09/24/2014 12:32 EDT | Updated 11/24/2014 05:59 EST

4Chan Can't Drag Gender Equality Back to the Stone Age

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 31:  Emma Watson attends the UK premiere of 'Noah' at Odeon Leicester Square on March 31, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Anthony Harvey/Getty Images)
Anthony Harvey via Getty Images
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 31: Emma Watson attends the UK premiere of 'Noah' at Odeon Leicester Square on March 31, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Anthony Harvey/Getty Images)

We've all heard the story. Earlier this week, actress Emma Watson gave an impassioned speech to the UN, richly stating the true nature of the fight for gender equality. Unlike a lot of speeches in the past that have focused strongly on the issue from a feminine perspective, Watson's speech observed it as a global issue, a battle that refutes the polarization between sexes and urges both men and women to work together for a better, united world. The speech was raw, powerful, honest, and unbiased. As a feminist with an eye for detail, I gave it an immediate five out of five stars.

Then the expectedly unexpected occurred. The internet's beloved 4Chan and the masterminds behind the digital world's recent wave of sex crimes threatened to make nude photographs of Emma Watson available to the public, proving once again that women are the most terrifying force in the universe for people with proper cognition. Though some people believe that this is a hoax and not a direct threat from the Jerry Springer of internet image bulletins, the fact remains that the threat was real, regardless of where it came from.

And then something even worse happened. Reddit and 4Chan users exploded in a bevy of SUPPORT for the nude photo leak. Comments ranging from "feminism is a growing cancer in society" to an actual hope that sexual photographs of Emma Watson would make her plea for gender equality null and void flooded the pages of the message boards and instantly sent quality control back a good 500 years. It's so disgusting that it's almost laughable. Almost.

Naturally, I want to talk to these mis-users of 4chan and Reddit. I think it's about time that we sit down with a cup of tea and have a good old internet chat. Therefore, and without further delay, I present to you my open letter to the 4Chan and Reddit users who want to refuse the need for gender equality:

"Dearest Mis-Users of Reddit and 4Chan,

I get it. I've seen your comments and I can completely see where you are coming from. Times are changing, aren't they? It seemed like only yesterday that you could punch a woman in the face and it was funny. Those love-lorn days of yester-year when the police didn't listen to rape claims and domestic abuse was par for the course have given way to a world where people actually care about each other. It's a freaky thing, caring is, so I completely understand your position.

However, I believe that the lines of communication have been crossed. When Emma Watson stood up and made her speech at the UN, pleading for both sexes to have a role in the fight for gender equality, I think you may have missed the point. Now, that's not to say that you're all complete idiots. In fact, you probably didn't even see the video (it was a whole fourteen minutes, and I'm sure that somewhere on the planet, The Price is Right was on at the same time, so I get that you may not have had the time to do so). But that being said, I really think the message that you have so aggressively dismissed was lost in translation. Allow me to explain.

There are two genders on this planet; one is called, "man", the other is called "woman." Interestingly enough, we can't have more of "man" or "woman" unless the two genders get together and make some babies. With these highly complex points in mind, we have one, fascinating truth to consider; the survival of the human race depends on these two genders working together on a consistent basis.

Now, I know I'm using a lot of big words like, "the" and "is", so let me address the next part as clearly as I can; things are changing. For a really long time, women were seen as baby-making creatures that would pour out sex if you only pressed the right button. Then one day, and expert team of everyone-with-a-fully-functioning-brain discovered that women could DO STUFF. And not just baby stuff. ALL OF THE STUFF. They could run, jump, feel, laugh, think, and even build things with their bare hands! What a crazy world it had become!

It is true, however, that things got a little out of a hand. For a while, it seemed like gender equality was insinuating that women should be better than men. To some people, it appeared as though these women were even giving up their "feminine natures" in order to be just like their male-counterparts. Mis-Users, I have to agree that this was a very scary thing indeed. I mean, it really doesn't matter that as human beings, we all have the right to do WHATEVER WE WANT with our own bodies and personalities, right? Is there anything more threatening than a person who can do a lot of the same things that you can do?

It's pretty weird that Emma Watson thinks that we all need to work together, isn't it? It's just so strange to think of men caring so much about women that they want them to have the same opportunities that they do, and vice versa. It's even stranger to think that people, regardless of their gender, should actually have the right to speak about the changes that they would like to see in the world. Preposterous! Outrageous! And yet, since the world is changing so rapidly, is it not stranger still that you, dear Mis-Users, are being left behind in the Stone Age?

At the end of the day, you all have to understand that dysfunctional threats are only going to perpetuate more change. Saying that nude photos of Emma Watson will destroy her credibility as a feminist is like saying that Communism can be stopped if you only choose not to share any of your things with other people. Resistance is futile. The more you push for the world to stay the same, the faster it throws you a curve ball. Shape up, or ship out, sailors. Gender equality is not going to join you in the Neolithic period.

So the next time you take to the internet to express your hilarious opinions, consider reading a book. Or using your brain. Or your heart. Any of the above options are great individually, but as whole, they are virtually unstoppable. Emma Watson is doing fine on her own, so don't you worry about her being a bother to your archaic ideas. If you choose not to listen to people like her and remain content to pick the fleas off of your friends while eating your bananas, the more enlightened part of the world will get with the program and forget your inability to communicate in anything other than grunts.

Yes, Mis-Users, life is good. Let the professionals handle this. You just work on those books that I told you about. (Hint: they're those things with paper and printed words inside of them).

All the best and brightest,

Lauren Messervey


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