Including men in the conversation of feminism does not disempower women

In July of 2014, Emma Watson introduced the HeForShe campaign.

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In July of 2014, Emma Watson introduced the “HeForShe” campaign.

In 2014, Emma Watson introduced the “HeForShe Campaign” during her UN Speech. After identifying herself as a feminist, she continued to explain that feminism will not derail any opportunities given to men, but instead will welcome new, more fair experiences.

“Both men and women should feel free to be sensitive. Both men and women should feel free to be strong,” Watson said. She also entertains the idea that tearing down gender stereotypes would simply lead to a more open environment. 

Watson said,” If men don’t have to be aggressive in order to be accepted women won’t feel compelled to be submissive,” she stated, “If men don’t have to control, women won’t have to be controlled.”

One can not advocate for the empowerment of women while actively forcing gender stereotypes onto men. Junior Armando Echeverria said, “The issue is the belief that discrimination only exists on one side of the stick. While it may be a greater issue on one side, it’s not an occurrence toward a single group.” 

Feminism is a worldwide issue, yet it has so many misconceptions attached to it. It doesn’t mean that women have to reject their femininity or that men have to overcompensate with theirs. For many people, it seems as if women gaining respect can only be accomplished at the expense of men, which is simply untrue.

Senior Andreanela Ordoñez said, “Due to all the misconceptions I believe the message of feminism has gotten lost.”  To her, feminism is, “A movement that tries to get equality for women in all spectrums of society.” 

Senior Andres Vergara said, “I think there’s a stigma about hating men when they’re about gender equality.”

 Miscommunications along these lines promote the man hating label that feminists have; although there are some people who feel this way.

 “There’s been occasions where dominance/superiority becomes the focus for “feminists. This doesn’t apply to the entire movement at all, but it’s a take that some people mistaken,” Echeverria said.

As the feminist movement finds home in our current climate, where more opportunities seem to rise, women of color are often excluded from these conversations. Major historical events that many feminist look up to deny awareness of intersectionality.

 “Being a Latina and a woman will definitely continue placing me in situations of discrimination unfortunately,” said senior Isabel Ortega.

“In my culture there are certain traditions set for women– that is, how their life must be with marriage and a stay-at-home mother– to the clothes I wear.”