BY ABBY CURRIE
In society, women often are stereotyped as bossy if they want to lead; men, stereotyped as weak if they feel the impulse to cry. According to actor Emma Watson, “This has to stop.”
On Sept. 21, Watson gave a speech at the United Nations as Global Goodwill Ambassador for U.N. Women. In Watson’s #HeForShe Campaign, she addressed gender equality, inviting men to join the fight: “Gender equality is your issue, too.”
“When, at 15, my girlfriends started dropping out of their beloved sports teams because they didn’t want to appear muscly,” Watson explained, “when, at 18, my male friends were unable to express their feelings, I decided I was a feminist.”
Watson’s speech received critical acclaim, as well as hate. This included comments on Twitter and sexual threats. Despite the threats, there was support.
British 15-year-old Ed Holtom commented in a letter to London’s Sunday Telegraph: “Feminism is not about man-hating or female supremacy. It is by definition the opposite,” Holtom wrote. “It’s pretty simple really: If you believe in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes then you’re a feminist.”
Watson has won support from other celebrities such as Beyoncé, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Tom Hiddleston.
Twitter and other social media continue to trend the fight for equal rights.
“If not me, who? If not now, when?” Watson said as the closing of her speech.
Her words have gone viral and may have paved a road for change, not only at the United Nations but globally.