When Emma Watson gave her inspiring speech about feminism at the United Nations to launch the #HeForShe campaign that aims to tackle gender equality around the world.
I – like most others – was blown away by her powerful words on feminism and how everyone, men especially, need to participate in promoting gender equality if they want to see change.
Emma has become one of the foremost celebrity faces of feminism in the world.
#HeForShe is an UN Sponsored initiative focuses on getting men involved in the fight for equal rights for women — and calls upon men to rise up and stand with women in this movement.
As stated on the HeForShe website, it “is a solidarity movement for gender equality that brings together one half of humanity in support of the other of humanity, for the entirety of humanity.”
Check out some of the most inspirational words on gender equality from her provocative UN Speech, that make us proud she is the United Nations Women Goodwill Ambassador.
1. “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.”
2. “It is time that we all perceive gender on a spectrum, not as two opposing sets of ideals.”
3. “For the record, feminism, by definition, is the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities.
4. Feminism is the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes. I started questioning gender-based assumptions a long time ago.”
5. “In my nervousness for this speech and my moments of doubt, I’ve told myself firmly, ‘If not me, who? If not now, when?’”
6. “When I was eight, I was confused about being called ‘bossy’ because I wanted to direct the plays that we would put on for our parents. But the boys were not. When at 14, I started to be sexualized by certain elements of the media.”
7. “When at 15, my girlfriends started dropping out of their beloved sports teams because they didn’t want to appear ‘muscle-y.’ When at 18, my males friends were unable to express their feelings; I decided that I was a feminist.”
8. “I want men to take up this mantle so their daughters, sisters, and mothers can be free from prejudice—but also so their sons have permission to be vulnerable and human, too, and in doing so, be a more true and complete version of themselves.”
9. “We want to try to galvanize as many men and boys as possible to be advocates for change.”
10. “Men, I would like to take this opportunity to extend your formal invitation. … Gender equality is your issue, too. … I’ve seen young men suffering from mental illness, unable to ask for help, for fear it would make them less of a men—or less of a man. 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.”
11.“We need more of those and if you still hate the word, it is not the word that is important. It’s the idea and the ambition behind it.”
12. “We don’t want to talk about men being imprisoned by gender stereotypes, but I can see that they are. When they are free, things will change for women as a natural consequence. If men don’t have to be aggressive, women won’t be compelled to be submissive. If men don’t need to control, women won’t have to be controlled.”
13. “But my recent research has shown me that feminism has become an unpopular word. Women are choosing not to identify as feminists.”
14. “I think it is right that 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 the decisions that will affect my life. I think it is right that socially, I am afforded the same respect as men.”
15. “How can we effect change in the world when only half of it is invited or feel welcome to participate in the conversation?”