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Thursday, March 31, 2016

Emma Watson's International Women's Day #HeForShe Q&A — 13 Valuable Takeaways

In celebration of International Women's Day, Emma Watson — aka our feminist hero — decided to host a live Q&A session at Facebook's offices in London on Sunday afternoon. Since she serves as U.N. Women's Goodwill Ambassador, she used the platform to promote the He For She campaign, which encourages men to be just as involved as their female counterparts in the fight for gender equality. During the live stream on her Facebook page (which recently reached more than 30 million likes), she answered questions on topics ranging from global education to the wage gap to intersectionality.

This isn't the first time she schooled us all on the importance of feminism. Back in September, she started such an important conversation with her first U.N. speech. And once again, she dared to say what we're all thinking — or if you weren't thinking it already, it was exactly what you NEEDED to hear. This speech was especially special, given the fact that it was hosted on International Women's Day.

While you should totally go check out the entire speech, below are excerpts and lessons that will inspire you to keep fighting for gender equality, or to get started if you haven't already! Because really, what are you waiting for?
Gender Inequality Affects Everyone

Right off the bat, Watson was asked what her mission statement was when she gave that first speech at the U.N.

I really wanted to communicate that gender equality historically has predominately been a women’s movement for women. But the impact of gender equality and how it’s affecting men hasn’t been addressed.

Our society in general devalues the "she," and as a result, there’s this imbalance that’s hindering our progress.

She also talked about how overwhelming (in a good way) the responses to #HeForShe have been — from receiving a letter from he Archbishop of Canterbury to positive reactions from her little brother and his friends.
Little Actions Make A Big Difference


At this year's Oscars, Steve Carell wore cufflinks promoting He For She. (He's just one of many male celebs on board with the campaign!) Here was Watson's reaction:
I had no idea that he was going to do that. It’s just so overwhelming and humbling when men want to show their support like that. It does spread awareness and it does make a difference. Even if two people that night asked him [about his cufflinks], and he’s like, “I’m taking a stand for gender equality.” That’s huge.

As she frequently pointed out during the Q&A, little gestures make a big difference.
Feminism Isn't A Scary Word

Although the phrase tends to have a (mistakenly) negative connotation, Watson cleared up that it has nothing to do with hating men. Instead, she explained:

I’m aware of a lot more male feminists than I was a few years ago and it’s really heartening. People have come back to what the actual definition means. Which is equality politically, culturally, socially, and economically.

Men think it’s a women’s word and it’s just for women, but really it just means you stand for equality. If you stand for equality, you are a feminist. Sorry to tell you!
What You're Doing Is More Important Than How You Look


When asked who her role model was, Emma Watson said her own mother. Her strength as a single parent inspired her, in addition to teaching valuable lessons along the way.
She instilled in me, particularly in my teenage years — when I was feeling confused about what my purpose was — that what I was thinking and what I was doing and what I was saying was infinitely more important than my physical appearance, even when the world was telling me the contrary.

Oh, and she also added that her mom was proud when she received her first detention for failing a Latin exam. "She wanted me to be my own person and a bit of rebellion was a good thing."
Young Girls Should Be Encouraged More


After a fan wrote to Emma Watson about how her dad said she couldn't be an engineer, Watson responded by telling the girl to prove him wrong. She then talked about the gap in women pursuing careers in male-dominated fields.
It starts really young with girls and boys being told what they have to be and it can be really damaging... In math and science and engineering, girls just aren’t doing as well.
And the biggest reason for that is these are generally associated to be male subjects. So young girls feel as if they did those subjects they’d be less attractive. That’s why I want to dispel that myth. It doesn't need to be like that.
Threats Toward Women Are Unacceptable


Remember when hackers threatened to release naked photos of Watson soon after her first U.N. speech? She said she didn't want to have to bring it up, but it taught a valuable lesson.
I knew it was a hoax and the pictures didn’t exist. A lot of people close to me knew gender equality was an issue and didnt think it was that urgent... But when they saw that the minute I stepped up and talked about women’s rights, I was immediately threatened, they were really shocked. It was a wake up call that this is a real thing that is happening now. Women are receiving threats in all different forms.
Everyone Deserves An Education


Another important subject? The gender gap in global education. Here's what Watson had to say:
If someone had told me that my brother could go to school but I couldn't because I was a girl, I would be so hurt and baffled. The fact that this is still going on is something that really needs to be addressed. How and why are you not recognizing the potential of that girl? Why are you not recognizing what she can bring to the table?
The Film Industry Needs More Women's Voices

AFP/AFP/Getty Images

When asked about the film industry, Watson deemed the lack of female representation to be a big problem.
Currently, females comprise 7% of directors, 19.7% of writers, and 2.2% of producers in the film industry. When you have a female writer, there’s a higher representation of women. So that’s a pretty huge problem. Why are women not telling their own stories?

She acknowledged that awareness was raised surrounding this year's Oscars, but more needs to be done.
LGBT Involvement Is Essential To #HeForShe

AFP/AFP/Getty Images

A question was raised about LGBT involvement in the He For She campaign and Watson had a great response.
My specific mandate is to advocate for women and girls, but I also understand that these oppressions are interlocking and that intersectionality is a really important word here. We need to be supporting each other 100%. I hope the LGBT community does feel included and that this is their movement, it definitely is.
Chivalry Isn't Dead

MAX NASH/AFP/Getty Images

Of course another common misconception about feminism is that you can't hold the door open for a feminist. But Watson dispelled that myth and talked about chivalry being an equal venture.
I love having the door opened for me. Isn’t that just polite? Isn't that just a nice thing to do? I love being taken to dinner, it’s so great. But I think the key is, would you then mind if I opened the door for you?
Misconceptions About Masculinity Are Damaging


Watson believes we need to acknowledge the violence, abuse, and oppression that men face as well. She talked about the pressure men deal with to behave masculinely and why it's unfair.

I’m really genuinely disturbed by this idea that men can’t cry, and they can’t express themselves and can’t talk about how they feel. I think that’s the saddest thing in the world. Being passionate, being emotional — it’s not what makes you a girl. It’s what makes you human.
Anyone Can Get Involved In This Movement


Whether signing the petition at (seriously, go do it!) or speaking up when you see discrimination, the littlest actions can make the biggest difference in the fight for gender equality. If you don't think so, Watson has a perfect response.
Don’t ever hear in your own head, “Who am I to say something?” You are human. You are a person. You can 100% change the world.
Change Is Needed NOW


In case you're wondering whether you should get involved, this makes things pretty clear:
There’s a lack of a sense of urgency around this issue. We’re not really understanding what a huge impact this has all over the world. It’s one of the biggest contributors to poverty, to violence, to discrimination. It hinders development and progress all over the world.

In Conversation with bell hooks and Emma Watson

In our 'Girl Crush' series, women with mutual admiration for one another get together for conversations that offer illuminating looks into what it's like to be a woman right now.

When we look back at this moment as a period in time when women started talking about feminism and identifying as feminists with a passion not seen for many years, some of the high watermarks in this fourth-wave resurgence will be Beyoncé's 2014 VMAs performance, Malala Yousafzai's Nobel Peace Prize acceptance and, of course, Emma Watson's stirring speech at the United Nations. Emma's moving words and her work promoting gender equality through the UN's HeForShe movement provided the first real introduction to the concept for many young women (and men). For her part, the actress says she's identified as a feminist since she was a kid, but she also credits writer, artist, intellectual, and feminist icon bell hooks, author of Feminism is for Everybody among many other key texts, with inspiring her and helping shape her understanding and beliefs through her essays, books, and videos. And as for bell she says she is equally as inspired by Emma.

bell hooks: Ms. Emma Watson, you are my latest girl crush.

Emma Watson: Aww, bell. Well, you've been my girl crush for a little while now.
hooks: Oh, yeah? How did I come to be your girl crush?

Watson: I came to you through my friend Lilah. The minute that I got the UN position, the first thing Lilah did was to send me one of your books. And then as I was doing my own research, I found the videos of you speaking at The New School. And I was like, "Who is this woman? She's so funny." I loved your attitude so much. Everything you said just seemed to be coming from such an honest place. It was a pleasure to listen to you speak. I got hooked. I started watching video after video after video after video. Then I met with Laverne Cox, and we talked about you. I had watched you in conversation with her. It was Laverne who said, "Listen, you have to meet her in person. She's wonderful." So I read your work and then we met. That's been my journey, really.

hooks: That's so funny because I came to you through your work as well, watching you as an actress in the Harry Potter movies. As a cultural critic who writes about women and representation, I was fascinated by the character of Hermione. It was both exciting and at times infuriating to watch the way the character of Hermione developed and to see this vibrant image of a girl who was just so intelligent, who is such a thinker, then to also witness that that intelligence was placed in the service of boy power. Even so, it remains an important representation for girls.

Watson: I think it is. She's important because she -- well, certainly when I was reading Harry Potter, I started reading Harry Potter when I was 8 -- I just really identified with her. I was the girl in school whose hand shot up to answer the questions. I was really eager to learn in an uncool way. In a super uncool way, actually. And then the character of Hermione gave me permission to be who I was.

hooks: Did playing Hermione inspire you to want to be more intelligent? How did the parallel growth of the character of Hermione and your own self take shape as you moved towards I'm going to college, I'm doing certain things?

Watson: It was really interesting because at first, despite the obvious similarities, I guess I was also trying to detach my sense of self from the image. It was such a delicate time -- I was 10 or 11 when the first movie came out -- I was trying to figure out what my own identity was, but I didn't really have one yet. And I watch interviews that I did when the first movie came out and I was so lost! [Laughs] I would think, "What do young girls talk about? What do they say?" "I like going shopping and I have a crush on Brad Pitt." And I had no idea who Brad Pitt really was! I hadn't seen a single movie that Brad Pitt had been in, but this just seemed like the right thing to say. It makes me sad because I see this girl trying so much to fit in. The truth was I loved school. [Laughs]

hooks: All females living in the modern culture go through this transitional phase of sort of trying on acceptable images of femininity.

Watson: At first I was really trying to say, "I'm not like Hermione. I'm into fashion and I'm much cooler than she is," and then I came to a place of acceptance. Actually, we do have a lot in common. There are obviously differences, but there are a lot of ways that I'm very similar. And I stopped fighting that!

hooks: I was often annoyed with the development of the movie character of Hermione. By the time of the last movie, she's like a suburban housewife.

Watson: [Laughs.] Well, she goes on to have a career. And she does go on to do good and interesting things.

hooks: It's interesting that in the final scenes at the train station Hermione is such a passive image.

Watson: I've not thought about that.

hooks: I was like, "why is she looking frumpy?" and I wondered whose idea is this. Is this how the smart girl progresses? She moves from being intriguing to being the boring spinster? Movies are still struggling with how to create images of smart, vibrant, powerful, and intelligent older females.

Watson: Honestly, just from a practical perspective and not from an intentional perspective, we had such a hard time figuring out how to authentically age us -- to take us from where we were -- we were all 20-year-olds, and to make us look like we're in our 30s and 40s… we had a really hard time figuring out how to do that. We really struggled.

hooks: Well, I think that's that whole question of how do we become women of power and at the same time be able to project that we are attractive, cool, desirable. I'm thinking of Amy Schumer's "Last Fuckable Day" -- have you seen that?

Watson: [Laughs] Of course.

hooks: And I've thought about how that video annoys me because in the end they seemed to be acting like it's OK, it's just another transition. When I thought, gee, if they had just taken a minute, that it's really exciting that we can move on to being our real selves. And with images to celebrate that aging allows [women] to move from object to subject that are more real to who we are in this stage of our life. It would have taken just sixty seconds, or at least two minutes, just to celebrate being real, but rather than what -- to me -- would have had the flavor of a really interesting critique, they end up being like, "it's OK now." Rather than saying, "let's proclaim the best is yet to be here, honey. Not because we can chug melted ice cream but because it's a wonderful stage in life." As an older woman, over the age of sixty, it's an interesting, exciting time. Many of those struggles that we're talking about with identity happen when we are younger. That change happens through the aging process -- you realize that you don't want to stay in this character that you were. For me, it's so much the character of talking about race and/or feminism. And yet there are just a lot more things that interest and excite me. I look at how to bring that whole self out. I'm interested in fashion, too. I'm particularly interested in fashions that are comfortable and beautiful. I have an overall obsession in my life with beauty. I'm always wanting to surround myself with the kind of beauty that uplifts you, that runs counter to some of the stereotypes of feminist women.

Watson: Yes, yes. In Feminism is for Everybody, I found a reminder of just what you were saying, "To critique sexist images without offering alternatives is an incomplete intervention. Critique in and of itself does not lead to change."

Emma Watson and bell hooks share a selfie

hooks: I was thinking about what you were saying earlier -- that I am funny. A lot of people think I am, but most people don't. [Laughs] I was telling you that when we first met. That's a pretty big stereotype about feminists, that we're not fun, that we don't have a sense of humor and that everything is so serious and politically correct. Humor is essential to working with difficult subjects: race, gender, class, sexuality. If you can't laugh at yourself and be with others in laughter, you really cannot create meaningful social change.

Watson: I agree. The more you know, sometimes it makes it harder to speak out. You want to include so much and you want to be aware of so many things. That's why I'm impressed. You know your topic so well that you're able to be free with it and you're able to make jokes and you're able to be so confident within that. I think that's what's so great about hearing you talk. You have that ability.

hooks: Then, of course, when I'm improvising, I make mistakes. Like when I was talking about the trafficking in girls and the sort of worship girls have for someone like Beyoncé, I was really talking -- not about the person Beyoncé -- but of her image as being that of a kind of a terrorist. That just blew up in my face because people took the comment out of context. I want to know how you're dealing with how your words are heard and used, Emma? For both of us, albeit in our different levels of celebrity, fame, we have to be constantly watching all the time what we are saying and how it will be received.

Watson: Yeah, I feel I have to be quite vigilant. It's made me sad at times. I feel that fear of am I'm looking at this from all of the angles, how can this be interpreted, how can it be taken out of context? But I do have a lot to learn and I should be wary. But I agree with you. I think that it's really difficult to communicate through the media and through that medium sometimes.

hooks: It's definitely challenging. I, unlike you, have not been so engaged with social media. The New School conversations catapulted me into social media in a way. It was both on one hand exciting but on the other hand you're more subject to people misinterpreting what you say. And that was something that I had to accept. In a way, especially for females, too, you have to get over any kind of attachment to perfectionism. Or to being liked by everybody all the time, or understood by everybody all the time. It's just like when the Beyoncé comment was all over everywhere, and then Janet Mock posted this video where I was dancing to "Drunk in Love," and I was criticized for being hypocritical. To me, that wasn't a contradiction, because I wasn't talking about her music. We live in a world where most people don't think in complex ways, and it's very easy for there to be miscommunications and misunderstandings. Speaking of misunderstandings, let's talk about the word feminism. When does that come into Emma Watson's life?

Watson: It's in my life every day. I find that all the time when I engage with people for whom feminism might not come into their world or their consciousness but it has come in through my UN speech, or I'll be wearing a HeForShe band or whatever else and there is such an overwhelming amount of misconception around the idea. My UN speech was received really well, but by the people that it's critiqued by, they said it's so basic. It doesn't go into the important things. I don't know if it's really understood how much misunderstanding and how little understanding there is around this word -- and around these ideas -- still for a huge amount of people.

hooks: When did you first come to use the term feminism?

Watson: When I was 9, I think, during my first-ever Harry Potter conference, I said I was a "bit of a feminist"! Ha! I think I was scared to go the full hog. I was scared I didn't understand what it meant. I obviously did, I was just so bemused by all the chatter around the idea.

hooks: Emma, you are such a perfect ambassador. You have such a global presence. When you are speaking out to a global audience, you have to start where that world is. That means, at times, starting with things that are basic. That's how I perceived your UN speech. This is a shout out to females and males all over the world. It's like when you go to a foreign country and you're trying to communicate, we often use more simple ways of saying something, of bridging that gap of language and culture. So tell me more about your campaign, HeForShe, and what you are hoping to do with your ambassador position in 2016?

Watson: In Feminism is for Everybody, you write about the ways that feminism almost got hijacked a little bit by academics and by gender studies and by only being talked about by this specific group of people. It can and should be academic, and that kind of thinking is so important, but you talk about how it has to be a mass movement to make a big difference. I don't want to preach to the choir. I want to try to talk to people who might not encounter feminism and talk to them about feminism. It's a really interesting job, and it's a really interesting line to tread. I want to engage in the topic with people who wouldn't normally.

hooks: That's how I felt when I wrote Feminism is for Everybody. I wanted to write this easy-to-read book, a simple book. I knew that there were people who would say: This isn't very theoretical, intellectual. But that wasn't its purpose for me. Its purpose was to break things down. Students would say, "When I go home, I try to tell my parents about what I'm learning in Women's Studies, but they don't seem to get it." And I thought, I'm going to write this little book that you can give to people that will be that introduction into feminist thinking.

Watson: I just started a book club.

hooks: Yes, Our Shared Shelf --

Watson: I'm reading so much and exposing myself to so many new ideas. It almost feels like the chemistry and the structure of my brain is changing so rapidly sometimes. It feels as if sometimes I'm struggling to keep up with myself. It's a really cool period of time for me. My work that I do for the UN is all very clearly outlined, but my personal views and opinions are still being defined, really. So it'll be an interesting time.

hooks: As part of your efforts for activism and for self-growth, you're taking a year away from acting. That's a big decision.

Watson: I'm taking a year away from acting to focus on two things, really. My own personal development is one. I know that you read a book a day. My own personal task is to read a book a week, and also to read a book a month as part of my book club. I'm doing a huge amount of reading and study just on my own. I almost thought about going and doing a year of gender studies, then I realized that I was learning so much by being on the ground and just speaking with people and doing my reading. That I was learning so much on my own. I actually wanted to keep on the path that I'm on. I'm reading a lot this year, and I want to do a lot of listening.

hooks: You're kind of homeschooling yourself. The good thing is that studying in a more institutionalized way -- you're not foreclosing that. You have time. And now, you can reach out to people like Gloria Steinem and bell hooks.

Watson: It's been amazing. I've been doing a lot of that. I want to listen to as many different women in the world as I can. That's something that I've been doing on my own, through the UN, the HeForShe campaign, and my work generally. This January, our HeForShe IMPACT champions are ten CEOs who for the first time will be releasing to the media what their companies look like internally. So how many CEOs are male or female, the gender wage gap. We'll be making all of these statements completely transparent, which is huge. It's never been done before. So big companies like Vodafone, Unilever and Tupperware will be standing up to the media and really acknowledging the issues within their own companies and talking about how they are planning to address these issues as HeForShe IMPACT champions. I'm very interested and excited to see how that works out. I'll also take another field trip in the next two or three months. We are organizing a HeForShe arts week, a university tour, and launching the HeForShe website. It's a lot. There's a lot to do.

hooks: Well, it certainly sounds like a lot. So as I'm hearing this, I'm wondering -- when are you going to have any downtime, any fun?

Watson: Yeah. [Laughs].

hooks: Sometimes it's hard to recruit people to forms of activism for justice and ending domination because they think that there won't be any time left for fun. Everyone needs to have a balanced life. Being balanced is crucial, because it helps us not to over-extend or to try to live up to other people's expectations in ways that leave you feeling empty. There are people who are very cynical about celebrity activism. As a consequence, it may lead celebrities to feel like they've got to do more to prove they are genuine.

Watson: When I was talking to my mom about going and doing the gender studies, she was like, "it feels like you'd be trying to prove to everyone that you're smart and trying to prove something by doing that. You're learning so much on your own at the moment and enjoying it so much. You can prove that you care about it by spending time listening and talking to as many people as you can and keep doing what you're doing." I do feel like I have to overcompensate at times.

hooks: One aspect of what you are talking about that's so great is just being open and open to learning. A lot of times we know that in the world of celebrity activism, celebrities jump into a cause, but rarely are they telling us, "I'm studying, learning, I'm taking it slow, talking to people." It's so exciting that you're doing that. You're really sincerely struggling with what is needed to create a world without patriarchal domination. Thinking about the issue of female power, if you could give females, women, one thing in this world towards this vision of female liberation and power, what would it be?

Watson: I'm on my journey with this and it might change, but I can tell you that what is really liberating and empowering me through being involved in feminism is that for me the biggest liberation has been that so much of the self-critiquing is gone. So much energy and time -- even in subtle ways -- I'm 25 now and I've certainly come a long way from where I was in my early 20s. Engaging with feminism, there is this kind of bubble now that goes off in my head where these really negative thoughts about myself hit where I'm able to combat them in a very rational and quick way. I can see it now in a way that's different. I guess if I could give women anything through feminism -- or you're asking about power -- it would just be, to be able to move away, to move through all of that. I see so many women struggling with issues of self-esteem. They know and they hear it and they read it in magazines and books all the time that self-love is really important, but it's really hard to actually do --

hooks: I was thinking that the two things that I think are so vital for women globally are self-love and literacy. Growing up in a fundamentalist Christian home with very narrow beliefs about gender -- initially, my eyes were opened by reading.

Watson: Those would be my exact two as well. My understanding that has allowed me to feel so much more accepting and loving of myself as a woman -- it came through reading.

hooks: Often people in the West forget that masses -- millions and millions of women and girls in the world -- don't have access to education and are not taught to read and write.

Watson: That's right.

hooks: And for me, reading and studying is one of my deepest passions in life. It's like breathing. That's what I'd like to share. I felt from the moment I met you -- in terms of how a girl crush forms, it's one of the ways our spirits resonate -- that we think and dream about similar passions, and that's exciting. In many ways, we live in very racially segregated societies. There are so many types of people, and racially we don't cross boundaries. The New School talks were exciting because mostly I was able to choose people like Laverne Cox to talk with. Then bringing Laverne to my really small town in Kentucky to inaugurate the bell hooks Institute -- that was so exciting. I feel like part of creating a world that is just and diverse is pushing against those boundaries that close us off from one another. I'm glad that I'm not closed off from you, and that we're going to have more fun conversations in the days ahead.

Watson: Yes, absolutely. I wanted to ask you -- just coming back to what are you going to do for fun -- one thing that I am going to do that I've been working on for a while is completing my yoga Level 3 for meditation teaching. I noticed that in All About Love you have a quote by Jack Kornfield, who I read when I was really getting into meditation, and I was wondering, was that in a book that you had read?

hooks: Exactly, that's just what we were saying. Sometimes I think, is there anything that I come to that I don't come to first in a book? It makes me laugh.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Emma Watson criticises 'dangerously unhealthy' pressure on young women


Actor Emma Watson said that when she walked into the canteen at Brown University for the first time it fell silent. Photograph: Ian West/PA

Emma Watson has criticised the "dangerously unhealthy" image projected by the fashion industry and said the pressure to look perfect has taken its toll on her.

The actor has also described her doomed attempts to merge into the background as a student at an American university, where she found herself being trailed everywhere by British photographers.

After the recent New York premiere of Noah, she tweeted a photograph of the array of cosmetics – and a guardian angel pin – that she said were essential aids to her flawless appearance, and another of herself in a backless dress captioned: "I did NOT wake up like this."

The actress said she is better at taking criticism these days than she once was. "As a younger woman, that pressure got me down, but I've made my peace with it. With airbrushing and digital manipulation, fashion can project an unobtainable image that's dangerously unhealthy. I'm excited about the ageing process. I'm more interested in women who aren't perfect. They're more compelling."

Watson became famous playing Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter movies and has been constantly in work since. She is about to start filming a thriller, Regression, by Alejandro Amenábar and is also trying to complete her degree at Brown University, Rhode Island.

She enrolled in 2009 for what would have been a four year course, but has taken several breaks for film work, and spent a year studying at Oxford.

"After Harry Potter, all that mattered was university," she said, in an interview with the Sunday Times. "It wasn't always easy to break down barriers, as having men from the British press following me with cameras didn't help my mission to integrate."

The American press, by contrast, "afforded me so much privacy", but her fellow students recognised her at once.

"On the first day, I walked into the canteen and everyone went completely silent and turned around to look at me. I had to say to myself 'it's OK, you can do this'. You just have to take a deep breath and gather your courage."

Emma Watson starts feminist book group on Twitter

Actor pledges to ask stars including Taylor Swift and JK Rowling to join platform for reading discussion, to be named Our Shared Shelf


Emma Watson: gender equality campaigner wants to tackle sexism. Photograph: Chris Jackson/PA

Harry Potter actor, UN ambassador and feminism campaigner Emma Watson has announced she is starting a feminist book group on Twitter, called ‘Our Shared Shelf’. Watson, who is a goodwill ambassador for UN Women and figurehead of the gender equality campaign HeforShe, tweeted yesterday that she wanted to start the book club, with her request for suggested names for the group sparking a flurry of responses.

After suggestions including ‘Wats Up Fems’, ‘Watson Your Shelf’ and ‘Hermione’s Army’, Watson announced today that she “absolutely loved” Twitter user @emilyfabb’s suggestion: ‘Our Shared Shelf’ and foreshadowed further information about the book club was still to come.

Twitter’s response has been enthusiastic: alongside punters, retired American footballer Abby Wambach, actor Sophia Bush and singer Kate Voegele have all tweeted they would take part in the club, with Watson agreeing to ask Harry Potter author JK Rowling and singer Taylor Swift to join in.

The first book may have been chosen: when Wambach asked for nominations, Watson elected American feminist Gloria Steinem’s latest memoir, My Life on the Road, a collection of the author’s reflections on her life and activism that the Guardian called ‘illuminating’.

Watson made headlines when she launched the UN’s HeForShe campaign in 2014, asking men to help women tackle sexism and for increased awareness of the negative impact masculine stereotypes had on men. “Both men and women should feel free to be sensitive. Both men and women should feel free to be strong,” she said, in her speech to UN delegates.

Watson is not alone in her aspirations to start an online celebrity book club: actor Gwyneth Paltrow runs a cookbook club on her lifestyle website Goop, while fellow actor Reese Witherspoon – who has a history of producing film adaptations of her favourite books, including Gillian Flynn’s novel Gone Girl and Cheryl Strayed’s memoir Wild – runs a book club on Instagram, on the hashtag#RWBookclub.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced his biweekly book club in January last year, focusing on books that have “an emphasis on learning about different cultures, beliefs, histories and technologies”. Zuckerberg’s first choice, The End of Power by Moisés Naím, rocketed up the Amazon bestsellers list, outstripping 18 months of sales in days after the announcement.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

About Emma Watson

Image result for general information related to Emma Watson

Date of Birth 15 April 1990, Paris, France
Birth Name Emma Charlotte Duerre Watson
Nickname Em
Height 5' 5" (1,65 m)

Mini Bio 
Emma Charlotte Duerre Watson was born in Paris, France, to English parents, Jacqueline Luesby and Chris Watson, both lawyers. She moved to Oxfordshire when she was five, where she attended the Dragon School. From the age of six, Emma knew that she wanted to be an actress and, for a number of years, she trained at the Oxford branch of Stagecoach Theatre Arts, a part-time theatre school where she studied singing, dancing and acting. By the age of ten, she had performed and taken the lead in various Stagecoach productions and school plays.

In 1999, casting began for Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (2001), the film adaptation of British author J.K. Rowling's bestselling novel. Casting agents found Emma through her Oxford theatre teacher. After eight consistent auditions, producer David Heyman told Emma and fellow applicants, Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint, that they had been cast for the roles of the three leads, Hermione Granger, Harry Potter and Ron Weasley. The release of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (2001) was Emma's cinematic screen debut. The film broke records for opening-day sales and opening-weekend takings and was the highest-grossing film of 2001. Critics praised the film and the performances of the three leading young actors. The highly distributed British newspaper, 'The Daily Telegraph', called her performance "admirable". Later, Emma was nominated for five awards for her performance in the film, winning the Young Artist Award for Leading Young Actress in a Feature Film.

After the release of the first film of the highly successful franchise, Emma became one of the most well-known actresses in the world. She continued to play the role of Hermione Granger for nearly ten years, in all of the following Harry Potter films: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (2001), Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002), Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005), Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007), Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010), and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011). Emma acquired two Critics' Choice Award nominations from the Broadcast Film Critics Association for her work in Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban and Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire. The completion of the seventh and eight movies saw Emma receive nominations in 2011 for a Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Award, and for Best Actress at the Jameson Empire Awards. The Harry Potter franchise won the BAFTA for Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema in February 2011.

2011 saw Emma in Simon Curtis's My Week With Marilyn (2011), alongside a stellar cast of Oscar nominees including Michelle Williams as Marilyn Monroe and Kenneth Branagh as Sir Laurence Olivier, in addition to Eddie Redmayne, Dame Judi Dench, Dougray Scott, Zoe Wanamaker, Toby Jones and Dominic Cooper. Chronicling a week in Marilyn Monroe's life, the film featured Emma in the supporting role of Lucy, a costume assistant to Colin Clark (Redmayne). The film was released by The Weinstein Company and was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical. In 2012 Emma was seen in Stephen Chbosky's adaptation of his coming-of-age novel The Perks Of Being A Wallflower (2012), starring opposite Logan Lerman and Ezra Miller. This independent drama centred around Charlie (Lerman), an introverted freshman who is taken under the wings of two seniors (Watson and Miller) who welcome him to the real world. The film premiered at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival and received rave reviews. The film won the People's Choice Award for Favourite Dramatic Movie and Emma also picked up the People's Choice Award for Favourite Dramatic Movie Actress. Emma was awarded a second time for this role with the Best Supporting Actress Award at the San Diego Film Critics Society Awards where the film also won the Best Ensemble Performance Award.

In summer 2013, Emma starred in Sofia Coppola's American satirical black comedy crime film, The Bling Ring (2013). The film took inspiration from real events and followed a group of teenagers who, obsessed with fashion and fame, burgled the homes of celebrities in Los Angeles. The film opened the Un Certain Regard section of the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. Emma also appeared in a cameo role as herself in Seth Rogen's apocalypse comedy This Is The End (2013). The film tells the story about what happens to some of Hollywood's best loved celebrities when the apocalypse strikes during a party at James Franco's house.

Emma was most recently seen in Darren Aronofsky's Noah (2014) opposite Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Ray Winstone, Douglas Booth, Logan Lerman and Anthony Hopkins. The film told the epic, biblical tale of Noah and the ark. Emma plays the role of Ila, a young woman who develops a close relationship with Noah's son, Shem (Booth). Noah has made an outstanding $300m since its release in March. Emma has completed filming her next project, Regression, written and directed by Alejandro Amenábar. Emma will star in the thriller opposite Oscar nominated Ethan Hawke. Set in Minnesota 1990, Regression tells the story of Detective Bruce Kenner (Hawke) who investigates the case of young Angela, played by Emma, who accuses her father of sexual abuse. The film is expected to be released in 2015. Emma will next play Kelsea Glynn in the film adaptation of The Queen Of The Tearling, Erika Johansen's page-turner of a novel about a young woman raised by foster parents in a cottage hidden away in a remote forest. On her 19th birthday, Kelsea is removed from her home to take her rightful place as sovereign of a fictional post-utopian country that hides dark secrets and is menaced by a neighbouring monarch. The screenplay for The Queen Of The Tearling has been written by Mark L. Smith. David Heyman will be producing the film and Emma will also serve as an executive producer. David and Emma worked together on all the Harry Potter films. The producer snapped up the rights to J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series very early, before publication; and he and Warner Bros have done the same thing with the Tearling trilogy. Filming is due to commence next year.

In 2012, Emma was honoured with the Calvin Klein Emerging Star Award at the ELLE Women in Hollywood Awards. In 2013, Emma was awarded the Trailblazer Award at the MTV Movie Awards in April and was honoured with the GQ Woman of the Year Award at the GQ Awards in September. Further to her acting career, Emma is a Goodwill Ambassador for the UN, promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women. Emma graduated from Brown University in May 2014.

Has two cats named Bubbles and Domino.

Favorite Harry Potter book is Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

She served on a jury to select the 2004 teen-aged film-makers' First Light Film Awards. The ceremony held in London's Leicester Square. Other jurors included Pierce Brosnan,Kenneth Branagh, and Samantha Morton.

She was named after her paternal grandmother, born Freda Emma Duerre, who after marriage became Freda Emma Duerre Watson.

At the age of fifteen, became the youngest person to appear on the cover of Teen Vogue magazine

She and her Harry Potter co-stars Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint were named #9 on Entertainment Weekly's Best Entertainers of the Year in 2005.

She achieved eight A* and two A passes in her GCSEs (exams English school pupils take in their last compulsory year of secondary school).

Attended The Dragon School, a renowned preparatory school in Oxford, between September 1995 and July 2001. She then went on to attend Headington School, a private all-girls school, between September 2001 and July 2006.

Her parents are both English, and were living in Paris at the time of Emma's birth. Emma lived in France until the age of five, when her family returned to England.

Was born at 6:00pm (GMT + 1 hour) on a Sunday.

Enjoys playing field hockey, netball and tennis (for school and local teams), skiing, painting, cooking, singing, and dancing (has twice competed with her school in Rock Challenge 2006 and 2007).

Took AS levels in English, Geography, Art and History of Art in May 2007, and has now dropped History of Art to pursue the three A levels.

Was ranked #15 on Forbes List of The 20 Top-Earning Young Superstars.(2007).

Was ranked #26 on Empire Magazine's '100 Sexiest Movie Stars' (2007).

Was ranked #3 on 'Yahoo! List of the 10 Most Popular Stars of 2007'.

Was ranked #97 on Forbes List of The Celebrity 100.(2007).

In 2007, Forbes Magazine estimated her earnings for the year at $4 million.

Emma's favorite movies include Notting Hill (1999), Love Actually (2003), Bridget Jones's Diary (2001), Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994), About Time (2013), Giant(1956), Ddongpari (2008), Amélie (2001), Pan's Labyrinth (2006), The Fountain (2006),Nhà tù Shawshank (1994), Gladiator (2000), Trai Tim Dung Cam (1995), The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008), Philomena (2013), Blue Jasmine (2013), Rush (2013),12 Years a Slave (2013), La grande bellezza (2013), The Woodmans (2010), Closer(2004), Pretty Woman (1990), Chicago (2002), Romeo + Juliet (1996), Moulin Rouge!(2001), Dirty Dancing (1987), Grease (1978), Shrek (2001), Ice Age (2002), and Finding Nemo (2003).

Was ranked #28 on Entertainment Weekly's '30 Under 30' the actress list.

Ranked #94 on the Maxim magazine Hot 100 of 2008 list.

Is a fan of The Golden Compass (2007) and the rest of the fantasy trilogy 'His Dark Materials' by Philip Pullman.

Ranked #4 by Portrait Magazine for favorite celebrities by fans' vote. Her Harry Potter co-star Bonnie Wright Had also Ranked #5.

Her parents divorced in 1995; both parents have since remarried. On her father's side, she has a younger half-brother Toby, born 2003, and half-sisters (identical twins) Lucy and Nina, born in 2004. Lucy and Nina played the younger version of her character Pauline in Ballet Shoes (2007). She also has two stepbrothers through her mother's remarriage.

Was ranked #3 on Moviefone's '25 Hottest Actors Under 25'.

In 2008 BoyDestiny wrote and sung the song "you got me going" also known as the Emma Watson song.

Radio One's movie critic James King named "Ron Weasley" and "Hermione Granger", played by Rupert Grint and Emma Watson, as number 4 in his Top 5 Movie Couples list on The Colin and Edith Show (2006).

Entering Brown University after completion of the Harry Potter Movies (July 21, 2009).

Was ranked #8 in Portrait Magazine's 'Top 30 Under 30' (2009). 'Harry Potter' cast mates Evanna Lynch, Rupert Grint, Bonnie Wright, Tom Felton and Daniel Radcliffe also made the list on the 3rd, 5th, 7th, 14th and 18th place respectively.

Has said that she'd like to work with directors Alfonso Cuarón and Guillermo del Toro.

Was Entertainment Weekly's "Entertainer of the Month" for the month of July (2009).

Was ranked #3 on Empire Magazine's '100 Sexiest Movie Stars' list.

She was ranked #6 on MSN's list of 'Best Dressed Stars of 2009'.

Was named the face of the 2009 Fall/Winter Burberry Campaign.

She was ranked #8 on Portrait Magazine's 'Top 30 Under 30' list.

She was ranked #3 on Teen Vogue's list of the Best Dressed celebrities of 2009.

Announced that she would be would collaborating with People Tree, a Fair Trade Fashion Company, as a creative advisor for the new Spring/Summer collection.

Was named the 'Highest Grossing Actress of the Decade' by the Guiness Book of World Records. Her film work in the past decade has grossed over 5.4 billion dollars worldwide (2009).

When she made a promotional appearance on a Dutch TV talk show for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007), the interview ended with her joining the Dutch illusion act Magic Unlimited, who sawed her in half.

Her publicist, Vanessa Davies, said that Emma will transfer from Brown University to another school in the Fall of 2011 [April 24, 2011].

Was ranked #69 on Maxim magazine's Hot 100 women of 2011 list.

Best friends with Harry Potter co-stars Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint after practically growing up with them on the Harry Potter set. She calls them her 'brothers'.

Both of her parents are lawyers.

Has worked closely with the organic and fair trade pioneer People Tree.

Ranked #15 in the 2011 FHM Australia of "100 Sexiest Women".

Ranked #23 in the 2011 FHM list of "100 Sexiest Women in the World".

Ranked #29 in the 2010 FHM UK list of "100 Sexiest Women in the World".

Ranked as having one of the most beautiful famous faces by "The Annual Independent Critics List of the 100 Most Beautiful Famous Faces From Around the World." She was ranked #2 in 2010, #12 in 2009, #27 in 2008, #30 in 2007, and #54 in 2006.

Voted #17 on Ask Men's top 99 'most desirable' women of 2012.

Is the former roommate and current best friend of America's Next Top Model (2003) Cycle 18 winner, Sophie Sumner.

Ranked #29 on Askmen's list of the Top 99 Most Desirable women for 2013.

Was offered the titled lead in "Cinderella" but turned it down.

Was in a relationship with Will Adamowicz from 2012-2013. The couple met while studying at Oxford University in 2011.

She enrolled in a Shakespeare course at The Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts during the summer of 2008.

Graduated from Brown University with an AB in English Literature on May 25, 2014.

Emma's style icons include Jean Seberg, Mia Farrow, Kate Bosworth, Diane Kruger,Jane Birkin, Edie Sedgwick, Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, Lauren Bacall, Sofia Coppola,Cate Blanchett, Tilda Swinton, Françoise Hardy, Charlotte Rampling and Michelle Obama.

Emma's favorite actors are Johnny Depp and Russell Crowe.

Emma's favorite actresses are Julia Roberts, Renée Zellweger, Sandra Bullock, Rebel Wilson, Goldie Hawn, Nicole Kidman, Cate Blanchett, Helena Bonham Carter, Natalie Portman and Meryl Streep.

Emma's favorite television shows include Nhung Nguoi Ban (1994), Sex and the City(1998), Girls (2012), Ba Tam Xu My (2007), America's Next Top Model (2003), Ga Dien(2007), Song Gio Chinh Truong (2013) and Pride and Prejudice (1995).

Emma's favorite filmmakers are Richard Curtis, Alfonso Cuarón, Guillermo del Toro,Sofia Coppola, Darren Aronofsky, Danny Boyle, David Fincher, Lynne Ramsay, Ang Lee, and Tom Hooper.

Personal Quotes 
[in response to a reporter asking her whether she always wore pigtails]: I never wear pigtails, I wear plaits.

[Hardest scene]: Neville comes up to me with his toad, Trevor, and says, "Do you want to kiss Trevor goodnight?" Every time he did this I burst into laughter. I was supposed to give him an "I hate you" look, but I couldn't help myself. It took me about eight takes to get it.

It was unbelievable seeing me as an action figure! In a few months, toddlers all around the country will be biting my head off!

[on kissing her co-stars]: Oh my God, no, no chance, no chance. That's not in my contract!

My friends are all really nice about my fame, they're just curious really, they ask lots of questions.

[on how her character, Hermione Granger, has matured]: She's rock and roll. She's feisty. Girl power!

[on reporters asking the same questions over and over]: That's the good thing about them! They all ask exactly the same questions and you can say exactly the same answers! You don't have to think, you can just stand there like a broken record going LALALA.

[on working with boys]: I like being around mixed company. Dan (Daniel Radcliffe) and Rupert (Rupert Grint) definitely make their fair share of cheeky comments about me being girlie, but it's all in good fun.

It took me three films to get Hermione in jeans. To get out of the robes with the tights and the itchy jumpers. Whoo-hoo!

I hope my head doesn't get very big. I'm just going to keep my feet on the ground, stick to friends and family and try and lead a normal life.

I love fashion. I think it's so important, because it's how you show yourself to the world.

[on being a known actress]: Most people are really nice but some stare, like you're some kind of zoo exhibit and not a real person with real feelings. Even when you take away all the glamour and attention and premieres and everything, it still comes down to the fact that I'm acting.

Hermione uses all these big long tongue twister words, I don't know what she's going on about half the time!

I could be 100 years old and in my rocker, but i'll still be very proud that I was part of the Harry Potter films.

[on her co-stars Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint, who play Harry and Ron]: More than just friends, they've become like brothers. Or sisters, I don't know. In fact, I don't see them like normal boys. I mean that I cannot imagine me going out with one of them. For me, they are like my best friends. I can laugh and talk about everything with them without any taboo. I really like them a lot.

[on other roles]: Now that I've played the snotty, bossy, posh Hermione Granger, I'd like to play some American high school girl. I want to play something totally different. I want to play every kind of character and every point of view, but I'm probably going to be playing Hermione for a while.

[If she'd sooner have a great Hollywood career or a great marriage]: Hmmmmm... Can't I have both? But if I would really have to choose, then I'd pick a great marriage. I think it would be amazing if I would get to play beautiful parts and win Oscars, but that would all mean nothing if my parents and friends weren't there with me. What is success when you don't have anybody to love? No, I'd rather be happily married.

I get sent Bibles. I have a collection of about 20 in my room. People think I need to be guided.

The most challenging aspect of this film was the fact that I was trying to take my A-levels at the same time I was filming. So my life was crazy. One minute I was on set, and the next minute I was doing an exam, or reading a textbook, or doing something, so I was a bit all over the place. Sometimes it's kind of hard to juggle both aspects of my life.

If someone asked me to do something that was beneficial to a cause, then maybe I'd consider it, but not just [to be able to say] 'Look at me! I've got my own line!'

Acting never was about the money for me. ... Maybe in 10 years, I'll be able to appreciate the fact that I am financially stable and independent and I don't have to make bad choices. I can be very picky.

I'm very crafty! One time I made a television set out of a cardboard box - Everybody thought it was a lark! This was the beginning of a love affair with the arts. I'm now studying art in Brown, a fancy American school.

I love painting and have a need to do it.

Free handbags are lovely, but that's not what I see as the benefits of being famous. It means I can do things I really care about, like The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012), which might not have been made otherwise. Being a teenager is quite lonely, particularly for my generation. There's a sense of people being cut off and in isolation. And when I read the script, it just made me feel less alone. My character says this line: 'You accept the love you think you deserve', and that just hit me like a steam train.

I don't want other people to decide who I am. I want to decide that for myself. I want to avoid becoming too styled and too "done" and too generic. You see people as they go through their career and they just become more and more like everyone else. They start out with something individual about them but it gets lost. Natalie Portman is an exception. I'm in awe of how she's handled herself. And Agyness Deyn is cool, really individual.

Each of the Harry Potter directors looked as if they had aged about 10 years by the time they'd finished. It's a huge burden to carry.

I remember reading this thing that Elizabeth Taylor wrote. She had her first kiss in character. On a movie set. It really struck me. I don't know how or why, but I had this sense that if I wasn't really careful, that could be me. That my first kiss could be in somebody else's clothes. And my experiences could all belong to someone else.

[on Noah (2014)] I was so physically and emotionally exhausted by just the process of making the film. I just didn't leave my apartment for a few weeks afterwards, walked around in my pajamas for a few days in a row. I just needed some time to sort of put myself back together a bit.

[on childhood fame]: If I went to somewhere busy, I wouldn't last very long. I can't go to a museum, I'll last 10 or 15 minutes in a museum. The problem is that when one person asks for a photograph, then someone sees a flash goes off, then everyone else sort of... It's sort of like a domino effect. And then very quickly the situation starts to get out of control to a point where I can't manage it on my own.

I guess, weirdly in my head, I knew what I wanted. I didn't know how it would, or if it would, ever happen. But before The Bling Ring (2013) I said I'd really wanted to meetSofia Coppola and - this is before I knew that she had a film in mind - ended up meeting her. And Darren was someone who actually I met a good year ago. And then I'm doing a film with Guillermo del Toro next summer, and I went to him and said Warner Brothers have given me the script for 'Beauty and the Beast,' but the only way I'd really want to do it is if you did it. And then miraculously he said, 'Oh, funnily enough 'Beauty and the Beast' is my favorite fairy tale, I can't let anyone else do this, I'll start putting a team together.'

[on fame and her parents] They gave me the best advice they could, and I think they gave me very good advice. But my mum particularly said, 'Right, you're going to go into these interviews and they're going to ask you anything they feel like asking you, and every time they ask you a question, think about whether you'd be comfortable discussing it with a stranger.'

My first two years at Brown weren't easy, not because I was bullied or because anyone gave me a particularly hard time, but just because, you know, without the collegiate system... and at Brown everyone does completely different things and very much chooses their own path, which is great, but it's also much more difficult, too. You're not with a group of people all the time at one time.

My grandma said - when I was really young and I'd sing along to the radio - why do you sing in an American accent? I guess it was because a lot of the music I was listening to had American vocalists. And that was something Steve said to me as well: try singing the lines in an American accent. That kind of opened me up. Then I worked with a dialogue coach and I just put in the time to really, really listen and just go over it and over it and over it until I could do it without thinking about it too hard. And I just knew it was really important.

I don't date people who are famous. I don't think it's fair that, all of a sudden, intimate details of their personal life are public as a direct result of me. I wish I could protect them.

If I've learned anything, it's really just to stop trying to find answers and certainties.

In my downtime, I don't sex myself up much. Sometimes I have a hard time convincing directors that I can play adult roles.

I'm a feminist, but I think that romance has been taken away a bit for my generation. I think what people connect with in novels is this idea of an overpowering, encompassing love - and it being more important and special than anything and everything else.

You can't go to the pharmacy without someone saying, "Hey, you're the girl from Harry Potter!" and I'm like 'Yeah! Just buying tampons, see you in a bit!'

The saddest thing for a girl to do is to dumb herself down for a guy.

I like men with quick wit, good conversation and a great sense of humour. I love banter. I want a man to like me for me - I want him to be authentic.

Don't feel stupid if you don't like what everyone else pretends to love.

Fighting for women's rights has too often become synonymous with man hating. This has got to stop.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001) $125.000
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002) $125.000
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004) $125.000
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007) $4.000.000
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010) $15.000.000
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011) $15.000.000

Observer Ethical Awards 2015 winners: Emma Watson

The Campaigner of the Year has cast a spell over the HeForShe campaign, which calls for a million men to sign up for gender equality


Emma Watson’s speech has been watched more than 7m times on YouTube. Photograph: Celeste Sloman/UN Women

It’s not often that UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon makes Harry Potter jokes, but after actor Emma Watson’s speech at the UN’s New York HQ last September, he declared she had waved a magic wand over her audience. The description was surprisingly apt. Watson was appointed UN Women Goodwill Ambassador in July 2014 and became involved in the organisation’s HeForShe campaign – which calls for one billion men to declare their support for gender equality. Watson was visibly nervous as she spoke, but what she said about her own experience of feminism and the confusion and unhappiness that gender stereotypes can create for men and women struck a chord. Women related to her stories about being called bossy, about being sexualised at too early an age. Men listened when she talked about the impact of mental illness or them being unable to express their emotions. She obviously spoke for a lot of people: the speech has been watched more than 7m times on YouTube and 331,220 men have now signed up for the HeforShe campaign.

Her campaign has also won Watson a place on Time’s 100 Most Influential People list for 2015 – in at 26

Watson also showed great equanimity about the inevitable backlash. Straight after the speech, a website appeared threatening to post naked pictures of Watson and efforts were made to make #RIP EmmaWatson trend on Twitter. Her response? “This is why I have to be doing this. If they were trying to put me off, it did the opposite.” She also made sure that the inspiring responses she received from men to her speech – men who supported her, men who wanted to make sure their daughters grow up in a fairer world – received as much publicity as the trolling. The campaign has won Watson not only the Observer Campaigner of the Year Award, but also a place on Time’s 100 Most Influential People list for 2015 (in at 26, and one of only four Britons on the list) and the Feminist Celebrity of the Year from the Ms Foundation for Women.

Emma Watson spoke about her own experience of feminism and the confusion and unhappiness that gender stereotypes can create. Photograph: Mark Garten/UN Photo

HeforShe may be her most high-profile campaign, but it’s not Watson’s first. Alongside the acting career she started at 11 and her studies at Oxford and Brown University in the US, Watson is a long-standing advocate of schooling for girls. She’s been an ambassador for Camfed International, which fights to educate girls in rural Africa, since 2012. Most recently, on behalf of the UN she’s been in Uruguay campaigning for women’s political participation (currently only 13% of Uruguay’s parliament are women, whereas the world average is 28%).

UN Women executive director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka thinks Watson is a strong voice for young people worldwide. “Her commitment to the issues that we work on at UN Women multiplies our ability to reach and engage more young people – who are key to advancing gender equality.” She’s absolutely right, but somehow that misses the unique quality Watson brings to all her work: a quiet determination to succeed and an enquiring mind coupled with the ability to be enthusiastic, open and vulnerable. When explaining a campaign message to the public, that’s a combination that’s better than magic.

Emma Watson: Gender equality is your issue too

Image result for general information related to Emma Watson

Speech by UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson at a special event for the HeForShe campaign, United Nations Headquarters, New York, 20 September 2014

Today we are launching a campaign called “HeForShe.”

I am reaching out to you because I need your help. We want to end gender inequality—and to do that we need everyone to be involved.

This is the first campaign of its kind at the UN: we want to try and galvanize as many men and boys as possible to be advocates for gender equality. And we don’t just want to talk about it, but make sure it is tangible.

I was appointed six months ago and the more I have spoken about feminism the more I have realized that fighting for women’s rights has too often become synonymous with 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 started questioning gender-based assumptions when at eight I was confused at being called “bossy,” because I wanted to direct the plays we would put on for our parents—but the boys were not.

When at 14 I started being sexualized by certain elements of the press.

When at 15 my girlfriends started dropping out of their sports teams because they didn’t want to appear “muscly.”

When at 18 my male friends were unable to express their feelings.

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, anti-men and, unattractive.

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. 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.

These rights I consider to be human rights but I am one of the lucky ones. My life is a sheer privilege because my parents didn’t love me less because I was born a daughter. My school did not limit me because I was a girl. My mentors didn’t assume I would go less far because I might give birth to a child one day. These influencers were the gender equality ambassadors that made me who I am today. They may not know it, but they are the inadvertent feminists who are changing the world today. And we need more of those.

And if you still hate the word—it is not the word that is important but the idea and the ambition behind it. Because not all women have been afforded the same rights that I have. In fact, statistically, very few have been.

In 1995, Hilary Clinton made a famous speech in Beijing about women’s rights. Sadly many of the things she wanted to change are still a reality today.

But what stood out for me the most was that only 30 per cent of her audience were male. 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.

Because to date, I’ve seen my father’s role as a parent being valued less by society despite my needing his presence as a child as much as my mother’s.

I’ve seen young men suffering from mental illness unable to ask for help for fear it would make them look less “macho”—in fact in the UK suicide is the biggest killer of men between 20-49 years of age; eclipsing road accidents, cancer and coronary heart disease. I’ve seen men made fragile and insecure by a distorted sense of what constitutes male success. Men don’t have the benefits of equality either.

We don’t often talk about men being imprisoned by gender stereotypes but I can see that that they are and that when they are free, things will change for women as a natural consequence.

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.

Both men and women should feel free to be sensitive. Both men and women should feel free to be strong… It is time that we all perceive gender on a spectrum not as two opposing sets of ideals.

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.

I want men to take up this mantle. So their daughters, sisters and mothers can be free from prejudice but also so that their sons have permission to be vulnerable and human too—reclaim those parts of themselves they abandoned and in doing so be a more true and complete version of themselves.

You might be thinking who is this Harry Potter girl? And what is she doing up on stage at the UN. It’s a good question and trust me, I have been asking myself the same thing. I don’t know if I am qualified to be here. 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 it is my duty to say something. English Statesman Edmund Burke said: “All that is needed for the forces of evil to triumph is for enough good men and women to do nothing.”

In my nervousness for this speech and in my moments of doubt I’ve told myself firmly—if not me, who, if not now, when. If you have similar doubts when opportunities are presented to you I hope those words might be helpful.

Because the reality is that if we do nothing it will take 75 years, or for me to be nearly a hundred before women can expect to be paid the same as men for the same work. 15.5 million girls will be married in the next 16 years as children. And at current rates it won’t be until 2086 before all rural African girls will be able to receive a secondary education.

If you believe in equality, you might be one of those inadvertent feminists I spoke of earlier.

And for this I applaud you.

We are struggling for a uniting word but the good news is we have a uniting movement. It is called HeForShe. I am inviting you to step forward, to be seen to speak up, to be the "he" for "she". And to ask yourself if not me, who? If not now, when?

Thank you.