University of Akron teaching assistant, 34
Why she's interesting: As the mother of three boys, Bechtel convinced Target to remove gender labeling from many of its aisles after sending the tweet "Don't do this, @Target" with a photo of a store sign that read "Building Sets/Girls' Building Sets." Within days, Bechtel received more than 2,000 retweets and caught the eye of BuzzFeed and the Daily Dot. Two months later, Target announced they were removing gender-based signage from its stores.
Social Commentary: The response to Betchel's tweet wasn't all positive. "As we sort of lose our death grip on these really rigid gender binaries, people think that the moral fabric of our country will collapse. The phrase, 'You are what's wrong with America' came up a lot. I was getting people writing about my death on the Internet."
Costume Change: After being called an "Ohio mom" by national news sources, she threw on a cape and a T-shirt decked out with "Mom" across the state of Ohio — the "O" in the shape of Target's bull's-eye — for Halloween. "It was very surreal to be flattened into one identity for the purposes of a 24-hour news cycle, but it was really nice to make fun of this whole thing."
Spin Cycle: Betchel, who teaches composition and leads a creative writing class for an outpatient therapy group at St. Thomas Hospital, has been married for 14 years. "We don't have a '50s-style, mom-stays-home-and-makes-casseroles and dad-goes-to-bring-home-the-bacon kind of family. My husband does all of our laundry because when I do laundry it just stays in baskets for eternity, and the cat sleeps on it."
Witchy Ways: A longtime fan of The Little Mermaid, Bechtel got a tattoo of Ursula on her right arm after reading Brigit McCone's essay Reclaiming Conch: In Defense of Ursula, Fairy Octomother. "There are a lot of dark male mentors in literature. Women get the fairy godmother who shows up with shoes and a dress. As I got older, I realized Ursula is where it's at — she's physical in an unashamedly sexual way but also not in a relationship where she's deferring to a man. Ursula is a badass."
Class Act: "I always put on lipstick in my car before going into class. It's a moment that has become just a minute to check in with myself and take a breath before I go and do my thing."