The word “feminism” is widely misunderstood, and sadly often seen in a very negative light. Most popularly feminists are characterized as women who hate men, or feel women are superior. Feminism, by definition, is the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities; It is political, economic and social equality of the sexes. Therefore when you stand for feminism truly you are standing for human rights, for every individuals right to freedom.
Emma Watson beautifully tapped on a subject that is not often discussed; The sexism and inequality present in much of society’s systems and beliefs are equally harmful to men.
“I’ve seen young men suffering from mental illness unable to ask for help for fear it would make them look less “macho” — in fact in the U.K., suicide is the biggest killer of men between 20 to 24, eclipsing road accidents, cancer and coronary heart disease. I’ve seen men made fragile and insecure by a distorted sense of what constitutes male success. Men don’t have the benefits of equality either.
We don’t often talk about men being imprisoned by gender stereotypes, but I can see that they are — and that when they are free, things will change for women as a natural consequence.
If men don’t have to be aggressive in order to be accepted, women won’t feel compelled to be submissive. If men don’t have to control, women won’t have to be controlled.
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 perceive gender on a spectrum, not as two opposing sets of ideals. If we stop defining each other by what we are not and start defining ourselves by what we are — we can all be freer. And this is what HeForShe is about. It’s about freedom.”
To see the rest of the gems from her speech watch the full video below