Today I figured I would spare you all my typical angry rants. I decided I’d focus more on something people have probably already heard about – Emma Watson’s speech on feminism that she presented at the UN conference recently. If you haven’t seen the speech and would like to, you can access it here.
(Disclaimer: if any of my writing seems biased in favor of Emma Watson it’s because she’s my woman crush forever and always. How can you be that pretty, intelligent AND talented? Doesn’t seem possible to me.)
Anyways, the majority of Emma’s (yes, we’re on a first name basis here) speech consists of things we already know about feminist stereotypes. However, she chooses to focus a lot on how in order for women to have better treatment and equal rights, the expectations of men need to change as well. Men, in our society as well as others, are always expected to be the strong ones. Masculinity is perceived to be the strength of a man’s punch or his unwillingness to show vulnerability. When was the last time any of you saw one of your guy friends cry? Probably not as often as you’ve seen your girl friends break down. If women are allowed to show weakness, why do we expect men to be so in control of their emotions at all times? I may not be speaking from personal experience, but I know for a fact that guys have feelings too. The fact that men are not allowed to express these emotions freely just adds to the list of ridiculous expectations society prescribes for us. According to Emma, the biggest killer of men ages 20-49 in the UK is suicide. Simply put: if men were allowed to be sensitive and talk about their feelings, these suicide rates wouldn’t be nearly as drastic. And, if we try not to be so tough on men, the rights of women will improve by default. As Emma says, “if men don’t have to be aggressive to be accepted, women won’t feel compelled to be submissive” (Youtube 2014). Thus, I leave it to you, my fellow classmates, to think before you tease one of your male friends for being too “soft” or “girly.” Remember that though they might not seem like it, guys have emotions too and should be allowed to express them just as much as girls.