We obviously love Emma Watson because she brought Hermione Granger, one of the best characters ever, to life. Emma shares a lot of qualities with Hermione like intelligence, determination and bravery. Just like Hermione, Emma has become an incredible role model for women and girls. Over the weekend, Emma jumped into her duties as the new UN Women Goodwill Ambassador delivered a speech about gender equality at the United Nations headquarters.
Her speech tackles the idea that feminism is assumed to be a bad word associated with man-hating and extremism. Emma isn’t wrong. The word feminism has a bad reputation, but people don’t understand that feminism is for everyone. One of the misconceptions of feminism is that it doesn’t help men’s issues, which is simply untrue. People are just so turned off by feminism that they don’t even want to give it a chance. In reality, feminism literally is the fight for gender equality. As Emma puts it, “For the record, feminism, by definition, is the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. It is the theory of the political, economic and social equality of the sexes.”
Emma expressed how necessary it is for men to get involved in the fight for gender equality by launching the HeForShe campaign, “a solidarity movement for gender equality that brings together one half of humanity in support of the other of humanity, for the entirety of humanity.” You can watch Emma’s full speech below:
Emma poked fun at herself, “You might think, ‘Who is this Harry Potter girl? What is she doing at the U. N.?’ And it’s a really good question — I’ve been asking myself the same thing. All I know is that I care about this problem and I want to make it better.” And she also noted, “I am inviting you to step forward to be seen and to ask yourself, ‘If not me, who? If not now, when?'” If Emma Watson doesn’t inspire you to be a feminist, I don’t know who will. She’s right. If not us, who?
Whether you label yourself or not, if you believe in gender equality, you are a feminist. And if you’re dating someone who isn’t a feminist, here are some reasons to ditch them:
Because Anyone Dating A Woman Should Be Educated On Women's Issues
A lot of people are uneducated about feminism, especially men. If he's not even willing to learn about it and understand the things women go through all over the world, he needs to go. Women should also understand things that men deal with as well because feminism helps everyone. Everyone needs to continuously learn and keep an open mind about gender issues.
Because Men Need Feminism Too
Men need feminism for many reasons so for a guy to think feminism is purely a women's issue is just incorrect. Emma expressed in her speech that men do need feminism, "I've seen young men suffering from mental illness, unable to ask for help, for fear it would make them less of a man. In fact, in the U.K., suicide is the biggest killer of men, between 20 to 49, eclipsing road accidents, cancer and coronary heart disease." If men express their feelings or are sensitive, they're considered less manly, which is stupid. All people should be able to express themselves and their emotions.
Because He Might Have A Daughter One Day
One of the scariest things to me is that men who are against feminism might have daughters one day. That is horrific. I was fortunate to be raised by a father who taught me I could do anything I wanted and to fight back. I can't imagine being raised by a man who didn't respect me as a person simply because I was a girl.
Because Your BF Should Support You For Being Strong And Independent
I've had a lot of guys ask me (on dates, mind you) if I was a feminist. I always respond with "Aren't you?" because if someone isn't a feminist, I can't with a sound mind date them. One guy told me he didn't believe women should be paid as much as men. I asked why, and he said because "Women are women." This guy was under the belief that women can't take care of themselves and need men to do things for them. Of course, you can be a feminist and still have a guy do things for you, but you should never be with someone who doesn't think you're capable of being independent.
Because Men Who Aren't Feminists Don't Respect Women
If your partner doesn't believe in gender equality, it means they do not respect you solely because of your gender. Your boyfriend doesn't believe you should be paid equally to a man and thinks you have less rights because you're a woman. That is not okay, and life is way too short to be with someone who does not respect you or other women.
Because He Should Feel Uncomfortable And Upset If You Get Catcalled
If your boyfriend doesn't think catcalls are a big deal, that's a problem. Oftentimes when women are catcalled, they're called a bitch or a whore when they don't respond. Sometimes women are followed, like the several times I've been followed home after ignoring a stranger's advances. Sometimes women are assaulted. Street harassment is a direct violation of space and reduces you walking body parts. If your BF is cool with that happening to you, he's not as cool as you think he is.
Because Your Body Is Your Body
If you're dating someone who doesn't support women, that person might think of you like property or a piece of meat. They might think your body is theirs instead of your own, and that is a terrifying thought. You own your body. Just because you're with someone doesn't mean you are required to give them anything. Someone who respects you knows that.
What do you think about Emma’s speech? What about HeForShe? Do you think men should be feminists? Tell us in the comments!
You can reach this post’s author, Caitlin Corsetti, on Twitter and Instagram!