Be the he for she Movement
A speech given by the actress Emma Watson at the United Nations (UN) in New York City on September 20, 2014. The topics of her speech included the United Nations HeForShe campaign which is to put an end to gender inequality worldwide with the commencement of involving an equal pay and education for women, men, boys and young girls.
Keywords: Gender Inequality, feminism, male feminists, meninism, pay equity, and education of women.
“It is time that we all see gender as a spectrum instead of two sets of opposing ideals. We should stop defining each other by what we are not, and start defining ourselves by who we are,” quoted by Emma Watson. (Dusenbery, 2019). This is an important factor to making a person successful, we are facing gender inequality and anti-feminism each day in different forms. We come to receive it in gender stereotypes and salary expenses. It is one of the many first of issues arising in today’s moderation.
Emma Watson is an English actress, model, and an activist who was born in Paris and brought up in Oxfordshire. She attended Dragon School up until 2003 and went onto attending an exclusive school in Oxford called Headington School. In 2006, Emma took her General Certificate of Secondary exams (GCSE), and earned ten A + ‘s. With this just being the start of her many accomplishments, it does go to show one could achieve anything if they push themselves to the fullest amount. In September of 2009, she attended Brown University and attended England’s Oxford University at the same time to further her studies. In five years, she completed her education earning a bachelor’s degree in English literature. A lot of people have wondered why she took her education so seriously and to that she said,” People can’t understand why I don’t want to pursue a full-time acting career, but school life keeps me in touch with my friends. It keeps me in touch with reality.” (“Emma Watson Education: 5 Facts You Need to Know”, 2019) The education for women are very important for many reasons. In the past, a lot of women believed that they were useless in society and many of them suffered and lacked self-confidence because they didn’t know enough.
U.N. Women Goodwill Ambassador
Emma Watson was named the U.N. Women’s Goodwill Ambassador in 2014. The program involved different personalities in certain fields for a promotion of their U.N. programs. Watson has a role to serve herself as an advocate for the U.N. Women’s gender equality campaign called, HeForShe. The program has a dedication in improving the status of girls, women, boys, and men all around the world. So, they can stand together in solidarity and turn gender equality into a reality. If people see both men and women coming together as a group and standing in solidarity, they could see and learn that both men and women to be wholes and start treating them equally and not label each gender the higher-class vs the lower class.
Emma Watson’s speech at the United Nation was her first part as an official role being the U.N. Women’s Goodwill Ambassador. She spoke freely about feminism and gender inequality, and the more she talked about fighting for women’s rights, it was turned into a man-hating aggression. Often people think of the word feminism to be women controlling everything around them, but they were all wrong about the proper meaning of the word. Feminism is a belief that both men and women are equally the same. Both sexes are to have equal rights and opportunities. Feminism in theory is the political, economic, and social equality of the genders. In a way gender inequality and feminism are similar. When talking about gender inequality it refers to the differentiation in receiving treatment from individuals based on their gender. The gender inequality we face comes from a socially constructed gender role and hormonal differences. The first of many inequalities we face are the salaries we earn. The normal pay cheque difference between the sexes are about eighty cents to a dollar. In 2014, Watson joined the United Nations and spoke as an advocate in the HeForShe campaign and in September 2016 she extolled her work of activists.
During her speech she asked for them to recommit to gender equality at the United Nations second anniversary for the HeForShe campaign. “I ask that you recommit yourself to be part of the movement for gender equality. I genuinely feel that we are closer to a gender equal world than we were two years ago… And I know every ‘HeForShe’ has played a part in that.” (“Actor Emma Watson Commemorates Two Years of HeForShe | HeForShe”, 2019)
In Canada, as of February 21, 2018, it was revealed that seventy four percent of the businesses pay higher rates to their male staff and not women. Even though a gender pay cheque difference in a business is not illegal, it potentially reflects as discrimination towards women. It was revealed that men were earning more than women by eight percent an hour. In the United States, the pay gap changes from state to state, but in comparison to Canada women are getting paid less than they normally would receive with equal pay, like women who are working in the physicians and surgeon’s department are receiving pay about $19 billion less annually even though they work in the same occupation as some men.
Meninism is the term used to describe men who were feminists and opposed to sexism and were supporting women’s rights while fighting for equality in todays civilization. However, it was used on social media platforms as a mockery to make jokes and criticize feminism. The movement about feminism came about a twitter account who posted anti-feminist content. Not one country in the world has yet to achieve gender equality, and with people making a mockery out of this, it will take about seventy-five years to achieve gender equality. When Emma Watson gave her speech at the United Nations, it was revealed that in her audience only thirty percent of them were male. To change gender inequality in the world both men and women all around must get together and stand in solidarity, but only have of the men in the audience felt invited and welcomed. In her speech, she revealed that it would take seventy-five years or for her to reach the age of 100 for women to be paid the same amount as men in the work field.
Aside from the jokes made online there are some men suffering from illnesses and are unable to ask for help. Since they think by asking it would make them look any less of a man. In the United Kingdom, suicide was the biggest threat to men who were between the ages of twenty to forty-nine. Not only women but men also have insecurity and are fragile from receiving the wrong standards of what men are supposed to be. “We don’t often talk about men being imprisoned by gender stereotypes, but I can see that they are and that when they are free, things will change for women as a natural consequence.” (“Emma Watson Gender equality is your issue too”, 2019). Approximately, 15.5 million young girls are being married at the age of sixteen and at this rate if no movement is being made, or if the men and women don’t come together and stand as one, it won’t be until 2086 when girls receive a secondary education. Each gender should feel free and open in being sensitive and strong.
A key to one’s success is accepting who you are and not define yourself with the gender stereotypes in today’s century. If we can start defining ourselves by what we are, we all can be more open and stronger, and this is where the HeForShe movement takes place. The movement is about freedom and by accepting who we are, and not what the moderation expects us to be we are closer to being successful.
- Actor Emma Watson Commemorates Two Years of HeForShe | HeForShe. (2019). Retrieved from https://www.heforshe.org/en/actor-emma-watson-commemorates-two-years-heforshe
(“Actor Emma Watson Commemorates Two Years of HeForShe | HeForShe”, 2019)
- Dusenbery, M. (2019). Emma Watson calls on men to make gender equality their issue too. Retrieved from http://feministing.com/2014/09/22/emma-watson-calls-on-men-to-make-gender-equality-their-issue-too/
- Emma Watson Education: 5 Facts You Need To Know. (2019). Retrieved from https://heightline.com/emma-watsons-education-5-facts-need-know/
(“Emma Watson Education: 5 Facts You Need To Know”, 2019)
- Emma Watson Gender equality is your issue too. (2019). Retrieved from http://www.unwomen.org/en/news/stories/2014/9/emma-watson-gender-equality-is-your-issue-too
(“Emma Watson Gender equality is your issue too”, 2019)
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