Emma Watson has evolved from acting in the magical world of Harry Potter to become one of the most prominent voices of gender equality. Last September, the British actor gave an inspiring speech at the United Nations launching the HeForShe campaign. And yesterday, in celebration of International Women’s Day, Watson gave a live Facebook Q&A interview, continuing to advocate for gender equality.
In her hour-long conversation she addressed many facets of the movement, but made clear that it isn’t about men “saving” women.
She explained that when she spoke at the UN, she felt that “the impact of gender inequality and how it’s actually been affecting men hasn’t really been addressed” and that was a clear message she wanted to communicate.
“Women are already in the club because it’s our movement. It’s an equality club for both genders. It’s about men coming in support of women and women coming in support of men.” She added that “we’re never, ever, ever going to be able to fly as high unless we’re both in support of each other.”
But it’s equally important for women to acknowledge and feel comfortable enough to admit this is a problem.
“A lot of the criticism I’ve ever had in my life, some of the harshest moments of criticism have been comments from other women. It’s not just enough to ask men to come in and support us. We really need to support each other.”
Watson is not ignorant of how privileged her life has been, but she still has an undeniable passion and determination to have an impact.
“I’ve been incredibly lucky. I really have been supported and had access to a lot of opportunities that women in other countries probably aren’t. I would never complain about my personal situation. Surely, it is therefore my responsibility to make sure other women have access to same privileges that I have. Surely, it would be bad if I wasn’t doing this, making sure that what I have been lucky enough to receive in my life is extended to others.”
The word “feminism” can be confusing to some, but people are coming back to what it originally means. Watson says “we just want to be included.”
“If you stand for equality,” she said, “then you’re a feminist.”