There's been a lot of talk on the subject of Gender Equality of late; between Gamergate, the celebrity photo leak scandal, and now Emma Watson's HeForShe speech (which I will include at the end of the post), it seems that for good or ill, the internet is abuzz over this very important issue. For someone who is normally more than a little opinionated, I have stayed largely quiet throughout all of this, though I must admit, my "unpublished posts" folder is full of attempts at expressing my opinions, however those unpublished posts will never be published, for they are far too vitriolic and only add to the white noise of outrage which seems to pervade the unfortunately broken global dialog surrounding this issue. Like many of us, I was angry. I was angry, and disappointed in humanity's seeming propensity for callousness, opportunism and cruelty in the name of "lulz". So why haven't I deleted these unpublished posts? I am keeping them as a personal reminder of what I don't want to turn into. What I don't want to write, and what got us all here in the first place. Unchecked, unbridled and self-righteous condemnation of opposing viewpoints. By keeping these posts, I remind myself to never fall into the trap of groupthink and to always strive to form cogent arguments and opinions, entirely independent of those of my peers; and in issues like Gender Equality, such an attitude is not only desired, but indeed I believe it is in fact necessary.
Having said all of this, I would like to go back to the three events I mentioned at the outset: Gamergate, The nude photo leaks, and Emma Watson's HeForShe speech. Specifically, I would like to address the reactions to each. In the former two instances, someone (or a group of someones) perpetrated some sort of misogynistic and/or sexist act, and the resulting fallout was one of upheaval and chaos. People on either side of the issue bickered and argued like schoolchildren, and in my opinion, nothing positive came of it for either camp. But then recently, Emma Watson got up on stage and delivered her HeForShe speech, and something which was, in my opinion, truly awesome happened. The usual threats from internet trolls were leveled against Miss Watson, but rather than the entirety of social media losing its collective forebrain and de-evolving into shouting matches with the stupidsphere of the internet while the aforementioned trolls do their best impersonation of Emperor Nero fiddling as everything burns to the ground, people instead stood behind her in solidarity, choosing for once NOT to feed the trolls and fan the flamewar, but instead to do something positive and show that yes, gender equality is a huge issue, and you, Emma Watson, are extremely brave for doing what you've done, and we stand with you in support. Seriously, how cool is that? After all the idiocy, all the needless back-and-forth and pointless mudslinging, people actually grew up and said "yeah, this needs to stop...we need to figure this out now before it gets worse."
To this I say, bravo humanity, you have proven to me that all is not lost. I was seriously losing hope, and I like to think of myself as at least a somewhat optimistic individual. I was almost completely burnt out, but now, with one girl giving one speech, I feel like maybe we can still make some kind of positive change in this world.
Thank you Emma Watson. You are amazing, and you will forever have my support.