Julia Gillard and Cate Blanchett: We both grew up in Australia, where our education provided strong foundations to meet our potential as female leaders. Millions of girls throughout the world deserve the same chance
Actor Emma Watson, of Harry Potter movie fame, is a new Goodwill Ambassador for UN Women and she spoke at the UN on Saturday to launch the HeForShe campaign, which aims to mobilize men to end gender inequality somehow (the campaign doesn’t seem to call men to any particular action of any sort). The campaign wants men to make gender equality their issue, too, and Ms. Watson extended “a formal invitation” to men to do so.
This message is flawed and unfortunate, as well. Telling men that they should care about gender inequality because of how much it hurts them, centralizes men and their well-being in a movement built by women forour survival in a world that degrades and dehumanizes us daily. This is problematic for the same reason telling white people that they should end racism because racism “holds us all back as a society, so eradicating it will help you, too,” is problematic.
France’s Christine Lagarde was the first woman to become finance minister of a G8 economy and is the first woman to head the International Monetary Fund. She calls for opening the door to women’s learning, labour and leadership in the economy.
Credit for transformative movements and ideologies often goes to men, who were uplifted as leaders because… sexism. But this list offers some much-needed nuance and perspective on the role of women in our revolutionary history. Check out the rest here.
Every so often, the same mysterious image seems to pop up on the internet. The black-and-white portrait looks to be at least a hundred years old, and yet, it is of an Indian woman, a Japanese woman and a Syrian woman, sitting in Pennsylvania.
Indeed, Alamuddin’s career is at least as impressive as Clooney’s. She is an internationally renowned human rights lawyer with degrees from Oxford University and NYU Law. Fluent in Arabic, French, and English, she has represented a slew of high-profile clients includingWikileaks founder Julian Assange and former prime minister of Ukraine, Yulia Tymoshenko. Alamuddin has been appointed to several United Nations commissions dealing with issues related to international human rights.
Sure, you know Gloria Steinem, but do you know Dolores Huerta?
While Bell Hooks told us feminism is for everybody, history books represent a movement by and for white women primarily. Though often on the periphery, there are many feminist foremothers of color who helped build the movement. Here are just some of the Latina feministas who fought for the rights of women and other marginalized communities in the U.S.
And here lies another issue. Even the men willing to come to the table after accepting the invitation often refuse to be made uncomfortable. There’s no progress to be had if in order to get men engaged they are allowed to remain ensconced in their privilege. That defeats the purpose. The necessary work of feminist movement will challenge men to understand their complicity and require them to complete very difficult tasks. That’s what revolution is.
The newly appointed UN Women Goodwill Ambassador called on men to join the feminist conversation during an address at the UN headquarters in New York over the weekend. Launching the HeForShe campaign, Watson spoke her decision to identify as a feminist and called on women to dismiss recent criticism of the label.
Beyoncé is invaluable to feminism because she brings it from the fringes of public dialogue and throws it into the popular mainstream, forcing the masses to contend with both the word and what it stands for. Whether people accept or scrutinize her feminism is peripheral to the fact that at least they’re talking about it at all.
Who else could have so expertly and seamlessly inserted the “f-word” into a show like the VMAs? To a round of applause from the audience? It’s rare and it’s thrilling. Whether you stand behind Beyoncé-the-feminist or not, you have admit she’s pushing feminism even further into today’s national zeitgeist.
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