Emma Watson on Why Men Need Feminism

As Hermione Granger, Emma Watson taught a generation of girls that it was cool to be smart, that it could save her life. In real life, Emma is spreading a similarly feminist message. But this time, her main target is men.

Yesterday, Emma introduced a campaign called HeForShe in her capacity as a U.N. Goodwill Ambassador. In the above speech, she discusses feminism’s bad reputation, what it actually means, and why men are essential to achieve quality for all. Some highlights:

  • For the record, feminism by definition is: “The belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. It is the theory of the political, economic and social equality of the sexes.”
  • No country in the world can yet say they have achieved gender equality.
  •  My life is a sheer privilege because my parents didn’t love me less because I was born a daughter. My school did not limit me because I was a girl. My mentors didn’t assume I would go less far because I might give birth to a child one day. These influencers were the gender equality ambassadors that made who I am today. They may not know it, but they are the inadvertent feminists who are. And we need more of those. 
  • We don’t often talk about men being imprisoned by gender stereotypes but I can see that that they are and that when they are free, things will change for women as a natural consequence.
  • If we stop defining each other by what we are not and start defining ourselves by what we are—we can all be freer and this is what HeForShe is about. It’s about freedom.
  • Because the reality is that if we do nothing it will take 75 years, or for me to be nearly a hundred before women can expect to be paid the same as men for the same work. 15.5 million girls will be married in the next 16 years as children. And at current rates it won’t be until 2086 before all rural African girls will be able to receive a secondary education.

Intrigued? Watch the full video above, or read the full text of Emma’s speech here.

Loved her speech? Let us know in the comments, on Facebook or Tweet us @SuperheroYou!

Written by Sasha Graffagna

As Hermione Granger, Emma Watson taught a generation of girls that it was cool to be smart, that it could save her life. In real life, Emma is spreading a similarly feminist message. But this time, her main target is men.

Yesterday, Emma introduced a campaign called HeForShe in her capacity as a U.N. Goodwill Ambassador. In the above speech, she discusses feminism’s bad reputation, what it actually means, and why men are essential to achieve quality for all. Some highlights:

  • For the record, feminism by definition is: “The belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. It is the theory of the political, economic and social equality of the sexes.”
  • No country in the world can yet say they have achieved gender equality.
  •  My life is a sheer privilege because my parents didn’t love me less because I was born a daughter. My school did not limit me because I was a girl. My mentors didn’t assume I would go less far because I might give birth to a child one day. These influencers were the gender equality ambassadors that made who I am today. They may not know it, but they are the inadvertent feminists who are. And we need more of those. 
  • We don’t often talk about men being imprisoned by gender stereotypes but I can see that that they are and that when they are free, things will change for women as a natural consequence.
  • If we stop defining each other by what we are not and start defining ourselves by what we are—we can all be freer and this is what HeForShe is about. It’s about freedom.
  • Because the reality is that if we do nothing it will take 75 years, or for me to be nearly a hundred before women can expect to be paid the same as men for the same work. 15.5 million girls will be married in the next 16 years as children. And at current rates it won’t be until 2086 before all rural African girls will be able to receive a secondary education.

Intrigued? Watch the full video above, or read the full text of Emma’s speech here.

Loved her speech? Let us know in the comments, on Facebook or Tweet us @SuperheroYou!

Written by Sasha Graffagna

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