Emma Watson gave an impassioned and effective speech at the U.N. headquarters in New York. The address was as part of the launch of “HeForShe” campaign.
Amit provided a portion of a transcript of her speech.
Gender equality is your issue too. Because to-date, I have seen my father’s role as a parent being valued less by society — despite my needing his presence as a child as much as my mother’s. I’ve seen men suffering from mental illness unable to ask for help for fear it will make them less of man. (…) I have seen men made fragile and insecure by a distorted sense of what constitutes male success.
Men don’t have the benefits of equality either. We don’t talk often about men being imprisoned by gender stereotypes. But they are. And when they are free, things will change for women as a natural consequence.
If men don’t have to be aggressive in order to be accepted, women won’t feel compelled to be submissive. If men don’t have to control, women won’t have to be controlled. Both men and women should feel free to be sensitive. Both men and women should feel free to be strong.
It is time we all perceive gender on a spectrum instead of two sets of opposing ideas. If we stop defining each other by what we are not and start defining ourselves by who we are, we can all be freer.