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There is no reason not to support the #HeForShe campaign.
The criticisms I have read by commentators of either gender were mostly extrapolations based on specific parts of Emma Watson’s recent speech at the UN. The idea among some critics is that the emphasis on eliminating women’s issues means that the entire movement is unfair to men, and therefore promotes “inequality”.
The problem with this point of view is that women around the world are less fortunate than men. This shouldn’t have to be elaborated upon in the information age, and I encourage anyone in doubt to study global wage differences between genders, the continued practice of female genital mutilation, the timescale of women’s suffrage on a global scale, the number of female members of parliament in other countries, etc.
Watson mentioned some of the issues that are more common among men, such as the low appreciation of paternal efforts, acknowledging that gender equality concerns the empowering of both genders, but only a fool would claim that men deserve priority in the matter. Men have always had priority, be it enforced through politics, violence, religion, or thereby established tradition.
In addition to the above criticisms, a number of self-proclaimed “alpha males” have provided their own comments, most of which consist of personal attacks and logical fallacies. They are not worth addressing in detail, and their authorship is questionable at best, as gender equality does not pose a threat to men.
I wanted to keep this commentary short, because the validity of the cause is obvious. It doesn’t require further elaboration.
In Swedish parlance resides a strange little word nought more than two letters in length; a frequent and emotional participant in arguments and truisms, and near impossible to translate into English. The word “ju” (pronounced like “yew”) is classified as an adverb in the dictionary, but what does it mean?
“Ju” is an emphasizer of sorts; the verbal equivalent of a hand gesture meant to lend some abstract credibility to a statement. It substitutes “the” when Swedes use expressions like “the sooner the better”, however, tradition, for reasons unknown, mandates that only the first “the” should be “ju”:
The sooner the better. | Ju förr desto bättre.
It bears a resemblance to British English’s various courtesy-words and creeps needlessly into amicable conversations, lending emphasis to perfectly clear statements:
Yes, that’s how it is. | Ja, så är det ju.
I told you so. | Jag sa ju det.
It expresses surprise, a sense of having been deceived, or an assertion of an implicitly denied fact:
Oh, there you are! | Där är du, ju!
You said you couldn’t speak Spanish. | Du sa ju att du inte kunde tala spanska.
That didn’t hurt at all! | Det där gjorde ju inte alls ont!
Why are you asking me? It was he who started it. | Varför frågar du mig? Det var ju han som började.
The word is most likely Germanic in origin, as we find the equivalent “je” in German. Interestingly, Germans have several other applications for the word that Swedes do not, including “ever” as in “was there ever life of Mars?” and “a” as in “The room is €40 a night”.