Tuesday, September 23, 2014

He For She - thoughts on Emma Watson's UN speech


Wow. Very, very interesting.
I certainly appreciate her call for... less... anti-man-ness from the feministic culture. Her approach is winsome; her demeanor is calm and genuine. Her emphasis on the devaluing of fatherhood is HUGE, very appropriate, and about as relevant as possible.
But the whole speech convolutes and combines so many issues that it's hard to know exactly what we're talking about. I wish someone would give some specific examples of the gender oppression that we're talking about, because it would be easier to... talk about.
See, I *am* a HeForShe. I'm just the kind of He that likes to open doors for She and give up my seat on the lifeboat for She and take a bullet for She. And while Emma has done a very good job addressing some things (correctly or incorrectly) from an ideological standpoint, I am left wondering... what is this supposed to look like, practically?
Should SpecialOps start accepting female applicants? Should I or should I not believe in chivalry? How about all-male sports groups like the NFL? What exactly is supposed to happen here? Can I play in the WNBA? And is the fact that I would have a better (which doesn't mean good) chance of succeeding there than in the NBA something that needs to be... somehow... modified? Is offering to carry a heavy item for a woman gentlemanly or insulting? Am I participating in the oppression of womankind by giving a lady my parachute?!?!?!?
The simple fact is that men and women are equal in value.
The other simple fact is that men and women are not equal in a zillion other ways- not in the sense of better or worse, but in the sense of different. Men are stronger. Women are better at having babies. Kids go to Dad for math help and to Mom for a bandage and a kiss.
Interestingly enough, in the pursuit of gender equality, we are actually devaluing both sexes. The girls who don't want to "look muscley"- is that a bad thing? Are they wrong, or less of a woman- er, person? Is it a bad thing that men don't express themselves like women? Are the men who don't generally like to cry in public any less truly themselves? Or is it possible that their ability to control their emotions is *part* of who they are?
Of course, and most importantly, Scripture makes distinctions between the roles of men and women, e.g. Nehemiah 4:14.
Emma's speech assumes that there really are no significant differences between men and women- in capability, in calling, in anything!- and and I am not sure that that actually leads to valuing men and women more at all.
The big round of applause on the applause for "rights over my own body," which means "rights over someone else's body in my womb," must be noted.
As far as the whole pay-differences thing goes, and setting aside for a moment the discussion on gender roles when it comes to careers, that's an issue that is best left to the free market, and not to political campaigns.
So, I appreciate the invitation very much. But what exactly am I being invited to?

4 comments:

Brytni Jade said...

1st, Good post Gabriel...
2nd, It doesn't take strength of any kind to do what our flesh desires... It takes strength to fulfill our callings as the LORD has laid them out.
3rd, I don't know what she was inviting you to, but it made me think of the 2 invitations in Proverbs 9... I think you'd better take lady wisdom's invitation instead, don't even consider the other ;)
4th, I don't know if you meant some of your words to be sarcastic, but that is how I took them, and I enjoyed that haha :) Thank you!

Gabriel Hudelson said...

Don't know which words you are referring to, but I do know that I am NEVER. EVER. SARCASTIC. ;-)

Brytni Jade said...

hahaha... I think you'd feel right at home if you were at the Cutler's house then ;)

Jade Young said...

You may be over thinking it, dude. Quit trying to make feminism about what you think you can't do because of it (open doors for women, etc) and what you think you will supposedly do if it doesn't exist (take a bullet for a woman. Let's face it, you'll never do that anyway. Not because you're not 'willing' but because the opportunity will likely never present itself.) And how many times have you given up your parachute or seat on a life boat? It might also be a good idea to quit using these pretend likely-to-never-happen scenarios to try and prove how chivalrous you are, and tell us what you actually do to respect and promote women in your life. You carry their books? That's great, but it's probably not going to change their lives or have any real lasting value on how they live.
You don't need to depend on the 'if it came down to it, I'd catch a grenade for ya!" That's not going to happen.
And really, if you're not going to let me live my life fully just because I'm a woman, I could care less if you're willing to die for me just because I'm a woman.
What you're describing/arguing for is not chivalry, not flattering, not even sensible.

And as an important side - please consider that the issue is *not* that men *have* to express themselves emotionally, and women *have* to lift and obtain a muscular stature, or they're less as people. Flip flop those, and it's actually what patriarchy says. And that's the point. Men don't *have* to cry to be men, but they *should* be allowed to and accepted as men even if they do... and women don't *have* to do things traditionally done by men, but should be allowed to and accepted if they do. That's what feminism says. Feminism says the man who is more gentle, patient, kind, compassionate in spirit is just as much a man as the one who swings an axe and grunts and virtually gives up his pretend parachute to a woman. And feminism says that a woman who leads with courage in the workplace is just as much a woman as the one who stays home with the children to take care of the house while her husband works.
Please stop twisting things and try to look at this from a logical, well-rounded perspective. You should be great at that. You're a guy. ;)