Tag Archives: Harry Potter

Feminist Friday: Emma Watson, HeForShe and the UN

It’s really, really nice when women my age publicly refer to themselves as feminists.

I don’t know about the other millennials out there, but my peer group seems to be plagued with apathy posing as nonconformity. People my age refuse to call themselves liberal or conservative; Democrat or Republican; political or non-political. I guess they are under the impression that not taking sides is noble and enlightened, instead of uninformed and cowardly. I think my generation is either afraid of offending somebody or is simply convinced that speaking up really doesn’t matter. I, for one, know that my so-called feminist rants and liberal agenda can be off-putting. Occasionally, I do try to reign it in. But most of the time I just go for it. As Emma Watson recently asked, “If not me, who? If not now, when?”

As you can see from the preceding clip, Emma Watson of Wingardium Leviosa fame addressed the United Nations earlier this week. She was speaking on behalf of a new campaign that is striving for gender equality: HeForShe. There is so much I love about her speech. The way her voice quivers and wavers, so you know she is nervous and actually gives a shit. Her personal examples of the way gender has repeatedly hindered her and her friends. Her self-deprecating manner as she implores her audience to take her seriously, even if she is only the “Harry Potter girl.” But–more than anything else–I appreciate how she argues that women and men will never really be equal if they do not work together.

I include myself when I say that many feminists and gender activists often ignore or forget men. In my case, it is so easy to only hear the Todd Akins, Mitt Romneys and Rush Limbaughs of the world, that writing off all male input seems to be the best way to preserve my sanity. But that is not right. Because, to paraphrase Gloria Steinem, gender is a prison for women and men. Just like it is unfair to govern a woman’s body and to pay her only 75% of what she should be earning, it is unfair for men to be embarrassed for being their children’s primary caregivers or for wearing something “feminine.” Especially if it is this guy. HeForShe is laudable because it recognizes both sexes as valuable assets for feminism.

And, even though it should not have to be said, Watson and her cause make plain that feminism is NOT anti-men. Giving women power is not the same as stripping men of theirs. I want to say thank you to Emma Watson for being the rare young person to take a stand.  And I’m a little bit in love with her for being the rare young woman who knows what feminism means and is more than happy to give it her support.

(Images #1 and #2 courtesy of facebook.com) 

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Feminist Friday: “The Muscle-Flexing, Mind-Blowing Book Girls Will Inherit The Earth”

I recently moved into my first apartment, and I am ridiculously proud of it. I painted on my own, bought some functional-yet-cute furniture at IKEA (the Holy Grail for ex-college students everywhere) and covered up my beige carpeting with a beautiful kilum rug. But I didn’t truly feel at home at my new place until my book shelf was put up and stocked with assorted novels, memoirs, textbooks, short story collections, graphic narratives, anthologies and some childhood favorites. My room was not really mine until my books materialized:

IMG_0692

(Just an observation: this is much more impressive in person, but enjoy the glimpse into my real life.)

The joy of a nice book shelf and library will always trump Kindles and iPads. You can’t love digital literature the way you cherish a tangible, broken-in tome (she said, writing from a laptop). Luckily, I am not the only person who feels this way. Maybe civilization isn’t in a rapid free-fall after all…

Linda Holmes FF

National Public Radio‘s Linda Holmes wrote about the special connection between young women and reading yesterday on Monkey See, NPR’s pop culture blog. The post is called “The Muscle-Flexing, Mind-Blowing Book Girls Will Inherit The Earth.” As someone who has read about more experiences than has actually lived them*, it was wonderful for me to hear about the passion that young women have for strong characters and good stories. Check out the post here:

http://www.npr.org/blogs/monkeysee/2014/06/05/319064976/the-muscle-flexing-mind-blowing-book-girls-will-inherit-the-earth 

And, for God’s sake, please keep reading real books. Don’t give Amazon anymore power.

(Image #1 courtesy of yours truly; #2 courtesy of npr.org; #3 courtesy of metafilter.com)

*Don’t judge me