Emma Watson formally invited men to join the fight for gender equality in a moving speech on Sept. 21, launching the HeForShe campaign. In her role as the UN Women Goodwill Ambassador, she spoke about how impossible it is to achieve equality of the sexes if only one sex participates in the fight:
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.
… Men—I would like to take this opportunity to extend your formal invitation. Gender equality is your issue too.
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.
… 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.
This, by the way, is the stellar example of acting on feminism (and not just being cool with the ‘f’ word) that Hollywood so desperately needs. Are you listening, men / everyone who could be doing more for gender equality? Emma Watson is waiting for your RSVP.