“Who is this Harry Potter Girl speaking at the UN??” (My Reaction)
I watched Emma Watson’s speech today and it was the second video that blew my mind this morning. It was truly amazing. But it also brought back memories. I was called a he-she when I was younger. At 9 years old I was ridiculed, belittled, and harassed because I didn’t want to do what girls were supposed to do. I didn’t want to stand there and look pretty. I wanted to play, I wanted to be tough, I wanted to be queen of the monkey bars, and I loved dragon shirts instead of dresses! lol I can look back on this and smile, but those times are a little embarrassing to recall because I suppose I am still self conscious of them, still nervous people will think the same way. But I shouldn’t be. Because I see no shame. All I see is a child’s spirit that was doused like an annoying flame because it was too bright. I feel robbed of the love and positivity I could have had for myself. Robbed of time spent actually being myself. It got to the point where I wanted to be a boy, not because I actually wanted to be a boy, but because theat’s where I thought I would be accepted, that’s where I thought I belonged, where I fit. I didn’t know I was perfectly fine the way I was, that I was a strong beautiful woman the way I was and not because I wore dresses. I saw the ease at which men could be viewed as powerful and was envious. I thought I had to be a boy to have those same things. I was wrong.
As I entered middle school I started to believe everyone, I started to feel like less of a woman, I started to hate myself because I felt so lost, so undefined. But, I don’t need to be defined or labeled. The only label I need is me. Once I saw that I felt freer. But, I hated my self for a long time because I didn’t know who Ii was. In fact, everyone else had ideas about me, kept telling me, who I was before I even knew. All I knew was they were wrong, but the more they said things the more I doubted myself. It’s kind of hard not to hold strong in your belief of yourself and turn the other cheek when a whole class of kids tell you things multiple times a day and ostracize you, isolate you because of it. So you try to fit in, you change yourself. But I never should have done that. Those were horrible, negative years that the majority of the time was not spent enjoyed. Yet, I wouldn’t change it, because it has made me who I am. Maybe, I am better for having known adversity. I still wouldn’t wish what I went through on anyone, though.
Finally 19 years later I began to accept myself. And now I can stand on my own two feet, proud and confident in who I am. I still doubt myself sometimes but not for those same reasons because I finally love myself. I love feeling “feminine”, feeling pretty and sexy in a typical woman way, but in the same sense I feel even more beautiful feeling badass and powerful. But I don’t HAVE to be powerful. I am just myself. As strong as I need to be, as strong as I want to be and not in a feminine way. In a human way.
Even now I cringe a bit because I am defining feminism in a predefined social norm kind of way. These are the things we think of women: squeal at bugs, take hours in the bathroom, have to have makeup on, have to be dainty, have to wear pretty things, and have to be less aggressive than men or even submissive. I hate bugs and I put makeup on, but only because I want to not because I am supposed to And vise versa, men have to be the ones in charge, the providers, the strong ones. In reality we are all a blend of these things and each person is different. Married couples make a team, filling in where the other lacks despite gender. Like yin and yang. They lean on each other and help each other where it is needed.
These things though, are the way woman are perceived to be, stemming from a long time ago. I can not tell if they were inherently that way or if they just filled the role that was made for them a long time ago and stuck with it for a while, creating what we think of now as “women.” But, one thing is true, things have changed. People can be all different types of individuals and just as much a man or woman as the next even if they are different. .
Emma says, “If we stop defining each other by who we aren’t, and start defining ourselves by who we are, we can be freer.”
Luckily, a couple years ago, I found this out and it changed my perception on life and on myself. Because society not only tells us to define others this way, but to define ourselves this way and we end up not measuring up. We end up hating ourselves for imagined standards. Standards that only a few hold. We are human, we are a mix of many different things. We are never just one thing (masculine, feminine, aggressive, submissive). In all reality we can be submissive for somethings and aggressive for others at the same time. Masculinity and feminine has become synonymous with aggressive and submissive. But that is not true.
So no, a man is not feminine if he is sensitive, he is just a sensitive man. And a woman is not masculine if she is tough, she is just a tough woman. Everyone has their preferences when it comes to attraction, and that is fine, but that does not make those who don’t fit your attraction lesser. They are still valued for being themselves.
So I don’t believe in the word feminism and that’s the only thing I don’t agree with about this speech. Because that implies it’s one sided and it does imply that hatred of the opposite. I think a better word would be equalism or humanism. I don’t have the perfect word yet and like she said we are struggling to find a unifying word, but DO have a unifying cause, one where no one is secluded.
Also, am I the only one that thinks the music that introduces her seems patronizing, what everyone thinks women’s music should be. Well I think it should be something with a hard beat lol she made an epic speech.
But, anyways, I don’t understand why we have to hurt each other to feel like better people ourselves, why we have to put others down to seem like we fit a mold, like we are a better man or woman for doing so. Pointing out someones “flaws” as perceived by the general role of a man or woman does not make you any more of a man or a woman. It just makes you a bitch.
If you would like to see another video somewhat on the subject, with hard facts, but is more aimed at humor, then check this out. http://www.upworthy.com/john-oliver-expected-to-catch-miss-america-in-a-lie-but-what-he-found-was-kinda-worse?c=ufb1
Posted on September 23, 2014, in Random, Uncategorized, YouTube and tagged boy, emma, equality, feminism, freedom, gender, girl, harry, human, man, potter, reaction, rights, speaking, speech, un, watson, woman. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.