This past Sunday, March 8th was International Women’s Day. In honor of this day, Facebook aired a live interview with Emma Watson to discuss the HeForShe campaign. Emma Watson is the UN Women Goodwill Ambassador and serves as an advocate for the HeForShe campaign. HeForShe is a solidarity movement for gender equality. This campaign is about men and women supporting one another. Back in September Watson gave a speech on gender equality and further introduced HeForShe. One message that Watson repeats is the importance of including men within this discussion of gender equality. Below are five points addressed during the event.
1. “Chivalry should be consensual. Both Parties should be feeling good about that”. There needs to be a shared understanding of politeness. Both parties should be able to open the door for one another without a feeling of awkwardness. It is a simple and polite gesture that is not regulated to one individual. So as a woman do not be afraid to open the door for your date.
2. “Just be willing to have that awkward conversation”. When it comes to going out, a location is chosen and the cost of the evening is dealt with. The way in which the check is covered may be an uncomfortable moment for both parties. However it is dealt with, do not be afraid to talk about why things may feel uncomfortable.
3. “ I’m really genuinely disturbed by this idea that men can’t cry”. Expressing emotion should not be viewed in a negative light. A man is not any less of a man if he cries. Showing emotion is what makes an individual a human being. The way in which society defines what it means to be a man needs to be altered.
4. “And I don’t think that’s what feminism is at all. I think it’s something incredibly positive”. Feminism is not about hating men. It refers to the belief that equal rights should be given to men and women. Disrupting the myth that to be a feminist one is solely focused on the rights of women while putting down men is key.
5. “ It’s everyday, it’s individuals, it’s on a case by case basis, taking action”. When it comes to promoting the ideals of HeForShe, an individual’s contribution does not have to invovle a big scheme or be complicated. A small gesture can have large impact.