The Day Emma Watson Addressed the UN

Words by Elizabeth Pollard

This week, the world watched as Emma Watson made her first speech as a Women’s Goodwill  ambassador for the UN. And whilst (inevitably) internet trolls did their best to take her down, for the most part her speech created waves amongst the public, driving the message of modern feminism home and launching the #HeforShe campaign; encouraging women and men to stand up to the stereotype and support equal rights.

Much like Sheryl Sandberg’s #BanBossy campaign (which we reported on earlier this year), Watson addressed the negative connotations associated with being ‘bossy’ as a child and how the media objectively sexualised her as a young woman growing up in the spotlight. Whilst some people were ready to mock the ‘girl from Harry Potter’ for standing up to more serious issues than anything she’s ever had to experience, it was precisely her humility on this subject that made her speech so empowering. Watson makes no apology for her cultural background, celebrity status and position of wealth which is why her speech felt honest and creates no disillusion for the change she aspires to. Change that doesn’t look to an unattainable future where both women and men aren’t defined or limited by their gender, but a future that allows people to carve the future they desire.

Watch the full speech below and join the fight for equality.

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