It would be great to be able to wholeheartedly defend my fellow men when women occasionally accuse us of being a bunch of wretched creeps. It would be great, but it's times like this that you just have to hang your fucking head in shame and admit that maybe they're on to something with that description.
Over the weekend, Emma Watson gave a powerful and impassioned speech to the United Nations on the subject of gender equality. The address was part of the launch of a new U.N. initiative called "HeForShe" aimed at bringing men and boys into the feminist fold by urging them to step up and become advocates for women and for equality.
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.
The speech rightfully earned Watson a standing ovation.
What Emma Watson didn't do is call men disgusting -- quite the opposite -- or advocate for their subjugation at the hands of women, or laugh in their faces as a gender, or in any way attempt to emasculate them. And yet you'd never know it by the reaction coming from the "men's rights" Thunderdome over at 4Chan. The site's notorious /b/ board basically lost its mind at the very idea of an intelligent and lovely young woman with a good amount of cultural clout daring to speak out on behalf of half the world's population.
As usual, any woman who shows such impertinence is a self-promoting whore who needs to be put in her place -- so that's exactly what one 4Chan user is promising by starting the website "Emma You Are Next." If you go there now all you'll find is a countdown clock along with the words "Never forget, the biggest to come thus far," written across the bottom of the page. What the site is counting down to is supposedly the release of hacked nude pictures of Watson. It's threatening to make Watson the latest, and supposedly "greatest," of the condemnable celebrity leaks we've been inundated with over the past couple of months.
Here's some of the delightful banter among the 4Channers about the threat against Watson.
“It is real and going to happen this weekend. That feminist bitch Emma is going to show the world she is as much of a whore as any woman.”
“in a documentary about the royal family and the media, she was included explained how the paparazzi were hunting her down for upskirt pics and etc, they where waiting patiently for her 18th birthday to hit so they could act like shameless savages , and when it hit, so they did , they laid down on the floor in the streets and such to snap photos of her…
she is a delicate flower and it is time for her fans to see her in full bloom, unlike your shitty cow tit attention whore there”
“she makes stupid feminist speeches at UN, and now her nudes will be online, HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH”
Whether or not there really are hacked nudes of Emma Watson and the threat is legit, it's just impossible to get your head around people who think like this -- who believe that a woman deserves some kind of despicable public shaming just because she's saying something not cleared in advance by a bunch of Neanderthals, and who think that releasing naked images taken in private is a surefire way to make a woman feel that shame.
Then again, maybe it's best not to try to crawl too far inside the minds of these guys. It's gotta be pretty damn dark and empty in there.