“Harry Potter” actress Emma Watson delivered a speech on the topic of feminism at the United Nations and introduced a new campaign called HeForShe. The program aims to bring gender equality to men as well as women and she invites everyone to become a participant.
She told the audience: “How can we effect change in the world when only half of it is invited or feel welcome to participate in the conversation? Men — I would like to take this opportunity to extend your formal invitation. Gender equality is your issue, too.”
From her speech:
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.
Check out HeForShe for more information and do your part today.