By now you have probably heard (or at least heard about) Emma Watson’s UN speech on feminism and gender stereotypes. If you haven’t I would highly recommend you take a few minutes to listen to it, it’s quite inspirational.
I love how she uses the word “tangible” in her speech. I think coming up with measures that have the best shot at success is such an important, and often overlooked, part of what needs to be done. We can scream about and gather all the statistics on domestic abuse, wage gap, street harassment, rape, STEM fields and may other parts of
women’s everyone’s lives that are negatively effected by sexism. But until we can come up with tangible steps that can be taken, not much will change. Unfortunately every time we yell about a problem facing us some one else, with hate in their heart, yells back. Every time we post one of those statistics they post reasons why they are invalided. Every time we try to lead others down the path to equality they try to put up roadblocks. In fact in response to Emma Watson addressing the UN, they have unleashed death threats, rape threats, and website counting down the release of nude photos. To achieve a truly equal society than we need to do more than just want it. We need to do what those spewing hate can not, we need to take action.
Here is what Melissa Atkins Wardy, Author of “Redefining Girly” has to say on the matter, “Our energy has to be spent on truly empowering our girls, which extends beyond facebook memes and movie characters and cleverly-marketed toys. It is the daily, sometimes grueling work of instilling in our daughters an unshakable knowledge that she has worth. Everything else in the world will tell her otherwise.”
“Our energy must also be spent on our sons, which is an often overlooked yet absurdly obvious answer to the problem of a culture of men who threaten through internet comments unspeakable sexual crimes against women, who create a color-coded system to give girls date rape drugs, or who fail to take a stand against other men who beat women senseless. And that’s just this week’s headlines. Our energy must go into expanding the current definition of what it means to be masculine, so that our boys can grow into men who are allowed to be full human beings for whom having emotions and feelings is acceptable. We can teach our sons that violence is not a path to power. We can instill in our sons an unshakable truth that girls and women have value.”
“…as a society of mothers and fathers who take responsibility for our collective children turning out to be good people.”
I have made myself a promise that I will take action. This has been my motivation behind advocating for Women’s Empowerment Week. I know this can be a tangible measure that can be taken. I will not just sit back and shake my head. I will put what ever I can into this cause . If I give it my all then, even if I fail, I will be able to look back some day and say “I tried”. If I never tried then I would only be able to look back and say “maybe I could have”.