Have you been online much in the last day? You might well have seen actress and UN Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson’s remarkable speech at the UN Headquarters in New York. If not, watch it right here, right now:
These vital words are brilliantly delivered by someone who, importantly, has a massive global reach. Here at Depends On The Dream we completely support the #HeForShe campaign for gender equality, and have selected our 5 best quotes from Emma’s barnstormer of an address:
1. ‘Fighting for women’s rights has too often become synonymous with man-hating…THIS HAS TO STOP’
Supporting the cause of feminism does not exclude other beliefs or parts of life. These are not sports teams, or pop fandoms -you can be a feminist, but also love men and all they represent. A feminist who hates men is not a true feminist. A man who hates feminists is not a true man.
2. ‘They may not know it, but they are the inadvertent feminists who are changing the world today’
Emma is talking about her parents, schoolteachers and the mentors who have shaped her world view, but the message applies to all. To be a feminist, you don’t have to go marching through the streets (although please do if it takes your fancy). You don’t have to get all grumpy when a joke is made about a woman, or defend a woman whenever she is criticised. All you have to do is treat women with the same respect, and hopefully kindness, that you would treat men.
3. ‘How can we effect change in the world when only half of it is invited, or feel welcome, to participate in the conversation?’
So you’re a feminist. But who can you talk to about these things? Well, EVERYONE. Whether you’re a guy or a girl, if a person says something disrespectful about women, call them out on it. Ask them why. What bad could come of it? Pretty much none. What good? You might just make the world better through your views. And if someone says something to promote equality, support them. Praise them. This is how equality happens.
4. ‘If we stop defining each other by what we are not, and start defining ourselves by who we are, we can all be freer’
Feminism is a club that lets in pretty much anyone. Whoever YOU are, your name is there. Football feminist? Yep, you’re in. Japanese anime feminist? You’re in too. Long countryside walks but also violent horror movies feminist? Go on, why not. There is ALWAYS room for one more. The only people not on the list: those who restrict and work against equality. Feminists wearing trainers? Of course, come straight through!
5. ‘If not me, who? If not now, when?’
Short, sharp and spot on. This whole deal is about true equality – making sure all people get the same chance regardless of their gender. Intelligence, age, social or financial background have no part to play – your voice is as valuable as any other. But any voice has an expiry date. Make the most of yours – start using it for equality NOW.
Sign up to the #HeForShe campaign here. It’ll do you good – and it will do good for others too.