Once in a while, this blog will veer from the usual theme of positivity to talk about difficult topics that are close to my heart. For one, Violence Against Women. Am I a feminist? I tried to answer that here. In short, I am a mother, just like any other parent, who will do everything in her power to make sure my children will live in a better world.
While Patricia Arquette is getting the heat for how she campaigns for women’s rights and equal pay, I’d like to bring to your attention two other feminists. Different topics, yet the same in highlighting that gender equality is not really women vs men (and not about which is the superior).
- Emma Watson and her active involvement in the He For She campaign. (Her speech as UN Women Goodwill Ambassador, September 2014)
- This week’s horrific news on the brutal rape and murder of a Turkish woman, Ozgecan Aslan, and how it united men in Istanbul to wear miniskirts to campaign for women’s rights in her memory.
Feminism is not solely for women and by women. The goal is not to alienate anyone, especially men. We cannot effect change in doing so. There had been negative reactions around this call to engage men in feminist campaigns, claiming that men too are victims. First of all, these campaigns are not meant to downplay the struggles of men as effects of feminism. It does not even promote that kind of method. It calls for solidarity to address gender equality issues — women AND men. It does not say men for women only. What it says plainly, gender equality is an issue that involves (needs!) men. But this should not distract us from the more pressing issues that women face because of gender. They may no longer be so “horrific” when you are in North America or in another first world country. But these are real issues. Let’s not get confused or distracted.
Whatever may be said against feminists, for as long as I live, for the sake of my daughter and my son, I will continue to speak for gender sensitivity and gender equality. Awareness and inclusion, that’s the goal, for starters. It’s an old issue, yes, but sadly not over.