I didn't believe that I was a feminist, or that I aligned myself with those kinds of views.
It's an unpopular category of individuals to be associated with dare I say. Feminists, I thought, were those with rash views, annoying ranty Facebook statuses, and constant complaints.
I was wrong.
Unfortunately the word feminist has the word feminine in it, which assumes it to be solely about women's rights. A better word might be "genderist" or "equalist".
A similar faux pas was probably made when Emma and the UN chose the caption "HeForShe", which indicates that the movement is one way.
If we can move past these words, and instead listen to their definition, statements, and missions, then we will align these words with equality for all, as opposed to only women.
A favourite part of Emma Watson's speech was when she described gender on a spectrum.
I love this, and I think there are many things in the world that need to be viewed on a spectrum instead of two opposing ideas, gender is one, sexuality is another. In lieu of polarised ideals, lets be realistic and acknowledge difference and minorities.
When I first began reading Lean In, I couldn't stand it. I thought to myself, why on earth did the editor allow this book to start with an apology several pages long? Sheryl wrote a disclaimer to everybody about to read the book, and it kind of goes against everything else she wrote in the ensuing pages!
I can understand that the book had to make clear several points to avoid upsetting women picking up this book from underprivileged backgrounds, Sheryl did not have such a background, but the apology was far too long and put me off completely. I thought oh god, I don't want to read this woman constantly making excuses for her successes in life.
Fortunately, the book itself changed dramatically. It wasn't until I was close to the end of the book that I realised how much I was enjoying it. Since finishing the book, I've decided I like it even more.
I like Sheryl, I admire her, and I want her to write a sequel.
So my advice, don't judge the book by its first chapter. I'm so glad I kept reading, however hesitantly.
Lean In is like a longer version of Emma's speech. Well constructed, politically correct, and eager to encompass both men and women in this movement of equality.
My views on feminism have rather dramatically changed and I would urge others to enlighten themselves to the conversation that is both intriguing and affecting you, whether that be directly or indirectly, everyday.