There’s been a lot of coverage of Emma Watson’s speech at the UN. It’s a good speech. It’s great that she’s speaking to the issues.
However, I will admit, I am still a little lukewarm about the speech. Watson invites men to be involved in feminism. Men have been involved for quite some time. I don’t think they require an invitation. I don’t think it’s the onus on women to invite them – or to continue to invite them – into the discussion. There’s been some fantastic men speaking out. Sir Patrick Stewart, if you’re looking at actors, has spoken eloquently about male violence. Jackson Katz, if you’re looking beyond Hollywood, has also been eloquent on the topic. Women, of course, have been eloquent for a long time. Continuously offering an invitation when there already are women and men talking about this and acting upon it seems a little redundant. A nice reminder, but…
Many people, of many gender orientations, are talking about feminism, gender, discrimination, inequality. Many people are more or less successful. The issues of feminism are complex and I don’t think it’s about getting it right all the time. It’s about acting. It’s about more than creating new hashtags.
There is a lovely article about the speech by Mia McKenzie. I found myself nodding along to it.
I don’t wish to undermine Emma Watson herself, but I do think the discussion about her speech needs to be more inclusive. She many be one of the voices of her generation, but let’s not forget that there are other generations, other voices, and they’ve been talking too. They’ve made excellent speeches too.