Watson speaks on feminism stigma

Teagan Knowles, Photographer

The stigma associated with feminism has made it difficult in the past to make a global attempt to end gender inequality. However, this past July the United Nations appointed Emma Watson as a United Nations Women Goodwill Ambassador. Watson recently announced the “HeForShe Campaign” that has been started by the UN with the hopes that men and boys will join together and advocate for gender equality throughout the world.

It was disputed when Watson was first appointed as an ambassador that it was purely for her international celebrity status, although it was for her humanitarian efforts and other qualifications. In this case though, her international celebrity status has the ability to make the HeForShe Campaign a huge success and help crush the misconceptions of feminism. Her recent speech gained over three million views in merely 48 hours on YouTube, where she made bold and helpful statements toward the reality of feminism.

Watson speaks on how being a self identified feminist has almost become synonymous with “man-hater.” Unfortunately, this has become one of the most common misconceptions people tend to have towards feminists. Identifying as a feminist means believing that men and women should be treated as equals. A patriarchal society is one that believes men should be in power and that women should be largely excluded from it.  The patriarchy is the root of all gender inequality, making it so that women have a lesser roll in almost every aspect.

Crushing the stereotypical idea of feminism is crucial in making moves towards gender equality. Until people begin to see feminism for what it truly is, many people will still shy away from involvement for fear of being criticized. Watson’s steps towards removing the skewed idea of feminism was brave and will not be taken lightly.

As the video of Watson’s speech continues to go viral, one can only hope that people will continue to become more comfortable with the term feminist and begin taking action to fight gender inequality on an international scale.

You can visit HeForShe.org to get more information on the worldwide attempt to end gender equality.

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