On September 20, Emma Watson gave a speech launching a new campaign for feminism before the United Nations. Her remarks had such an impact, she received a standing ovation, as can be seen in the many clips viral on the Internet. The speech has also sparked a heated debate.
Feminism is a touchy subject for many people worldwide. As Watson mentions in her speech, it has become “synonymous with man-hating…this,” she stated, “has to stop.” She went on to introduce the “HeforShe Campaign.”
The main goal of the campaign is to unite all of humanity in the fight for human rights – not just women. More information on the goals of the campaign can be found on their website, heforshe.org.
According to an article published in Time magazine by Cathy Young, “HeForShe is rotten for men.” The author goes on to cite a variety of reasons, claiming that it fails to address the gender inequality issues that many men face. She further shows ideas that men are not given any voice in the fight for gender equality, and are instead ignored even when they do try to speak up.
Others disagree. Gayle Lemmon posted an article at cnn.com titled “Emma Watson Gives Feminism New Life.” He states that her level of fame and recognition has brought many who did not pay attention to feminism before her speech to acknowledge the issue. He points out that the main issue with Watson’s speech is translating “the high-profile feminizing into visible, on-the-ground gains in the lives of ordinary women and men.”
Whether they agree with Emma Watson’s ideals or not, most seem to agree that her widespread fame brought more attention to the issue of gender equality.