This weekend, Emma Watson made a speech at the U.N.’s #HeForShe campaign event, encouraging men to join the crusade and support feminism by fighting alongside women for equal rights. In her speech, she put it to men to consider gender inequality as a problem not just affecting women, but men as well.
“I’ve seen my father’s role as a parent being valued less by society,” she said. “I’ve seen young men suffering from mental illness, unable to ask for help for fear it would make them 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. We don’t often talk about men being imprisoned by gender stereotypes, but I can see 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.”
Her speech sent shock waves around the Internet. Though the idea that the patriarchy also oppresses men is a basic tenant of modern feminism, hearing it from an actress certainly made an impression on people, including members of the fashion set. The aftermath of the speech was met with tons of fawning and praise toward Ms. Watson, whose talk was described by Vanity Fair as “game-changing.”
Below, fashion people and celebrities react to the speech. (more…)