Laurin Liu / 24
A member of Parliament who watches Girls? Laurin Liu is a politician who really does represent her generation. “I think it’s super important that Lena is taking this huge space in media,” says the Quebec member of the New Democratic Party and unabashed Dunham fan. Liu is no slouch herself. Elected in 2011 while still a student at McGill University, she holds the record for being the youngest female MP ever. But she’s not the only 20-something challenging the status quo on Parliament Hill.
Mylène Freeman / 25
Mylène Freeman, another NDP MP who represents Quebec, is a fellow trailblazer. Like Liu, Freeman was also still a student when she was elected in 2011. Then 22, she was just finishing her degree in political science at McGill—and missed her graduation ceremony because she was already on the job in Ottawa. It’s not their ages that set Liu and Freeman apart, but more their commitment to drawing other women into politics. Currently, female MPs only make up a quarter of Parliament, a “dismal” number, says Liu, and one that feels even more so when women’s issues are being discussed. “It’s crucial to have the voices of women in the corridors of power,” she says. Those corridors aren’t easily navigated (Liu still gets mistaken for an assistant), but a shared sense of direction—forward, toward equal representation—helps. “As one of the youngest women ever elected, I’m conscious of the fact that when I encounter a barrier, it’s on me to take it down,” Freeman says, “so the next young woman can take down the next thing.”