As if to perfectly demonstrate the point, various so called ‘hackers’ are threatening to release nude pictures of Emma Watson, following her incredible speech at the UN.
The speech made by Emma, encouraging support for the HeforShe campaign was truly magnificent. It identified so many of the problems modern feminism faces, and invites men to be involved in the equality debate in such an intelligent and, well, equal way. If anyone has ever asked why we need feminism, the past few days of Emma Watson’s life should give you enough of an idea.
First we have the tabloids, whose only interest in Emma’s speech was what she wore to deliver it. With pinpoint accuracy they describe every fold of her dress and the position of every hair on her head with little care for the content of the speech, and motivation behind it. I’m not suggesting that complimenting someone on their outfit isn’t very charming at times, but in this instance it is far from the point of HeforShe having Emma Watson front their campaign.
Then, after a heroic speech that had at the very least my Twitter and Facebook feeds cheering for Emma and the great campaign, 4Chan hits. And now, as if announcing you are a feminist is some sort of heinous act, Emma is now being threatened. There’s no two ways about it, they are threatening to expose nude pictures of the actress, as though somehow she should be ashamed or scared of her sexuality, that it’s not hers to own, and that they have the right to ‘expose’ her? They don’t. Feminism is not a bad or oppressive thing; it is a movement for equality between the sexes. There is no threat coming from HeforShe or Emma Watson, only a welcoming invitation to a campaign that will only benefit the lives of women across the globe. Why does that instil such hatred in those threatening her? Does it strike a nerve? Does it suggest a loss of dominance? Is it simple jealousy, that a woman such as Emma can stand in front of the UN and inspire so many people to join this campaign?
Whether or not these nude photos exist, and whether or not they are exposed, Emma Watson has brought the attention of the masses to feminism in a refreshing and open way and she should not be victimised for that. Taking nude or suggestive pictures is not a crime, it is not wrong to embrace your body or sexuality. However, hacking, stealing and sharing those private images IS wrong. And that is all that should be remembered.
If something as simple as the gender you identify with can cause so much friction in the world, is it any wonder there are so many other things going wrong? Be a feminist, for respect and for equality.