Sunday, 26 October 2014

He For She Freedom

Gender equality is not a women's issue, it's a human rights issue

The HeForShe initiative was launched by Emma Watson, Goodwill Ambassador for UN Women (and for people like me, eternal Harry Potter wonder), at the United Nations on September 20th. The truth is that there has been a lot of talk about feminism lately. What it is, what it stands for, what's acceptable or not for a feminist to say or do, etc.

I had some difficulty understanding what feminism is about at first, but then, things just got really simple. It means that I want to be equal, it means that I want to be free to express myself, it means that I won't allow to be treated like less because I am a woman. So yes, I am a feminist

The most important and innovative point of her speech, is asking men to join women in this cause, because feminist don't hate men, we just don't want to live trapped by destructive stereotypes, and men are victims of those stereotypes too. Here are my favorite parts of her amazing speech:


"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 were the gender equality ambassadors that made me who I am today. They may not know it, but they are the inadvertent feminists that are changing the world today. We need more of those. (...)

If men don’t have to be aggressive in order to be accepted, women won’t feel compelled to be submissive. If men don’t have to control, women won’t have to be controlled.

Both men and women should feel free to be sensitive. Both men and women should feel free to be strong. It is time that we all perceive gender on a spectrum, instead of two sets of opposing ideals. If we stop defining each other by what we are not, and start defining ourselves by who we are, we can all be freer, and this is what HeForShe is about. It’s about freedom.

If you believe in equality, you might be one of those inadvertent feminists that I spoke of earlier, and for this, I applaud you. We are struggling for a uniting word, but the good news is, we have a uniting movement. It is called HeForShe. I invite you to step forward, to be seen and to ask yourself, “If not me, who? If not now, when?”

If you are a woman, and you believe you deserve to be treated as equal, there is no way you don't love this speech, even if you don't want to be called a feminist.

Your TopCrusher,