Emma Watson and Facebook teamed up yesterday – International Women’s Day – to deliver a Q&A about the campaign she fronts, #HeForShe. And as part of the speech she explained how some dickheads tried to silence her from speaking by threatening to release nude photos of her in retaliation for her initial comments. What were they? The radical idea that men and women should be equal and that men have a part to play in promoting feminism.
Emma didn’t comment on the threat of leaked nude images of her before, but now says it ‘was a hoax ’ and ‘the pictures didn’t exist’.
It reminds us of when Taylor Swift got hacked by people threatening to release nudes of her and then she tweeted, ‘PS any hackers saying they have “nudes”? Psssh you’d love that wouldn’t you! Have fun photoshopping cause you got NOTHING.’
Back to Emma - at the time,the nude threat was actually helpful to some un-named people around her: ‘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. ‘It made me so angry – and I realised that this this is why I have to be doing this. If anything, if they were trying to put me off they did the opposite.’
She also explained how, in her call out for questions for the very Q+A she was doing, some idiot had responded, ‘Emma, why aren’t you in the kitchen?’
She then explained, ‘When I was younger, my brothers used to say things like that to me, as a joke. They knew they’d get a rise out of me. I was thinking about this: when do you engage, when do you not, when do you have a meaningful conversation about this when one isn’t wanted?’
‘So, what I would tell my younger self is, I’m not alone in this fight, it’s an education problem and in the not-too-distant future I really hope that most people would be horrified by a comment like that as opposed to mildly irked.’
She’s not entirely put off the internet, though, explaining how important social media can be in helping support women across the world. ‘Wherever you live in the world or whatever conditioning you have or whatever people around you might think, you can access a whole community of people that think differently and want to support you.’
As for education? She is ‘baffled’ by the fact that, around the world, one in five girls is denied education. ‘How are you not recognising the potential of that girl?’
You can catch the whole Q&A here:
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Follow Sophie on Twitter @sophwilkinson
This article originally appeared on The Debrief.