Why Emma Watson’s New Short Movie Is So Important

Emma Watson's new short film on gender equality manages to both celebrate the obstacles women have overcome and remind viewers there's still a long way to go to truly achieve equal rights. Titled Hurdles, the film shows footage of female athletes competing in a hurdles event during Tokyo's 1964 Olympics. As the women prepare to compete, Watson's voice-over explains, "Women and girls have always faced hurdles. But that's never stopped us." The film features heartening statistics on women in education and politics (97 countries now have more women than men at universities). It also, however, highlights the ways women are still at a disadvantage (62 million girls are still out of school).
The release of the short film seems particularly apt, as it comes on the heels of Watson herself being dismissed in a condescending column published in The Sun. The author of the column, Rod Liddle, described Watson's recent speech at the U.N. as "rigid with whining, leftie, PC crap." Maybe Liddle and his need to write off young women championing the rights of all women is just a hurdle for Watson to overcome.

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