Yes, I do love Harry Potter, thank you very much. And because of the fame of the boy who would not die, out from the walls of Hogwarts (besides the poltergeists of course), comes a brand of feminism–new feminism–which just might rock our world as we finally start acting like women are worth fighting for.
Check out the video below to hear this call to look at women’s issues differently:
Not surprisingly, this post is probably one in thousands noticing the same thing–there is a movement in our world trying to rebrand feminism. Whether it is Dove trying to get real girls to appreciate their real bodies or it is the Half the Sky Movement (a renown book, movie, and through it, motivated individuals bringing awareness to how extreme a plight it is just because one is born a woman), people are addressing women’s issues and doing so without being defined by hate, but rather a righteous anger not directed at any one gender declaring, “This should still not be so.“
It is funny because if you asked me a few years ago if I was a feminist, I would have undoubtedly said no. I distinctly remember one psychology class while my professor described a type of extreme feminism–where one must remove reproductive organs to have the exact same treatment as a male–and I wrote off feminism as ridiculous. I like being a woman and embracing feminine characteristics. I wanted to be a mom. I even occasionally liked being extra girly (even if I have no problem with women who aren’t girly).
So, because I didn’t personally want to be a butch man-hater, I decided I didn’t want to be a feminist (along with plenty of other people). After writing this post, I accidentally ran into this speaker–who brings light to the 50-110 million missing women in the world (wait–is she a feminist?) but at then concludes that feminism is synonymous with transforming ourselves into men (and therefore she distances herself with feminists instead of working together with those who share some of the same goals as she does). Then, a few minutes later I ran into this post. Again, the author and I might have the same parenting hopes and goals, but she wants us to disassociate with feminism (and, notably does not seem to be intentional about helping women).
I find this unfortunate, because Westerners (and good Christian boys and girls) might actually try to free women from oppression if we actually thought the “feminist agenda” was valid. Instead, we ignore feminism or condemn it, as so many of us associate a negative stereotype with feminism. But, by rejecting it, we enforce the stereotype that we don’t like about feminism rather than changing the stereotype. By condemning it, sometimes we unintentionally align ourselves with the “other side” while simultaneously not leveraging the term “feminism” to have conversations. We need people to choose to be actively intentional about changing the world–even if it means working with people we don’t agree entirely with (i.e., those horrid feminists). Especially in regards to how we parent!
What if we spent our time condemning and stopping oppression, rather than condemning the term feminism? Wouldn’t our time be used better? If we helped the world value women, the whole feminism movement wouldn’t even be needed anymore and we wouldn’t have to argue about the term!
As you can see, one day I realized I actually was a feminist, even if not of the butch, man-hating, uterus-removing variety. I was a new feminist.
After encountering and studying the world of women around the globe, and subsequently the minor to grandiose abuses against them, it was impossible to not want this to change (you can read a list of some of these facts here). At some point, I like others, found myself saying,
“Look! There are some major injustices here and they need to be addressed. It has nothing to do with man-hating or wanting to be men. Sure, label us feminists and we will embrace it! To us, that solely means we declare that women have as much dignity, worth and value as males do.”
Simply said, this is what feminism really is and should be.
I am one of the myriads of women declaring this. And although we assume that the ourselves, global leaders and NGOs live this truth, like racism, the belief that women are inferior permeates throughout much of U.S. and largely throughout global culture. And men, not walking in women’s shoes, often perpetuate this state-of-the-world (Although I do like to think it is often unintentionally).
It is in this it-should-not-be-so madness, that Emma Watson takes the stage. Of course, she could have just been an average girl. Instead she was cast in a set of movies that became renown. And now she is using that fame to say things that I (and many others) agree need to be said.
Average to actress. Harry Potter’s Hermione to fame. Fame to leverage.
Then, along with Emma, we have a slew of other famous women who are also on this same bandwagon–this new feminism. I am proud of them. We might agree that it’s stupid celebrities generate cultural change, but regardless of what we feel about it, people listen to them. So let them be the change-makers and we can help propel their message–it is our message too.
So, thank you Emma. And with that, I hope new feminism soars!
Ideas For Action In Support of New Feminism:
- Challenge yourself to consider the way your spirituality/religion views women, and study how people have used it to oppress woman. (If you are a Christian, like me, read Why Not Women and Year of Biblical Womanhood to help you think through what is Biblical doctrine)
- And of course, look up all of the Average Advocate posts under the category of “women“–there are a lot!
- Make a Microloan to help a woman provide for herself