The need and desire for gender equality isn’t something that has sprung up overnight. For decades, feminists have aimed at making the world equal, not by man-hating or bra-burning but by challenging how the world sees sex and gender. As Bell Hooks notes in her book, Feminism is For Everybody, gender equality isn’t enough. Until sexism and a patriarchal society are conquered, there can never be such thing as true equality.
However, women aren’t the only ones who need to be a part of this movement to eliminate sexism and patriarchy. While women are vital to a movement seeking balance between the sexes, men are valuable allies- men who know that sexism is damaging and that equality is necessary.
This past week however, a revolutionary new campaign was introduced and seeks to recruit more men in the fight for equality. Created by UN Women, an organization “dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women”, He For She is the newest movement for gender equality (heforshe.org, 2014). Unlike any other before it, He for She is a movement geared specifically towards men. The campaign was brought into media spotlight this past week when UN Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson, well known for her role as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter series, gave a speech about why He For She is necessary and how it will change the world.
While men have been fighting with women for equality since the early years of feminism, larger numbers are needed to win the battle that has lasted throughout time. The goal of the campaign is to “[bring] together one half of humanity in support of the other of humanity, for the entirety of humanity” (heforshe.org, 2014). Instead of having just women or just men fight for the cause, He For She seeks to unite everyone under the same cause and show that equality isn’t just a women’s issue.
The beauty of this campaign also lies within the fact that it is borderless. No matter where you live or what country you are from, people who visit HeForShe.org can take a pledge to show their commitment to the cause. Over 150,000 men have already taken the pledge and the numbers are growing daily. Men from almost every country in the world have already taken the pledge, showing how powerful He For She has and will become. In fact, in the United States alone, over 45,000 men have already taken the pledge to take action against violence and discrimination against women, and celebrities like Tom Hiddleston and Harry Styles have already joined the movement. Also, women and men can contribute at any time by tweeting or instagramming using #HeForShe.
Equality among sexes and genders is something that has been sought after for years, but until both men and women join forces to stop sexism, it can never become a reality. Women face hardships because of discrimination and violence every day, and it’s time we took a stand. Instead of women and men fighting against sexism separately, it’s time to band together and put an end to inequality once and for all because after all, “all that is needed for the forces of evil to triumph is for enough good men and women to do nothing” (UN, 2014).
Blogger Maddie Gallegos can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.