He for She

Sunday, September 21, 2014

I've spent the entire weekend immersed in feminist literature, digging into how masculinities and femininities influence influence war and conflict, as part of my graduate school work. Admittedly, I used to have a bit of a negative connotation of feminism, feeling defensive about fighting for women's rights in the midst of all the suffering in the world. It wasn't until I dug into the theory behind feminism that I understood its full breadth. My professor Dr. Sylvia Maier explained it best by saying that gender studies is about emancipation of men and women alike. It is not a divisive issue because we are all affected by it and this very basic inequality is where so many other types of inequality feed off. Another person who just beautifully explained it is Emma Watson, who launched the He for She campaign today at the United Nations as the UN Women Goodwill Ambassador. I encourage you to watch it and hope that you'll participate in the He for She campaign. For more information, visit www.heforshe.org.

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5 comments

  1. Hi! I'm Anna from misspsychobabble.blogspot.sg. I just want to say how much I appreciate this video.

    This is my favorite line from her speech: "Both men and women should feel free to be sensitive. Both men and women should feel free to be strong. It is time that we all see gender as a spectrum instead of two sets of opposing ideals."

    Sensitive men are usually called sissy whilst strong women are usually called bossy. Education is a powerful tool to battle these gender stereotypes and biases. I laud that they are now raising gender equality awareness.

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    1. Hi Anna, thanks for the really thoughtful comment! That is such a great quote. It's so great that Emma's bringing light to the idea that feminism is not about man-hating but about freeing all of us from expectations that are solely based on their being a woman or a man (and the exclusion of those who don't feel neatly in that box). Nobody is stopping anyone from doing feminine or masculine things, if that's what they want to do. But nobody should be excluded from society just because they don't subscribe to those so-called norms. I hope Emma's speech really starts to turn the tide!

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  2. Amazing!! (:

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  3. Hi there,
    My name is Bailey and I have been told many times before that my opinions on feminism are wrong and shameful. I was raised in a family that believes that anyone can do whatever they put their hearts and minds to, with the exception that women should idealy grow up to be married and be a home maker with children. I have picked and chosen different aspects of feminism as we know it today and what feminism began as, and I have formulated my own opinions and preferences and I have written about them in a post (http://baileymcc.blogspot.com/2014/10/why-i-hesitate-to-call-myself-feminist.html) that is on my blog (baileymcc.blogspot.com) . I have decided that in this day and age I do not wish to be labeled a feminist because of several issues that mdern-day feminism supports and I don't. However, I do enjoy choice things of what this video has to say and what you have had to say. I hope that some day people will be more open to accepting opinions not because they agree on the whole matter, but because they can deduce that all people have opinions and not one opinion is right or wrong, because not one person is perfect and we all make mistakes, even in thinking.

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    1. Thanks for the insightful comment, Bailey! Truly, feminism is about recognizing that all viewpoints should be considered - not just that of the powerful and privileged, nor just those that we agree with. I share your hopes that one day, we'll have a more open society in that sense!

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