This article was published on January 28th, 2015
Why should we care about feminism in 2015? According to Emma Watsons infamous speech at the United Nations, feminism, has became a “bad word” and associated with a polarity of genders; men are bad and women’s rights, or lack there of, are related to male privilege.
A new narrative has surfaced; women’s equality is embedded in the liberation of gender social construction that includes all of us. In other words, the emancipation of masculinity is critical in the liberation of women. There is a quote from a feminist who once said, “those who rock the cradle, rule the world”.
Just close your eyes for one moment and ask yourself, as a child who spent the most time with you in a heterosexual family structure; your mother or father?
We are all a part of how we perceive gender and as a society reinforce acceptable social norms with respect to men and women. According to Emma, this is killing men and marginalizing women. She quotes statistics from the United Kingdom where suicide is the highest amongst males between men 20 – 49 years old and is the biggest killer eclipsing road accidents, cancer and heart disease.
The burden of men having to conform to social norms, including not crying, sharing feelings or being the financial provider is weighing heavy on our society. Many men today never grew up with male mentors as most of our fathers were away for work as our mothers did the child rearing so we never learned how to share or express suffering as it was perceived as a weakness or being a “sissy”. She argues that the liberation of women comes with the liberation of men, by celebrating their vulnerability, accepting them as equals and allowing them to express themselves in non-traditional ways. Not being held to the confines of a socially constructed image of masculinity.
When you see men wearing heals do you think “what a queen”? How many times have you heard “he throws a ball like a girl”? What are we saying, that being a girl is less than? It is time to create a world were everyone wants to throw a ball like a girl. Here is the paradox; all these gender labels marginalize both men and women.
Lets create a world where men and women can be whoever they need to be without fear of walking home along, wearing what they want or loving whoever they fall in love with. Be whoever you need to be and women will be along side the men in our journey of equality.