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Thursday, September 25, 2014

"Desperate Feminists" or How I Feel About That Emma Watson Speech

First thing's first. I have a mountain-sized lady boner for Emma Watson. In my brain-world, we're already BFFs who sometimes make out after sharing too much sangria. I adore her style, her graciousness, her introversion, and the causes she supports. Much to the dismay of my fantasy land, we've never actually met in real life, but she truly seems like a good person. She also wears the dresses of my soul:
Swoon forever.
Sources: Pinterest, myfacehunterchinadaily
I don't know if you've heard about this, but everyone is going ape shit over her UN speech about gender equality and the launching of the HeForShe campaign. Vanity Fair even called the speech "game-changing."
But I'm gonna have to disagree. And, of course, I'm not the only one. Each of those articles raises valid points and you should read them. I could repeat all of their ideas here, but it's almost my bedtime and I don't want to. Whether or not you agree with them, their notions are food for thought. Unfortunately, the vitriol in response to these legitimate critiques are far from gracious. They run along the lines of, "How dare you tear down something that's good for feminism as a whole," "we have to stand together or we'll never get anywhere," "leave Emma alone!!!!", etc. 
Sigh. I get that people are defensive of this. Overall, I do believe this is two points for feminism. Yay us. We still haven't won the game, nor are we even remotely close to the finish line. Our opponent (not men, the patriarchy) is waving at us from the sidelines drinking a Gatorade and we're still out here, sweating and panting (*insert ill-timed sex joke*). Does that analogy make sense? Whatever, I don't know sports.
What I'm trying to say is that it's painfully unfortunate how, in 2014, a surface-scratching feminist speech in mainstream media that doesn't paint us as a horde of man-hating baby-eaters is so desperately coveted that everyone flips their shit when anyone tries to intelligently criticize it. Especially when the critics weren't claiming it an overall bad thing, just that it had flaws, and anything created by humans is flawed, unless that human is Amy Poehler. 
I dunno. I'm feeling a little like a dog* begging for scraps** from the master*** over here. It's fucking depressing, ya'll.
Just so we're all clear on what I mean:
*dog = feminist(s)
**scraps = not being portrayed as a psycho
***master = mainstream media

Like I said, if you want to learn about (some people's opinions on) why that speech wasn't so earth-shattering, check out those articles. There are probably a lot more. 

Overall, I do think this is a good thing. Whatever gets people jazzed up about feminism is a good thing, even if they're only learning surface-level information from one (privileged) perspective. Some of the people who read or watched her speech will do their own research on gender inequality. They will learn about the plethora of issues that make up modern, intersectional feminism, join discussions, talk about it with their friends, and become a full-fledged card-carrying Feminist. Which is great, because we need more (wo)man-power to harvest all those male tears for our energy. 

My only hope is that, 40 years from now, we're not still this excited over a nod in our general direction and a bunch of men posting photos on Twitter. I don't think real progress is too much to ask.

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