As if I needed another reason to love Emma Watson …

9.22.2014

There is so much I love about this speech.

I love the way she describes her journey to feminism. It’s so very much like mine. Becoming a feminist happened slowly for Emma as she grew up and experienced life. “I decided that I was a feminist and this seemed uncomplicated to me,” she says. It wasn’t until later that she realized how much controversy surrounds the word.

I love that she laments that feminism has a history of man-hating. It’s counterproductive. And it’s one of the reasons so many people reject the label. “If you still hate the word,” she says, “it is not the word that is important. It’s the idea and the ambition behind it.” What matters is whether or not you embrace the idea of human equality.

I love that she points out the many ways gender inequality hurts men. “I’ve seen my father’s role as a parent valued less by society despite my needing his presence as a child as much as my mother’s,” she says. “I’ve seen young men suffering from mental illness, unable to ask for help for fear it would make them less of men, or less of a man. … I’ve seen men made fragile and insecure by a distorted sense of male success. Men don’t have the benefits of equality either. We don’t often talk about men being imprisoned by gender stereotypes, but I can see that they are.”

I love that she understands that because we are all connected, the solutions are all connected as well. “When (men) are free, things will change for women as a natural consequence,” she says. “If men don’t have to be aggressive in order to be accepted, women won’t feel compelled to be submissive. If men don’t have to control, women won’t have to be controlled. Both men and women should feel free to be sensitive. Both men and women should feel free to be strong.”

And I love how humble she is as she speaks. The vulnerability in her voice allows you to feel how much this means to her. It means that much to me too.

Listening to: Shovel and Rope, “Lay Low”

1 comment :

  • Kylee Norton

    This was our FHE lesson tonight. Gemma might not have understood everything, but one day I sure hope she’ll share a similar perspective.

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