HeForShe includes men in the feminism discussion

by Ingrid Sanora

It just being International Women’s Day on March 8 has reminded me of the progress our society has made in regards to feminism, but also how far we still have to go.

Last fall, the HeForShe movement began, with Emma Watson (United Nations Women Goodwill Ambassador) as its face. HeForShe’s purpose is to join both men and women in this journey for gender equality. This a great movement which includes men in the picture because they should realize they too are affected by it.

On International Women’s Day, Emma Watson had a live Q&A with her followers on Facebook. She touched on many points during it and really made clear what HeForShe is about, but also what feminism is. Believe it or not, feminism is not this radical man-hating movement that it has so often been portrayed to be. Feminism is about gender equality. Emma Watson couldn’t have said it better during her Facebook interview: “If you stand for equality, you are a feminist.” She’s right. You are and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that term or proudly calling yourself a feminist.

People are so reluctant and afraid to identify themselves as feminists because of the negative connotation this word has in our society. Complete ignorance of the actually meaning of the word is a problem because the majority are loosely basing it on only the negative things they have heard rather than truly understanding the movement is all about.

I mean, since we were little kids, we have had these ideas of what a girl should do and be or what a boy should do and be instilled into our brains. We have become so oblivious to how much those ideas really undervalue feminine qualities. All of us have both feminine and masculine qualities and there shouldn’t be any shame for possessing one more than the other. Watson does a great job at explaining this and how it not only affects women but men as well.

The HeForShe movement as well as feminism as a whole isn’t trying to belittle similar problems men face as a result of this inequality. The hope is if we tackle these issues, which are mainly faced by women first, then the problems men face will dissipate as well.

Feminism is not only a women’s issue; it’s a human rights issue. To be perfectly honest, I’m sick of all the misconceptions people have on feminism and people calling themselves feminists. Those misconceptions prolong our society’s progress in having gender equality.

Gender inequality needs to be discussed and action needs to take place. Since this is a human rights issue, meaning men are just as a part of it as women, HeForShe would like men to take a pledge by going to www.heforshe.org to stand up for violence and discrimination women and girls experience.

4 Comments on “HeForShe includes men in the feminism discussion”

  1. It’s amazing how Emma Watson and the proponents of this HeForShe campaign continue to fail to see how their very position illustrates what they deny: That feminism is a man-hating feminine entitlement movement.

    Feminists declare women are oppressed and their problems should come first and then men’s problems, “hope”fully (author’s own words) will come around later. How helpful! That’s like saying that the wealthy should get corporate welfare to ensure they’re rich and after they feel that their lives are perfect, the poor will benefit later from jobs provided by the rich.

    That’s “trickle down economics” but at a gender level.

    They claim that feminism is about eliminating judging people based upon gender but feminism’s first principle is that all men, even some homeless guy on a bench, are “privileged” and collectively guilty while women are all victims, even affluent ones such as Emma Watson, and entitled to special privileges.

    Then they get “sick” of people not jumping to please them. The world is such a selfish place! A wealthy 1st world woman is complaining and sometimes people don’t run up to congratulate her! Life is SO hard!

    In the meantime, feminism just grinds its gears stuck in the mud of its own rhetoric.

  2. “I want to see a man beaten to a bloody pulp with a high-heel shoved in his mouth, like an apple in the mouth of a pig.”
    (Andrea Dworkin; from her book Ice and Fire)

  3. The Washington Times wrote:

    A Huffington Post poll this year found only about a quarter of American women identify as “feminist.”

    .. overwhelming majorities of Americans are feminist by the Merriam-Webster definition of the world: Over 80 percent of men and women, Democrats and Republicans, tell pollsters they agree that “men and women should be social, political and economic equals.” ..

    It is disingenuous of forums like Ms. Magazine to use the Merriam-Webster definition of feminism, when in other contexts — when feminists want to police the boundaries of feminism — the Merriam-Webster definition is treated as woefully inadequate. Nora Ephron, for example, insists, “You can’t call yourself a feminist if you don’t believe in the right to abortion.” Ditto Rebecca Traister, Anna Holmes, Emily’s List, and the National Organization for Women (NOW) which also hold support for abortion as a necessary condition of feminism.

    And anyone with even passing familiarity with feminism’s journey from First, Second, and Third Waves knows what it means to be feminist has been stuffed with many more requirements than mere equality between women and men. Distilling feminism to that alone seems quaint, because we all know it is. ..

    From “Feminism self-contradictory in debate over Michelle Obama: Washington Times”

    For a different perspective on equality, please visit the reddit men’s rights forum and read our FAQ.

  4. I will believe that feminism stands for equality when I see any effort, at all, put into some SheForHe. Maybe things like mothers against infant circumcision? Women raising awareness that men can be raped by women, and it’s just as serious a crime? Domestic violence shelters adding space for male victims? Raising awareness about the hundreds of thousands of prison rape victims? Wives protesting alimony as the patriarchal anachronism it is?

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