Emma Watson Talks ‘Man-Hating’ Feminism During He For She Facebook Conversation

Emma Watson's Brilliant He For She Facebook Conversation

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by Grazia |

International Women's Day simply wouldn't be complete without hearing from one of our favourite feminists and UN Women Goodwill Ambassador, Emma Watson. And what a treat it was.

Speaking with BBC Radio1 presenter Greg James, Emma tackled subjects regarding gender equality in all its forms whilst promoting her brilliant campaign, #HeForShe, which encourages men to get involved in the feminist crusade.

Unlike the speech she made in September - a powerful and emotional statement she delivered in New York - and the follow up she presented at Davos in January, this Q&A, which was live-streaned by hundreds of thousands of fans this evening, was more of a personal tribute to her cause.

She talked candidly about buying dinner for her dates ('it made him feel tetchy') and admitted that she too felt insecure and unsure of her place in the world as a teenager. She said it was her mum who encouraged her to speak up and be an individual.

'Mum was a single working mother and a type 1 diabetic,' Emma told her captivated audience. 'Seeing her strenght and resilience growing up was really inspiring.

'As I teenager I felt very insecure and confused of what my purpose was. She instilled in me that what I was thinking and what I was doing and what I was saying were ultimately infinitely more important than my appearance. She really encouraged me to be an individual - she thought a bit of rebellion was a good thing.'

She also revealed that her teeange self was already thinking about feminism - in diaries and old essays, Emma said she felt like the impassioned speech she delivered in New York last year had been 'gestating in my head for a long time'.

The speech she made has since prompted more than 200,000 men to sign up to the #HeForShe campaign (though Emma says that number is not nearly big enough). Emma said that for too long the word 'feminist' has been associated with being 'man-hating - men think it's a woman's word' but that if you believe in equality - socially, economically, politically, culturally - then you are a feminist. 'Sorry, but you are,' she added. She also called on men to take action, to do what they could - especially when it comes to women in the work place.

'If you know that a woman is doing the same work as you are and that she's being paid less, say something about it,' she said. 'If you're a manager, ask the question of whether women are being paid the same. Please just look at your figures honestly, and ask whether you're paying men and women the same for the same work.'

Yet her rallying cry for men to support the feminist cause didn't stop there tonight, as she also bravely broached the subject that sometimes women can be unsupportive too.

'It's awkward to acknowledge that there is a problem, but we have to admit that [women] are complicit,' she said. 'Some of the harshest criticisms or hardest moments I've had, have been from other women. It's not enough to just as men to support us, we really need to support each other.'

Emma said that threats she received just hours after giving her first speech left her even more determined to succeed, and that eventually she wants to work on a UN board for simply 'equality', safe in the knowledge that gender inequality is an issue very much buried in the past.

Us too, Emma.

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