Why My Reaction To Emma Watson's #HeForShe Speech Surprised Me

24/09/2014 18:14 | Updated 20 May 2015

If you haven't watched (and quoted lines to your best friend/brother/mum/sister from) Emma Watson's speech on the HeForShe campaign, then you need to.

Emma stood before a global audience as UN Women Goodwill Ambassador, feminist, actress, reformer and humanitarian in New York on Sunday to voice the urgency to end gender inequality. And, if I'm honest, I was surprised by my reaction.

emma watson

HeForShe seeks to "galvanise as many men and boys" as well as women and girls to make change happen now.

Every thought-out, polished sentence in Emma's speech gave me butterflies for reasons I could reel off endlessly, but here are five first and foremost.

1. Her resounding, nervous courage.

It sounds contradictory, but it was Emma's very apparent nervousness that reinforced just how much strength it takes to stand up and say, "Hey, this is all wrong. Let's put it right together, starting now".

2. Her eloquence.

As one of Hollywood's most influential actresses she knows how to deliver a line, however, this was passion over performance. Emma made a political, social and economic issue poetic and capable of change. She gave women, and men, around the world listening a huge sense of pride.

3. Her experience.

Emma, like myself and thousands of women and men today has experienced sexism - and she cares enough to do something about it.

4. The following line...

"No country in the world can yet say they have achieved gender equality."

5. I was inspired to share the petition with the men in my life and that's pretty powerful.

14,553 men in UK alone have already signed up to join the movement and that number is only growing.

Unfortunately at the time of writing this, headlines revealed Emma had been victimised by internet trolls in reaction to her speech at the UN.

The 4chan website, reportedly the same one behind celebrity nude photo leaks, posted the now deleted message: "She makes stupid feminist speeches at UN, and now her nudes will be online".

A member of the forum is also said to have created a web page titled ​"Emma You Are Next" - which has since been shut down.

This is yet another misogynistic attack on women in the public eye. And despite the fact that it has now emerged that viral marketing company, Rantic Marketing, was behind the threat - this behaviour is completely unacceptable and only reinforces everything Emma, and the HeForShe movement, is rallying for.

that is completely unacceptable and only reinforces everything Emma, and the HeForShe movement, is rallying for.

These attacks will not and do not disempower the cause.

When the nude photographs of Jennifer Lawrence were leaked earlier this month, Emma responded on Twitter with the following message:

Check the number of retweets/favourites this one tweet had and try denying that this 24-year-old woman doesn't have an influence.

Watch Emma's speech in full, it's just astounding...

Emma Watson Delivers Moving Speech On Feminism


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