(Make sure to check out the speech before reading!)
As a Harry Potter fan, I don’t think I need to exaggerate how much I love Emma Watson. Let’s just say her Hermione days have forever been marked at the back of my head.
I loved the recent speech she delivered for #HeForShe. It really woke me up, because all the things that she spoke about were the things that I knew and believed in but kept quiet about. A lot of people around me had convinced me that there is no such thing as feminism, that it’s just a mere tag for women ‘who hate the opposite sex’.
Me and my friends often talk about it and sadly most of them aren’t interested in getting to know the real meaning of it, and why it’s important in today’s world where everything is changing. And despite this age being so far ahead of the times earlier, we still have to struggle for something as basic as gender equality.
That fact aside, there’s quiet a few things I liked about Emma Watson’s UN speech.
“My recent research has shown me that ‘feminism’ has become an unpopular word. Women are choosing not to identify as feminists … Why has the word become such an unpopular one?”
From this point on she explains what feminism really means, what it stands for. How it’s not so much about the word but the idea. The word feminism has endless misconceptions. Girls calling themselves feminists should know it’s not about proving the other gender weaker. Feminism isn’t just a woman’s issue. It’s a man’s issue too.
“I’ve seen young men suffering from illness, unable to ask for help for fear it will make them less of a man … I’ve seen men fragile and insecure by a distorted sense of what constitutes male success. Men don’t have the benefits of equality, either. We don’t often talk about men being imprisoned by gender stereotypes but I can see that they are.”
This is the point that really sold me to the speech. No one, no one has ever talked about this aspect (as per what I know). Not just women, men too suffer gender inequality and it is too often ignored.
The truth is gender equality isn’t a state we’re going to reach in a day. A speech from a young female is not going to bring sudden change. Like the abatement of every other social error, gender equality too needs people to be aware. They need to be aware of their own actions. Anything you do is not going to make less of a male or more of a male.
In fact, which society doesn’t appreciate a man who respects all the genders? Who is aware of his cause? Who is aware of things happening around him? Who is aware of his power?
What we really need people to understand is that ‘feminism’ doesn’t mean that females are going to take over the world (which we can). It means we get equal opportunities to take over the world. It also (basically) means that when men have problems they should come clean. If men want to wear pink they should.
There’s endless ways to go about it, but in the end, we all know what this world needs. And I think we all know what we should do personally to get us one step closer. So do it. Do what you think will make you an accepting, respecting and appreciative citizen. It’s time to prove why we’re better than the past generations, everyone.
Although the excellent speech Emma Watson delivered was touching and really got people’s attention; to some extent, that’s all it will do. Grab people’s attention for a week or two. They’ll promise for the worth while that yes, they in fact do believe in #HeForShe. But over the long haul, the actual cause will be forgotten.
It’s cool to pose for a picture with a paper in your hand saying ‘#HeForShe’ and then add a caption saying you support it. Makes you feel like a part of something, doesn’t it? But take a step back and think is the hash-tag more important or your actions?
(Not saying don’t post a picture, by all means: Do, do, do! Please do!)
What is #HeForShe?
“HeForShe is a solidarity movement for gender equality that brings together one half of humanity in support of the other of humanity, for the entirety of humanity.”
See, it’s not just about the picture, kids. It’s about everything but the picture. You thinking, your ideas, your actions.
Finally, the tainted thing about this whole probable future revolutionary movement is that since the speech was made by Emma Watson, it’s going to gather attention and reputation. It has already, in fact. But why is it that only when a famous persona like Emma decides to talk about it on this particular occasion that we think of all these things? Even when we encounter this disparity every single day?
Why did we notice it when Beyoncé made a song about it? Why did we notice it when Maya Angelou passed away? And why did we forget it after a few weeks?
I’m happy feminism is in the spotlight again, but I hope it stays there for a while. And I hope it brings change and that we don’t need help from another mainstream artist to remind us of a cause we face everyday.
If not me, who?
If not now, when?”
Some amazing people supporting #HeForShe: