If you didn’t realize this already, I am a feminist. I don’t think of it as a title or anything that should hold me back, but a belief that I stand with. Many people have been talking this past week about Emma Watson and the UN’s newest campaign, #HeForShe.
Emma spoke at the HeForShe Special Event at United Nations Headquarters in New York on September 20, 2014, where she delivered a powerful speech on feminism and called for men to take a stand too, because they are a part of this movement.
Feminism isn’t about hating men, not wearing bras, and not shaving. It’s about striving for equality regardless of your gender, race, religion, etc. Equality is the goal in feminism, nothing should hold women back from men, and one’s ethnicity shouldn’t limit them either.
If you believe that there is gender equality today, there are many facts that prove otherwise. First, women make ten cents less than a male for the same job. There is a perceived notion that powerful men make good leaders, while women who are leaders are only described as bossy.
You don’t have to identify yourself as a feminist, but know the facts. Not one country in this world has gender equality. Isn’t that a huge issue? Feminists once fought for the right to vote, now we must fight for equality for all. No matter what your profession is, where you are in the world, what gender you are, everyone deserves to be treated equal, end of story.
In her speech, Emma tells her personal claim to feminism and how she got to where she is today. She’s not just Hermoine Granger from the Harry Potter movies, but a young woman who strives to change the world.
Emma demands the attention of men in the world who believe that they cannot call themselves feminists, or believe they have done no wrong. If men join the cause, it can be proven that steps are being taken. Right now, men scoff at feminists. You don’t have to call yourself a feminists, but stand for the women. Stand for equality. That is what #HeForShe is about.
Watch her video, parts or the whole thing. You’ll learn a lot and Emma will open your eyes to the inequality we all face today.
My personal rise to feminism progressed these past two years. I’ve been surrounded by strong women my entire life, which has definitely shaped who I am today as a young woman. I was never afraid of the word feminist, but I didn’t think I had enough knowledge to claim to be one. After making a friend in college who was a strong feminist has her perceived way of reacting to those who claimed to be feminists, I decided to educate myself on the topic. I enrolled in a “Women in Perspective” women studies course, it also covered a general requirement, to see if I was really interested. My professor for the course was knowledgable beyond belief. She is one of the main reasons I now dedicate myself to the cause and identify as a feminists. She was strong, persuasive, smart, and well-read. She didn’t force her beliefs on us, but presented facts and allowed us to form our own opinions. Needless to say I enrolled in another course with her, “American Women and Popular Culture.” In this course, we explored different American feminist icons and popular culture’s impact on women. I simply fell in love with this course, seeing as I am a journalism student, and loved the different perspectives she exposed us to.
I don’t hate me, I love my pretty Victoria Secret’s bras, and I shave. I am a feminist too. I let men open doors for me, I believe in chivalry, but I also believe that I can do things on my own. I believe that I can be successful. I believe that the glass ceiling is waiting to be broken, and I strive to break it.
Don’t wait for change to happen in the world, be the change that happens in the world.
I am a feminist because it is a part of who I am.