Before you immediately disregard everything I say just because I am about to use the fearsome f-word (feminism), please note:
I do not hate men, I do not think that women are better than men, and I am not about to launch into any sort of rant. However, I do want to share some of the changes happening in our society to advance equality between men and women because I think it’s uplifting and important!
Feminism: the political, social, and economic equality of the sexes.
Feminism, as I’m sure you know, has gotten a bad rap for many reasons over the years. Most people still view it as a movement only for women, because the name feminism was chosen in a time when women desperately needed more attention and equality.
And they still do.
But today, this movement has evolved to encompass the more general problem of gender stereotypes and expectations in our culture.
Why can’t “real men” cry? Or be interested in fashion? Why can’t a woman pay for her boyfriend’s meal? Or strongly state her opinion without being considered bossy – even "bitchy"?
The exciting thing is that the word “feminist” is slowly starting to lose its polarizing, uncomfortable effect on people. Many male and female celebrities have been endorsing the movement and making efforts to remove the stigma around the word.
For example, Beyoncé – a career woman, proud mother, and queen of the universe – has evolved from showing reluctant support to focusing her latest album on feminism, among a number of other women’s issues and attitudes.
In response to the growing support for feminism and lingering uncertainty of where men fit into this movement, the United Nations recently started the HeForShe campaign. Its goal is to combat misinterpretations of feminism and invite men to join the ever-important fight for gender equality.
Emma Watson’s speech at the recent launch of HeForShe has encouraged a growing number of people to reevaluate their positions on gender equality and take a stand. When discussing the word feminist, she said:
Feminism, gender equality, whatever you choose to call it, is making its way into celebrity culture, high fashion, and the attitudes of people everywhere. If you support it, take a stand and be proud! Simply knowing the true meaning of the movement and having a stance on it can make a difference. As Emma so wisely told us to ask ourselves,
If you haven’t seen her speech yet, here’s the full video - Emma Watson #HeForShe UN Speech.
And if you haven’t seen the TED talk that inspired part of Beyoncé’s Flawless, I highly recommend it! Finally, whether or not you’re a fan of Taylor Swift, you should check out this article on why she thought Emma’s speech was game-changing.