Feeling Empowered: Feminism.

http://www.vanityfair.com/vf-hollywood/2014/09/emma-watson-un-speech-feminism

In light of Emma Watson's beautiful and inspiring speech (see above for the Vanity Fair article and video link), it's given me food for thought.

I've always been a massive fan of Emma Watson, and I'm sure many other women and girls around the world will say the same. But I grew up with her and the character Hermione Granger - one of the only female fictional characters who has ever been portrayed for the brain that she has and not her "hot" physique - and I can honestly say I identify with both the character and the actress. Books have always been my thing, knowledge has always been my pleasure and being bossy has always, and always will be, a trait of mine. A gift and a curse all at once I'm sure.
Recently I've been feeling a bit lost, within the space of the last year I feel as though what I want for me and what I want for my life has very much changed. But watching this video has given me plenty to think about. It has reminded me that my success can be just as worthy, great and positive as anyone else in this world. It has reminded me that I as a person am just as important as the people I work with and work for. It has brought back my sense of empowerment. 
And when I say empowerment, I don't mean working towards a huge salary, a perfect relationship or fame. I mean empowerment in myself. 
Feeling in control of my life and the decisions I make. Feeling confidence and trust in myself to make positive changes so that I may feel good about my life. Feeling empowered enough to help other people. Feeling empowered enough to inspire others to reciprocate these actions. Just as Emma Watson has and is.

I was tempted to go into essay detail about Watson's speech but I feel like she has spoken in such a way that it doesn't need any further analysis. This beautiful (inside and out) woman has once again helped me to feel good about myself and my journey. She's always been there as a symbol of strength for me while I was growing up and will no doubt continue to be for years to come. I'm once again feeling confident enough to really go for my dreams and to help others who need it. 
Don't laugh, but my first act of empowerment was to have a pyjama day and to give time to myself to fall back in love with my passions. I called up my family just because. I'm putting together pictures for my next adventure abroad. I'm thinking of ideas to help a local charity. I've decided I'll go back to my studies tomorrow because today is the day that my imagination is being set free, to create.
Give yourself some time today to let your mind wonder! Where do you really want to go? What do you really want to do? Who do you really want to be?

The same goes for creating change in the world. I now don't feel as guilty or self-conscious about being open about what I stand for. And that is, making changes in my uni department to benefit others. Creating and taking opportunities that not everyone will take so that I can go on to do great things in my career and in my life. Being open enough to allow men and women to feel comfortable to talk about anything in my presence. When someone tells me how they're really feeling, whether that's emotionally or about their secret hopes, I feel great. It's a wonderful feeling when you realise a friend or acquaintance is comfortable enough to share their true thoughts with you, career and mentally related. And once they understand that it is possible to go forward, they also feel happy enough to go forward with their dreams.
To quote Watson: "If not you, who? If not now, when?" And that's the truth.

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