We applaud Emma Watson for her speech on gender equality!
Our Hermione Granger is all grown up…
“You might be thinking… who is this Harry Potter girl and what is she doing speaking at the UN,” Emma Watson said.
That might be the case for some of us, but others were all ears when it came to Watson’s speech about gender equality for the UN’s #HeForShe campaign last week. It has become very clear to us that gender equality and views on women’s rights is something that is being spoken about more and more these days. With recent controversy that involved Ray Rice and the NFL, we start to question many things. Are men taking women’s rights seriously?
UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson’s launch for the HeForShe campaign has got men and celebrities all over the world, including heartthrob Harry Styles, to tweet and instagram their support for the cause, encouraging others to go out and do the same. Jared Leto, Logan Lerman, Nigel Barker, Rashida Jones, Zooey Deschanel, and Russell Crowe, have been using social media as a platform to further this campaign for effecting real change as well.
In her speech, the British acress points out that men are imprisoned by gender stereotypes. The media oftentimes gives us the wrong perception and as things grow worse, these issues become increasingly relevant. Sports dramas like Friday Night Lights and One Tree Hill are great for binge watching on Netflix, but their perception of young men who play sports can influence many peoples opinions.
Yes, we all stereotype from time to time, but today, many of us do so without even realizing it. A good point that Watson brings to light is that men should not feel that they have to be aggressive in order to be accepted by other men or women. Additionally, women do not need to be submissive in response. This makes us think of the Ray Rice issue and how the NFL mishandled the Baltimore Ravens running backs controversy.
Many fans and members of the NFL believed that Rice’s inactions (he severely abused his then fiancée, Janey Palmer), were not dealt with to the extent that they needed to be, and that his punishment was not as severe as it should have been. Rice only received a two-game ban, although, this was before the NFL had seen the actual CCTV video footage of Rice punching his wife in an elevator. His wife, Janey Palmer, has been publicly supporting her husband in the midst of all of this and some wonder why she has not divorced him. It may be more clear cut to us outsiders who don’t know the full details of the situation, but on the inside behind closed doors, standing up for yourself in front of ‘media’ can be very hard.
“We want to end gender inequality,” said Watson. Yes, we are still listening to Hermione Granger, who is now all grown up, and she brings up some very valid points. We need to raise our voices as men and women, so women can find the courage to leave a harmful situation and understand that domestic violence is NEVER okay. This is why feminism not only needs to be talked about, but it has to be tangible to everyone; men and women, daughters and sons.
A-listers like Emma Watson, fellow UN Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie and Taylor Swift are great examples of respected celebrities standing up for a cause that is close to them. These power women are always in the media, and they can quickly spread the word about problems that the whole world needs to face. Men and women need to band together; to fight for gender inequality as one cohesive unit. Because in the end, all you need is one strong influencer: one person to make a difference, one person to make a real change. So in the wise words of Emma Watson, “If not me, who, if not now, when?”