Don’t think you’re a feminist? Emma Watson has this message for you

Dina Rickman@dinarickman
Sunday 08 March 2015 20:00
Celebrities

Emma Watson took part in a live Facebook Q&A on Sunday to mark International Women's Day.

In it she discussed her non-scandalous nudes scandal, what feminism means and HeforShe, the UN initiative she represents which encourages men to engage with equality.

i100.co.uk was in the room and this is what we learned:

1. If you don’t think you’re a feminist, think again

"Men believe [feminism] a women's word, but it’s for men as well. If you stand for equality, you’re a feminist – I’m sorry to tell you,” she said. And Watson believes getting involved can only help men. "I have four brothers and gender inequality is affecting them as much as me", she added.

2. Women have a job to do too

Watson said women can be “complicit” in sexism and pointed out some of the worst criticism she has received has been from other women, not men.

3. The movement is also for people who don't identify as either gender

Watson explicitly said the movement was for men, women and those who didn't identify as either when asked about LGBT issues and the campaign. "Intersectionality is a really important word here,” she said.

4. She also has a message for her critics

Watson said criticism that HeforShe is about men “saving” women misunderstands the campaign. She said it is actually about men supporting equality and signing up to a campaign women are already a part of. "Gender equality was historically women's problem. I want to show everyone can be part of solution."

5. Her UN speech was one of the most 'surreal' moments of her life

"It was like something from a dream, or from a film."

6. The threats to release 'nude' pictures only spurred her on

Watson was threatened by a site claiming to have nude pictures of her within “12 hours” of making her speech in support of HeforShe at the UN. The actress said she knew no such pictures existed, and rather than being distressed the threat only made her more determined. “The minute I stepped up and talked about women's rights I was immediately threatened,” she said. “It was a wake-up call to people around me in particular who didn’t think we had a problem with gender equality in Great Britain.

People thought I’d be disheartened by this – but if anything it made me so much more determined.

I was raging, it made me so angry, I was like, this is why I have to be doing this. If anything, if they were trying to put me off it, it did the opposite.

7. She isn’t afraid to acknowledge her emotions. And she doesn’t want anyone else to be either

Being passionate is not what makes you a girl, it's what makes you a human.

8. If you think the UK doesn't have a problem with gender equality, think again.

Watson quoted statistics saying 85,000 people were raped every year in Britain, while parliament is 77 per cent male and the gender pay gap is 16 per cent. “Just tell me there isn’t a problem here", she said.

9. This is her message for women everywhere:

Don't let anyone tell you what you can or cannot do. Just don't allow it. It's wrong. It's so wrong. Be what you want to be.... Be an engineer. Prove them wrong. Do it.

And if you’re scared?

Don't ever hear in your own head 'who am I to say something’... Be brave.

10. As for men?

She wants more men to sign up to the gender equality pledge on the He for She website. You can do so here.

11. She won’t stop fighting

Watson said she doesn’t believe the world will have full gender parity until after she is dead. Her solution? “I think I'm just going to refuse to die.”

More: Emma Watson's back with a powerful gender equality speech at Davos

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