9 Mar 2015

'We Need Female Leadership'

Image credits: HeForShe
HeForShe is described as 'A Solidarity Movement for Gender Equality' attempting to restore the real meaning of feminism. Not the image of females refusing to shave their armpits for fear of giving into 'society' and instead to be someone who believes that men can be hairdressers without any stick, and women can be engineers. GENDER equality, not female equality.

There are currently (as I am writing this) 243, 275 men registered through the official HeForShe website to stand for gender equality. 29, 961 of those men just in the UK alone.

Rather than focusing on the major points Emma Watson and Greg James covered in their HeForShe 'dialogue worth having' - the media went into a frenzy about the announcement that Watson suffered threats within 12 hours of her original HeForShe speech back in September 2014. Again, the media are not utilizing the incredible power they hold at their fingertips over the digital age we currently live in. Digital media is a huge dependent at present - I know it's my main source of keeping up to date with the most recent news and it more than likely is yours too.

Watson and James discuss how both genders should possess the right to be both sensitive and strong at the same time. James even voiced how he personally did not feel alike his "lads, lads, lads" friends in his schooling days. They spoke of the medieval ideology that men can't cry, which Watson powerfully describes to be something which "makes us human, not a girl."
Image credits: HeForShe
315K people like the HeForShe official Facebook page and yet even with this vast amount of supporters, gender equality is still a huge issue internationally. Watson refers to the problem as an "education problem" - and of course she is entirely truthful. Even the recent issue with Clarks shoes being guilty of gender stereotyping, where an 8 year old could not understand why she was not allowed a pair of 'boys' shoes which had dinosaurs on and was instead offered a pair with flowers on instead. See the full article here: Metro. Watson encouraged that "we need female leadership" and voices how she believes that women are not encouraged in the same way which men are and that this is a global problem.

Emma was questioned by a member of the audience about inequality of pay in the work place and whether she was paid less than her co-stars, Rupert Grint and Daniel Radcliffe in the Harry Potter Series. Respectfully digressing from the latter, Watson revealed some extremely shocking statistics of female presence within the film industry which she works. Revealing just 7% of the world's film directors are women and posed the question "why are women not telling their own stories?." Which brings me back to the idea of the media and its importance in the digital age, films and cinema screenings also have a huge influence. We aspire to be like the protagonists we watch in the theatre and if those protagonists are all men, who are women supposed to aspire to be? 
Image credits: HeForShe

The whole discussion overall was not only an empowering one, but it was encouraging for men and women alike to be whoever and whatever they desire, and not as their current gender stereotypes may bind them to. HeForShe offers the world a uniting movement.

Emma Watson's speech back in September at the launch of HeForShe on behalf of the United Nations vocalised how men are extremely important in terms of reaching gender equality. How they are not valued equally in the eyes of the government as a parent in comparison to a mother, they have much less rights. How there are masses of men struggling with mental illness and yet struggling to ask for help for fear of making them less of a man - and reveals that in the UK this is the biggest killer of men above cancer and heart diseases, an extremely harrowing reality. How if men don't have to control, then women shouldn't feel as though they need to be controlled. And how gender equality for men and freedom for men, leads to gender quality and freedom for women.

I for one have personally always had an interest for gender equality yet have never pursued my ideology that things need to change. Now, I try to raise awareness through my words and partake in the events and votes which I am able to. The recent event Reclaim The Night Manchester 2015 was the first march I have ever been a part of. The idea was to end victim shaming and end sexual violence, yet specifically against women in the area. Approximately 2,000 people were present and marching to show their support, which was a huge success in terms of raising awareness. The event definitely encouraged me to pursue my ambition to attempt to have my voice heard - and the best platform for me personally, is this blog.

One by one we can make a difference and raise awareness of gender equality. So gentlemen, if you would like your mum and dad to earn the same wage, or even just because you know it's right, go on and register your support for gender equality with the HeForShe campaign!

"You might be thinking, who is this Harry Potter girl? And why is she speaking at the UN?." Watson jokes.
 See the speech from 20th September 2014 here:

-Just Write About It.
  Raven Twigg

Just Write About It.

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