Emma Watson gave a speech as the new U.N. Women’s Goodwill ambassador back in September advocating for gender equality as part of the HeForShe platform. As part of HeForShe, gender inequality stands as any rigid traditions solely based on gender, male or female. Her speech has captured audiences’ attention, and so has her second videotaped response.
Emma Watson hits on all of the main points of the newest wave of the feminist movement: the misconception that feminism is man hating, the gender issues with men and the fight for basic women’s rights. The speech starts with Watson stating how she had always understood the social divide between the sexes, but her last six months of work as an ambassador has confirmed that she is a feminist. Many women and men can relate to such a situation; we all know that there is a difference in many aspects of life due to gender, but we don’t feel conviction until it is all expressed in words.
Watson explains clearly why she has become passionate about the topic, stating that she has been called “bossy” for wanting to take charge in childhood games, she has been sexualized by the media and has seen her male friends suffer as they keep the ‘girly’ emotions and interests to themselves. Again, many members of the audience can relate these observations to those in their own life. Relatability is Watson’s greatest verbal weapon, as the purpose of the talk is to unite both the ambassadors and general audience members alike to advocate for gender equality, for women and men.
The momentum gained by the first speech Watson gave was quickly utilized in this second video. It is obvious that Watson is much more confident in speaking out, knowing listeners are not only agreeing but acting on her verbalized conviction. With the astounding public response and support, HeForShe takes the next step: pushing the 10x10x10 campaign. Watson, when asked to describe the project in 140 characters or less, said, “concerete [sic] commitments to gender equality from at least 10 governments,10 businesses and 10 universities.” With over 1.2 billion social media mentions and signatures from almost every country in the world, it is likely HeForShe will reach their goal of 30 commitments.
Besides advertising the 10x10x10 campaign, Watson challenges how audiences can or have become involved in the equality revolution. She gives examples of those already participating, such as girls collecting hundreds of signatures, a fan stopping male-female violence and men signing the HeForShe petition.
If this is any indication of the future, HeForShe will entice men and women to actively invest in the gender equality movement, just as the organization has set out to do.