Feminism is the new f-word
When I was in fourth grade, I was Hermione Granger from Harry Potter for Halloween. Not only because, at the time, we had matching bushy hair, but also because I always wanted to be her.
Now, seven years later, I want to be her real-life counterpart, Emma Watson.
The insight that Emma brought to the stage at the UN conference on Sept. 20 this year was incomparable to anything ever said about the feminist movement. She voiced everything I have ever believed about the issue of feminism, and now that this argument has been brought to international light, it is finally getting the attention it deserves.
One of the biggest points that resounded with the audience was her exemplification of the negative connotations associated with feminism. Watson stated, “…the more I have spoken about feminism, the more I have realized that fighting for women’s rights has too often become synonymous with man-hating. If there is one thing I know for certain, it is that this has to stop. For the record, feminism by definition is: ‘The belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities.’ It is the theory of the political, economic and social equality of the sexes.”
I have been told by people close to me that I should not publicly identify myself as a feminist, for fear of initiating backlash from others. This, in and of itself, is a terrible way to view a movement promoting equality.
Women and men should not be afraid to define themselves as people who support equality of the sexes. Everyone should feel free to be defined as feminists, because that is the very definition of equality.
Being a feminist is not a bad thing. The negative connotations associated with feminism are founded in misinformation and ignorance. “He’s a… feminist,” should not be whispered under someone’s breath as an insult.
I wholeheartedly agree with Watson that once people can see feminism as a statement of equality of the genders, rather than the popular misconception of feisty, bra-burning women, this movement will begin to solve the gender issues society faces. And, we will not even need magic.