Emma Watson’s Speech About Gender Equality At The U.N.

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Who doesn’t love Emma Watson? Get ready to love her a little bit more.

This summer, Emma Watson was named U.N. Women Goodwill Ambassador. You can catch some over her involvement over that past  months on-line no doubt. But to see her in action, is another thing entirely.

The Harry Potter actress gave a very emotional and passionate speech on feminism and gender equality at the U.N. headquarters in New York this weekend, to launch the “HeForShe” campaign. The campaign aims to galvanize one billion men and boys as advocates for ending the inequalities that women and girls face globally.

Watson starts:

A fight for womans rights has often become synonymous to man hating. If there is one thing I know for certain, it is that THIS HAS TO STOP! For the record, feminism by definition is the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. It is the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes. I stated questioning gender-based assumptions a long time ago.

When I was 8, I was confused at being called “bossy” because I wanted to direct the plays that we would put on for our parents, but the boys were not. When at 14 I started being sexualized by certain elements of the media. When at 15 my girlfriends started dropping out of their beloved sports teams because they didn’t want to appear muscley. When at 18 my male friends were unable to express their feelings. I decided I was a feminist.

She goes on by saying how she wants to be seen as mans equal:

I decided I was a feminist and this seemed uncomplicated to me. But my recent research has shown me that feminism has become an unpopular word… Apparently I am among the ranks of women whose expressions are seen as too strong, too aggressive, isolating, and anti-men. Unattractive even.

Why is the word such an uncomfortable one? 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. (CLAP CLAP CLAP)

I think it is right that women be involved on my behalf in the policies and decision-making of my life. 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….

These rights I consider to be human rights. But I am one of he lucky ones. My life is sheer privileged because my parents didn’t love me less because I was daughter. My school did not limit me because I was a girl, my mentors didn’t assume that I would got less far because I might give birth to a child one day. These influences were the gender equality ambassadors that made me who I am today.

She talks about how she wants men to be involved in this movement as much as women. If anything, it’s their involvement that might actually make a change.

Men I would like to take this opportunity to extend your formal invitation. Gender equality is your issue too. Because to date, I’ve seen my fathers role as a parent being valued less society despite me needing his presence as a child as much as my mothers. I’ve seen young men suffering from mental illness unable to ask for help for fear that it would make them less of a man. In fact in the UK, suicide is the biggest killer of men between 20 and 49 eclipsing round accidents, cancer, and coronary heart disease. I’ve seen men made fragile and insecure by a distorted sense of what constitutes male success.

If men don’t have to be aggressive in order to be accepted women wont feel to be compelled to be submissive. If men don’t have to control women wont have to be controlled.  Both men and women should feel free to be sensitive. Both men and women should feel free to be strong.

I want men to take up this mantle so that there daughters, sisters, and mothers can be free of prejudice. But also so that their sons have permission to be vulnerable and human too.

As to why this Harry Potter girl is giving a speech to the UN:

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 that it is my responsibility to say something. Statesmen Edmund Burke said, “All that is needed for the forces of evil to triumph is for good men and woman to do nothing.”

If you want to hear Emma’s entire speech, you can watch it below.

Source: Vanity Fair

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