Emma Watson’s now viral speech to the United Nations is drawing a lot of attention–both positive and negative. Personally, I’d like to thank Ms. Watson for stepping into the highly charged fray that is today’s feminist movement. Ms. Watson is now facing the same kind of shaming that other young women who advocate on behalf of women’s issues have been facing in recent years. Sandra Fluke’s testifying before the democrats in congress over whether contraceptives should be covered under the Affordable Care Act comes to mind (republicans on the committee refused to hear her testimony in the official committee meetings, so democrats invited her to speak to them outside of the committee). Rush Limbaugh and other radical commentators took the airwaves, blogs, and opinion pages to “slut shame” Ms. Fluke for daring to speak to members of congress to advocate on behalf of women wishing to have contraceptives covered by their health insurance. Limbaugh’s extreme personal attacks on Fluke led to an unprecedented backlash, some even labeling his diatribe as hate speech. His behavior also prompted an advertiser exodus from his program and talk radio in general. Now Ms. Watson is being faced with the same kind of hate–the dubious 4chan hacker has threatened to hack into Ms. Watson’s accounts and upload her personal (possibly nude) photos. So the slut shaming begins. All because Ms. Watson has the audacity to say something as provocative as:
“We don’t often talk about men being imprisoned by gender stereotypes but I can see that that they are and that when they are free, things will change for women as a natural consequence.
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. Both men and women should feel free to be sensitive. Both men and women should feel free to be strong… It is time that we all perceive gender on a spectrum not as two opposing sets of ideals.”
Bravo, Ms. Watson! Bravo!!