Emma Watson’s recent speech on women’s rights at the United Nations Summit, raised many incredible issues – one of the most powerful was that the word ‘feminist’ had become associated with man hating. Over the years, the word, which simply means that women should be entitled to equal rights as men, has been tarnished. Emma called to talk with the men in our life, brothers, fathers, sons, Uncles & to encourage them to speak up. Many celebrity males have raised their hands & said they are feminists – which I think is truly awesome. To have people of profile take a stand in a bid to start to break down this barrier is a great step forward.
One (of many things) I have learnt from one of my best friends, Freya, is that while all the hype & energy around people of profile taking a stand & speaking up are great, it is the day to day actions people make & the language we choose to use which will start to evoke change. While the power of change will not happen overnight, I feel that Emma’s speech & the waterfall effect of the conversations stemming from that have started a momentum at a very macro level.
It is now up to us to share the message, and bring light to the topic of equal rights & feminism, and as I said in a recent Instagram post, if the word feminism still doesn’t sit ok with you, substitute it to ‘Equal Rights Ambassador’.
My heart is full to be able to publish this post, from the men we at SAMANTHA WILLS are lucky enough to share work space with; our colleagues, our friends.
Share the #HeForShe message with the men in your life, because gender equality should be a human right.
Real men are feminists. – SWx
ABOVE: Dave McHenry, GENERAL MANAGER, SUNDAY SOMEWHERE
WHAT DOES THE WORD FEMINIST MEAN TO YOU? Free to do what you want, equal opportunities.
WHY IS THIS CAMPAIGN IMPORTANT TO YOU? We all have so much to learn from each other, and lets face it, women are far better communicators than men. Equal opportunties would provide such a powerful synergy.
WHO ARE THE STRONG WOMEN IN YOUR LIFE YOU WANT TO SEE EQUAL RIGHTS FOR? It may be a little late in life, but I have always wanted to see equal opportunities for my mother. She has be an incredibly hard worker all her life, always happy of course, but I often wonder where she would be today and what influence she would have on other people had the right opportunity been presented to her.
ABOVE: Geoff Bainbridge, FOUNDER, THE BRAND STABLE
WHAT DOES THE WORD FEMINIST MEAN TO YOU? Feminist is a word which has been overused and abused by all sides of an argument that shouldn't exist - that is, why should women be fighting for women's rights, when it is something they are entitled too and they should rightly expect to have. To me Feminist means Fairness.
WHY IS THIS CAMPAIGN IMPORTANT TO YOU? I work with many strong passionate and super smart people - female & male - and I strongly believe that gender is not a reason to differentiate an individual. For too long the fight for gender equality has been championed by females for females, and it is time for males to show equal leadership on this issue and stand up and be counted. Sadly many men are deaf to this issue and maybe a new voice might just get their ears and minds to open up again.
WHY IS THIS CAMPAIGN IMPORTANT TO YOU? My two daughters - Grace & Pearl - who are growing up in a world with an expectation that their rights are equal to their brothers' rights regardless of gender. I don't want be the father that tells them this is not the case.
ABOVE: Dean Grimster, SALES DIRECTOR, THE BRAND STABLE
WHAT DOES THE WORD FEMINIST MEAN TO YOU? It means strong women, women fighting for equal rights, women passionate about gender equality and equal rights for both sexes.
WHY IS THIS CAMPAIGN IMPORTANT TO YOU? This campaign is important to me for my daughter. To give her equal opportunities and every chance in life!
WHO ARE THE STRONG WOMEN IN YOUR LIFE YOU WANT TO SEE EQUAL RIGHTS FOR? My wife and my daughter are two powerful forces in my life. They keep me grounded and make me a better person!
WHAT DOES THE WORD FEMINIST MEAN TO YOU? To me it’s a person who helps and supports in bringing about change in our society and in the work-place for all women to have equal rights as men.
ABOVE: Ted Chiasson, CREATIVE DIRECTOR, ICON BRAND
WHY IS THIS CAMPAIGN IMPORTANT TO YOU? It’s important to me because, as a visible minority, I believe every human being should have equal rights. Period. Regardless of their ethnicity, age, religion, gender, belief or political views.
WHO ARE THE STRONG WOMEN IN YOUR LIFE YOU WANT TO SEE EQUAL RIGHTS FOR? The strongest person I know is my mother, who in a male dominated work place, continually persevered to attain her goals. But regardless, I want to see equal rights for ALL WOMEN.
ABOVE: Josh Smith, GENERAL MANAGER, HAPPY SOCKS
WHAT DOES THE WORD FEMINIST MEAN TO YOU? Feminism is for the power of women to be acknowledged as equal to man.
WHY IS THIS CAMPAIGN IMPORTANT TO YOU? It is important because gender equality feels so natural to me. While many feel we have come far as a society since the mid-twentieth century, this campaign represents a stand that globally there are still many shortcomings on this issue that need to be addressed.
WHO ARE THE STRONG WOMEN IN YOUR LIFE YOU WANT TO SEE EQUAL RIGHTS FOR? All women- the ones I know and the ones I don't know, the strong and the not-so-strong.
ABOVE: Dave Allison, CREATIVE DIRECTOR, SUNDAY SOMEWHERE
WHAT DOES THE WORD FEMINIST MEAN TO YOU? The word "Feminism" itself is quite loaded. The misuse and past connotations means that it can come across quite aggressive, but in actual fact it just means equality and this is something I feel should just be. It's sad that women still need to fight for equality in our modern world.
WHY IS THIS CAMPAIGN IMPORTANT TO YOU? I have business relationships with many women and I would never imagine treating them differently to someone else based on gender. The fact that this still happens is absurd for me. I feel it's important for men to become more vocal in supporting equality - by acting as role models for younger guys, hopefully sooner than later this issue will be a thing of the past.
WHO ARE THE STRONG WOMEN IN YOUR LIFE YOU WANT TO SEE EQUAL RIGHTS FOR? Without doubt, my wife. She is a strong, intelligent woman - she wears many coats and is an inspiration for others. To think that she could be treated in a different manner to someone purely based on gender is wrong on so many levels. I want to see equality for all women from all cultures and backgrounds.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: Scott Ehler