In my nervousness for this speech and in my moments of doubt I’ve told myself firmly – if not me, who, if not now, when? If you have similar doubts when opportunities are presented to you I hope those words might be helpful.
We may have already devoted a post to the divine style icon and all-round super woman Emma Watson back in February, but in light of recent events – namely her awesome United Nations speech in New York last week that won her a standing ovation – we thought we would take a closer look at what one of our favorite Sloanies has been up to. It’s a total game-changer, Sloanies…
As a UN Global Goodwill Ambassador, Emma was in the Big Apple last week to launch #HeForShe, a new campaign to inspire men and boys all over the world to join women in the fight for gender equality. Feminism, Emma says in her speech, is a male issue as much as it is a female one, and she appealed to men of the world with a ‘formal invitation’ to join the feminist movement, a crusade against prejudice rather than one that’s been misconstrued before as a war against men.
In the speech which went viral within hours, our girl Emma explained that her decision to become a feminist was totally “uncomplicated,” and that she now wants to challenge society’s wider view that feminism is an aggressive and unattractive set of values. “One thing I know for certain,” Emma told her audience, “Is that this has to stop.” We couldn’t think of a better role model for the job nor a more fitting champion for the Sloane Ranger way of life, with its values firmly based on confidence and class. Never flashy, always confident.
Emma explained in her speech that she herself had been a victim of sexism from a very young age:
“When I was 8, I was confused about being called ‘bossy’ because I wanted to direct the plays that we would put on for our parents. But the boys were not. When at 14, I started to be sexualized by certain elements of the media, when at 15, my girlfriends started dropping out of their beloved sports teams, because they didn’t want to appear ‘muscly,’ when at 18, my males friends were unable to express their feelings, I decided that I was a feminist.”
Charming as well as fiercely intelligent, Emma concluded her speech with an amusing reference to her Harry Potter days by asking “Why this Harry Potter girl? What is she doing at the U.N.?” before answering her own question and getting a standing ovation:
“All I know is that I care about this problem and I want to make this better. And having seen what I’ve seen and given the chance, I feel my responsibility to say something.”
The media and the social media world quickly took note of Emma’s message and the issue trended worldwide, with guys and girls – the celeb world included – pledging their support by posting selfies with a placard #HeForShe.
The remarkable Ms Watson – we salute you, once again! You can find out more about the #HeForShe campaign here.