my name is chrisoakland ca
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- The demands
- Ferguson unrest cost county $4.2 million
- Lost Voices - “Mike Brown means fight back” (video)
- Holder: Ferguson shooting presents country with “moment of decision”
- At the UN, Obama invokes Ferguson: “We welcome the scrutiny of the world”
- Segregation’s long shadow
- In a post-Ferguson world, Americans increasingly doubt the notion of colorblind justice
septvms said: I think miss Watson is trying to use her privileged position in a positive way for something she believes in, which I think is actually something she should be congratulated on, I don't think at any point she comes off as thinking she knows most about the subject or is best suited to the role, and actually asks 'why' she is there, maybe it is not her fault she was picked but the heforshe org ? but she's using her high profile position to speak out about something that's actually important
Some people have been reblogging my post saying similar things, and all seem to have the impression that I was/am criticising Emma Watson. This kind of isn’t about her. I quite like her. It’s a little bit bigger than that. The idea that feminism need be popularised, de-fanged, cleaned-up so as to feel non-threatening and appealing to both men and the women who wish to appease them, is the issue.
If Emma Watson wants to use her high profile to champion a cause she feels strongly about, that’s swell. But she spoke at the U.N.. She Spoke at the U.N. about feminism, and her speech completely depoliticised feminism. Feminism is a political movement, it’s not just a word that can be attached to anything or anyone that looks as if it/they might care to end sexism. The purpose of Emma Watson’s speech, of Emma Watson being invited to deliver it, was to give feminism a make-over with words like “fighting for women’s rights has too often become synonymous with man-hating. If there is one thing I know for certain, it is that this has to stop,” and, “We don’t want to talk about men being imprisoned by gender stereotypes but I can see that they are. When they are free, things will change for women as a natural consequence.” Her brand of feminism, the popular kind, is not feminism at all because it is male-focused, image-conscious, weak and ultimately meaningless for women. And don’t forget that “man-hating” is code for “lesbian”, so she might as well have said, “Don’t worry, feminists are still fuckable!” ‘Feminism’ that distances itself from lesbians or any ‘threatening’ or otherwise unappealing women in order to appease men is not feminism. It’s complete rubbish.
Emma Watson was the one who was given the opportunity to address the U.N. on the subject of feminism, which she clearly knows little about. My concern is over the fact that there are women who could have spoken in her place and delivered a galvanising speech that made every man uncomfortable, that made women everywhere stop and think, that made everyone open their eyes a little, that made every leader in the room squirm in their seat. Feminism is not supposed to be popular or easy for men to embrace because it is by nature challenging to men. That’s what makes it a political movement. If you strip a political movement of its politics, it becomes nothing. And ‘nothing’ is not going to end misogyny.
tl;dr: An important question to ask is this, I think: why is it important that high profile women, rather than feminist writers or activists, speak about feminism? I think the answer, for some, is that their doing so makes feminism popular and easier to digest, which they view as a positive thing. The second question we should ask ourselves, then, is this: why does feminism need to be popular and digestible, and what are the consequences of this for feminism as a political movement?