It was the HeForShe Campaign, 2014 at the U.N.
Emma Watson, dressed in a smart blazered oatmeal suit climbed up to the dais, ready for her speech, not knowing how she would soon be making big history.
Voice trembling, but determination so strong, Emma Watson was the lady of the day. This 24-year old ‘Harry Potter girl’ turned U.N Women Goodwill Ambassador stole the show with her firm words –
“If not me, who? If not now, when?”
‘Gender equality, feminism, but NOT man-hating’ – was what she advocated, steering everyone clear off all misconceptions about the issue.
“I decided I was a feminist and this seemed uncomplicated to me. But my recent research has shown me that feminism has become an unpopular word. Apparently I am among the ranks of women whose expressions are seen as too strong, too aggressive, isolating, anti-men and….unattractive.”
“Why has the word become such an uncomfortable one? I think it is right I am paid the same as my male counterparts. I think it is right that I should be able to make decisions about my own body. I think it is right that women be involved on my behalf in the policies and decisions that will affect my life. I think it is right that socially, I am afforded the same respect as men.”
Watson continued with her speech saying that even men are subjected to gender bias. She went a step ahead and formally invited all men on a mission to end this. “Gender equality is your issue too”, she told them. There’s more to the speech than what I’ve mentioned here.
And now the discussion part.
Feminism, as the word speaks, has been traditionally all about women. It’s an issue discussed over and over again and brooded upon so much that it has lost its very meaning. Now this was were Miss Watson has tried sailing her boat. Of course, making men speak for women isn’t easy, yes, a daunting task. Some cringe at the very idea, others make fun of it. But, HeForShe aims at doing exactly this with all heart.
That Feminism is not about man-hating is the core idea of the entire speech from a very right Miss Watson. Including bits and parts of her own experiences, the young actor explained how she is one of those very few lucky ones to have got a comparatively better treatment from family, friends and society.
“Sadly I can say that there is no one country in the world where all women can expect to receive these rights. No country in the world can yet say they have achieved gender equality.”
A much deserved standing ovation, don’t you think?
What was the aftereffect?
Oh! Was it not great big? The Internet suddenly caught the Emma fever. She was everywhere, gaining mostly positive remarks. Tweets and hashtags soared up, amazingly from both genders. The thing that she did not hide her nervousness, made the whole thing even more convincing. Humble, like she is!
And, just because of the fact that for the first time ever, a woman hasn’t made Feminism sound like the pain it is and braved all odds to put it at a place at par with human rights, even after being trolled so terribly by hackers, I stand hereby, with all heart, with Emma Watson! What about the rest of you?