HeForShe brings men into the gender equality movement

For years, women have been fighting for their rights and equality of the sexes. At times, it has seemed as though women were the only ones standing up for their rights. To promote the importance of gender equality to both sexes, the “HeForShe” Campaign was launched by the United Nations on Sept. 20, 2014.

The “HeForShe” Campaign is a feminist movement to end gender inequality. An idea that not all embrace, even in this day and age.

The goal of the campaign, launched by the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, is to bring the two sexes together in support of each other, both professionally and personally. The campaign supports the idea that both men and women should feel free to be sensitive and vulnerable, yet strong.

“I believe that men and women should share the same rights because every human was blessed with certain rights,” said freshman marketing major Isaiah Williams. “Those rights shouldn’t be taken away because of your gender. I think people should be free to be themselves.”

At the launching of the “HeForShe” Campaign, the United Nations Women set a goal to assemble the first 100,000 men in support of the campaign. This goal was successfully accomplished in three days.

From the time it was first launched in September, the “HeForShe” Campaign has also received the support of many famous faces in the media. One famous supporter and the spokeswoman for the campaign is Emma Watson, known for her role as Hermione Granger in the “Harry Pottermovie series.

Watson gave a speech to the United Nations on Sept. 20, 2014, stressing the importance of every person’s involvement in this movement. She addressed the negative stigma associated with feminism and how it is often “synonymous with man-hating.” Watson said that feminism is “the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. It is the theory of the political, economic and social equality of the sexes.”

According to an article written by Dan Holliday, “Women were needed at home because the lack of sophistication in society basically relegated most men and women into the roles that they had: men = physical power/social manager and women = home power/child-bearer.”

While in the U.S., stereotypical ideas about gender roles are not as prominent, around the world, many societies still accept the traditionally defined roles.

“Violence against women and girls is a global problem; it harms women, families, communities, and societies,” said Ban Ki-Moon, United Nations secretary general in a public statement. “We can only stop it by working together. Women and men.”

Although having influential people supporting a movement helps gain traction, it’s equally important to have the rest of the world in support of something in order for it to be successful.

“It is completely important for us as a society to evolve and grow,” said freshman biological sciences major Clay Mitchell. “Eventually the norms will change. One sex isn’t superior to the other.”

While the campaign is specifically aimed at gaining equalities between the sexes, it will also help to create a better future for all people if it is successful.

“If we stop defining each other by what we are not and start defining ourselves by what we are, we can all be freer, and this is what HeForShe is about,” said Watson in her speech. “It’s about freedom.”

For more information on the “HeForShe” campaign, or to join the movement, go to http://www.heforshe.org.

Martha Steiner

About the Author Martha Steiner

I’m a small town farm girl from northwest Missouri who is passionate about God, singing, writing, chocolate and Mizzou football! I am the youngest of six kids and the last to attend the University of Missouri — and definitely the most passionate about being a tiger! I enjoy leading worship, camping, spending time with my friends and family, and reading. I’ve never traveled outside of the country, but I would love to travel all over the world someday. Although I grew up on a black Angus beef cattle farm, I’ve always preferred eating a hot dog to a hamburger!