In the years since her performance in Harry Potter, Emma Watson has taken on many roles, including Ila in the film Noah and herself in This is the End. She embarked on her most important role yet, however, six months ago when she became the UN Women Goodwill Ambassador.
On Saturday, September 20, she gave a speech at the UN Headquarters in New York to talk about her vision of men’s role in feminism. You can watch a video of the full speech below or read a transcript here.
She addresses the familiar issue of women being reluctant to identify as feminists for fear of being pegged as man-haters. She combats this notion by reiterating what it means to be feminist: “For the record, 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.”
Her own identification with feminism began at age 8, when she was accused of being “bossy” for wanting to direct the plays she and her playmates would put on for their parents. Later, when she realized that strict gender roles prevented her male friends from feeling comfortable expressing their feelings, she saw feminism as men’s issue too.
This brought her to launch the HeForShe campaign, in which she asks men to join the fight for gender equality. The HeForShe website provides an opportunity for men all over the world to declare their support, and a map to show how many men from each country have joined so far.
On Twitter, Emma is actively encouraging her fans to join the campaign and tweet her a picture of themselves signing up.
For us geeky feminists, here at DG, seeing Emma Watson put her fame to good use by raising awareness for a cause close to her heart and ours makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside. We wish her luck on the HeForShe campaign, and encourage all our male readers to head over to www.heforshe.org to put their names on the map!
What did you think of Emma’s speech? Let us know in the comments.