"Gender equality not only liberates women, but also men, from prescribed gender stereotypes"
On 21st September 2014, Emma Watson (UN Women Goodwill Global Ambassador) gave a touching speech, encouraging men to raise their voices and openly speak about sexism in solidarity with women's rights movements. This speech launched the 'He for She' campaign (a worldwide UN Women feminist campaign), with the goal of recruiting 1 Billion men and boys to combat and advocate for gender equality over the course of 12 months. It is a common misconception that 'feminism' is a female-only plight, and this campaign aims to shed light on the fact that gender inequality is a human rights issue. Thus, its resolution will benefit both men and women.
Coat : River Island | Dress : BHS | Heels : Miss Selfridge
On 22nd September 2014, 4Chan (the site thought to be behind the leaked nude images of Kim Kardashian, Meagan Good, Gabrielle Union, among many others), started a 5-day campaign aptly titled 'Emma, you are next' with an image of Emma Watson photoshopped behind a ticking countdown. The irony was not lost on many, and was soon blindingly evident when anonymous users posted hateful retorts insinuating that the leaked images were bound to shut down Watson's feminist rants.
Boudica Statue; Westminster Bridge
South Bank Lion; Westminster Bridge
I have advocated against the inequality between over sexualised images of women in the media, in contrast to 3-piece-suited and booted men in the past, and still hold very strong opinions on that matter. However, working with rape victims has enlightened me to the fact that misogynists misuse sexual terror as a weapon. A common rape myth is that females need to alter their appearance and behaviour in order to avoid being victims of sexual violence. This opinion has been vocalised in the courts, media and social platforms in the past, but must be eradicated if we are to make any progress.
Studs : Forever 21 | Watch : Guess | Ring : H&M
Perhaps the issue is in the words themselves. The issue with feminism being gynocentric is synonymous with the misconception that feminists are men-hating. In a recent conversation with a girlfriend, I questioned why she wasn't a feminist and found that she inherently was, but refused to be defined or associated with the word 'feminist'. Its time to change the dialogue perhaps, and enlighten others to the reality that women deserve equal protection and the allocation of fundamental rights for being 'human'. This is regardless of their impurity, promiscuity or what have you. If men are not defined as criminals based on their sexual indiscretions, then why is it lauded over women as 4Chan attempts to?
Feminism is the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities...politically, economically and socially. Surely we all agree to that, man or woman, we are all just human. BLEURGH