On Sept. 20, Emma Watson made a game-changing speech to the UN. In this speech, she introduced the HeForShe movement, which is a campaign to involve men and boys worldwide in the movement for gender equality.
According to the HeforShe website, the movement “brings together one half of humanity in support of the other half of humanity, for the entirety of humanity.”
President Barack Obama expressed his support of the movement shortly after the speech was made. “Lifting women up lifts up our economy and lifts up our country…we’ve got to make sure that somebody stands up for them,” he said.
The main method of getting the word out about the movement so far has been on twitter, using the hashtag #heforshe. Several celebrities have voiced their opinions over twitter this week. Here are some of the most notable tweets:
“Real men treat women with dignity and give them the respect they deserve.”
“Husband to a wife, father to a daughter, son to a mother. You bet I’m on board!”
“Stand up for your women. Stand up for your men. Stand up for equality.”
However, not everyone is so supportive. Several bloggers have attacked the movement, saying that there is no tangible objective and does nothing to promote the feminist cause.
According to a blogger for The Escapist, “The campaign website itself is extremely sparse, it doesn’t list a single issue or solution, but instead it’s a world map showing how many support this movement and some buttons to spread the message. So is there any other point to this? Is there really merit behind this campaign or is it just the usual guilting technique we’ve seen from feminists for years in a slightly neater and more official package?”
People who are pro-life have also spoken out against the movement. One popular blogger said, “I agree with almost all of these beliefs that Emma Watson so strongly and passionately holds but there is just one aspect that I wholeheartedly reject and it is why I reject feminism. I cannot agree that women should make decisions about their own body when that includes the action of abortion.”
They believe that women do not have the right to abortion, so they will not support Emma Watson’s statement that women should be in control of their own bodies.
Several personal attacks have been made on Emma Watson because of her leadership role in the HeforShe campaign.. The day after she gave her speech urging men to join the fight for gender equality, hackers threatened to leak nude photos of her and even created a website called “Emma You Are Next.” Thankfully, the whole thing turned out to be a hoax and the website was shut down.
It will be interesting to see whether the HeforShe campaign takes off and changes our world or nosedives because of all the opposition.