EDITORIAL: See HeForShe

Harry Potter series actor believes men must be part of the solution to issues of inequality faced by women

If most of the problems women face in today’s society are caused by men, it makes sense for men to be part of the solutions.

It’s difficult to argue that men, purposely or not, haven’t created much of the inequality that continues to hold women back. It is men who have historically, and to a large degree still, called the shots. Whether it was denying women the vote or a place in university, it was always men making the decisions.

Sadly, it is also men who perpetrate the more visible, horrible wrongs: more than 80 per cent of domestic violence incidents in B.C. involve a male as the aggressor, the hitter, the criminal.

International Women’s Day, and the federal candidates’ forum here on the same day (Sunday), got us thinking more about this subject.

In September of last year, the United Nations Women Goodwill Ambassador, Emma Watson, gave a poignant speech to the UN in New York. She was announcing the launch of HeForShe.

“We want to try to mobilize as many men and boys as possible to be advocates for change,” said Watson, who you may remember as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter movies.

“I was appointed as Goodwill Ambassador for UN Women six months ago and the more I spoke about feminism, the more I realized that fighting for women’s rights has too often become synonymous with man-hating,” said Watson. “If there is one thing I know for certain, it is that this has to stop.”

Watson spoke about how men are imprisoned by stereotypes, which feeds the beast that is inequality for women.

“If men don’t have to be aggressive in order to be accepted, women won’t feel compelled to be submissive,” she said. “If men don’t have to control, women won’t have to be controlled.”

It starts in the home and continues in the schools. We believe anti-bullying programs in the schools have had some effect. We hear positive, supportive language from young children we would never have heard without Pink Shirt Days. Parents and teachers are on the front lines. Boys and men have to be included, be part of the solution. As Watson said:

“How can we affect change in the world when only half of it is invited or feel welcome to participate in the conversation?”

— Editorial by John Harding

Just Posted

Pam Bottomley (executive director), right and Sandy Hurley (president) of the Parksville Downtown Business Association visit the PQB News/VI Free Daily studio. (Peter McCully photo)
PQBeat: Downtown Parksville gears up for post-pandemic bounce back

Podcast: Hurley, Bottomley chat about what’s ahead for the PDBA

(Black Press file photo)
RCMP: Air ambulance called to Whiskey Creek after crash involving 2 motorbikes

Both riders taken to hospital with serious injuries

(File photo)
Crime report: Crooks busy pilfering bikes throughout Parksville Qualicum Beach area

Thefts among 295 complaints Oceanside RCMP deal with in one-week period

The Arrowsmith Search and Rescue logo on the back of a service vehicle. (Mandy Moraes photo)
Parksville and Qualicum Beach provide letters of support for Arrowsmith Search and Rescue

ASAR asks for increase in funding, one-time capital grant and for RDN to buy out current facility

The proposed running track upgrade at Ballenas Secondary is now on course. (PQB News file photo)
RDN: Parksville track upgrade project gains some traction

Staff recommends board approve $204,000 funding

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

Gabriola Island artist Sheila Norgate is promoting the Digital Innovation Group’s art impact survey. (File photo)
Vancouver Island artists get behind regional arts impact study

Artists urged to use their stature to help put arts and culture super-region on the map

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

Neighbours fight a small late-night bush fire with garden hoses and shovels in Cinnabar Valley on June 5. They couldn’t get help from local fire services because the fire was located in an area under B.C. Wildfire Services jurisdiction. (Photo courtesy Muriel Wells)
Neighbours on edge of Nanaimo city limits left to put out bush fire themselves

Cinnabar Valley residents tackle fire with hoses and buckets for two and a half hours

Darren Campbell’s truck (pictured) was stolen when he stopped to check on a car in a ditch on Cowichan Bay Road on Monday morning. (Facebook photo)
Vancouver Island Good Samaritan’s truck stolen in nasty trick

‘Try to be a Good Samaritan and my $20,000 truck gets stolen right under my nose’

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

Creative handmade signs abound at the June 13 Tofino rally for old growth trees. (Nora O’Malley photo)
VIDEO: Tofino stands in solidarity for Fairy Creek Blockades

Over 150 supporters attend rally hosted by Friends of Clayoquot Sound

Most Read