Emma and Equality

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.

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2 thoughts on “Emma and Equality

  1. Sorry, but while I appreciate Ms. Watson’s good-faith attempt at co-opting men for feminism’s sake, a pretty speech isn’t going to erase what is widely perceived as feminism’s 40 year unrelenting war on masculinity, male sexuality, marriage and family. There’s a reason the majority of men and many women disilke the term “feminist”, and it has nothing to do with equality. It has everything to do with the damage that Third Wave feminists have inflicted on society in the name of the movement.

    Yes, men have “equality issues” too, but feminism doesn’t want to talk about that. Suicide and homelessness allow feminism to use the human compassion rightly generated about these issues, so Ms. Watson mentioned those. But did she address the mandatory military registration required for men, but not women, in most democracies as a precondition of their ability to vote? Did she address feminism’s open war on fatherhood and fathers, starting with the NOW anti-paternal lobbying that started in the 1970s and persisted to this day?

    A movement that has demonized male sexuality as “rape culture”, masculinity as “oppressive patriarchy” and denied both that men can be raped and that women can be rapists is now calling on MEN to help? Sorry, Hermione, it’s a good faith start, but it’s just words. When feminism proves by its actions that it isn’t anti-male any longer, perhaps we’ll give it a second look. But right now we’re still stinging from 40 years of face-slapping excesses.

    And no, Ms. Watson does not deserve to have her private nudie pictures released, nor does any decent ant-feminist feel that they should be. I have a lot of respect for Ms. Watson. I’d have more if she’d put her money where her mouth was before inviting us to participate in a movement with such a long history of abuse.

    1. Oh dear…so many issues there, but just to clarify men CAN be raped, and women cannot rape men because they don’t have the instruments to commit such an act. However, the law does take this into account with the act of sexual assault, which last I heard holds the same penalty.
      This is an age old debate about inequality, which cannot be discussed over a blog post comment track. Believe me, I wrote a dissertation on gender bias in the law and it barely scratched the surface.
      While I may not consider myself a ‘feminist’ I most certainly believe that women and men should be equal in all aspects of life. It’s not about being ‘anti-male’, it’s about not being the weaker sex, the ones who need to be looked after, and most importantly having an equal position in society.
      There is so much I could say in response to your post, but I respect your right to have that opinion – I just wanted to highlight the basic legal point re rape.

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