Let's do a test. When I say the word feminism, what do you think of? Write it down. What was it? Was it a nice thought? It probably wasn't. Most people today think of feminism as synonymous with 'man-hating' or 'ball-buster'. This is an issue. Feminism should fill people with hope of change and equality. It is a positive cause, why do people continue to view it in a negative light?
I watched a video of Emma Watson at the UN promoting the cause HeFORShe, telling men that they should also pick up the mantle and fight for feminism just as much as women. "It is a men's cause too" she spoke in a voice that rang through the entire auditorium. Reciting events in her life that influenced her decision to become a self-proclaimed feminist, you couldn't help but feel a connection to it. Have we not all had similar experiences growing up? Who hasn't had a girl friend that has stopped doing something becasue she was afraid that it would make her look manly, or a guy friend that didn't share what he was feeling for fear of being labelled a girl? We still live in a society where no country in the world has equal rights Feminism is about equality and the ability for everyone, no matter race or gender, to have the same rights.
I am not kidding, this video made me cry. But it also made me think. Why do we think about feminism in such a negative light? It's on the same level as chivalry these days. These two contradicting ideas are hated in society by just about everyone, or people are too scared to say that they believe in either. And you can't say that you like chivalry, and be a feminist. I believe that yes, we all deserve equal rights, but there is nothing wrong with helping others in small ways like holding doors open, and treating people correctly. This is what I see chivalry as. And isn't that what Emma Watson was saying in her speech? That to reach our goals of equal rights for everyone, we all have to help each other. And if that means just opening a car door for someone, or helping them out when they need it, so be it.
Watch Emma's eloquent speech here, and I dare you to not change your view on the word 'feminism' and 'feminists' afterwards.