Men and Feminism, a UN speech by Emma Watson

Young men tend to be more egalitarian than their fathers, comfortable with girls as friends and equals. Feminist actress Emma Watson kicked off a UN campaign called “HeForShe” in 2014 to galvanize boys and men to “be advocates for gender equality,” despite her recognition that feminism is an unpopular word. She pointed out that feminism is not man-hating but equal opportunities: “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 control, women won’t have to be controlled.”[i] Many young men do oppose mistreatment of women. The youngest member of the South African parliament, Mkhuleko Hlengwa, 25, arrived the first day wearing a button stating “No to rape.” He wants to change the high rape rate (64,000 reported cases in 2012), get young people more active in politics

[i] Emma Watson, “Gender Equality is Your Issue Too,” UN Women, September 20, 2014.

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