Emma Watson isn’t done playing the role of Beauty and the Beast’s Belle.
On International Women’s Day, Watson decided to share Belle’s love of books with New Yorkers. As reported by E! News, the Beauty and the Beast star chose to hide feminist books around the city and shared the following on Twitter:
“Today I’m a red-striking ninja book-fairy out to spread some wise women’s words.”
The Book Fairy project started in London with the Books on the Underground project and now has hidden books in 26 countries. According to the BBC, Emma Watson describes the project as:
“The idea is to make people love reading again and to spread the love, like random acts of kindness.”
On International Women’s Day, Watson chose titles from feminist authors including Caitlyn Moran, Maya Angelou, and Alice Walker. Emma wrote a note in each book to encourage the recipient to hide the book for the next person to find after they were done reading it.
Emma Watson has been a feminist activist for many years and has shared her message on International Women’s Day before. Emma is a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador and has actively worked for gender equality including the HeForShe project.
In a speech at the United Nations, Watson explained the following about gender equality:
“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.
I want men to take up this mantle. So their daughters, sisters and mothers can be free from prejudice but also so that their sons have permission to be vulnerable and human too—reclaim those parts of themselves they abandoned and in doing so be a more true and complete version of themselves.
You might be thinking who is this Harry Potter girl? And what is she doing up on stage at the UN. It’s a good question and trust me, I have been asking myself the same thing. I don’t know if I am qualified to be here. All I know is that I care about this problem. And I want to make it better.
And having seen what I’ve seen—and given the chance—I feel it is my duty to say something. English Statesman Edmund Burke said: ‘All that is needed for the forces of evil to triumph is for enough good men and women to do nothing.”
On International Women’s Day, a day to celebrate women’s essential role in society, Emma Watson’s choice to share feminist books is an empowering step towards gender equality. Wise Toast shares an important quote by President Barack Obama:
“Reading is important. If you know how to read then the whole world opens up to you.”
Sharing feminist books have an important role in shaping the next generation of empowered women in three ways. First, the books are synonymous with education which is an important step towards improving gender equality. Secondly, sharing feminist messages from a wide variety of women gives a strong voice of feminism throughout history. And finally, the message of passing along each book to the next person is a reminder that women can make huge differences with small acts of kindness.
Identifying as a feminist, Emma Watson is one of many young celebrities who are branching out into the world of politics and human rights. And Watson seems to be exceptional at connecting with both her generation and younger feminists in new and unique ways. The Book Fairy project is a fun way for celebrities like Emma Watson the opportunity to share feminist wisdom in the most unexpected places.
[Featured Image by Jordan Strauss/AP Images]