You still remember Hermione Granger? Exactly! That was about as long ago, as my last blogpost about gender equality. Eventhough it is actually one of my favorite things to talk about, also way too important to leave it aside. After I’ve been mainly talking about my own experience in my past two articles, I have decided to take a closer look at what is being done to this matter in the world. Back to Hermione Granger.
Emma Watson has done, what I never managed to accomplish. She one day left Harry Potter behind and started using her energy for something, that could actually make a change in the world. Just this past week Anne Hathaway has taken her place as UN Goodwill ambassador. A position that isn’t entirely dedicated for gender equality, but it was greatly interesting to see what a feminist was able to accomplish in this position. This January Emma relaunched the UN Woman Solidary Movement HeForShe. If you follow Emma on any Social Media platforms, you couldn’t have missed it. My first thought: Interesting, but rather radical.
That has brought me to questioning: How radical is an organization like this supposed to be? HeForShe has brought light to certain aspect of this whole issue, that I have never even thought before. The thought when founding the movement as merely different from the thought, that leads the organization today: Men fighting for Women. Until this year, only men were able to make the commitment at HeForShe. In 2014, when the movement first went online, that must have been something new for certain. But it was clear fast, that only men leading the movement simply won’t do. The whole situation was rethought.
Men and women for women. That sort of implicates, that only women are fighting with issues, when it comes to equality. HeForShe has given these men not only a voice, to fight for women, but to fight for men as well, which is desperately needed, even to this day. Women’s issues are everyone’s issues, because not only women are dealing with them.
Men and women for men and women. The deepest interpretation of equality within the foundation of a whole organization. This is how HeForShe works. Asking the right questions when it comes to education, health, identity, violence and politics and giving the right answers. Who is treated better? Who is dealing with prejudice? Who suffers and why? The answers are usually for the worse for women, but men also aren’t living on planet earth to fit in. HeForShe looks at almost every country in the world, explains the facts, analyses the chances and conflicts. But it’s not only here to tell you what is going on. HeForShe is more, that just an awareness campaign. HeForShe was found for change. It was found to give advice, to call to action. To encourage to do something.
About 14.000 Germans have made the commitment so far. 10.000 of them are men. That speaks more than enough, about the situation we are dealing with. While women have been in the “I’ll show you, I can do it too”-mood in my opinion, men are saying: “You don’t have to prove anything. We also don’t always sit on the chair, we have been seated on.”
- It’s not okay. // Education
To say that someone is or acts „like a boy“ or „like a girl“ doesn’t seem as anything wrong at first sight. But really it is. Today, in 2016 we know that there is more to identify as a human, than simply male or female. Telling children to act certain ways, that are based on a system of values, of which we know, doesn’t have a lot in common with the real world, should rather be considered as rude and inappropriate and should be corrected at all times. HeForShe reminds you, that making the commitment means to call out on stereotypes and to tell teachers, coaches and parents, that it is no okay. But would you? I for sure didn’t back in school, even though I should have.
- Break the taboo // Health
Health issues, that only effect women or only effect men are still treated as a universal taboo, that no one really feels comfortable talking about. Viral trends have proven though, that a change is coming. And it’s coming fast. “Period talk” has become a huge subject on the internet. Women are talking openly. They make jokes, they discuss, they share their point of view, outside of the pink, fluffy world of their high school pajama parties. And honestly, what’s the matter? Why are people losing their shit, when they see a tampon or a bloody sheet? There’s really much more on the web, to actually lose your shit about.
- Don’t laugh // Work
This matter affects me pesonally the most. The advertising industry is fast, vibrant and modern. For the World Women’s Day a campaign by one of the biggest international advertising agencies has been launched, where you could see men reading out quotes, that have actually been said to women in advertising, Extremely well made, but a shame for a whole industry, that is actually known to have stepped out of the past a long time ago. Who am I supposed to act when a co-worker makes a super funny “Easter-bunny” joke about me and another woman? “What was this 20/20 campaign all about again?”. But that makes you such a feminist downer, that can’t even take a joke. I’d rather go back saying, “noo, it’s all good”, and laugh about something, that just isn’t funny really. Where is the line? When is one joke one to many? Is it better to be the downer at your office, but to stand for you values? Or is it simply unnecessary to make a fuss about on obnoxious joke? Peace on the costs of gender equality?
A subject, that is so difficult to talk about, so difficult to find your own stand, to make your own opinion. HeForShe is here to help, but the steps they suggest and the things you can actually do in your everyday life, are so much smaller, to me it sometimes feels like as if it was impossible to really make a commitment after all. That is a shame and that has to stop, but it is a start.