Last September, UN Women Global Goodwill Ambassador and your favorite actor in the Harry Potter movies Emma Watson gave a passionate speech launching the He For She campaign for gender equality — a speech that has so far been viewed over 17 million times.
The He For She campaign is focused on getting men to join the movement to achieve gender equality, though it's not yet exactly clear how the campaign intends to do that aside from getting men to sign the petition on the site. Today, on International Women's Day, Watson did a live Q & A at the Facebook headquarters in London moderated by BBC Radio 1's Greg James, answering questions from her 30 million Facebook fans about her role in the movement and what they can do to help. She looked really nervous, but made several important points:
1. "My specific mandate is to advocate for women and girls, but I also understand that these oppressions are interlocking and mutually reinforcing, and that intersectionality is a really important word here."
2. Women are not encouraged in leadership positions. We need to acknowledge it abroad, but we still have so much work to do here in the west."
3. It makes me so happy to hear you calling my fans activists, because THEY ARE!"
4. "We don't acknowledge how much pressure we put on men to conform to some perception of masculinity."
5. On so-called "first-world" feminism: "I've been incredibly privileged, and I haven't been held back because I'm a girl, but surely it's therefore my responsibility to make sure that other women have access to the same privileges that I have."
6. "There's a lack of a sense of urgency around this issue, and people not understanding the impact of this issue around the world."
7. On the wage gap: "If you know a woman is doing the exact same work as you are, and you know she's being paid less, it would be so cool if you said something about it."
8. On the film industry: "Why are we not telling women's stories? Why are women not telling their own stories?"
9. On the word "feminist": "If you stand for equality, you're a feminist. I'm sorry to tell you."
Danielle Henderson is a lapsed academic, heavy metal karaoke machine, and culture editor at Fusion. She enjoys thinking about how race, gender, and sexuality shape our cultural narratives, but not in a boring way.