Photo: REX USA/David Fisher/Rex.
At a time when celebrities sometimes distance themselves from the word "feminism," Emma Watson just gave it a big bear hug. The actress delivered a speech on gender equality Saturday at the United Nations Headquarters in New York as the U.N. Global Goodwill Ambassador.
Her goal was to encourage men to take on women's rights — a campaign called HeForShe. The program intends to garner one billion men and boys as advocates to create change in gender inequality.
In her speech, Watson acknowledged that gender inequality affects both men and women. As such, it's the responsibility of both genders to level the playing field. Below, the five best quotes from her speech. But, you'll also want to read the full text here.
"The more I spoke about feminism, the more I realized that fighting for women’s rights has too often become synonymous with man-hating. If there is one thing I know for certain is that this has to stop."
"Why has the word become such an unpopular one? I think it is right I am paid the same as my male counterparts. I think it is right that I should make decisions about my own body. I think it is right that women be involved on my behalf in the policies and decisions that affect my life. I think it is right that socially, I am afforded the same respect as men."
"We don’t want to talk about men being imprisoned by gender stereotypes but I can see that they are. When they are free, things will change for women as a natural consequence. If men don’t have to be aggressive, women won’t be compelled to be submissive. If men don’t need to control, women won’t have to be controlled."
"Both men and women should feel free to be strong. It is time that we all see gender as a spectrum instead of two sets of opposing ideals. We should stop defining each other by what we are not and start defining ourselves by who we are."
"You might think: who is this Harry Potter girl? What is she doing at the U.N.? I’ve been asking myself at the same thing. All I know is that I care about this problem and I want to make this better."