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.