Poll: Emma Watson's Speech on Gender Equality

BloatedGuppy

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Didn't see a topic on this, thought it was worth discussing. Apparently Hermione Granger, not satisfied with crusading solely on behalf of House Elves, has now been appointed a UN Woman's Ambassador.

Transcript of her speech here:

http://www.unwomen.org/en/news/stories/2014/9/emma-watson-gender-equality-is-your-issue-too

I thought I would touch on one part in particular, as this forum is primarily male.

Men-I would like to take this opportunity to extend your formal invitation. Gender equality is your issue too.

Because to date, I?ve seen my father?s role as a parent being valued less by society despite my needing his presence as a child as much as my mother's.

I've seen young men suffering from mental illness unable to ask for help for fear it would make them look less "macho"-in fact in the UK suicide is the biggest killer of men between 20-49; eclipsing road accidents, cancer and coronary heart disease. I've seen men made fragile and insecure by a distorted sense of what constitutes male success. Men don?t have the benefits of equality either.

We don't often talk about men being imprisoned by gender stereotypes but I can see that that they are and that when they are free, things will change for women as a natural consequence.

If men don?t have to be aggressive in order to be accepted women won't feel compelled to be submissive. If men don?t have to control, women won?t have to be controlled.

Both men and women should feel free to be sensitive. Both men and women should feel free to be strong...It is time that we all perceive gender on a spectrum not as two opposing sets of ideals.

If we stop defining each other by what we are not and start defining ourselves by what we are-we can all be freer and this is what HeForShe is about. It's about freedom.

I want men to take up this mantle. So their daughters, sisters and mothers can be free from prejudice but also so that their sons have permission to be vulnerable and human too?reclaim those parts of themselves they abandoned and in doing so be a more true and complete version of themselves.
So, poll question and discussion...do you feel that traditional definitions and expectations of masculinity are confining for you? Do you feel forced to assume roles that run against your nature? Would you be interested in seeing a gradual cultural tear-down of the "Masculine ideal" in the same way feminism tried to tear down antiquated notions of femininity and expand the parameters of how they could express themselves? Or are you happy with the status quo? Do you not want to lose traditional definitions of manliness and manhood? Do you think there is value in expressing sexual dimorphism socially?

THREAD REQUEST: Keep the any debate civil. First mention of "SJW" earns 20 crotch punches.
 

Thaluikhain

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The first mention of that TLA would be in the Op, mind.

But, anyway, the speech...she is pointing out the rather obvious there, but it is still something that needs to be said, unfortunately.

An individual male might fit perfectly into whatever arbitrary form of masculinity society currently wants him to fit into, but there will be plenty that won't. Having male values in opposition to female ones really, really isn't helpful.
 

The_Darkness

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YES.

A handful of quick examples:

Women are more open with their feelings. I wish it was more culturally acceptable for men to show weakness, or emotion or whatever.

Men are expected to be the ones who do the asking out. For the record - asking people out is terrifying.

I enjoy ballroom and latin dancing, writing fanfic, horse-riding, and I really don't enjoy most team sports (football, rugby, etc). All of those have earned me strange looks at times.

So... yes, gender stereotypes feel confining. And I say that as a guy. I also recognise that it's worse for women, and probably at a whole new level of horrible if you're somewhere in the middle.
 

BloatedGuppy

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The_Darkness said:
Men are expected to be the ones who do the asking out. For the record - asking people out is terrifying.
You might enjoy this. Skip ahead to the 1:40 mark or so.


And yes, I agree. It's like marching off to war. I still have flashbacks to asking girls to dance in high school. That shit was traumatizing!
 

Ryotknife

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hmm, personally its not confining but a minor annoyance, at least nowadays. For example, i enjoy cooking. Cant tell you how many "you would make an excellent wife one day" comments i get.

I would say it was more confining when i was a teenager. The whole dont show emotions, dont ask for help did hinder me back then. As you get older, you start building up your "like I give a #$%^" stat.
 

Here Comes Tomorrow

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It depends on the issue really.

Men generally are expected to be the stronger sex, but thats because we are. Not saying we don't have feelings, but we won't get anywhere as a society if we all go around being big blubbery messes because Phil wore the same shirt to the office today.

Yes, men need support for stuff like suicide, domestic abuse, rape. We also need our rights as a part of raising a child recognized.

My girlfriend is a feminist, but recognizes the need for gender roles, because if shes having a bad day, if I let her mood ruinine we'd just ***** and moan at each other and then the dogs wouldn't get walked. And if the dogs don't get walked then they shit and piss all over the house, then we're in a bad mood and there's shit and piss all over everything.

And that is an apt metaphore for the whole situation. Someone has to suck it up and get on with things, or it'll all get covered in shit. And piss.
 

Random Gamer

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No-brainer.
It's mostly a minor nuisance because I'm of the opinion of "screw tradition and what people think I should do, it's not as if they know better".

And it's good and refreshing to see someone approaching the issues this way, with such visibility.
 

Thaluikhain

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Ryotknife said:
I would say it was more confining when i was a teenager. The whole dont show emotions, dont ask for help did hinder me back then. As you get older, you start building up your "like I give a #$%^" stat.
I remember a documentary about Royal Marine A&MW commandos being trained. Had a guy talking about the aftermath of a battle, and telling them that it was alright to cry if you've just seen your mates die, forget it being "unmanly".

(As an aside, they also carry tampons in their survival kits, cotton wool is good for starting fires. Evidently Royal Marine commandos would never do well in sitcoms, cause they aren't embarrassed by tampons.)
 

BloatedGuppy

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Here Comes Tomorrow said:
My girlfriend is a feminist, but recognizes the need for gender roles, because if shes having a bad day, if I let her mood ruining we'd just ***** and moan at each other and then the dogs wouldn't get walked. And if the dogs don't get walked then they shit and piss all over the house, then we're in a bad mood and there's shit and piss all over everything.
That doesn't sound like an endorsement of gender roles. It sounds like an endorsement of basic levels of adult responsibility. Unless you're purporting that without a man on hand those dogs would never get walked, because women would be too busy drowning in the sea of their own hysteria. =P
 

Thaluikhain

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BloatedGuppy said:
Here Comes Tomorrow said:
My girlfriend is a feminist, but recognizes the need for gender roles, because if shes having a bad day, if I let her mood ruining we'd just ***** and moan at each other and then the dogs wouldn't get walked. And if the dogs don't get walked then they shit and piss all over the house, then we're in a bad mood and there's shit and piss all over everything.
That doesn't sound like an endorsement of gender roles. It sounds like an endorsement of basic levels of adult responsibility.
Second that. Sure, that system might work for those two (and others), but is there any reason why a different couple might swap tasks, or otherwise run things differently?
 

Phasmal

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Well yeah.

I'm a girl, so they're not that confining for me, except within the context of my relationship with my boyfriend.
A whole buncha bullshit about relationships and who's `supposed` to do what, and with people assuming that he must do X and I must do Y.

My boyfriend's pretty chill about the whole thing, he doesn't much care for gender roles.
It's kinda funny, you get pressured into doing certain things to be a `normal` couple, but if me and him did conform to our stereotypes, we'd be fucking miserable.

BloatedGuppy said:
Here Comes Tomorrow said:
My girlfriend is a feminist, but recognizes the need for gender roles, because if shes having a bad day, if I let her mood ruining we'd just ***** and moan at each other and then the dogs wouldn't get walked. And if the dogs don't get walked then they shit and piss all over the house, then we're in a bad mood and there's shit and piss all over everything.
That doesn't sound like an endorsement of gender roles. It sounds like an endorsement of basic levels of adult responsibility. Unless you're purporting that without a man on hand those dogs would never get walked, because women would be too busy drowning in the sea of their own hysteria. =P
Yeah this sounds weird to me as well. Either I'm made of stone or this is more of a `your girlfriend` thing than a `my entire gender` thing.
 

Here Comes Tomorrow

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BloatedGuppy said:
Here Comes Tomorrow said:
My girlfriend is a feminist, but recognizes the need for gender roles, because if shes having a bad day, if I let her mood ruining we'd just ***** and moan at each other and then the dogs wouldn't get walked. And if the dogs don't get walked then they shit and piss all over the house, then we're in a bad mood and there's shit and piss all over everything.
That doesn't sound like an endorsement of gender roles. It sounds like an endorsement of basic levels of adult responsibility. Unless you're purporting that without a man on hand those dogs would never get walked, because women would be too busy drowning in the sea of their own hysteria. =P
It depends on if she talks to her mother that day.
 

The_Darkness

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BloatedGuppy said:
The_Darkness said:
Men are expected to be the ones who do the asking out. For the record - asking people out is terrifying.
You might enjoy this. Skip ahead to the 1:40 mark or so.


And yes, I agree. It's like marching off to war. I still have flashbacks to asking girls to dance in high school. That shit was traumatizing!
Okay, yeah, that was a good laugh. Thanks :)

And also somewhat eye opening, considering I'd never given much thought to the terror of saying yes to someone else asking you out, so doubly thanks.
 

Adam Jensen_v1legacy

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Certain aspects of gender roles don't make any sense. Others make perfect sense and are born out of simple human nature.

Overall, she's mostly right. So 50 points for Gryffindor.
 

carnex

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Gender roles are, and were for a long time now, glass cages. You can kick them down and walk out whenever you god damn please. But just like you could cut yourself, you could run into some resistance.

If you don't like being shoehorned in, kick that glass rod and walk the shards. You'll be free.

Now, if you are in country that has institutionalized gender roles than there is work to be done.

But as long as we can agree that gender roles are bad only when forced upon person, and really only then, than we can agree on the idea that they are bad.

For example I suck at cooking. I really do. Give me a computer to fix, pipework to plug, assemble or create, furniture to build, network to design, house to clean and I'm at it. But I want a woman that can cook since I suck at it. And, incidentally, all the girlfriends I had since departing from parents (or rather them departing to another homes) were good cooks that liked to cook.
 

Nickolai77

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I personally don't feel *significantly* restricted by masculine gender roles, but I recognise other guys might.

I've never really wished that I could emotionally express myself more in social situations, because it's simply not in my nature to be very emotionally expressive. If I want to talk about a personal weakness or anxiety of mine, I do so with the right people at the right time. In a more conversational sense, I'm not afraid to admit other general weaknesses of mine (e.g, not being confident at motorway driving, not being successful with the ladies) to acquaintances even if it goes against masculine gender conventions. I don't feel the need to "prove" myself to anyone- they can take me as I am and if they don't like it then that's their problem.


A couple of masculine gender conventions that do irk me slightly though. One is the presumption that guys have to make the first move in dating- which can be very difficult and awkward for introverted guys like I once- it caused me a lot of teenage angst. Really, whoever should make the first move should simply be the more confident person.

Another one really I suppose is that men have to be the bread winner of the family. Part of me wouldn't really mind playing the part of the house-husband and focusing on raising kids whilst the wife worked. Hopefully, It will allow me to focus more time on my own personal hobbies and interests. But really I'm not anywhere near the stage of life to dwell on that.


On the whole though, I don't see masculine gender norms to be as problematic as feminine ones, but there's room for improvement I suppose.
 

Fappy

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I liked her speech a lot.

I've felt confined by my gender at times, but I don't think it happens very often. While it is a problem for men, gender roles are a lot more debilitating for women imo.
 

Doclector

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SANITY! AT LONG LAST SANITY!

Seriously though, it's a good speech. Hopefully it goes somewhere.