“We should stop defining each other by what we are not, and start defining ourselves by who we are.”
I just watched Emma Watson’s speech to the UN titled HeForShe. In her speech, Watson beautifully addresses both sides of sexism, and how the only way to combat it is to work together, women and men, as equals, to reach equality and remove discrimination based on sex.
I wanted to write about this because the amount of sexism I see in my day-to-day life shocks me. The fact that my friend felt unsafe walking through the thin woods behind my school at 9 pm alone because someone could take advantage of her should not be happening! Or some of the guys at school calling someone a “chick” as an insult is just as grating. Why should it be an insult to be a woman? What really got me was that I didn’t even notice this sexism–due to male privilege–until one of my friends told me that it was there. Sometimes sexism can be very blatant and seen outright in numbers, like the wage gap, and sometimes it can be very subtle, like telling someone not to be such a chick.
Watson’s speech to the UN council is not the first push for equality using hashtags. #NotAllMen came to be after the Isla Vista killings earlier this year as a way for men to say that not all men are violent or sexist. Two hashtags came out as a counter: #YesAllWomen and #YesAllMen. #YesAllWomen came out to show that yes, all women experience some sort of sexism. The hashtag #YesAllMen came to be because yes, all men have a responsibility to fight sexism and bridge the gap between women and men.
So for all the men who always hesitated to join the feminist movement because “All feminists hate men”, or the movement is only for women, I want to tell you that both of those are not true, and there is an official invitation on the table:
“I am inviting you to step forward, to be seen to speak up…And to ask yourself if not me, who? If not now, when?”
Go here and show your support by signing up: #HeForShe