Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few days you’ll know that British actress Emma Watson gave a rousing speech about the campaign for gender equality at the United Nations.
Problem is the speech, wonderfully articulate and inspiring as it was, paled into insignificance when a countdown clock appeared online, hinting that Watson would be the next starlet to fall foul of 4chan’s photo hoarding hackers. They’re the ones who set the internet alight earlier this month.
Within hours all hell broke loose online, with media organisations and commenters rushing to Watson’s defence. And yet, while attempting to defend her honour, some of these well-intentioned individuals managed to completely disregard the very argument she was throwing her weight behind.
Anyone who has actually bothered to do a bit of research on feminism will know that it’s not supposed to have anything to do with blaming or hating men. In fact, all feminism is really about is the quest for equality.
That’s why it’s such a pity some women have to go and make the rest of us out to be man-hating eejits.
When Emma Watson took to that podium it felt as though she was taking the words right out of my mouth. She acknowledged that there are men out there who want women to be their equals, men who would do anything to help us obliterate that glass ceiling and create a truly level playing field once and for all.
That’s why I was rather disappointed to see much of the internet cry blue murder at the “evil men of 4chan” who would do anything to bring a strong, intelligent woman down. Who said women couldn’t be behind the plot too though? We’re just as hard, if not tougher at times, on the female of the species.
I’ve been incredibly lucky in that I haven’t come across many man who didn’t treat me as an equal. In fact, I’ve been so fortunate that I find it hard to fathom a world in which a man wouldn’t treat me with the respect I have been afforded by so many to date.
Don’t get me wrong though, I know that is most definitely NOT the case for an endless number of women. Inequality is still a problem and yes, some men, are nothing short of piggish in their blatant disregard for the err, fairer sex.
Yesterday the world discovered that the 4chan threat was a hoax, orchestrated by a group who wanted to bring the site to its knees. Jezebel got the 411 via the Associated Press if you’re interested. Sickened by the antics that left the likes of JLaw and Jessica Brown Findlay feeling shamed and furious, the people behind rantic.com decided to strike while the iron was still hot.
Unfortunately, in doing so, they stole the attention the HeForShe message so thoroughly deserved.
Instead of talking about how men could support women, we were once again discussing the fact that some men just wanted to bring a good girl down. For those behind it, the positive message, the push for gender equality to be recognised as a universal issue and the drive to bring the sexes together was ultimately deemed less important than a publicity stunt.
Nevertheless, the actress certainly managed to get her point across. If we’re ever going to be truly equal, us girls and boys need to work together.
EleMENtary, my dear Miss Watson.