Earlier this summer, Emma Watson, was named a U.N. Women Goodwill Ambassador. The Harry Potter actress gave an impassioned speech on feminism and gender at the U.N. headquarters in New York to launch the “HeForShe” campaign which aims to galvanize one billion men and boys as advocates for ending the inequalities that women and girls face globally.
Watson’s speech, which was met with a thunderous standing ovation, not only called for action from male allies, but clarified a persistent misconception about feminism in general.
Gosh. This deserves a standing ovation indeed. Emma is powerful and unwavering. She is firm and decided. She knows what she believes in and what she’s standing on that podium for. You can see it and you can feel it. She standing up there for me. For you. She’s standing up for anyone, she’s standing up for everyone because that’s what Gender Equality is all about. We are equals. Granted we are all unique, we have different talents and specialties, but we should all be given the same right to choose who we want to be and what we want to do.
I have been a victim of gender inequality my entire existence. Everything was a cycle. I was born a girl so my religion and culture already painted the picture of my future for me…I was going to grow up, be taught how to be the perfect wife and get married. In school, I wanted to play football but my mother scolded me and told me only boys play football and that I had to take ballet lessons. As a teenager, I loved walking through the men’s section in H&M but i felt shame for liking and wanting something that wasn’t made for me. I felt as if I was insulting my femininity. Why couldn’t I be more like the person “they” wanted me to be? Of course I laugh about it now but God is life hard when you’re a hormonal teenager trying to figure yourself out and finding firm ground to stand on.
I declared myself a feminist when I decided I no longer wanted to shave my legs to make someone else feel comfortable with them. I declared myself a feminist when I wanted to study and my society didn’t see the point if I was just going to become a housewife and a mother anyways. If I had “feminist” parents, family members, mentors and employers maybe I wouldn’t have suffered so much. I might’ve chosen a different career, I might have never worn pantyhose in my life, I might have never felt inferior or unworthy to a man.
This is an invitation to men.
This is an invitation to all of us…
Let’s support Emma. Let’s support Equality. Let’s support each other. Let’s support HeForShe.