Watch the speech!
If Hermione cannot convince you to stand up for women, then I do not know how well I can do. However, I will try to articulate why I am a feminist.
A simple idea with a simple word to define it, yet this idea sparks conflict and strife where peace and agreement should exist. The word-Equality-is thrown around by many. The word has sparked great wars to defend the idea that races, religions, ethnicities, and yes, genders, cannot possibly be the same.
Feminism is something we should all be behind. It is something that affects all of us. As Ms. Watson reflects, if you do not think gender equality involves you, then you are wrong. While I was not blessed with sisters, I was blessed with a loving mother, two fantastic grandmothers, aunts, cousins, and the most adorable goddaughter one can ask for. I want these women to be treated as equals.
I want men to get behind this. A true feminist does not believe that men should be stored underground solely for breeding purposes. In fact, a true feminist says a woman can do anything a man can do and, maybe surprisingly, vice versa. A true feminist says that we should not slut shame, we should not say a woman cannot lead an army or score a basket, and that we should not assume every girl wants an Easy Bake Oven. A true feminist says a man can be both caring and strong, that a man can take dance classes and act, and that a man can design clothes or decorate a room.
A true feminist does not necessarily disavow traditional gender roles, but they are open to the idea that humans were not meant to fit into a mold. Cookie cutter people may have been great for the 1950s, but that is not what we are. That is unbecoming of who we are as a society and a country.
Never let anyone bring you down for being a feminist or say that somehow being a feminist is victimizing men. Guess what? I like women. I like men. I want to see them both achieve and do great things. Men are not put down when women succeed. In fact, it is often quite the opposite. Societies that have integrated women fully often see higher standards of living, education, and overall happiness.
Despite all this, do not be a feminist for a better economy, well educated workforce, better health care, or a more productive society. Be a feminist for the girl who is the best player on her Little League baseball team and the boy who just wants to wear a tutu and dance ballet. Be a feminist for your sister, your brother, your cousin, your mom, your dad, your friend, and your partner. Most importantly be a feminist for yourself. Because without treating those around you with love, how can you become a better person.
Until next time, be safe and make good decisions…