Hero of the Week: Emma Watson

By Rhea Arora
Elm Staff Writer

Emma Watson, UN Women Goodwill Ambassador, delivered a powerful speech at the UN General Assembly launching the HeForShe campaign. This is a campaign for women’s rights but it’s different- it involves men to fight for women’s rights. Watson spoke of feminism becoming synonymous with “man-hating” and the feminist movement alienating men. By its very definition feminism means equality of gender in all spheres of life, not women’s superiority above men.

Watson was appointed a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador in July.
Watson was appointed a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador in July.

Addressing men around the world, Watson said, “Gender equality is your issue, too.” She explained how societies value the roles of fathers less than those of mothers; how some men suffer mental illnesses because asking for help is not “manly” and how men are broken under a “distorted sense of what constitutes male success.”

She spoke about how if men aren’t held to certain standards then women will be free from oppression, too. “If men don’t have to control, women won’t have to be controlled.”

She mentioned a speech that Hilary Clinton delivered in 1997 in Beijing on women’s rights and how less than 30 percent of the audience was male. “How can we affect change in the world when only half of it is invited?”

The HeForShe campaign is about freedom, equality and imploring society to treat genders as equals and allowing both to be sensitive, fragile, ambitious and strong. She asked people to see each other as human beings and not limit themselves to traditional gender roles. Join the campaign; add to the 39,362 men in the USA who have already signed up and help and inspire people who struggle to rise above gender stereotypes.

This was Watson’s message at the UN and that’s why she’s our Hero of The Week.

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