Girls, have you ever been objectified in the street, at work or in public? These can range from mild wolf whistles to down-right rude abuse: ‘you got right bangin’ t**s love’- er excuse me, but what gives you the right to do that? No matter what we’re wearing, jeans and a top or a tight, going out dress, we do not deserve countless cars beeping at us thank you very much!
Gender inequality has been going on for hundreds of years and nothing really has changed. Sure, the ‘glass ceiling’ may have cracked a little meaning that there are a few more female bosses in the business world, and gender stereotypes may have weakened a little, but we still are being oppressed and sexualized, especially by the media.
When I wanted to read a tabloid newspaper the other day, I was greeted by a huge pair of fake boobs, when all I really wanted to do was to read about Kate and Wills. Do men seriously still need to look at a porn star to gain pleasure? I actually feel uncomfortable looking at these images; do all men desire us to look like this? And these women’s gossip magazines as well: why is there such an emphasis on body shape and looking good? These are all just signs that we are unequal to men and are not satisfied until we look ‘perfect’ to not just make ourselves happy, but also for the disposal of men.
Progress on the gender equality front has been slow for some time, until Emma Watson took to the stage earlier this month as UN GoodWill Ambassador and launched a ‘HeforShe’ campaign to finally combat this long-awaited issue once and for all. If you’ve been living under a rock for the past weeks and haven’t seen her speech, have a gander here.
Her powerful and captivating speech was watched online by millions of people around the world and I personally was in awe of the confident 24-year old addressing such political issues. Who knew that Hermione Granger was capable of holding the attention of millions around the globe whilst delivering meaningful messages?
In her speech, Emma encouraged men and boys to get involved with her campaign “I want men to take up this mantle so their daughters, sisters, and mothers can be free from prejudice—but also so their sons have permission to be vulnerable and human, too, and in doing so, be a more true and complete version of themselves.”
She also challenged the definition of what a feminist means to society today. Emma discusses that fighting openly for women’s rights are all too often linked to man-hating and expresses a concern, concluding that this has to stop.
Many celebrities have backed up the former Harry Potter star’s campaign too. Singer Harry Styles and actors Douglas Booth and Tom Hiddleston showed their support towards gender equality by tweeting photos of themselves holding a plaque up with ‘#heforshe’ encouraging other men to follow suit.
Let us hope that this global campaign will change the attitudes towards the equality of both men and women and that progress will be made further still between the sexes. As Emma said:
“We do not want to push men and women further apart from each other but unite them harmoniously in equality.”