Last week Emma Watson delivered a speech on feminism and gender equality that captivated many, enraged others, and brought about a flurry of web-based reactions, from threats to encouragement to overwhelming, heartfelt, and powerful support. [wp_ad_camp_1] As a new ambassador to U.N. Women, Emma Watson stepped up in a big way for feminism, putting herself courageously out there, speaking out for what she believed in, and stepping right into the crossfire.
Whatever you think about the speech, love it, hate it, or find it somewhat problematic but can agree with the sentiment and overall objective, we must acknowledge that Watson’s words were powerful, frank, and honest, speaking directly to the hearts of millions. Watson asked for direct support from all, men, boys, women and girls, to end gender inequality across the world, through the #HeforShe campaign, the first campaign of its kind at the United Nations.
As the Internet explodes in comments, criticisms, and action based initiatives, it is important for us to remember the core of what Watson said, utilize her powerful words to educate, inspire and motivate change.
I have gathered what I believe are 7 of the most memorable and powerful quotes in Emma Watson’s speech, in the hopes that they will inspire you as much as they inspired me, and will spark curiosity, critical thinking, and action. Lets continue the conversation, and do something about it.
I was appointed six months ago and the more I have spoken about feminism the more I have realized that fighting for women’s rights has too often become synonymous with man-hating. If there is one thing I know for certain, it is that this has to stop.
For the record, feminism by definition is: “The belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. It is the theory of the political, economic and social equality of the sexes".
I started questioning gender-based assumptions when at eight I was confused at being called “bossy,” because I wanted to direct the plays we would put on for our parents—but the boys were not.When at 14 I started being sexualized by certain elements of the press. When at 15 my girlfriends started dropping out of their sports teams because they didn’t want to appear “muscly. When at 18 my male friends were unable to express their feelings.
I decided I was a feminist and this seemed uncomplicated to me. But my recent research has shown me that feminism has become an unpopular word.
I am from Britain and think it is right that as a woman I am paid the same as my male counterparts. I think it is right that I should be able to make decisions about my own body. I think it is right that women be involved on my behalf in the policies and decision-making of my country. I think it is right that socially I am afforded the same respect as men. But sadly I can say that there is no one country in the world where all women can expect to receive these rights.
No country in the world can yet say they have achieved gender equality.
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 not as two opposing sets of ideals.
What impact did Emma's speech have on you? Join the conversation!
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