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HannahConroy
ProfessorKaye
CAS137H
13October2014
RhetoricalAnalysisEssay
Feminismisawordsuretosparkcontroversytoday.Thestereotypicalfeministwoman
hatesmenandwantstomakewomenbetterthanthelowergenderofmen.EmmaWatsons
HeforShespeechhowever,arguesquitetheopposite.Sheseekstoredefinefeminisminan
inclusivewayinordertobringmenintofeminism.Sheattemptstopersuademen,andtheworld,
thatgenderequalitywillmaketheworldabetterplaceforbothgenders.Bychallengingwhat
feminismmeansanddefiningthemovementwiththetitleHeforSheWatsonworksto
persuadeotherstojoinher.Watsonseekstoredefinetheideologyoffeminismbyincludingmen,
andarguesthatdoingsowillmakethemovementevenmoresuccessfulandeffective.Emma
Watsonmakestheboldclaimthatmencanbefeministstoo,andthatfeminismwillhelpmen.
Shesupportsherassertionbycitingfacts,sharingpersonalstories,andidentifyingthetimely
natureoftheissue.
EmmaWatsonsHeforShespeechwasthekeynoteaddresswhichlaunchedthe
HeForShecampaignfortheUnitedNations.ThecampaignisdescribedasAsolidarity
movementforgenderequalitybytheUN.Inotherwords,thecampaignaimstobringmeninto
feminism.Inherspeech,Watsondescribeswhyshebelievesmenneedtobeinvolvedin
feminismandwhyfeminismisimportant.Feminismtodayisoftenthoughtofasmanhating,
andpeoplearereluctanttoassociatethemselveswiththewordormovement.AHuffingtonPost


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pollfoundthatonly20%ofpollrespondentsconsideredthemselvesfeminists,however82%
believethatmenandwomenshouldbeequal(Swanson).Feminismissimplythebeliefthatmen
andwomenshouldbeequalinallareasoflife,includingsociety,business,andpolitics.Ata
basiclevel,anyonewhobelievesinequalrightsformenandwomenembodiesfeminism.People
mayfeelreluctanttoassociatethemselveswiththemovement,however,duetothenegative
connotationassociatedwiththeword.Feminismcanbeseenasaggressiveandexclusionary.
Menmayfeeltheyarenotallowedtoparticipateinfeminismbecausetheyarenotwomen,or
mayfeelthatfeminismworksagainstthem.TheHeforShespeecharguestheopposite,while
demonstratingtheimportanceofwelcomingmenintofeminism.Feminismwillhelpmenina
varietyofwaystoo,andWatsonaimstoprovethis.
EmmaWatsonusesfactsinherHeforShespeechinordertochallengecommonplaces
offeminismandgenderinanefforttopersuademenofthebenefitsoffeminism.Shesaysthat
beingafeministseemedlikeanaturaldecisionforher,uncomplicated,therightthingtodo.
Sheviewedfeminismasasimpledecision,However,duetoherinvolvementinthefeminist
movement,Watsonhascometobeviewedasstrong,tooaggressive,isolating,antimenand,
unattractive(Watson).Thisisnotwhatfeminismis,however.Feminismisthebeliefthatmen
andwomenshouldhaveequalrightsandopportunities(MerriamWebster).Itisnot,asis
commonlythought,thebeliefthatwomenarebetterthanmenorshouldbegivenspecial
opportunitiesitisnotmanhating.Feministswantequality,notsupremacy.Watsonreinforces
theideaoffeministsfightingforequality,challengingthecommondefinitionoffeminism.
Watsonalsousesfactstoexplainwhyfeminismcanaidmen.Shecitesstatisticssaying,inthe
UKsuicideisthebiggestkillerofmenbetween2049yearsofageeclipsingroadaccidents,


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cancerandcoronaryheartdisease(Watson,ONSUK).Perhapsifmendidnotfeelthat
admittingtoneedinghelpwouldmakethemlessmanlymoremenwouldfeelmoreopento
discusstheirfeelingsandthenumberofsuicideswouldbelower.Watsonalsoargues,Ifmen
donthavetobeaggressiveinordertobeacceptedwomenwontfeelcompelledtobe
submissive.Allgenderswillreapthebenefitsofgenderequality.Ironically,menseefeminism
asmanhating,butfeminismwillhelpmentoo.Watsonstatesmenshouldwantfeminism,So
theirdaughters,sistersandmotherscanbefreefromprejudicebutalsosothattheirsonshave
permissiontobevulnerableandhumantoo.Feminismcanhelpmenstepoutsideoftheir
prescribedgenderrole,freeingthemtoembracesensitivity.Everyonewinswhenwomenhave
equalrights,whichgoesagainstthecommonideathatfeminismisjustforwomen.
EmmaWatsonalsoincludespersonalstoriesinherspeech,whichappealstothepathos
ofthelistener.Watsondescribesherownjourneyintofeminism,beginningwithherbeingcalled
bossywhileboyswerenot,andbeingsexualizedatayoungage.Herstoryculminatesin
describingheradultmalefriendsinabilitytoexpresstheiremotions.Shealsostates,Iveseen
myfathersrolebeingvaluedlessbysociety(Watson).Womenareseenascaretakers,therefore
mendonotneedtobelovingandtenderwithchildrentheircontributioniswrittenoffbecause
theyaremale.Watsonsstoriesringtrueforthosewhohaveexperiencedthenegativeeffectsof
genderroles.ThesituationsmentionedbyWatsonareparticularlypoignant,astheytapintothe
emotionsoftheaudience.Womenintheaudiencemaybeabletorelatetobeingcalledbossy,
orhearingthewordappliedonlytowomen.Emotionssuchasdisgustanddispleasurearetiedto
thesexualizationofyoungwomenintodayssocietyformanypeople.Also,onecanimaginethe
frustrationofnotbeingabletoeffectivelycommunicateemotionaltopicswithanadultmale.


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Furthermore,emotionssuchassadnessandangermaybeevokedwhenitissuggestedfathersare
notvaluedashighlyasmothers.ThesituationsdescribedbyWatsonareemotionalones,which
aidstheaudienceinconnectingwithWatsonsargumentsonamorepersonallevel.By
connectingtoheraudienceonanemotionallevel,Watsonworkstopersuadethemofthe
importanceofincludingmeninfeminism.
Watsonaddsanotherelementofpersuasiontoherspeechbyaddressingthetimelynature
oftheissueofgenderequality.Watsoncitesfactsaboutthefaroffgoalsofgenderequality
importantgoalswhichwillnotbefulfilledfordecadesunlessmorestepsaretaken.Inparticular,
ifwedonothingitwilltake75years...beforewomencanexpecttobepaidthesameasmenfor
thesamework.15.5milliongirlswillbemarriedinthenext16yearsaschildren.Andatcurrent
ratesitwontbeuntil2086beforeallruralAfricangirlswillbeabletoreceiveasecondary
education(Watson).Thesegoalsseemlikecommonsense,theyshouldalreadybe
accomplished.Womenshouldbepaidthesameasmen.Younggirlsshouldnotbeforcedto
marry.Allgirls,andchildreningeneral,shouldbeabletoreceiveaneducation.Watsonpoints
out,however,thesegoalsarenotyetaccomplished,andthatasasocietyweneedtomakethem
reality.Inordertomakeprogressanadjustmentmustbemade,adifferentapproachtaken,and
thatapproachistheinclusionofmeninfeminism.Ifmorepeopleseetheimportanceofissuesof
genderequality,andhowincreasedgenderequalitywillbenefitthem,morepeoplewillworkto
solvetheseproblems.Everyoneneedstofeelwelcomeinthefeministmovementifrealchangeis
goingtobeachieved.
EmmaWatsonsHeforShespeechusesfacts,personalstories,andappealsto
timelinesstopersuadementojoininthefeministmovement.Watsonexplainsthebenefits


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feminismandgenderequalitycouldhaveformenusingstatisticsandfacts.Shealsoutilizes
pathostoconvinceheraudiencethroughpersonalstories.Furthermore,Watsonaddressesthe
ironiesintheviewthatfeminismissolelyforwomen,orthatitconstitutesmanhating.The
urgencyofthecurrentstateofgenderequalityisalsoconveyedinWatsonsspeechsomething
mustbedonenowtocreatemeaningfulchangeinthenearfuture.Therhetoricalappealsin
Watsonsspeechallcometogethertobackupherassertionthatmencanbefeministstoo,that
menneedfeminismandfeminismneedsthesupportofmen.Peopleofbothgendersneedtobe
involvedinthefeministmovementinordertoaccomplishrealchange.


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WorksCited
"Feminism."
MerriamWebster
.MerriamWebster,n.d.Web.05Oct.2014.
Swanson,Emily."Poll:FewIdentifyAsFeminists,ButMostBelieveInEqualityOfSexes."
The
HuffingtonPost
.TheHuffingtonPost.com,16Apr.2013.Web.06Oct.2014.
Watson,Emma."EmmaWatson:GenderEqualityIsYourIssueToo."
UNWomen
.N.p.,20
Sept.2014.Web.05Oct.2014.
"WhatAretheTopCausesofDeathbyAgeandGender?"
ONS
.N.p.,12Dec.2013.Web.07
Oct.2014.