The Fight For Feminism And How It Affects Everyone
In 2014, Emma Watson worked with the UN to launch a campaign called “HeForShe” to fight gender inequality. During the launch, the beloved Harry Potter star addressed a crowd in New York and her speech went viral.
Emma began her speech by chronologically detailing the major events in her life, which eventually caused her to adopt the ideals of feminism. When Emma was 8, she was called bossy for wanting to direct school plays. Fast forward to age 15, Emma’s friends began dropping out of sports teams so they wouldn’t appear muscly. A few years later, Emma decided she was a feminist.
Emma noted that people feel uncomfortable when they hear the word “feminism”, and this is evident because not a single country in the world has achieved complete gender equality. To clear any tension surrounding the word, Emma defined feminism as,
the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities.
So what steps can be taken to eliminate the gender disparity?
The fight for feminism is often misconceived as a fight that simply elevates the roles of women. Emma cited a statistic that shows suicide is the number one killer for men between the ages of 20 and 49 in the United Kingdom. A possible reason for this is that men suffering from mental illnesses often refuse to seek help because parts of society call it weak and not “macho”. Therefore, Emma argues that the fight for feminism would give both men and women more freedom. She delved further by proposing that gender should be perceived on a spectrum. Emma stated,
Both men and women should feel free to be sensitive. Both men and women should feel free to be strong.
In other words, eliminating gender stereotypes that assume women are supposed to be sensitive and men are supposed to be strong would ultimately narrow the gap between men and women.