Kudos For Emma Watson’s UN Speech

Source: Vanity Fair

emma watson un

Watch Emma Watson Deliver a Game-Changing Speech on Feminism for the U.N. (UPDATED)

Earlier this summer, fresh from college graduationEmma Watson, was named a U.N. Women Goodwill Ambassador. Though the ripples of her involvement over the past few months can be seen online (crashing the U.N. Web site, using Twitter to denounce a sexist politician in Turkey or respond to the gender politics of the recent celebrity nude photo hack), Watson’s power in person is an entirely different matter.

The actress gave an impassioned speech on feminism and gender at the U.N. headquarters in New York this weekend to launch the “HeForShe” campaign which aims to galvanize one billion men and boys as advocates for ending the inequalities that women and girls face globally.

Watson’s speech, which was met with a thunderous standing ovation, not only called for action from male allies, but clarified a persistent misconception about feminism in general. She said:

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, anti-men and, unattractive.

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 decision-making of my country. 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.

Watson is pushing back against recent campaigns like Women Against Feminism. As Watson puts it elsewhere in her speech, these campaigns portray the feminist cause as “man-hating.” By involving both genders in the HeForShe campaign, Watson hopes to abolish the “us vs. them” mentality.  (Continued at the source.)

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One response to “Kudos For Emma Watson’s UN Speech

  1. Pingback: Emma Watson’s Speech on Gender Equality at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland (full transcript) | Maps of the Heart

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