I’ve seen a lot of both positive and negative responses to Emma Watson’s UN speech. I was asked for my opinion of her speech by a few people on Facebook and Twitter. So, here I am, typing away.
So, without further ado, here is my bucket of thoughts on the matter –
I didn’t hate it, I didn’t like it, personally I felt it was much like my favorite stuffed bear I had as a child. Not Emma Watson, mind you, but her speech. I loved that bear. My bear was soft, fluffy and comforting. It somehow made me think that the Boogeyman would avoid my room. Well, in reality, the Boogeyman never existed, and my bear would have been completely useless if an intruder broke in to kidnap me. My bear would have just sat there in its adorable clown outfit while I was raped and murdered. Emma’s speech was adorable, and completely useless. It was a teddy bear pretending to be a Rottweiler. Not only that, it furthered the idea that us civilized people are ridiculously narcissistic.
Example: The woman living in the Middle East being stoned to death after she was raped is not so concerned about Obama’s White House paying their female workers less.
Example: The homosexual sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia is, I’m guessing, not so concerned about whether your male friend can feel free to let his emotions floweth.
Example: The little girl suffering through genital mutilation is probably not worried about the fact that Emma was called “bossy.”
To quote Justin Timberlake, “cry me a river” came to mind.
Now, I’m not saying that little issues shouldn’t be addressed, but addressing them in a room with world leaders – a large portion of them still allowing women to be brutalized – is wildly silly. It’s like sitting in a room with Michael Vick and his followers and trying to encourage them to support a Tempur Pedic dog line because your buddy Fido seems to be a bit achy in the morning.
“When I was 8, I was called bossy because I wanted to direct a play we would put on for our parents. When at 14, I started to be sexualized by certain elements of the media. At 15, my girlfriends started dropping out of sports teams because they didn’t want to appear masculine” she boldly proclaims to the man that thinks women should be held down and mutilated so that they don’t feel pleasure during sex.
“At 18, my male friends were unable to express their feelings” she tearfully says while trying to convince a world leader that thinks homosexuals should be beheaded.
“Both men and women should feel free to be sensitive” she says to a world leader who let dogs eat his uncle.
Side note: For people that claim to respect science more than anyone else, those that applaud the idea that men and women should be treated the same emotionally have completely rejected biology so as to create their own overarching moral system. Period. Men and women are different, suicides and depression increased when we started denying this.
So, in the end you can say, “It was meant for the world, not just for the men and women in the room!”, and yet it will still be about as effective as Obama’s hashtag diplomacy in getting anything done. It is ivory tower theatrics, Thurston and Lovey Howell-esque rhetoric. No offense, Emma darling, but the way I feel about your speech is similar to how your side would feel if Romney complained about money. It’s like a pageant contestant saying that they want to end world hunger while standing in a $2000 gown with a cloud of hairspray looming above their head. It’s adorable, it’s predictable, and “powerful” according to a magazine that will spend more than I will make in a lifetime ensuring that they get the first photo of the next celebrity baby named after a piece of fruit. Excuse me if I don’t raise my glass of Dom Perignon to their ability to relate to the little people and decide what is “powerful.”
Sounds harsh? Yes. Yes it does. Life is harsh.
Emma cited Edmund Burke saying, “all that is needed for the forces of evil to triumph is for good men and women to do nothing.” In actuality, that wildly popular quote was never found in his writings, and for the sake of the discussion I’ll post his exact words:
“When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.”
Same meaning, but interestingly enough, I doubt that she would use Edmund Burke as a point of reference in any other way. Why? Well, when he was making these statements, he was simultaneously saying that the preservation of citizens and the success of a country are intrinsically linked to Christianity. He spoke on the rights of ALL men, and the need for restraint of passions frequently. Not to put words in his mouth, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say that he’d have quite a few words for women dressed in vagina costumes fighting to remove rights from innocent infants. He wouldn’t support the various government programs that are aimed not at equality, but at giving the weaker sex as many handouts as possible so as to keep them enslaved (I didn’t call them weaker, liberals did by their actions). That’s not equality, Emma.
She spent a good portion of time discussing why she believes feminism has lost its zest. She claims that it is all about the false man hating rhetoric. I would challenge that position. I would say that it is because we have stripped feminism of its purpose. We have lost sight, Emma. I would say that we traded principles for weapons grade stupidity. There is a woman that sent her child to school with vagina cookies, Emma. Vagina cookies. Then she told the teacher that didn’t particularly appreciate them that she wished her future husband would abuse her for not happily accepting the vagina cookies. There is a woman who changed into a man, and then fought to teach breastfeeding AS a man. He won. A major part of the 2012 election revolved around the words “free contraception.” We call Beyonce empowering for prancing around in a thong and doing sexual favors for her man because she “just wanna be the girl you like.” The word “feminism” is rejected by women with brains not only because so called “feminists” act like man haters, but also because they’ve dumbed us down to petty, weak, ignorant, drama loving toys who don’t care about what is happening to our own sex in other countries.
See, Emma, back in the day women’s rights meant something. We started off saying, “WE ARE MORE THAN OBJECTS!!!!” and have now moved to “LOOK, WE ARE SHINY OBJECTS!!!!” and we pretend that it has something to do with loving our bodies. We started off by saying that life in the womb was sacred, now we are just vending machines that can be emptied and reused. The feminist movement started off by saying that we have minds, that we have individual opinions, and that we should have the right to voice those opinions and be taken seriously. Now we have moved towards the idea that if we don’t support Sir Nurses-A-Lot we don’t care about female empowerment. Emma, I can’t take the lady that sent cookies decorated as vaginas to school with her 2nd Grade daughter seriously. Honestly, at this point I wouldn’t be surprised if she finger paints on her walls with peanut butter and calls herself Picasso.
Feminists of today do not deserve the title. Say I take a can of Spam and slap the label “Steak” on it… Would that make the Spam a steak? No. It would make me desperate to sell you Spam under false pretenses so as to get a higher profit that I shouldn’t receive. This is what feminism has done. It has taken what the original feminists believed to be oppression, and labeled it by a familiar name that makes other people think that they are doing something worthy of their accolades.
Emma spoke of being sexualized, as though it was unwelcomed. Yet she took home a paycheck from Burberry and Lancôme. That’s not an issue in need of calling in the feminist brigade to save her from the grimy hands of men, that’s an issue that feminists themselves have created. They are not consistent in their complaints. They don’t want to be sexualized, but when they get paid to be sexualized it is beautiful because then it is somehow taking pride in their body. They have decided when they get to be a victim, and that doesn’t work.
The problem is that feminism works kind of like a 5 year-old child left to clean his room by himself. Mom comes to the door and suddenly he’s cleaning, Mom walks away and then he is playing again. Emma Watson steps up to a microphone and suddenly it’s all about respecting ourselves and equality, Emma steps away from the microphone and it goes back to being reruns of the vagina monologues and genital pastries. They fight phantom monsters because going after the real monsters are too scary. They don’t have the ability to be a voice for brutalized women because they are too scared to step out of line and be labeled an anti-feminist. The feminists I know are only as brave as their edgy t-shirts and tampon earrings will permit them to be. Heaven forbid they say something that Wendy Davis, Sandra Fluke, and Hillary Clinton wouldn’t agree with.
Feminism hasn’t become a negative term because it has been given a bad rap, it has become a negative term because the current leaders and voices of the movement are idiots.
Some people may be reading this and thinking, “Well, Emma never said that she blatantly supported abortion, nor did she go into detail on her own personal beliefs.” I concur, but that is irrelevant. What is relevant is who is absorbing her message, and what conclusions they come to. What group did this empower? That matters. As much as I’d love to think that there will simply be a bunch of little girls running around saying, “I’m not bossy” – while I hope they one day grow up into someone that isn’t rendered powerless or weakened by a 5 letter word – I know that it won’t end there.
I know that the people doing a fist bump were the individuals that wish to allow little boys into little girls rooms because they “feel different,” without taking any care to evaluate what that might do to the little girls. Because the child that feeds their rhetoric is important, the other children aren’t. A confused little boy shouldn’t have to use the little boy’s room, but the vast number of little girls who will now be confused just need to “get over it” and learn tolerance.
I know some of the individuals who screamed “AMEN” during her speech are the very people that think slicing an infant’s spine at 8 months along is acceptable.
I know that some of those rejoicing over this speech are the very individuals who have turned their back on women, called Islam the religion of peace, and ignored the screams of the millions of brutalized women. All in the name of the cause though, right?
I know that many of those giving Emma accolades are the very same people that don’t think that I should have a gun to protect myself. They fight on behalf of men that may wish to brutalize me, and yet call themselves feminists.
THAT is what matters.
I would have been more impressed had she pointed to her audience and said something similar to the following:
“We as women will give a voice to the child brides and the victims of sex slavery. We will fight for the women that you have allowed to be brutalized. We will ask good men to join us, and we will stand up to men like you. We will stand strong, we will be powerful, and we will be heard. We will show you that we are not mere objects, that we are not weak, and that those silenced by your governments will be remembered. We will not support a porn industry that has aided in the slavery of women. We will no longer let you insult our intelligence. We will be valued. We will not fall for propaganda that leads to us electing leaders that have empowered you. Leaders that have helped you to continue harming us. We refuse to adapt the victim mentality.”
I know I sound like I’m being hard on Emma. I am. I think she means well, but I don’t agree with her on many points, and I refuse to pretend like I do. I support the original goals of the feminist movement, and I support my ability to come to a conclusion that is not spoon fed to me by the religion of feminism. Because THAT is what feminism was originally about.