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Emma Watson HeForShe

Gender Equality: #HeForShe campaign vs. #womenagainstfeminism

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Men are showing their support for feminism. It’s out with the old “man hating” rhetoric from the modern, third wave feminists. Now there is a new campaign called #HeForShe calling for a solidarity movement for gender equality.

The #HeForShe campaign was introduced by actress Emma Watson in a speech she made, last Saturday, before the United Nations. Watson was recently named as UN Women Goodwill Ambassador. In her speech, which has since gone viral, she laid out the reasons for this new campaign. “The more I have spoken about feminism, the more I have realized that fighting for women’s rights has too often become synonymous with man hating, she stated. “How can we effect change in the world when only half of it is invited or feel welcome to participate in the conversation? Men—I would like to take this opportunity to extend your formal invitation. Gender equality is your issue, too.”

Social media is now filled with tweets and posts of men and women holding #HeForShe signs standing in solidarity with feminists everywhere. Even celebrities are joining the ranks of this campaign declaring feminism is their issue, too.

This campaign seems to be a direct response to #womenagainstfeminism. A social media driven movement by women opposed to modern-day feminism.

The great need for men’s solidarity for gender equality is quite interesting since a recent poll found that only 7% of men are considered to be feminists, while 80% of those polled believed in the social, political and economic equality of men and women. The need for gender equality doesn’t necessarily have to be indicative of feminism itself.

However, not everyone is hash tagging their support of #HeForShe:

Many people in the #womenagainstfeminism movement are opposed to feminism because they believe in the different roles of men and women and celebrate their differences. Gender equality in the feminist movement has often immasculated the male and has often dictated how men should and shouldn’t act.

Is the #HeForShe campaign really about gender equality or just a way to silence an opposition like #womenagainstfeminism who have legitimate concerns about how feminism is hurting the role of men in our society?

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