If you are a Harry Potter fan you will most likely know the fiery character of Hermione played by Emma Watson. Her character was revered by young girls as she played the confident aspiring wizard cast in the series created by J.K. Rowling. Emma is all grown up now and was recently named as the United Nations Women Goodwill Ambassador.
Last weekend, Emma gave a speech on gender equality and introduced a brand new campaign called #HeForShe. She stated, “We want to end gender inequality and to do this we need everyone involved… We want to try and galvanize as many men and boys as possible to be advocates for change.”
Her campaign to get men and boys involved was brought about by the misconceptions regarding feminism. She remarked, “The more I have spoken about feminism, the more I have realized that fighting for women’s rights has too often become synonymous with man hating.” She then described the definition of feminism which is the social, economic, and political equality of the sexes and that “men and women should have equal rights and opportunities.”
As a self-proclaimed anti-feminist, I actually enjoyed Ms. Watson’s passionate speech advocating change for women’s equality worldwide. I thought her words were at times eloquent and there were points that I agreed with. However, she posed a question that I would like to address. She asked, “Why has the word (feminism) become such an uncomfortable one?”
She laid out several points regarding her feminist beliefs. She stated, “I believe it is right that I am paid the same as my male counterparts. I think it is right that I should make decisions about my own body. I think it is right that women be involved on my behalf on the policies and decisions that will affect my life. I think that is right that socially I am afforded the same respect as men.”
I agree with almost all of these beliefs that Emma Watson so strongly and passionately holds but there is just one aspect that I wholeheartedly reject and it is why I reject feminism. I cannot agree that women should make decisions about their own body when that includes the action of abortion. Feminism has made abortion the sacrament of women’s rights. It’s created one of the largest money making companies in this country called Planned Parenthood to do the exact opposite of bringing about gender equality and rights for all women. Instead, it sacrifices the future of men and women through murder to justify women’s rights.
Emma remarked, “No country in the world can yet say they have achieved gender equality.” She believes these rights are human rights. I believe they are human rights but endowed by God my creator. It’s the foundation of who I am as a woman and as a human being.
As long as feminism embraces abortion as a right, I will not define myself with that word despite the many aspects of it that I agree with. And it is why feminism has become an all too uncomfortable word to me.
The UN campaign is calling on men to unite with feminists on gender equality. I applaud a movement that wants to change the “man hating” mantra of past outspoken feminist voices. But I ask men to also think about what it really means to embrace the word feminism and this #HeForShe campaign. If you are pro-life and agree that no one’s rights are more important at the cost of another losing their own then this is not the movement for you.
At the crux of my opposition to feminism and even to this campaign is that my worldview is different. I am not looking to gain anything from my sex and I believe in the beauty of both male and female in how we are different but all valued the same equally. I am called to contribute to the equality of all mankind as how God planned it. I want to fulfill who God made me to be – a Woman—but for me that means very different things than to a feminist. Any campaign that supports the denial of rights to a future generation through abortion is truly not an advocate of all human rights.
#HeForShe is not for me.