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Emma Watson Told Not to Say the Word “Feminism” in Feminist Speech

Emma Watson Told Not to Say the Word "Feminism" in Feminist Speech

Since the end of the “Harry Potter movies, one of Emma Watson’s most public roles has been as a women’s rights activist partnered with the UN. Watson’s 2014 HeForShe speech was not only a viral sensation, but marked a cultural shift in the larger culture where younger A-list actresses could embrace the long-dreaded F word: feminism. 

The HeForShe campaign takes a nontraditional tack to advancing women’s rights by urging men to join the fight on behalf of half the world’s population. 

Turns out, Watson was forward-thinking even among those around her. The UN Women Goodwill Ambassador revealed in a recent interview that she should avoid saying the word “feminism” while talking about… feminism. 

“I was encouraged not to use the word ‘feminism’ because people felt that it was alienating and separating and the whole idea of the speech was to include as many people as possible,” said Watson. “But I thought long and hard and ultimately felt that it was just the right thing to do. If women are terrified to use the word, how on earth are men supposed to start using it?”

Watson is certainly reaching girls with her message, too. Last month, Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai told the actress that she decided to call herself a “feminist” after watching Watson’s HeForShe speech. 

[via Evening Standard]

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