Emma Watson Says Feminism Is Not Man-Hating In Touching UN Speech

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Actress Emma Watson has delivered a powerful speech on gender and launched HeForShe Campaign, a U.N. Movement for Gender Equality, on Saturday in New York. 

The 24-year-old Harry Potter actress and UN Women Goodwill Ambassador has disclosed that she became a feminist after being told she was too “bossy” for wanting to direct a play at the age of eight and being sexualized by the press at 14.

“I decided I was a feminist and this seemed uncomplicated to me … Apparently I am among the ranks of women whose expressions are seen as too strong, too aggressive, isolating, anti-men and unattractive.”

“I am from Britain and think it is right that as a woman I am paid the same as my male counterparts. I think it is right that I should be able to make decisions about my own body. I think it is right that women be involved on my behalf in the policies and decision-making of my country. I think it is right that socially I am afforded the same respect as men. But sadly I can say that there is no one country in the world where all women can expect to receive these rights.  No country in the world can yet say they have achieved gender equality.”

Stressing that feminism isn’t man-hating, Watson invited men to get on board with gender equality.

“How can we affect change in the world when only half of it is invited or feel welcome to participate in the conversation?” Men — I would like to take this opportunity to extend your formal invitation. Gender equality is your issue too. If men don’t have to be aggressive in order to be accepted, women won’t feel compelled to be submissive. If men don’t have to control, women won’t have to be controlled.  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.’’


RELATED: 19 Things You Didn’t Know About Emma Watson


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