By Divya Vemulapalli
Many influential, powerful female figures such as Meryl Streep, Lady, and Beyoncé have publicly diassociated themselves with the word ‘feminist’, instead opting for ‘humanist’. Marion Cotillard told Porter magazine that “We need to fight for women’s rights but I don’t want to separate women from men… Sometimes in the word feminism there’s too much separation.”According to Merriam Webster, feminism is the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes as well as organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests. However, feminism is now seen as extreme version of the latter definition that is on the verge of misandry. Thus, many female figures are distancing themselves from this modern connotation of the word feminism.
Emma Watson, on the other hand, is actively attempting to expose the true heart of what feminism is: the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of both sexes. At the start of her HeForShe gender equality campaign, Emma Watson explained to Porter Magazine that she “was encouraged not to use the word ‘feminism’ because people felt that it was alienating and separating and the whole idea of the speech was to include as many people as possible…But I thought long and hard and ultimately felt that it was just the right thing to do. If women are terrified to use the word, how on earth are men supposed to start using it?”
Emma Watson is projecting feminism as what it is – just a word. It is a word that means equality, no matter the person’s gender. In her speech for the campaign, she addressed men, telling them, “I would like to take this opportunity to extend your formal invitation. Gender equality is your issue too.”
Do you think HeForShe just falling into the trap of our male-dominated society? Should Emma Watson’s campaign really be called SheForShe? Or, should we just get rid of the word feminism, and replace it with humanism? After all, we might not all be the same gender, but we are all human. Leave your opinions in the comments below!