Emma Watson strikes again. The Harry Potter actress and UN Goodwill Ambassador fronted a HeForShe discussion and audience Q+A hosted by Facebook in support of International Women’s Day on March 8th.
The discussion served as a follow up to Watson’s UN address given in September of last year that officially and publicly introduced the HeForShe campaign. Since the initial launch, Watson and her UN associates have gained vast support from celebrities such as Steve Carell, institutions like Oxford University, religious leaders like the Archbishop of Canterbury and even entire governments from countries like Sweden and the Netherlands.
In the hour-long livestream (available for viewing on Watson’s facebook page), Watson covered topics such a gender discrimination, the misconceptions of feminism, the wage gap and sexism in her own life. Over 13 million people tuned in for the event.
A main point of discussion was how change and feminism can be carried over into everyday life. Watson addressed a concern common amongst the viewers that enacting change may be too big a job for just one person.
“It [feminism] is not as complicated or intimidating as you think,” said Watson. “It’s an everyday thing, a case-by-case basis of taking action. Whether it’s speaking up, trying to change the way someone thinks about the issues, it can be done is so many different ways…the smallest gesture goes such a long way.”
But the road to equality has not been that simple for Watson herself. In addition to death threats and internet hoaxes directed at her for her feministic stance, Watson’s initial UN address received some backlash against HeForShe. Many viewers were concerned the campaign was leaving behind women and focusing too much on the men, but Watson was quick to dispel in the livestream any misconceptions.
“Women are already in the club, it’s about the women after all,” said Watson. “It’s not a men’s club, it’s an equality club. It’s for BOTH genders. It’s about men coming in support of women and women coming in support of men, it’s both of those things.”
Despite the varying layers and topics of Watson’s discussion, one quote in particular tied all of Watson’s points together, as well as provided a motivational stepping stone for those new to the fight for feminism:
“Don’t let anyone tell you what can or cannot do, or can or cannot achieve. Simply don’t allow it. Do not allow it. It’s wrong, it’s so wrong. Be whoever you want to be.”
If you would like to donate or sign the HeForShe commitment, or simply learn more about the HeForShe campaign, click here.
Image source: hellomagazine.com