I am mad. Really angry. Three nights ago I watched Emma Watson’s incredible speech launching the HeForShe initiative, a UN backed campaign for gender equality. I was inspired and so happy to see that the United Nations had recommitted to this cause, financially and through association. However, since the speech went viral, I have seen numerous articles (here, here and here are just three of the many articles that get thrown up on google) on my newsfeed about the threats Emma Watson has received as a result of her speech. A website has been set up with a countdown of 5 days at which point the consensus is that her personal nude photos will be leaked.
And why? Because she dared to stand up in front of the global media and people around the world and assert that not one country has achieved the goal of equal rights, that gender inequality (negatively) affects both men and women and that we need to be doing more about it. From girls in Africa with no access to secondary schooling (more info here) to women in the UK that still can’t expect the same wage as their male counterparts (information here and here) to the fact that suicide is still the most common cause of death in men under 35 in the UK due to the stigma around mental health support for men.
I just can’t get my head around what their problem is. Why do these anonymous bullies take so much issue with this?? One user reportedly said that feminism is a growing cancer. It’s just so depressing that such vile and vindictive people are out there. I can only assume that they are in the minority that like our current political, social and economic culture the way it is. Or they just get a kick out of bullying people and playing up to misogynistic stereotypes. Beyond that, I am grasping to conceive what their motives could be.
But I urge you to stand up to them by going and reading about the HeForShe campaign, sign up to get involved if it rings true for you and hopefully through supporting the fight for gender equality we can beat the bullies and create a better world for our children to grow up in.
To quote Miss Watson,
‘If we stop defining each other by what we are not and start defining ourselves by who we are we can all be freer and that is what HeForShe is about. It’s about freedom.’