Emma Watson has responded to critics who labelled the 25-year-old as a “feminazi” earlier this week. In an interview with Esquire Magazine, Watson aired her views on those that have criticized her for being vocal about gender issues.
“We are not supposed to talk about money, because people will think you’re ‘difficult’ or a ‘diva.’ But there’s a willingness now to be like, ‘Fine. Call me a ‘diva’, call me a ‘feminazi’, call me ‘difficult,’ call me a ‘First World feminist’, call me whatever you want, it’s not going to stop me from trying to do the right thing and make sure that the right thing happens.”
This comes at a time where Emma Watson recently announced that she was taking a year off from acting to study feminism and for personal development, Paper Magazine reported. During this sabbatical period, Watson plans to read a book a week to further educate herself, as well as spend time talking and listening to people.
Since becoming one of Hollywood’s brightest stars, Emma Watson has used the platform to advocate women’s rights. On July 14, 2014, Emma Watson was appointed as a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador, and just a few months later, Emma made a speech at UN Headquarters to announce the launch of the UN Campaign HeForShe. This campaign, fronted by Watson, has a mission to encourage men to advocate women’s rights, and Emma’s speech has been viewed over 10 million times on YouTube and generated plenty of interest in the campaign. Consequently, Emma Watson was named in Time’s 100 Most Influential People in 2015.
Although Emma Watson’s women’s rights work has largely been well-received, there have been those who have criticized Watson for speaking out about these issues, and she has experienced plenty of sexism first hand, as revealed in Esquire.
“I’ve had my a*se slapped as I’ve left a room. I’ve felt scared walking home. I’ve had people following me. I don’t talk about these experiences much, because coming from me they’ll sound like a huge deal and I don’t want this to be about me, but most women I know have experienced it and worse… this is unfortunately how it is.”
The topic of equal pay has been prevalent in Hollywood since Patricia Arquette used her Oscar acceptance speech to call for equal pay last year and since the Sony hack, where it was revealed that Jennifer Lawrence was being paid less than her male co-stars, according to the Evening Standard. For Emma Watson however, it is a much broader problem.
“Hollywood is just a small piece of a gigantic puzzle but it’s in the spotlight. Whether you are a woman on a tea plantation in Kenya, or a stockbroker on Wall Street, or a Hollywood actress, no one is being paid equally.”
Emma Watson revealed in the interview that in order for things to change and for us to fully reach equality, men need to join the fight against sexism in day-to-day life. She believes that the best way for men to do this is to speak up when they are in a group and experiencing sexism first hand, which she states most men she knows have experienced when in a group of other males.
These comments from Emma Watson come at a fantastic time as the world celebrates International Women’s Day, where we “celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women.” This has sparked plenty of celebration around the world, with many taking to social media to mark the occasion and praise women like Watson. Although there is plenty to celebrate, Emma Watson is calling for a lot more work to be done.
[Photo by Axel Schmidt/AP]