Wednesday, March 11, 2015

He For She

It occurred to me that some of my readers may not be aware of important background material for my own blog and work. In order not to confuse the message, I'm pre-empting the economics post, look for it tomorrow.

Yesterday, I tagged my post with HeForShe, the UN Women campaign for gender equality. Emma Watson gave a speech to kick off the campaign:
"For the record, feminism, by definition, is the belief that men and women should have equal rights, and opportunities." - Emma Watson, HeForShe campaign 2014

More on the key concepts and my take below the cut:

  • Much has been achieved by the feminist movement and women’s rights organizations in promoting gender equality to this day; however, progress has been uneven between and among countries with pervasive gender-based discrimination continuing in every country and region; 
  • It is the time to capitalize on the recognition that women’s empowerment is essential for inclusive economic growth, social cohesion and social justice, environmental balance, and for progress in all spheres of life; 
  • Men and boys need to be part of the global movement to promote women’s rights both as advocates and stakeholders, who need to change to make gender equality a reality for all. This is not about women or men, it is about crafting a shared vision of human progress for all – about creating a solidarity movement between women and men for the achievement of gender equality. [Source]

Like Emma Watson said, there has been a smear campaign against the word "feminist." Anti-feminists want to twist the word feminism into the antisemitic and tone-deaf "feminazi", and assume that a person claiming to be a feminist hates men.

That's perhaps even more true in the conservative-leaning engineering community that I have been a part of.

I've already written about how I didn't claim the term "feminist," even when I was a young engineering student. Many other women in STEM fields also would not have called themselves "feminist," even as they did the work.

I'll also leave this Time magazine article here, as it also describes many different types of feminism: Feminist Is a 21st Century Word