April Davis

Emma Watson and the “Swift” rise in popularity for #HeForShe

Image: AFP

With Emma Watson’s #HeForShe campaign now so popular that even the TSwift is lending her support, April Davis wonders what this actually means for the future of women’s rights.

 

It seems Emma Watson still has the world talking, with Taylor Swift announcing her support for Watson and her feminist rights movement.

Swift has spoken up in an interview with Tout Le Monde En Parle explaining how important she thinks both the message and messenger are to the feminist movement.

The 24-year-old singer’s statement was strong and to the point:

“I wish when I was 12 years old I had been able to watch a video of my favourite actress explaining in such an intellectual, beautiful, poignant way the definition of feminism. Because I would have understood it. And then earlier on in my life I would have proudly claimed I was a feminist because I would have understood what the word means.”

The singer of chart-topping hit Shake It Off later added, “I just think that a lot of girls don’t know the definition and the fact that Emma got up and explained it, I think it’s an incredible thing and I am happy to live in a world where that happened.”

Emma Watson officially launched her #Heforshe campaign on Saturday and it seems the world’s not done talking about the UN speech that rocked the online community and the reaction to it of generally global applause. Watson said projections indicate that if things don’t change, it will take 95 years to achieve gender equality with close to 140,000 girls being forced into child marriage within that time.

Prior to this speech, many of us wouldn’t have believed that gender equality was a legitimate thing with the large proportion of inequality that remains in the world being hidden from the public eye. Emma Watson’s speech has come alongside California’s recent legalisation of the “Yes means Yes” definition of consent in sexual relationships, so offenders can no longer get away with sexually assaulting women because they failed to speak up or didn’t say no.

So what does this mean for the future of women’s rights?

Will Emma Watson be able to abolish the “us vs. them” mentality and will changes in legislation mean women can be who they are without living in the confines of a man’s world?

We can only hope – and continue to hope as long as Watson, Swift and other prominent celebrities like Matt Damon stand up in support of equal rights in the hopes that greater understanding of the world’s dire outlook for women will spark change across the globe.

And if California’s new legislation is anything to go by, we can assume that for now, the world is responding.

April Davis

April Davis, a young Melbourne-based writer finishing a degree in professional writing and publishing, is an aspiring novelist flirting with the idea of historical fiction. She spends most of her time reading, writing and contributing book reviews to online publications.

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