UN Women Global Goodwill Ambassador and British Actress Emma Watson’s new campaign with the UN is calling men and boys to join hands against gender inequality and discrimination saying, “It is time that we all see gender as a spectrum instead of two sets of opposing ideals. We should stop defining each other by what we are not, and start defining ourselves by who we are.” Starting with her HeForShe campaign which was launched a few years ago, Watson wants to mobilize 1 million men and boys to become advocates of change to help end inequality all over the world.
“We don’t often talk about men being imprisoned by gender stereotypes”
Her speech earned her a standing ovation at the UN Headquarters in New York as she also highlighted the issues that men all over the world are facing, “I’ve seen my father’s role as a parent being valued less by society. 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,” she said. The truth is that when men are released from the shackles of male stereotypes, not only they benefit from it, but women too and the entire society at large eventually. Also, she reiterated that feminism is never about bashing men and man-hating because for too long feminists have been associated with being so. Moreover, she wants to change how the world perceives feminists since many think they are “too strong, too aggressive, anti-men, unattractive.”
The world needs more inadvertent feminists
“My life is a sheer privilege because my parents didn’t love me less because I was born a daughter. My school did not limit me because I was a girl. My mentors didn’t assume that I would go less far because I might give birth to a child one day. These influences are the gender equality ambassadors that made me who I am today. They may not know it but they are the inadvertent feminists needed in the world today. We need more of those,” she added. Hence, she wants more women to experience what it feeling like to not feel limited because of their gender and that both men and women are needed to change the world. Hence, men too are equally responsible because when women are attacked and are brutalized their male friends and family members are also affected by it. Gender equality is something that has not yet been achieved by any country of the world which means that everyone needs to pool in their resources and participate to ensure that the world is moving forward rather than backward. This can only take place if men too join the fight, one cannot fight a battle if half the army is simply not present
Image credit: Bustle