woman] That's your first one,
you have to choose one of the two.
Okay. Awesome.
[indistinct chatter]
[girls chanting loudly]
The party's on our side!
Hey, the party, the party's over here!
the party, party is on our side!
Hey, the party, the party's over here!
[woman] Yeah! Good morning.
Let's sing! Yes.
[piano accompaniment playing]
We are the future builders
Builders in a band
And we come from Girls State
The best state in the land
Rah, rah, rah!
We are up and coming
Progressive, kind, and strong
And to our own Girls State
We proudly sing our song
[all cheering loudly]
All right, ladies,
we have our state Supreme Court.
Are we ready?
- [all yelling] Yeah!
- No.
All right. Alana Hasman from Cronin.
Anna Yoki from Clark.
[all clapping once]
[Nisha] After every single
step of the way,
after my written application,
after my spoken interview,
I was one hundred percent convinced
that this is it.
This is where I'd go out.
They're not gonna want me after this.
I could have written this better.
I stuttered too much.
And there was so much self-doubt.
But the morning comes around,
and as someone who'd been, like,
the best in my school,
I started actually thinking about
the possibility that I would end up
on the Supreme Court.
Sophia Black from Anthony.
- [clap]
- [loud cheering]
G.S. Singh from Covington.
- [clap]
- [loud cheering]
Brooke Taylor from Pershing.
And Hannah Rice from Carver.
[loud cheering]
- You deserve it.
- I'm so proud of both of us.
I'm proud of you.
You and I have the hang of this, okay?
[woman on stage] Congratulations, ladies.
[girls chanting]
[woman on stage] Congratulations, girls.
Okay, I have one last thing for you.
This is my challenge to you today.
Give two people a compliment.
Not right now! Pepper it out.
Be good to each other. Goodbye.
[applause, cheering]
[Nisha] I think it'll take me a while
to fully process the loss.
Because I really put myself out there.
I think that's something
that a lot of girls at Girls State
are struggling with as well.
We all work very hard
on the image of ourselves
that we want to show to the world,
and it's exhausting.
I wanna say something
about being Christian in my speech.
Like, just a brief...
I don't wanna, like, drag on it,
but I definitely wanna mention it
'cause I feel that's part of my identity
and I'm trying to be transparent.
'Cause what if I did run
on a more conservative...
Like, what if I just said it?
It's like, honestly,
strategically speaking,
there are more liberal candidates
that I'm, like, actually feeling...
threatened by.
And if they split the vote,
which I think they will,
how many people would that maybe
comfort a little bit and, like...
The best thing you can do is just
be confident and do what you know.
They say you can come here
to be a new person,
but if you come here
and you build yourself
on a completely new identity,
you're lost.
So just stick to what you know.
[Emily] My faith is one of the most
important things about me.
Christianity has definitely guided me.
I grew up in the Church.
My dad was a pastor.
He passed away when I was younger.
It's just me and my mom.
She's a single mom.
She's always been there.
She sacrificed a lot for me.
[nervous exhale]
Being able to go for the scholarship
would help me a lot.
Financially-wise, this would just be
a really, really big thing for me.
That is currently the biggest
stressor I have.
Because college is a lot, and I am paying
for college, a hundred percent on my own.
Just because of that, like, you know,
it's just not there for us.
Can you expand on what you plan
to do with your major?
Yes, I can.
So, I'm interested in journalism.
That's what I want
to major in in college
because political journalism
is my major career goal.
I heard about the scholarship.
I really wanted to apply
because this would be a huge thing for me.
So thank you so much
for taking time and listening.
That's cool.
[stomping and clapping rhythmically]
Everyone hypes up Girls State as,
like, this monumental moment
that's gonna change the way you
view yourself and the way you view others.
And I was kind of just, like,
"Okay, is it gonna happen?"
Like, I hadn't felt it yet.
But once we started debating and,
like, talking about politics,
I thought, "This is where it all begins."
You know, I have a lot of ideas, guys,
but does anybody else have ideas first?
[girl] So, yeah. Let's get straight to it.
Abortion, what are we thinking? Go for it.
Okay, I'm more on the pro-choice
side of things, so...
I'm a Christian, so I am pro-life,
but I don't think that the government
should be able
- to regulate a woman's body.
- Yes.
[stomping, clapping continue]
[gavel bangs]
[speaker] The House will come to order.
Thank you, Madam Speaker. I move
that delegates should be able to choose
their preferred name and pronouns
that goes on their ID badges.
You guys!
[loud cheering]
Hi, Mommy.
Hi, Mommy. [laughing]
Girl, I-- I did it. I did it, Mommy.
I won Attorney General.
I know, I know. Thank you.
Okay, well, I have to go.
Please don't make me cry.
That's embarrassing.
[laughs warmly]
Thank you, thank you.
[Tochi] I think about my parents a lot
through this process.
I love you too.
My parents are immigrants.
That has definitely shaped me.
Smiles right there. Beautiful family.
[Tochi] I know that my parents have fought
to get to where they're at.
All right, look at your dad.
[Tochi] They've had to struggle
to be accepted.
Dance party! Dance party!
[Tochi] So seeing people that look like me
winning made me think of my parents,
because I did not expect people
to be so receptive.
I really did come into this,
like, guard up.
So, it was really cool
to get that support.
[woman] All right. You guys'll do great.
[Tochi] But I am kind of waiting
for another ball to drop.
[bailiff] Oyez, oyez, oyez.
The Honorable Nisha presiding.
[attorney] We are arguing that
Missouri's law that requires a woman
who wants to have an abortion
to receive counseling
violates a woman's right to privacy.
[Nisha] Instead of sitting around
being disappointed over losing,
I started associate circuit judge work,
helping other people prosecute,
planning cases, judging,
doing the things that we, like,
should work on here.
[attorney 2]
Her privacy is still protected.
[murmured discussion]
[attorney 2] We think that fear
is a main driving factor for abortion.
Obviously, things can happen,
like rape, incest,
or it's endangering to the mother.
It's all based on fear.
So, we think that all women
should go through counseling,
just to make sure that it's
not something that they regret.
Excuse me.
Do you believe that the woman
should be able to decide
whether they would like this help?
I think forced counseling
is kind of good, in general.
I mean, obviously, it's going to be hard
for people to open up to doctors,
but, ultimately,
they're just there to help.
Why would it be such a big deal?
[Nisha] I ruled in favor of Amelia,
that requiring counseling
before an abortion
violated her right to privacy.
Guess what I ruled on this morning?
- [girl] The... Oh, wait.
- The abortion case.
It's being appealed, the ruling I ran on.
It's a Supreme Court decision now,
everyone can come watch it.
Okay, okay.
Do you have any idea about...
like, any ideas to help
the Roe v. Wade case right now?
Because I'm sure every girl in this room
knows the state that it's at,
- and it terrifies at least half of us.
- Yeah.
But then, when we try to talk
to the men about it, it's like,
"Oh, well, that probably won't happen.
That seems a little absurd."
- Yeah, right?
- That's what we need to talk about.
- [girl] Hey, y'all.
- Hey.
- Should I start?
- Yeah.
[girl 2] I deserve to be here.
[all] I deserve to be here.
We are all qualified.
- [all] We are all qualified.
- [girl 3] You stole mine!
We are all amazingly talented.
[all] We are all amazingly talented.
I can confidently speak
in front of hundreds of girls.
[all laughing] I can confidently speak
in front of hundreds of girls.
We're allowed to make mistakes.
[all] We're allowed to make mistakes.
- Okay, that was a little bit louder.
- That one's good.
- Hello.
- Hi.
I have no clue what city you guys are,
I just wanted a good view of the stage.
I was the judge that made
the original decision,
and I want to know
what they're gonna do with it.
Oh, gotcha, gotcha.
[Nisha] I was telling everyone about this
as soon as I knew it was going
to the Supreme Court,
because I wanted people
to be having that conversation.
And a lot of what I heard was,
"It's a very timely decision,
because in a couple of weeks
we couldn't be having this conversation."
And that just hurt.
That's a huge conversation
that's effectively shut down soon.
I'm excited to see the Supreme Court case,
like, US Supreme Court.
- Right, like they're you a--
- Because I'm all about this.
Which, the people-- I mean,
the people at my school were saying,
"It's gonna ban abortion, it's gonna--"
And I'm like, "No."
I'm pretty sure, like, at least
what the leaked opinion does
is just say there
is no federal right to privacy.
Which makes no difference in a case
in a state like New York or California,
and a lot of difference
in a state like Missouri.
[indistinct chatter]
[Tochi] As Attorney General,
I don't really have to say my politics.
I just have to give good legal counsel
to the state,
which is what Attorney General does.
But I wanna start off
with giving out definitions,
especially since we get the opportunity
to speak first.
I think we should hit them with,
"This is how we're defining this,
this is how we're defining that,
this is how we're defining this,
and our opposing counsel
has not done that at all.
They haven't defined anything, but they're
saying their privacy's being violated."
[Tochi] Personally, I believe there
should be the choice to go to counseling,
but I have to decide
what would be the best
for the outcome of this case
and not my own, like, personal belief.
It's a bit of, like, a moral dilemma.
[bailiff] Oyez, oyez, oyez.
The Missouri Girls State Supreme Court
is now in session.
The Honorable G.S. Singh presiding.
[Brooke] The case is definitely
where it belongs, in front of women.
The Constitution was written
hundreds of years ago
by a bunch of old white guys
that don't know what's happening today.
So much has happened since then.
Um, so it's really...
It's a tough job to apply it to right now.
[court justice]
Argument for the appellant.
[Tochi] Yes, Your Honor.
- May it please the court?
- [court justice] It does.
All right. I first want to start this off
by defining privacy
because that is one of the main parts
of today's case.
Privacy, according to Oxford Dictionary,
is the state of being free
from public attention.
This is important because
the opposing counsel is arguing
that under the current Missouri law,
a woman's right to privacy
is being breached when
they are going into a counselor's office
before receiving an abortion.
Now, that moves us on
to doctor patient confidentiality,
which is defined as mutual consent
between the physician and patient.
So, as we're seeing that most counselors
that give free counseling advice
are medical officials, HIPAA and
doctor patient confidentiality is present.
That counselor would not be able
to go and share that information
to the public or even anyone else.
[court justice] Okay, so do you believe
someone unwillingly sharing information
about themselves to another person
is a breach of privacy?
I... I don't think
I can answer that question
without knowing what "unwilling"
would look like.
Because if there's a gun to your head,
then obviously that's a breach of privacy.
But if you're in a room where you know
what's going to happen within that room,
I personally wouldn't define that
as unwilling.
But do they really choose to enter
if they're not allowed
to have an abortion unless they go?
[Tochi] I think that is a great point,
but that's just not
what this case is about.
It's about whether or not that counselor
is sharing information with others.
I rest my case, and thank you.
[court justice] Do we have an argument
for the respondent?
[attorney] Yes, Your Honor.
Honorable justices of the Court.
The State has failed to prove that
the privacy of the client remained intact.
So, what is privacy?
Privacy, not according
to the Oxford Dictionary,
but privacy according to law.
Privacy is the right not to have ones
personal matters disclosed or publicized.
So, if I'm understanding correctly,
HIPAA ensures that medical professionals
cannot share a patient's details.
Do you know if these count,
if HIPAA is applicable
to these counselors as well?
[attorney] Yes, the counselors
would have HIPAA intact to them,
but that's not what we have to take
into consideration.
They didn't choose to go
to the source to talk to them.
Does that deter the person
from going back to said clinic?
Well, ultimately,
it decides on the person,
but the things that they show
within the counseling
do typically try to steer people away
from getting an abortion.
So, they'll show what the process
of getting an abortion is,
so that the woman is feeling more guilty
when she was already set in her decision.
So, just to clarify,
the abortion process cannot resume
until they-- like,
after they had counseling.
[attorney] Yes, that is correct.
They don't choose to go to counseling
before they choose to get an abortion.
That's where the privacy is being broken,
and that's what the state
failed to address.
[whispering] Um, constitution...
- Thank you.
- [attorney] Thank you, Your Honors.
Supreme Court case number one,
Amelia v. the State of Missouri
is now taken under submission.
The Missouri Girls State
Supreme Court is now in recess.
[murmured conversations]
So, was that very different
from the trial process?
So much more different.
They actually know the process
of the law this time.
I am excited to see what the court rules.
They're required--
No, they're required to listen.
They don't have the privacy to not listen.
That's where it got confusing.
I think the main argument
is whether or not you believe
telling a medical professional something
is a breach of privacy.
We're unilateral so a big thing is that
anything that they say
within those sessions
is never publicly released,
and whether they go to the sessions or not
- is never publicly released.
- But I think the fact that
it's not getting public
isn't the privacy breach.
It's the fact that they have to go.
- You still have to tell someone.
- They are forced to go.
I feel like privacy rights also cover,
like, being showed disturbing images.
- Right.
- And being forced to sit there, like...
- We could look at it that way though.
- I think the best thing to do is focus,
like, tunnel vision, on breach of privacy.
Why do you guys view somebody going
to counseling,
somebody has to--
like, a requirement for something,
- how is that a breach of privacy?
- Because they didn't commit a crime.
It still requires somebody to unwillingly
share information about themselves
to another person.
I think that's a breach of privacy.
- [counselor] What have we decided?
- [court justice] We have not decided.
- We must decide. We need time.
- I think it's gonna be split.
[court justice] You may be seated.
The court was split five to two.
Five judges agreeing
that this was a breach of privacy.
The court sides with Amelia.
[mouthing] Can I clap?
The Missouri Girls State Supreme Court
is now in recess.
[all cheering]
First of all, great job, y'all.
Really great case.
I really enjoyed, like, being able
to present my argument
and, like, be an attorney.
But to be totally honest,
am I happy that Amelia won?
Yes, I am.
- We did the best we could.
- Group hug, group hug.
- Good job everyone.
- You did so good.
[Brooke] Being able to talk about it here
is great, it's awesome.
- But I'm 16.
- [both giggle]
I can't go out there and pass legislation
or rule on any kind of actual court.
So, I mean, it's-- It was great.
It felt empowering, but...
it also made me pretty sad. [chuckles]
I could say like, um...
I think as women since it affects us,
the biggest issue is that
these conversations about abortion
are happening between men in the Senate...
- Yes, yes, that's a lot better.
- ...because women are wildly...
underrepresented in the Senate and House.
So, no matter what your opinion on it is,
I want you elected.
- So they can be part of the conversation.
- Yes.
Good. Okay.
[Emily] My tummy is getting
a little bit excited.
[laughs nervously]
[Faith] Worried, worried. Saw her.
I said, honestly my biggest competition
from the other side--
Here's the thing. She is
a public speaker, she does debate.
She's gonna have a great speech.
I'm gonna have a great speech.
Not a public speaker.
[Faith] Currently, I think
my largest competition is Emily.
Emily has just been talking
to a ton of people.
She's one of the first people
that ever approached me.
- This is my worry.
- That is what I was gonna say.
- You should fear.
- That's my worry. I'm fearing.
Hey, guys. My name is Emily Worthmore.
And you guys have probably seen me around,
because I have been making a point
to go and try to meet
as many of you as possible.
So I'm asking--
No. Shoot. What am I doing?
Okay, sorry, okay.
Hey, y'all. My...
- Sorry.
- That was cute.
I don't know where
I'm picking up the "y'all."
In addit-- No. What am I saying?
I'm sorry. Maybe it's not a good idea.
- I don't know. I'm rambling.
- That's okay. If you--
What are these sauces?
- What are the sauces?
- I like the all-- Ranch--
Ooh! [gasping]
Better ranch, yeah.
- [girl] No!
- [Emily] F my life. Kill me.
No, don't. Sorry. I'm fine. Sorry.
[breathing shakily]
You know how much food I drop in a day?
- I'm so sorry.
- [girl] Dude, stop.
Hey, go get you some more food.
- Why are you crying?
- I don't know. It's like the last--
- I don't know, everything going on.
- I know, I know, but you're fine.
Whoo, that was the stupidest thing.
Okay, stop crying.
[laughing] You're fine.
Go get some more food.
What's going on?
You want to talk about it
or not talk about it, or just...?
It's just... I'm just a mess,
and now is just not a good time
to do something stupid, I don't know.
[sighing] Okay.
- Good?
- Yeah.
[Emily] All right,
I need to finish writing my speech.
Oh, my gosh, like,
I will be a voice for you guys.
So, I'm doing that...
Do you have to register for like anything?
"As your governor,
I promise to live by these words:
to love, to care, and to be there.
I want you all to go into the world
and be whatever you want.
I want you to be brave and bold because
every single one of you is amazing."
- [girl] Yeah, look at you go.
- [girl 2] Good luck.
All right. I love you guys.
See you later.
I will continue
to unify the Federalist party.
My name is Faith Glasgow
and I would love your vote for governor.
[cheering loudly]
The '22 party convention of Missouri
Girls State is hereby called to order.
[girls cheering, clapping]
Now, can we have
all of our governors come up?
Throughout my time as a leader,
I have raised over 20,000 dollars.
I have helped collect and donate
over 500 pairs of socks to the homeless.
Now, I don't say this to woo you.
I say this because I want you to know
that I deliver on what I set my mind to.
I've heard my whole life that I couldn't
do something just because I am a woman.
I've been told I couldn't sit,
talk or even burp like that
just because I am a woman.
This should not be the case, though.
Men and women should have
equal rights around the world
and especially in America,
where we are one nation.
We as women are constantly
pitted against each other.
And I'm sick of it.
I don't really do big on public speaking.
But I don't want to sit back
and be that girl that's in the back
that doesn't run for any position.
I want to be that girl
that shows other people
that she can stand up and be a leader.
[cheering, applause]
Next, we have Faith Glasgow.
[girl] Let's go, Faith!
So, um... my name is Faith Glasgow
and before I begin my speech,
I would like to ask you all to join me
in a moment of silence
for the victims of the over 250 mass
shootings in the present year, 2022.
Thank you for joining.
You know, a lot of candidates have
and are going to come up here
and list their many, many leadership
positions and accomplishments
that qualify them for their position.
And to that,
I say, "That's why we're all here."
Instead, I would like to tell you a story.
Recently, I had the opportunity to partner
with a good friend of mine
and lead a protest and petition signing
of over 700 students.
We rallied in opposition
of an organization
creating a chapter at my school.
Turning Point USA is known
for its bigoted viewpoints
against the LGBT community
and white supremacy.
[cheers, applause]
The result of this protest,
the school board
is now reconsidering district policy.
I'm not a stranger to leadership
and advocacy.
I saw a problem
and I started a movement to fix it.
Citizens of Girls State, ultimately,
I would have the job
of signing legislation.
With that stated, I would like to discuss
issues that I personally care about.
Based on my introduction,
I support common sense gun law.
We need deeper background checks,
something that 84% of gun owners
already support.
African-Americans are four times
more likely to be arrested for crimes
that white and Black people
committed at the exact same rates.
Systemic racism in our criminal
justice system deserves addressment now.
[applause, scattered cheers]
This week has been extremely hot,
but, by God, it's going to get even hotter
if we don't do something
about global warming.
- That's why I support...
- [cheering]
...a funding increase for renewable energy
to combat greenhouse gas emissions.
As far as Girls State,
I would like looser dress codes.
I would also like the food policies
to change.
My name is Faith Glasgow.
Please vote for me for your governor.
[loud cheering]
[Maddie] Next, we have Emily Worthmore.
- [encouraging shouts]
- [girl] Go, Emily!
Hello, Federalists!
Chances are that you've already met me,
but my name is Emily Worthmore
and I'm running for governor.
Throughout this week,
I've made it my top priority
to get to know as many of you as possible,
which, by the way,
is quite the undertaking
because there are a lot of you.
Most of you already know
that this tree has deep roots in Christ.
In addition,
I am a supporter and protector
of the freedoms that we have in America,
the most opportunity-filled country
on Earth.
[scattered cheers]
In my eyes, I see the people before
the politics.
I believe that these in-person discussions
about what makes every one of us unique,
both politically and as humans,
is what makes us...
that's what makes us Americans
in general, right?
That's what's holding us together.
If we can find one thing in common,
even if it's just the fact
that we are all Americans
and we all want the best for this country,
then that is good enough for me.
Finally, I would like to remind everyone
that I will not only be
finishing off this week
by being sworn in as governor,
but more importantly,
I would be serving the future generation
of delegates next year.
Thank you.
[scattered cheers]
That's not what I meant to say.
That's not what I meant to say.
That's okay.
Next, we have Cecilia Bartin.
[girl] Cece!
I'm supposed to come up here
and tell you the most important,
the most compelling
part of myself, so I will.
I'm selfish.
I'm selfish because I have to be.
We all have to be.
Women in America aren't given respect.
As a lifeguard, I have been told
by middle-aged men,
"Cecilia, you should smile."
I've been told by 12 year-old boys
that I have an attitude
and even here, Girls State,
a place that is meant to empower women,
our bodies are policed.
We are told that our shorts are too short
and our tops are too scandalous.
- [cheers]
- We are shamed
for having bodies with curves.
And as your governor,
I will not let this stand.
I am proud that when I smile,
it is because I am happy
and not because a man told me to.
- [girl] Yeah!
- [cheers]
[Cecilia] I am proud
that I do my job diligently
and I am proud that my personality
is not limited
by a man's definition
of what a woman should be.
And standing in front of this crowd today,
this crowd of future leaders,
I can say with certainty
that the future is female.
[enthusiastic cheering]
God can save the world,
women, we will save America.
So be prideful, be selfish
and vote Cecilia
for your Girls State governor.
Thank you very much.
[Cecilia] Thank you!
[cheering continues]
I'm proud of you all. Good luck.
Excuse me, guys, sorry.
I wanted to say that I appreciated
that you were real
and transparent about being Christian.
It was like--
Thank you. Yours was really good too.
Definitely out of all the other
candidates I agree with you the most, so.
- Thanks. Thank you. I did too. Honestly.
- Just wanted to say that. Good luck.
I know it's a lot of pressure,
so don't feel like you have to be
so perfect, okay?
- You know what? Really. Really.
- Thanks.
[voice cracking] Thanks. Good luck.
I know, but breathe. Breathe.
Because I can see it, 'cause it's a--
- I'm that same person. So breathe.
- I can't.
- You can't? Inhale...
- Yep.
- Okay.
- Thanks. Good luck. Seriously.
You, too.
[girl, reciting] Expectations
Class standout, rising star
The girl projected to go far
Exceed the standard, raise the bar
All eyes on the chosen one
Expectations, competitive drive
Have to survive
Because legends never die
If you lose, you will disappoint
Their expectations
So you smile and hide it
Grin and bear it
Take their punches, never share it
How could I ever meet my own
[Emily sighing] Okay.
[breathes shakily]
[murmured conversations]
[cheering in distance]
[lilting melody playing on vibraphone]
I voted for Emily.
I don't necessarily think
she's going to win.
Actually, I know she's not going to win.
But I think that she went and talked
to a lot of people.
She heard a lot of people.
She heard a lot of voices she didn't
necessarily want to hear.
She had a lot of hard conversations.
That's not easy. That takes guts.
Guts I don't have.
And I don't agree with the policies
she would create,
but I think she is a good human being.
[music continues]
I think as soon as Cecilia went up there
and was about 20 seconds
into her speech, I was, like,
"I think she's going to win."
Because it's an entire crowd
of 500 women.
And when you're essentially giving
a feminist manifesto up on stage...
um, you know, it gets the crowd going.
I think Cecilia
just really hit home on something
that a lot of people cared about.
And it's not that people didn't care
about the things in my speech either,
it was just immediate because
they were experiencing it here.
[strikes final chord]
[audience cheering, clapping]
[woman] Are you ladies ready?
[girls drumming with hands]
And now,
for your Missouri Girls State governor...
Cecilia Bartin!
["Hey Ya!" by Outkast playing]
[girls chanting to song]
[girls cheering]
[boy] Mr. Doorkeeper, open the door
and allow the governor-elect
of Missouri Boys State,
the Honorable, to enter the chamber.
[boys hooting, cheering]
So, do all the boys in your town
have hair like that?
Missouri Governor, Mike Parson
will now administer the oath of office
to the Missouri Boys State governor-elect.
[Tochi] Great,
but the girls don't get that?
Guys, why don't we get
sworn in by a governor?
That's what I'm saying.
We're not getting sworn in by a governor.
[Parson] You may either swear or promise.
Repeat after me. "I, Cooper Packbaron,
do solemnly swear..."
I, Cooper Packbaron, do somenly--
solemnly swear...
[Parson] "...that I will faithfully
discharge the duties
of the office of governor
of Missouri Boys State."
...that I will faithfully discharge
the duties of officer
of Missouri Boys State.
- [Parson] Congratulations, governor.
- [Cooper] Thank you.
[indistinct chatter]
I can feel your heart beating
through your head.
[Emily] Mm.
I don't think I understand how that works.
[girl] We're going to
government activities right after lunch.
Yeah. I think I'm gonna write my article.
- Yeah?
- Yeah, It's gonna be good. Hopefully.
That's exciting. What would it be?
Um, the inequalities
between Boys and Girls State.
- Very cool.
- I don't think they'd publish it,
but I kinda want to.
They wouldn't publish it,
but that's cool in and of itself.
- Because that would be fun to go for it.
- Yeah.
- Just to see what happens.
- Yeah.
But also just being able
to assess on your own,
- you can still learn stuff.
- Yeah, and also research the bu--
Like, the amount of funding
that goes into, like, both.
You know, but also, then again,
I don't know if that's a good idea
while I'm trying for
that Lindenwood scholarship too.
[chuckling] Because...
[indistinct chatter]
- Hey. Hey.
- How are you doing?
I'm doing really good.
So I was waiting until somebody came out,
because I wanted to talk
about doing a story,
but I kind of need a little bit
of permission, kind of.
So, I want to do, like,
a investigative piece
on, like, how, like,
Boys and Girls State are really different.
They told us not to compare the programs
because they're different.
- Okay. Yeah.
- But, like, why are they different?
Who would you talk to?
Who would be your sources?
I would want to go over there and...
I'm hoping that there'd be,
I don't know if there's a head
of the Boys State that I could talk to.
- Yeah, there is. Yeah, yeah.
- Him, ideally.
What is it, Thursday?
You probably need to create that today.
Do you think I could turn it in
at midnight tonight
and have something happen with it?
I think it's an important story.
Do you see any inequalities
between Boys and Girls State Missouri?
I think we are on a more stricter, like...
We're held to a higher standard
than the boys here.
- Dress code.
- Like, yeah, like the dress code.
[girl] Our counselors
kind of shut it down.
Like, they don't like talking about it.
They're kind of one of those things
that they, like, roll their eyes
and they're like, "Guys,
let's not talk about that.
We're a different organization than them,
we don't do what they do.
We don't need to talk about it,
we don't need to discuss it."
So it almost feels like they're
avoiding the situation.
[girls chanting]
So there's Boys State.
So then who funds Girls State then?
- 'Cause this is the American Legion.
- I have no idea.
[chanting continues]
[Emily] I thought it was
the Legion for both.
- But then they only have it...
- It's ALA.
...for the Boys State on their website.
I don't know if it's what they're
talking about, but if it's the same thing,
Boys State spends four million
and they spend... 769,000.
My first question is
how much of a dollar amount
goes into Missouri Girls State
or Girls State as a general program?
Two hundred thousand dollars
for the week long experience
for our citizens and staff,
um, which does limit
some of the operational freedoms
that ALA Missouri Girls State
has on their own.
[Emily] So, with Girls State
and Boys State being in one place,
it's kind of opened the door
for a lot of comparisons,
and I know they are two separate programs,
that's been stressed to us a lot.
But still, it does open the door
for some comparisons
and also some possible inequalities.
So I was wondering if you roughly know
how much money goes
into Missouri Boys State.
Roughly six hundred thousand dollars.
[woman, on speaker] It's a significant
difference in the way they're funded.
ALA Missouri Girls State,
is a subsidiary organization
of the American Legion
Auxiliary Department of Missouri.
So they do have some access
to some other funding resources
that we do not have.
What are you doing?
- Writing for journalism.
- Where?
Probably... you know that swing bench,
or under a tree.
- You have to have a buddy.
- Okay.
[muted audio]
[boy] Attention!
[drums playing march]
[boy] Detail, halt!
- Okay, that'll be good.
- All right. We're good.
[girls playing "Shut Up and Dance"]
[song continues]
[all] Shut up and dance
Five, six, seven...
Hey guys, I'm doing a journalism piece
on the inequalities
between Boys and Girls State.
Are there any things that you wish
that you could do like Girls State does?
You all have a lot of free time.
We're like, "Go, go, go."
[overlapping complaints]
[Emily] All right.
I feel like I don't know enough
about Girls State.
We had a packed schedule, that's for sure.
Were you guys debating actual issues?
I feel like when it came
to debating stuff in Boys State,
- it was based off the real world.
- Yeah.
Um, you know, just real life issues.
Are you more conservative or liberal?
Or you don't
have to put yourself in a box.
You can say somewhere in the middle.
Actually, one of the reasons
I came to Boys State
was to learn more about politics
and actually find where I stand.
So, as of right now, nowhere.
That was an incredibly politician way
to answer that question.
Thank you. Thank you.
All right, well, can I take a picture
of your name tag so I can quote you?
- Yeah. I'll catch you later.
- All right. I'll find you.
- I'll catch you later. Nice meeting you.
- Nice talking to you.
- Thank you.
- [rockets whistling]
[cheering, clapping]
[loud explosions]
[fireworks, cheering continue faintly]
I had originally titled it, um,
"Inequalities Between Programs," but...
um, the title is now,
"Incompatible For Comparison."
Which is something I wrote in the article.
I wrote how the counselors
had been telling us
that it was incompatible for comparison.
So I don't know if that was just
an artistic choice by the publisher.
I would have added a question mark there.
"Incompatible For Comparison?"
Like, you know, that tone.
But, I mean, I don't know if it was
intended to be changed like that.
To have it, have its different effect,
but if it was, it's kind of disappointing.
[Emily] "The American Legion Auxiliary
first established
the 11th Girls State Program
Missouri Girls State, in 1940.
Since that first session,
the program has moved throughout the state
from its original location
at William Woods College.
And finally, making Missouri history,
the program is being run concurrently
with the Missouri Boys State program
on the Lindenwood University campus.
This change has sparked conversations
of comparison between the two programs
and has also made apparent possible
inequalities between the sessions.
One goal that is repeatedly reaffirmed
throughout the week
is women's empowerment.
The delegates have been told to critically
consider the world in which they live,
as well as speak out
for what they believe is right.
However, some leadership
within the Girls State program
has discouraged talk surrounding
comparison between programs,
citing that the programs are intended
to be different and are therefore
incompatible for comparison.
It may be a long road to fiscal equity,
and a solution
to certain social injustices
that delegates feel exist,
but by starting the conversation
and bringing attention to differences
between programs,
Girls State and Boys State
can become one step closer to equality."
Will the honorary colonels please bring
forward the governor-elect Cecilia Bartin?
[crowd cheering]
[band playing fanfare]
[cheering, applause continue]
I'm very thankful to be in the time period
that I'm currently living in,
because there are a lot of opportunities
for me by law, right?
But there are still these secret, sneaky,
possibly misogynistic viewpoints.
Maybe by parents,
maybe by society as a whole,
maybe by social media,
that will creep up, and because
it's not so blatant and so obvious,
I think it's even harder to fight.
[Cecilia] I think every woman
is leaving here
feeling better about themselves,
feeling more supported as a woman.
But I don't think we should use
Girls State as a way to further condition
women for sexism.
I think the conversation should less be
preparing us for sexism
and more teaching us how to combat sexism.
But I'm a hopeful person, so I really
do think that things will get better.
[chorus] America, America
Shall we tell you how we feel?
You have given us your spirit
We love you so
America, America
Shall we tell you how we feel?
You have given us your spirit
We love you so
[boys chanting]
- Who's got swag?
- Son's got swag.
- Who's got swag?
- Son's got swag.
- Who's got swag?
- Son's got swag.
Love you.
You wanna know the first thing
I thought when I saw you?
I was wondering how someone
could make being here look so easy.
- No way.
- Like, actually.
Like you were just sitting in assembly
a couple rows across from me
and you were just talking with people
perfectly fine.
And it took so much effort for me
to go out of my way
to even casually talk to people.
I'm glad you thought that about me.
I don't know, I guess
I just internalize everything that...
If I'm not as good as someone else,
like, I'm not doing enough.
Trust me, I know the feeling.
[Nisha] It was important to me
that I realize I could have fun
with people I don't know and be social.
But I learned that I really,
genuinely like my serious image.
Not all the time, but I learned that
I'm not truly happy letting go of it.
I've always been confident,
but this has just really accelerated that.
And I know my friends back home
are about to be so sick of this ego.
But it's okay because I just...
I feel like I've earned it.
[murmuring together]
- I love you so much.
- I'll see you soon.
[both crying]
I love you so much.
You have a good kid right here.
Oh, yes. [laughs]
I think so.
You don't meet a lot of people like her.
- You too. Gonna make cry.
- Stop!
[Emily] This week surprised me,
and I'm really grateful for that.
Even though I failed, it kind of pushed me
to recognize, where do you stand?
Even if I'm not
running for president in 2040
I hope I'm doing something
that I think is important and fulfilling.
[man] Now, anybody interested
in getting a scholarship?
[all cheering]
The scholarship is going to...
Emily Worthmore!
[cheering, applause]
[all cheering]
["The Man" by Taylor Swift playing]
[song continues]