Emma Watson is right, Maisie Williams is wrong - we need to solve our 'first world problems' to help women everywhere.
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Maisie Williams, the Game of Thrones actress, criticised Emma Watson’s UN speech on feminism in a recent interview in the Guardian. She was quoted saying that Emma Watson’s speech was an example of “first world problems” and that “I know things aren’t perfect for women in the UK and in America, but there are women in the rest of the world who have it far worse.” Whilst this is true it is wrong to suggest that because the problems are worse elsewhere we should stop addressing issues in our own country. It is our job to lead the way in developing a greater level of equality. In a re-framing of the ‘feminism’ debate away from recent misunderstandings the He for She organisation brings our attention to the fact in creating a better world feminism is an issue for all genders, across all countries. There is no ‘us’ and ‘them’. If all people would work together across genders we could improve the living conditions in the poorest and richest countries in the world. Feminism is from the beginning a struggle to reach equality, not a way in which women want to suppress men. If we reach equality all over the world, then men and women will not have to change in order to fit in the gender roles they were born into because of the society’s sometimes unspoken rules. As expressed by Emma Watson in her UN speech, one worldwide issue for feminism is women’s (and men’s) right to have complete control over their own bodies. We are nowhere near having this for women.
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