On one hand, we have, “Cause if you’ll treat me right/ I’ll be the perfect wife/ Buying groceries/ Buy-buying what you need.”
On the other, “I think it is right 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 socially, I am afforded the same respect as men.”
One of these statements was made by a 21-year-old Billboard-topping pop star, the other by a 24-year old Brown and Oxford University educated actress. One of the statements has been heard by more than 19 million people, the other by only seven million.
Can you guess which one?
Pop star Meghan Trainor and actress and activist Emma Watson have differing views on the role that women should play in today’s society. Trainor’s recently-released single “Dear Future Husband” paints a picture of what she believes to be the ideal life, spent with the perfect man.
“I’ll be sleeping on the left side of the bed/ Open doors for me and you might get some… kisses/ Don’t have a dirty mind/ Just be a classy guy/ Buy me a ring,” sings Trainor, who is open about the fact that she does not identify herself as a feminist.
In the video for “Dear Future Husband,” which was released Monday, Trainor is seen singing while scrubbing the floors and baking pies in high heels and short skirts. On the other hand, former “Harry Potter” star Emma Watson has since been appointed a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador, helping to launch the UN Women campaign HeForShe last September.
On Sept. 20, 2014, she gave a moving speech about gender inequality and how to fight it.
“For the record,” Watson said, “feminism by definition is the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. It is the theory of political, economic and social equality of the sexes.
“Women are choosing not to identify as feminists. Apparently, I’m among the ranks of women whose expressions are seen as too strong, too aggressive, isolating, and anti-men. Unattractive, even.”
Unfortunately, millions more girls will listen to Meghan Trainor’s “Dear Future Husband” than will hear Emma Watson’s call to arms to end gender inequality. Young girls will sing and dance, pretending to be pretty housewives scrubbing floors in high heels instead of giving serious thought to the notion that their minds and their talents are worth just as much as those of their male counterparts.
We need to stop raising daughters to be passive and submissive. We should be raising our daughters to be Emmas, to be strong and unafraid to stand up for themselves.