Emma Watson speaking before the UN at HeForShe 2014.
Two moments that really stood out for me in this speech:
"[at 18] I decided that I was a feminist. And this seemed uncomplicated to me."
"It is time that we all see gender as a spectrum instead of two sets of opposing ideals. We should stop defining each other by what we are not and start defining ourselves by who we are."
The experience of declaring myself a feminist and then suddenly (quite a bit later, really, for which I am grateful) finding out just what a complicated stance that is was one of the most frustrating and depressing confrontations with modern society I’ve ever had.
One of the things that tops it is having intelligent, well-intentioned guys, many of whom are among my friends and relatives, recoil at the word “feminist.” I ask them what they’re so afraid of, and what on earth could’ve made them believe that the advancement of women will in some way take away from what they have as men, and over and over I discover that they feel damaged. Damaged by an Other, a devastating force that they mistake for women, but which is really the pervasive inequality and sexism that all of us face, regardless of our gender, our sexuality, or how we express those qualities.
I hope they see this video, and that it takes away some of their fear of losing something. And I hope women see this video, and it takes away some of their fear that there’s nothing to be gained.