My Top 6 Takeaways

HeForShe-photo-1

(Photo: HeForShe)

1. Not Everyone Loves HeForShe. In several of my posts – my slacktivism post, my pronouns post.. – I recalled a few groups and people who are a bit more critical of the campaign. From the name of the campaign itself, to the specific calls to action it makes, people have problems with HeForShe. Like I have mentioned previously, I think this type of criticism is inevitable with such a hot topic issue. Every one is entitled to their opinion, and that doesn’t mean that HeForShe is bad or in any way not necessary. So that brings me to my next takeaway…

2. A Lot of People Love HeForShe. Although some people have problems with certain aspects of the campaign, others sing its praises. I went into this more in depth in a previous post, but now more than ever, many believe that we need HeForShe. It is a groundbreaking campaign, and it addresses many persistent issues in society today. I spoke about this in my modern misconceptions post, and noted how  Emma Watson directly addresses false notions of feminism. I think it is about time someone takes a stand on this issue, so that misguided groups like Women Against Feminism are more informed about the true meaning of feminism and gender equality.

Emma

(Photo: HeForShe)

3. People Also Love Emma Watson. Speaking of Watson, people are largely fans of the actress and have positive sentiments toward her. This touches on the power of celebrity that I mentioned in my “what if?” post, and how Watson’s positive reputation combined with her many accomplishments – film roles and a degree from Brown University – have won many people over. She was the perfect person to be the face of the campaign, and many agree.

4. Social Media Had a Huge Role. I truly believe that if it weren’t for the existence of social media and its profound role in how we communicate, the campaign wouldn’t have gained as much traction as it did. The YouTube video of Watson making her speech has had nearly 1.5 million views, and people everywhere shared it on their own social media platforms, further spreading HeForShe to countless networks. If you search the #HeForShe hashtag today, you will notice people are still talking about it.

H4S_Pins

(Photo: DIA)

5. There Was A Lot of Thought Behind the Design. The look of HeForShe is very distinct, and after some research, I found that the design of the campaign was purposeful and distinct. In my post about the strategic design of HeForShe, I go into detail of how the HeForShe logo came to be, and that process shows how thoughtful the whole campaign is. I appreciate it because I am a design nerd, but I think others will appreciate how all-encompassing the campaign is.

6. There Are Tangible Efforts Being Made. Like how I mentioned in my slacktivism post (and my first takeaway in this post), some people believe that HeForShe is just another case of slacktivism where people will tweet their support, but do nothing else other than that. But, very recently, some huge strides have been made that work toward HeForShe’s goal of gender equality. In my post about the goals of HeForShe being tangible, I lay out specific examples of these strides. From more men stepping up to promote gender equality, to state policies being enacted, a difference is being made all over the world. 

Thank you so much for following me through my journey of looking closely at the HeForShe campaign. I learned a lot through the process, and I hope that everyone who followed along learned just as much! I am hoping to continue this blog with other insights and discoveries that spark my interest. From movies, to television and books, and most likely any more information I find on HeForShe, I am making it a goal to keep this blog going!

Thanks again for reading, and stay tuned for more posts soon! 🙂

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Making HeForShe’s Goal Tangible

Many have tweeted or publicly stated that they support the HeForShe campaign. But in addition to all of this support, have initiatives been in place as a result of HeForShe? I did some digging to see if I could prove critics wrong – that HeForShe isn’t just a case of slacktivism, which I described in detail in a previous post.

In my “What if?” post, I mentioned the possibility of a boy or man being in the place of Emma Watson. Little did I know, that UN Women has in fact implemented a male UN Women Goodwill Ambassador. His name is Farhan Akhtar, and he is a critically acclaimed Bollywood star (Tulshyan). Akhtar was appointed South Asia Ambassador to help advance empowerment of women and girls by engaging men and boys (Tulshyan). Like how I mentioned in a recent post where I discussed the power of celebrity, Akhtar is largely successful and relevant in the Bollywood community, quite possibly making him the best leader in the for South Asia and the movement toward gender equality. He is a director, actor, screenwriter, producers, singer, songwriter and TV Star (Tulshyan). What probably landed him the title of UN Women Goodwill Ambassador was probably the launch of his campaign called MARD (Men Against Rape and Discrimination). MARD is designed “to create awareness and to instill gender equality and respect towards women” (“The Initiative” MARD). I think Akhtar’s appointment makes UN Women and the HeForShe campaign more credible trustworthy. They are not only calling on men and boys to fight for gender equality, they are putting that mission into practice by having Akhtar be a Goodwill Ambassador.

Farhan Akhtar

(Photo: MARD Facebook)

In addition to UN Women pushing their own initiative forward the Kenyan government has as well. Recently, Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru, who had launched a campaign called 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence, said that the new policy ensures that aims to prevent gender-based violence and properly respond to it when it does happen (Kibet). Waiguru also added that “the implementation of the document ensured that every Kenyan was assured of a safe and secure environment where human rights were respected and protected” (Kibet). This initiative, which occurred after the launch of HeForShe, not only moves toward gender equality, but also emphasizes how these issues are human rights issues, just like what Watson said in her speech. 

Another tangible effort that occurred recently was in Great Britain when Michael Oliver, a soccer referee for Premier League and also head of Northumberland Football Association’s referee academy, quit because of the failure to not fire John Cummings, the National Football Associations’s (NFA) president, for discriminating against a female referee (BBC). The Football Association did ban John Cummings for four months for telling Lucy May – who is also Oliver’s finance – “a woman’s place is in the kitchen and not on a football field” (BBC). The NFA ruled that the ban as well as a £250 fine was sufficient punishment (BBC). Oliver’s protest in quitting and standing up for May, as well as women everywhere who are affected by those hateful comments, epitomizes what Watson wanted out of HeForShe.

These are just some of the very recent instances where the main goals of HeForShe are coming to life. There is still a very long way to go, but the strides mentioned – which are on a very large scale – are just the beginning of what can happen as a result of HeForShe.

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Kibet, Lonah. “State Launches Policy on Gender Violence.” Standard Digital. 27 November 2014. Web. 29 November 2014.

“Ref Quits Over ‘Kitchen Insult’ Row.” BBC. 21 November 2014. Web. 29 November 2014.

“The Initiative.” MARD. 2014. Web. 29 November 2014.

Tulshyan, Ruchika. “Moved By Emma Watson’s HeForShe Speech? Then You’ll Love UN Women’s Newest Ambassador.” Forbes. 17 November 2014. Web. 29 November 2014.