The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

‘HeforShe’ campaign: calls for equality

“Gender equality is your issue too.” 

Emma Watson made this statement when she called on men to support the “HeforShe” gender equality campaign this past weekend when speaking at the United Nations.

 Gender equality is still a prevalent issue in today’s society, and Watson, beloved actress and U.N. Women’s Goodwill Ambassador, delivered a moving speech supporting the HeForShe campaign Saturday.

According to the campaign’s website, HeForShe is a solidarity movement for gender equality that brings together one half of humanity in support of the other half, for the entirety of humanity. The goal is for 100,000 men to join in the campaign and support the women in their lives and all over the world.

Watson began her speech and called for men to join in the fight for gender equality because it is not a gender-specific issue.

“Today, we are launching a campaign called HeForShe. I am reaching out to you before we need your help. We want to end gender inequality, and to do this, we need everyone involved. This is the first campaign of its kind at the UN,” she said in her speech. “We want to try to galvanize as many men and boys as possible to be advocates for change, and we don’t just want to talk about it. We want to try and make sure that it’s tangible.”

 Watson was selected as Goodwill Ambassador for U.N. Women earlier this year, and she stressed the fact feminism does not equate with “man-hating.”

Watson addressed the false image feminism has developed, and she relayed some of her own personal struggles with gender inequality. Her stirring speech recognized the issues that men face as well.

 “I am from Britain, and I think it is right that I am paid the same as my male counterparts. I think it is right that I should be able to make decisions about my own body. I think it is right that women be involved on my behalf in the policies and the decisions that affect my life. I think it is right that socially, I am afforded the same respect as men,” she said.

 She went on to say HeForShe is about freedom and  we, as a society, have to put an end to defining one another based on whether we are male or female.

 The       website has generated support from men around the world. To date, 111,711 men have signed a pledge to support equal treatment of women. Many celebrities such as Russell Crowe, Tom Hiddleston and (Watson’s costar in “Perks of Being a Wallflower”)  (Logan Lerman) have signed the petition.

 Hiddleston took to Twitter to compliment Watson and the campaign.

“@EmWatson you are impeccable & extraordinary. I stand with you. I believe in gender equality,” he said.

Elizabeth Woodliff, sophomore business administration major, said Watson’s speech allowed her to realize the importance of the support of both sexes in the fight against gender-specific role typing.

“I’m really inspired by her confidence to represent such important issues,” she said. “Her speech made me consider the male’s role in tackling gender equality.”

Support for the HeforShe campaign has already been tremendous. Watson leaves us with the lingering question, “If not me, who? If not now, when?”

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‘HeforShe’ campaign: calls for equality