Friday, 26 September 2014

EMMA WATSON: WHY YOU SHOULD BE A FEMINIST

Emma Watson spoke out recently out on what being feminist REALLY means… Cathy explains why Emma's speech to the UN is so important. Please do read on and watch the link. This is awesome.

Cathy says:
Sometimes, when I say I'm a feminist, people frown. They think that being feminist is about hating men, burning your bra or wearing your hair in a buzz-cut. They think it means that you can't like the colour pink, or wear a cute dress or fall in love with a boy. They think that we're already equal, that there's nothing left to fight for, that rocking the boat will just cause trouble.

Wrong. Being feminist is NOT about hating men. Seriously. And actually, the coolest men I know are feminist too… my husband, my son, my lovely male friends. Being feminist is about valuing both sexes equally, about being seen as a person and not just a sex object, about being treated fairly, and about having the freedom to be whoever you want to be.

You can't tell who is or isn't a feminist from the outside. It might mean wearing Doc Martens and dungarees one day and a vintage dress the next; it might mean wearing your hair in a shocking pink mohawk or having ringlet extensions down to your waist or maybe a hijab. It could be me, and it could, I hope, be you. If you are a feminist, you believe that women should be respected, listened to, paid equally, given the chance to be educated and to make decisions about our own body, our own life. Men and women should have equal rights, equal freedoms, equal opportunities and equal respect.

Emma Watson was invited to the United Nations to speak about this, and about why men need to get involved in fighting sexism too. We are not an equal society, an equal world - every day, in countries all around the world, women face inequality, violence, ignorance and abuse. Emma invites men to join us in supporting equal rights in her #heforshe campaign. Emma's speech is powerful, moving and honest. I wanted to share it with you here…. please take ten minutes to watch and listen:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q0Dg226G2Z8&feature=youtu.be

Emma's speech is awesome, but some people did not agree with her message of equality. Almost at once, Emma was threatened by internet trolls who said they had obtained embarrassing photos of her, and would publish them online. They were trying to bully, shame and humiliate Emma, to punish her for speaking out… and they have shown how scared some people are of allowing women, who make up half of the population of the earth, to take an equal place in society.

Bullies, however, just show their own cowardice and fear when they try to silence those who speak out for what is right and fair. In the days that have followed, Emma's campaign has gathered more support than it ever would have before. Celebrity men have come forward to support Emma's #heforshe campaign, including author Neil Gaiman and actors Russel Crowe, Tom Hiddleston, Simon Pegg, Chris Colfer (pictured) and Douglas Booth.

I am proud to say that I am a feminist; that I too stand up for the rights of girls and women around the world. How about you?

COMMENT BELOW to share YOUR views on Emma's speech… and on the spiteful internet trolls who tried to silence her. What do YOU think?

19 comments:

  1. Up until earlier this year, I had no problem with feminists. Then they started getting more attention. Probably because they're more radical and loud. When they won't stay out of my life, you can see why I don't like them. They seem to spend more time calling me awful names (unprovoked, I may add) that are so bad I can't repeat them here than actually fighting for any kind of equality so I'm doubtful of their actual motives. Do they want to find true equality for everyone in the world or do they just want an outlet for their blatant misandry? It's possible to care about women without claiming you bathe in male tears or calling misandry "mythandry". Marginalising men's issues will not fix women's issues. It serves only to give feminists a bad name. I'm aware that not all feminists are like this but I don't want to associate myself with a group where the members claim men can't be raped, they must have wanted it because it's not like men are people or anything. Or that male sexual abuse victims should be "grateful". Or that transgender people are "wannabe women" or "internalised misogynists". Or that gay men are horribly misogynist for not fancying women. Or calls myself and other non-feminists really bad words that I can't say because they're rude and dictate our lives. I thought they were about bodily autonomy so I'm not sure why they think it's OK to tell me that I MUST take birth control, I'm not allowed to shave my legs, I'm not allowed to wear anything that covers too much of my body like a T-shirt and jeans (apparently, I don't want to wear miniskirts because men have told me not to. No man has ever told me what to wear), I HAVE to get drunk if I go out at night because if I don't, I'm a victim blamer, I HAVE to be misandrist because showing men the tiny bit of compassion is so unfeminist, I'm not allowed to wear make up because that's the product of patriarchy (guess what feminists? Your phone was made by men. So hand it over), I'm not allowed to have my own views because, pfft, women aren't allowed their own views unless they're feminists! They must be brainwashed by men which is clearly worse than being brainwashed by other women! Yeah, I can't be a part of a group that thinks such behaviour is OK. I care about equality for women but also other people of all genders, races, sexualities, nationalities, etc. Because that's the true definition of equality.
    Moving on, I kind of agree with Emma Watson. I like that she's getting men involved after all these years of alienating them from women's rights. It shouldn't be an "us vs them" issue but so many feminists get that wrong. Even Maya Angelou - an absolutely brilliant woman who is sadly missed - once said "I'm a feminist because I've been a woman for a long time now. It would be stupid not to be on my own side". Mm...by the same token, I might as well join the Ku Klux Klan because I've been white for along time now and it would be stupid not to be on my own side. There are no "sides" when it comes to humanity. There's only us. We need to understand and support each other instead of fighting against other people because they were born in a different body from ours. As for the bullying Emma received, well, that's just not right. She wasn't being misandrist or nasty, she made a lovely attempt at bringing people together and she does not deserve that treatment. I don't think anyone does. I think feminism and men's rights groups should just be scrapped because look at the tension they cause. We can focus on equality rather than the superiority of one gender over another. Without meaningless labels. Sounds good, huh? :-)

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    1. I disagree with a big chunk of what you say (I think you've had issues with very offensive people who may hide behind the label feminist, but sorry, the definition is equality of pay, opportunities, freedom and respect, which gives women choices and does NOT dictate to them.) It's interesting that you believe these bullies are feminists, and yet dismiss my definition of it, and Emma's, and Maya Angelou's. But I also agree with some of what you say… particularly about Emma and the trolling. It's a perfect example of why we need feminism… that when a young woman dares to speak out for equality, a nasty bunch of anonymous trolls threaten to shame/ punish her in the media with pictures which now turn out not to exist anyway. Hmmm. I do take offense at having feminism compare to the Ku Klux Klan… they were not on the 'side' of whites but of racist bigotry. I have also been white for a long time and to my knowledge have never ever condoned that. Maya was clearly saying that if you're not feminist, you are part of the sexist culture and your own worst enemy. I think if you're a woman and yet don't stand up for other women, you are indeed part of the problem; but like you, I think it is a problem of humanity in the long run. I agree with the plan of trying to unite all people together to fight inequality, men and women of all ages, as stated. That's what I'm saying, and what Emma is saying; we are trying to cut through the tensions and misconceptions and bring people together to change something that really is a huge issue and a great wrong in the world. Thanks for joining the debate… I imagine if we met we would be able to find much common ground, in spite of some fundamentally opposing views.
      CC xxx

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    2. Feminism cant be compared to the KKK as the KKK believe in black people having less rights and believe that white people are superior.
      Feminism doesn't mean women having more rights than anyone else and it also doesn't mean that for women to have equal rights, men have to have less rights. That is a common mistake that people make when they think of feminism.

      Feminists don't want to be men, or have more power than men, they want to be women and have equal rights and opportunities and treated with the same respect.
      Wanting equal rights for women doesn't mean less rights for men.
      It isn't about attacking men or dismissing the issues that man face. True equality means everyone being equal, regardless of gender so anyone who claims to be a feminist who doesn't believe in that, isn't actually a feminist by definition.

      A lot of the horrible comments you've talked about sound like some of things that a small minority of so called 'feminists' started to talk about in the 1980's. Unfortunately this small group of people were then used as an example to promote 'the evils' of feminism. This in itself was done to oppress the women's rights movement so that people would start to think that feminism was a bad word with bad intentions and it meant that some women were ashamed to call themselves feminists in case people thought that they hated men.

      Feminism has progressed and changed a lot since then, so has everyone's understanding about trans people and you will find very few people hold these out dated beliefs.

      If you compare the people who have made those nasty comments to all of the girls and women you have in your life (friends and their family, your own family, teachers, community leaders etc) you will find that you have met far more women who believe in equal rights for all, than you have misandrists (men haters)

      Also be very careful of what you read online, there are many nasty people who will pretend to be something and then do and say lots of bad things so that people will think that all people are like that.
      Cathy isn't a man hater, she has a husband, a son and boy dogs and she writes really cool male characters!
      It is nice to think that one day we won't need labels, but until women have equal rights with men then we have to keep standing up for women's rights.
      Plus male feminists are cool!

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    3. Anon of 18th Nov… would you be interested in writing something for DREAMCATCHER on this? I think you have a very switched-on outlook and it might be nice to hear more? Let me know via FB fanpage or email via the main website if interested. Thanks! xxx

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  2. I would like to go out and say that I am very glad that you decided to do a blog post on this very important matter and also, yes, I am a feminist.
    Before a few weeks ago I didn't refer to myself as a feminist (although I did stand up for gender equality) because I don't exactly like controversial discussion, especially, with something as serious an issue but you'll soon found out that feminism is NOT about holding up a sign and telling men to leg it or not respecting or acknowledging the Y chromosome (not that I thought this was what feminism is all about but some ignorant trolls do) it is about being EQUAL to the next person and the one after that et al no matter female, male or anything in between. And that feminism is also about equal privileges to men (as Emma's speech) to be able to ask for help without seeming week or non-masculine.I am beyond happy that Emma Watsons campaign is becoming big because it is time to take notice of what is happening and contradicting popular belief men can be feminists too.

    "If not me, who? If not now, when?"
    -Emma Watson

    Happy thoughts and whatever you are be proud ♥♥♥

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    1. YES. Thank you so much… that's it in a nutshell. 'If not me, then who? If not now, then when?'
      Happy thoughts right back atcha!
      xxx

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    2. Agreed. I am super happy you did a blog post on this important issue and yes I am a feminist. Emma :)

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  3. It's so good that Emma is taking a stand about feminism. Even in the modern world, even here in Britain and Ireland, sexist prejudice exists. I wasn't sure exactly of feminism, but now I know a lot more about it, and completely agree. It's not about elitism, it's about equality. I think the world is improving slowly, for example the five highest law-related positions in Ireland are held by women, from State Pathologist to President of the High Court... It just goes to show, doesn't it! I don't know why it is that men were seen as the stronger sex for so long, but we do seem to be getting better. And well done to Emma for refusing to let those troll bow her! In the end its all about equality, so lets fight for an impartial future!

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    1. Very true. Times are changing in some countries, but there is still a long way to go. Great that Emma is showing young people what still needs to be done! xxx

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  4. I suppose I really have always been a feminist as ive always hated being held back from things for being a girl for example having different sports matches to boys or feeling that I have to be always looking great but now im sure this world needs equality and we wont take no for an answer

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  5. It's so amazing and inspirational. For me, I agree, being a feminist is believing we should all be equal and have equal rights, no sex should be seen as superior or inferior. "if not me then who? If not now, then when?"
    I am so proud of girls around this world and Emma and Cathy. Unite, girls, celebrate yourselves, you are more amazing and better than you think.
    xxxx Warm Wishes, Mae
    p.s. my favourite actor Logan Lerman did a HeForShe
    I

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  6. Thank u so much for doing a blogpost on this Cathy! I think when people say 'feminist', people misunderstand the concept hugely and change it completely according to what they've heard. I'm so happy that u've raised awareness that feminists don't hate men or will never do this and that because it will make them look 'weaker'. I think that actually feminists r women and girls standing up in society, preaching there thoughts and trying to make awareness of issues like sexism to women. I honestly can't thank u enough, I hope this makes others aware of what a feminist really is and I hope more people join feminism including men. As I don't think a lot of boys understand this in my class, school and even grown up men which is quite sad but hopefully we can make them aware. Thnx so much, Hamdi:)xxx

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    1. Thanks for your support Hamdi! You speak a lot of truth… but we can make a difference. We will!
      xxx

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    2. Thnx Cathy:) I think I'll try to make people more aware at school. Hamdi:)xxx

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  7. love ya emma!!!!!

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  8. I totally agree with Emma.Being feminist is about valuing both sexes equally, about being seen as a person and not just a sex object, about being treated fairly, and about having the freedom to be whoever you want to be.Being feminist spreads equality among the people.

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  9. The boys at my school just don't seem to understand that girls can be just as smart and strong as them. Some of my friends are boys but when I try playing a game or joining a team with them, their friends say 'Girls can't play. They don't know how to play. All they do is talk and be annoying.' It gets me so mad. My teacher (male) was sexist once. I confronted him about it and since then he has always agreed with me in discussions. Every girl should be proud of their sex, after all, we're all the same. FACT.

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