Emma Watson who played Hermione Granger in Harry Potter who is a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador and Vanity Fair reported on her speech at the UN on Feminism,
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.Conservatives have given a bad name to feminist, they have tried to demonize them and called them derogatory names like fem-nazis. Rush Limbaugh and Fox News have twisted the meaning of feminism and made it mean men-haters because feminist challenge their conservative male dominated ideology.
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 that I was a feminist. This seemed uncomplicated to me. But my recent research has shown me that feminism has become an unpopular word. Women are choosing not to identify as feminists. Apparently, [women’s expression is] seen as too strong, too aggressive, anti-men, unattractive.
Why has the word become such an unpopular one? I think it is right I am paid the same as my male counterparts. I think it is right that I should make decisions about my own body. I think it is right that women be involved on my behalf in the policies and decisions that affect my life. I think it is right that socially, I am afforded the same respect as men.
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.