Emma Watsons tal

ByPYw1YIYAAthXt

Om det vore så väl?

Veckans globala snackis på genusfronten är f.d. barnskådisen Emma Watsons tal till UN Women häromdagen. Hon kallar sig feminist, men jag uppfattar att talet innehöll en hel del jämställdism. Det ordet finns dock ej i engelskan, vilket hon även erkänner på slutet, när hon säger ”We are struggling for a uniting word”. Tyvärr har hon som så många andra torskat på en lång rad av de feministiska myterna, om lönegapet*, om att kvinnor saknar de rättigheter män har (i västvärlden) och om ”den destruktiva mansrollen” som roten till allt ont. Men jag uppfattar ändå talet som en inbjudan till samarbete och ett avståndstagande från feminismens mer radikala avarter, vilket kan vara en plattform att jobba vidare ifrån.

I am reaching out to you because I need your help. We want to end gender inequality—and to do that we need everyone to be involved.

This is the first campaign of its kind at the UN: we want to try and galvanize as many men and boys as possible to be advocates for gender equality. And we don’t just want to talk about it, but make sure it is tangible.

I was appointed six months ago and 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 started questioning gender-based assumptions when at eight I was confused at being called “bossy,” because I wanted to direct the plays we would put on for our parents—but the boys were not.

When at 14 I started being sexualized by certain elements of the press.

When at 15 my girlfriends started dropping out of their sports teams because they didn’t want to appear “muscly.”

When at 18 my male friends were unable to express their feelings.

I decided I was a feminist and this seemed uncomplicated to me. But my recent research has shown me that feminism has become an unpopular word.

Apparently I am among the ranks of women whose expressions are seen as too strong, too aggressive, isolating, anti-men and, unattractive.

Why is the word such an uncomfortable one?

I am from Britain and think it is right that as a woman I am paid the same as my male counterparts. I think it is right that I should be able to make decisions about my own body. I think it is right that women be involved on my behalf in the policies and decision-making of my country. I think it is right that socially I am afforded the same respect as men. But sadly I can say that there is no one country in the world where all women can expect to receive these rights.

No country in the world can yet say they have achieved gender equality.

These rights I consider to be human rights but I am one of the lucky ones. My life is a sheer privilege because my parents didn’t love me less because I was born a daughter. My school did not limit me because I was a girl. My mentors didn’t assume I would go less far because I might give birth to a child one day. These influencers were the gender equality ambassadors that made who I am today. They may not know it, but they are the inadvertent feminists who are. And we need more of those.  And if you still hate the word—it is not the word that is important but the idea and the ambition behind it. Because not all women have been afforded the same rights that I have. In fact, statistically, very few have been.

In 1997, Hilary Clinton made a famous speech in Beijing about women’s rights. Sadly many of the things she wanted to change are still a reality today.

But what stood out for me the most was that only 30 per cent of her audience were male. How can we affect change in the world when only half of it is invited or feel welcome to participate in the conversation?

Men—I would like to take this opportunity to extend your formal invitation. Gender equality is your issue too.

Because to date, I’ve seen my father’s role as a parent being valued less by society despite my needing his presence as a child as much as my mother’s.

I’ve seen young men suffering from mental illness unable to ask for help for fear it would make them look less “macho”—in fact in the UK suicide is the biggest killer of men between 20-49; eclipsing road accidents, cancer and coronary heart disease. I’ve seen men made fragile and insecure by a distorted sense of what constitutes male success. Men don’t have the benefits of equality either.  

We don’t often talk about men being imprisoned by gender stereotypes but I can see that that they are and that when they are free, things will change for women as a natural consequence.

If men don’t have to be aggressive in order to be accepted women won’t feel compelled to be submissive. If men don’t have to control, women won’t have to be controlled.

Both men and women should feel free to be sensitive. Both men and women should feel free to be strong… It is time that we all perceive gender on a spectrum not as two opposing sets of ideals.

If we stop defining each other by what we are not and start defining ourselves by what we are—we can all be freer and this is what HeForShe is about. It’s about freedom. 

I want men to take up this mantle. So their daughters, sisters and mothers can be free from prejudice but also so that their sons have permission to be vulnerable and human too—reclaim those parts of themselves they abandoned and in doing so be a more true and complete version of themselves.

You might be thinking who is this Harry Potter girl? And what is she doing up on stage at the UN. It’s a good question and trust me I have been asking myself the same thing. I don’t know if I am qualified to be here. All I know is that I care about this problem. And I want to make it better.

And having seen what I’ve seen—and given the chance—I feel it is my duty to say something. English statesman Edmund Burke said: “All that is needed for the forces of evil to triumph is for enough good men and women to do nothing.”

In my nervousness for this speech and in my moments of doubt I’ve told myself firmly—if not me, who, if not now, when. If you have similar doubts when opportunities are presented to you I hope those words might be helpful.

Because the reality is that if we do nothing it will take 75 years, or for me to be nearly a hundred before women can expect to be paid the same as men for the same work. 15.5 million girls will be married in the next 16 years as children. And at current rates it won’t be until 2086 before all rural African girls will be able to receive a secondary education.

If you believe in equality, you might be one of those inadvertent feminists I spoke of earlier.

And for this I applaud you.

We are struggling for a uniting word but the good news is we have a uniting movement. It is called HeForShe. I am inviting you to step forward, to be seen to speak up, To be the he for she. And to ask yourself if not me, who, if not now when.

Thank you.

*När det gäller lönefrågan i västvärlden, rekommenderar jag Emma och hennes fans att titta på den här videon av professor Christina Hoff Summers:

Det är ALLA NI ANDRA som ska befria männen från deras orimliga könsnormer

Det är ALLA NI ANDRA som ska befria männen från deras orimliga könsnormer

Annonser

14 thoughts on “Emma Watsons tal

  1. Talet är väl avvägt med tanke på åhörarna. Eftersom det handlar om FN finnsdär ju extrema länder närvarande, som Sverige eller Saudi-Arabien (bägge fick sig varsin känga) , men också indifferenta länder.

  2. Ping: Myndigheten för Samhällsskydd och Beredskap | WTF?

  3. ”Biologi existerar inte.”

    ”And if you still hate the word—it is not the word that is important but the idea and the ambition behind it.”
    Ja, men ändå är det ordet vi förväntas anamma.

  4. Otroligt fyllt med floskler, själv tycker jag det är lustigt för jag uppfattar talet som ett försök att återupprätta ridderligheten. Hela kampanjens namn ”He for She” skriker av gamla förlegade ridderlighetsideal.

  5. Jag vill minnas kampanjen som övre mediaklasskvinnor drog igång angående ”Bossy”.
    Hon slår mig som en kvinna som tog giget som ett karriärval för att sätta bröd på bordet snarare än av genuint ideologiska skäl (likt Sarkeesian). Jag uppfattar Emma som för intelligent för nivån på flosklerna.

  6. Precis, de fem små orden avslöjar syftet. Kampanjen handlar om flickor och kvinnor.

    Emma Watson låter mer eller mindre som en kopia av x antal feministiska kolumnister som skriver att män och pojkar också drabbas av en massa saker som räknas upp, men de drabbas egentligen av patriarkatet och mansnormen och det är de själva som måste ändra på sig så att de slipper drabbas.

    Jag gillar din positiva inställning, Bashflak, men själv är jag skeptisk.

  7. Håller inte alls med om att Watson skulle varit jämställdistisk. Både feminister och jämställdister säger sig vilja ha lika rättigheter, skyldigheter och värde, men vilket innehåll detta ges är helt olika. Feminister fokuserar på frågor där kvinnor har sämre utfall, och betraktar det sämre utfallet som bevis på diskriminering; de är normalt sett ointresserade av när män har sämre utfall, och när de någon gång nämner sådant, så är det inte som mansdiskriminering, utan som männens tillkortakommanden, och som kostnader för deras ”privilegier”.

    Hon är likgiltig till feminismens kvinnofokus, dess skeva sympati. Hon besväras av att folk kopplar samman feminism med kvinnohat; men inte av att det finns många manshatande feminister, eller att en majoritet av feministerna är manshatstoleranta. Hennes fokus är på att flickor och kvinnor skall hjälpas, de är offer; männens roll är att de skall hjälpa kvinnorna. När hon kommenterar negativa utfall för män ligger skulden på maskulinitet och männen själva. Möjligtvis att hennes kritik av samhällets syn på hennes pappa är relevant, men i den frågan brukar feminister nästan alltid drivas av att vilja förhindra att kvinnornas karriärer skadas av mammaledigheter, och för att åstadkomma det skulle det behövas att papporna tar hand om barnen mer.

    Länken ovan om de ”fem små orden” visar tydligt var Watson står.

  8. Ping: Normer | Bashflak

  9. Ping: Behaga mig! | Genusdebatten

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