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Fighting For Gender Equality One Hashtag At A Time

#HeForShe Sparks Backlash And Threats

Emma Watson, aka Hermione Granger, delivered an inspiring speech as part of her role as an a UN Women Goodwill ambassador on feminism and what feminism should mean for men. Her speech launched her campaign for gender equality HeforShe. The movement that she created encourages people to tweet why they need feminism with the hashtag #heforshe.

In her game-changing speech, Emma Watson states that men need feminism just as much as women do, because "If men don’t have to be aggressive in order to be accepted women won’t feel compelled to be submissive. If men don’t have to control, women won’t have to be controlled." Only if men and women work together can we reach gender equality. Emma Watson's speech was a real inspiration to all feminists out there, men and women alike, especially when she called out all those who associate feminism with 'man-haters'.

At the end of her speech, she talks about her campaign HeforShe, "I am inviting you to step forward, to be seen to speak up, To be the he for she," and people took to Twitter to share their stories. This campaign is truly a novel way of talking about feminism as it urges not only women but men to share their stories and support the movement. Looking at the #heforshe Twitter feed, a mix of women and men have tweeted why they need feminism.

Celebrities have also shared their support by posting pictures of themselves holding a sign saying #heforshe. Simon Pegg shared his picture and tweeted Emma Watson: "Husband to Wife, Father to Daughter, Son to Mother, you bet I'm on board." Many others have followed Emma Watson's lead such as Douglas Booth, her co-star in Noah, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

The HeforShe campaign success was tainted by a 4chan user's announcement that in retaliation to Emma Watson's speech, they will be revealing her naked pictures to the internet. After Jennifer Lawrence and other actresses' naked pictures were leaked, Emma Watson will be next because she spoke up against sexism. This 4chan user's reaction will only fuel the HeforShe campaign further, showing a perfect example why we need gender equality; no one is likely to threatens to reveal naked picture of actors such as Leonardo DiCaprio or Sean Penn after they have spoken up about a cause dear to their heart.

It is truly saddening that after a young and inspirational actress gives a wonderful speech about feminism she has to immediately deal with naked pictures of her potentially appearing on the internet, or having newspapers comment only on her appearance and clothes and not on her intelligence or her speech. I hope that this will not deter Emma Watson and that she will continue to fight for what she believes in.


Laura is a recent graduate from University of East Anglia in Film and Television Studies, currently interning as a content writer but hoping to one day live off her writing. Follow her @LauraAtSMF.

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Fighting For Gender Equality One Hashtag At A Time Reviewed by Laura Veit on Wednesday, September 24, 2014 Rating: 5
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