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English FOA - Part 1: Language and Gender

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Rania Chowdhury

on 7 February 2017

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Transcript of English FOA - Part 1: Language and Gender

She repeated "if not me, who? if not now, when?" which is her punchline. It's the phrase that people will remember her speech by. It promotes people to get involved and make a difference, otherwise no one will.
"IF you believe in equality" almost like guilt-tripping.
Publicized via media and globally recognized
Speech by UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson
Persuade community, specifically the male half to join the campaign.
To conclude...
How do activists use language to advocate gender equality?
Emma Watson 'HeForShe' Speech 2014 held in United Nations Headquarters, New York
English FOA - Part 1: Language and Gender

repetition throughout to imprint/engrave her message on to her audience
did not crack (insensitive) jokes
she uses personal experience to support her arguments and statistics
very smartly structured speech (linear)
Rania Chowdhury & Yusra Fatima
Analyse how audience and purpose affect the structure and content of text
Learning outcome:
Related Topics:
Language and power
Language and communities
Language and social relations
Emma Watson
Why her?
White woman in her early twenties
Successful actress
Also recognized as a model and activist
Elected Women's Goodwill Ambassador in 2014
Young and successful
Passionate and has experience
Popular celebrity worldwide
Well educated
What is Feminism?
A social and political movement and ideology
Originated multiple terms explaining the cause
Why does feminism now have negative connotations?
“The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism, and become lesbians.” - Pat Robertson
About the Speech
Radical feminists
Focus only on women's issues
Today we are launching a campaign called “HeForShe.”
I am reaching out to you because I need your help.
We want to end gender inequality—and to do this we need everyone to be involved.
This is the first campaign of its kind at the UN:
we want
to try and galvanize as many

men and boys
as possible to be advocates for gender equality. And we don’t just want to talk about it, but make sure it is tangible.
I was appointed six months ago and the more I have spoken about feminism the more I have realized that fighting for women’s rights has too often become
synonymous with man-hating. If there is one thing I know for certain, it is that this has to stop.
For the record, feminism by definition is: “The belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. It is the theory of the political, economic and social equality of the sexes.”

I started questioning gender-based assumptions
when at
I was confused at being called “bossy,” because I wanted to direct the plays we would put on for our parents—but the boys were not.
When at
I started being sexualized by certain elements of the media.
When at

my girlfriends started dropping out of their beloved sports teams because they didn’t want to appear “muscly.”
When at

my male friends were unable to express their feelings.
I decided I was a feminist and this seemed uncomplicated to me. But my recent research has shown me that feminism has become an unpopular word.
Apparently I am among the ranks of women whose expressions are seen as
too strong, too aggressive, isolating and anti-men. Unattractive
, even.
Why is the word such an uncomfortable one?
I am from Britain and
think it is right
that as a woman I am paid the same as my male counterparts.
I think it is right
that I should be able to make decisions about my own body.
I think it is right
that women be involved on my behalf in the policies and decisions that will affect my life.

I think it is right
that socially I am afforded the same respect as men. But sadly I can say that there is
no one country in the world
where all women can expect to receive these rights.
No country in the world
can yet say they have achieved gender equality.
These rights I consider to be human rights but

am one of the lucky ones.

life is a sheer privilege because my parents didn’t love me less because

was born a daughter.

school did not limit me because
was a girl.
mentors didn’t assume I would go less far because I might give birth to a child one day. These influencers were the gender equality
that made me who I am today. They may not know it, but they are the
inadvertent feminists
who are changing the world today. And we need more of those.
And if you still hate the word—it is not the word that is important. It's the idea and the ambition behind it. Because not all women have been afforded the same rights that I have. In fact, statistically, very few have been.
In 1995, Hilary Clinton made a famous speech in Beijing about women’s rights. Sadly, many of the things she wanted to change are still true today.
But what stood out for me the most was that less 30 per cent of the audience were male.
How can we

affect change in the world when only half of it is invited or feel welcome to participate in the conversation?

I would like to
take this opportunity to extend your formal invitation. Gender equality is your issue too.
Because to date,
I’ve seen my father
’s role as a parent being
valued less
by society despite my needing his presence as a child as much as my mother’s.
I’ve seen young men

from mental illness unable to ask for help for fear it would make them look less of a man—in fact in the
UK suicide is the biggest killer of men between 20-49 years of age; eclipsing road accidents, cancer and coronary heart disease.
I’ve seen men
fragile and insecure
by a distorted sense of what constitutes male success.
Men don’t have the benefits of equality either.
We don’t often talk about men being
by gender stereotypes but I can see that they are and that when
they are free, things will change for women as a natural consequence.
If men
don’t have to be aggressive in order to be accepted women won’t feel compelled to be submissive.
If men
don’t have to control, women won’t have to be controlled.
Both men and women should feel free to be


Both men and women should feel free to be

It is time that we all perceive gender on a spectrum instead of two sets of opposing ideals.
If we stop defining each other by what we are not and start defining ourselves by what we are—we can all be freer and this is what HeForShe is about. It’s about freedom.
I want

to take up this mantle. So their daughters, sisters and mothers can be free from prejudice but also so that their sons have permission to be vulnerable and human too—
reclaim those parts
of themselves they abandoned and in doing so be a more true and complete version of themselves.
You might be thinking who is this Harry Potter girl?
And what is she doing up on stage at the UN. It’s a good question and
I have
been asking myself the same thing. All
I know
is that
I care

about this problem. And
I want
to make it better.
And having seen what I’ve seen—and given the chance—I feel it is my
to say something. Statesman Edmund Burke said: “All that is needed for the forces of evil to triumph is for good men and good women to do nothing.”
In my nervousness for this speech and in my moments of doubt I’ve told myself firmly—
if not me, who, if not now, when?
If you have similar doubts when opportunities are presented to you I hope those words might be helpful.
Because the reality is that if we do nothing it will take 75 years, or for me to be nearly a hundred before women can expect to be paid the same as men for the same work. 15.5 million girls will be married in the next 16 years as children. And at current rates it won’t be until 2086 before all rural African girls will be able to receive a secondary education.
If you believe in equality, you might be one of those
inadvertent feminists
that I spoke of earlier.
And for this
I applaud you.
are struggling for a uniting word but the good news is
have a uniting movement. It is called HeForShe.
I am inviting you
to step forward, to be seen.
And to ask yourself if not me, who? If not now, when?
Thank you very, very much.
Body 1 - Personal experiences
Bridge - Experience to issue
Body 2- Issue at hand
Body 3 - Solution
Stylistic Features
Content and Theme
Stylistic Features
Content and Theme
Stylistic Features
Content and Theme
Stylistic Features
Content and Theme
Stylistic Features
Content and Theme
Introduction to HeforShe
Addressing the audience directly
Men play a principle role for this movement
Feminism is not "man-hating"
strengthen, convince,
solid, leaves an impact
Watson is using metaphors with unconventional words
discussing her personal experience
what inspired her to become a feminist
recalling experiences of discrimination in her youth
indirectly outlining feminist beliefs
high position, representative, important figure
Rhetorical question
pathos, logos and ethos
Unconventional use of words
confined, constricted, held back
encouraging men
outlining issues men face
indirectly announcing a solution
includes facts and statistics
a solution
call for action
Logos, Watson brings up statistics
punchline repetition
Rhetorical question
"desperate" words
downplaying it
reclaim those parts
; relating 'sons' to machines,
introduce the solution and how to achieve it
links all bodies and transition to heforshe
call to action
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-iFl4qhBs E
Audience and Purpose
Immediate audience: UN council
Specifically addressed to men
Platforms like this are used to convey the message globally
to persuade men
Tone and Mood
Content had elements of ethos
Tone had elements of pathos
Lack of humor as environment and issue were serious and professional
Full transcript