This Teen Boy’s Response To Emma Watson’s Speech Proves She’s Having The Effect She Wanted
Emma Watson‘s moving speech about gender equality at the U.N. last week did more than just cement her status as one of the brightest young stars of her generation. She also inspired a lot of people. During her speech she called on men to stand up in solidarity for gender equality, and now one young man is doing just that. A 15-year-old British boy named Ed Holtom wrote a response to Emma Watson’s speech to The Sunday Telegraph to stand up in support of feminism and say that more of his classmates should listen to Emma Watson.
The paper published his letter, which quickly started going viral because it is awesome. In it, Holtom particularly singled out habits he’s seen at his own school that he says indicate the way children and teens are fed stereotypical messages about gender roles.
“By using words such as ‘girly’ or ‘manly’ we inadvertently buy into gender stereotyping,” he wrote. “We play with toys designed for our gender, we play different sports based on gender, we often go to segregated schools.”
It’s heartening to see this kind of awareness coming from a young teenager. It makes one feel positively optimistic about the future, when kids like Holtom will be grown adults and voting in elections. I hope there are a lot more boys and girls like him out there.
“If we want equality, it will take more effort than paying women the same as men, or giving women equal opportunities,” he wrote. “We must stop pressuring each other to fit stereotypes which more often than not leave us feeling repressed and unable to express ourselves. We must not let gender define us.”
Holtom’s letter is just the kind of response Emma Watson said she wanted, which just goes to show that she is an excellent role model for young men and women everywhere.