Emma Watson makes her mark with HeForShe

By Jess Nocera on September 26, 2014

Millions grew up watching Emma Watson playing the intelligent and witty Hermione Granger in the eight installments of the Harry Potter movie series. After the Potter era came to an end, Watson found a way to break apart from her Granger identity in “The Perks to Being a Wallflower,” where she played the free spirited character of Sam. Watson delivered a stellar performance and even won the highly acclaimed “MTV Trailblazer Award,” which is awarded to an actor of young age that has managed to inspire others with a varied film work background.

Last Saturday, Watson was back in the public eye for something other than a new movie release. On Sept. 20, Watson delivered a moving speech before the United Nations, introducing a new campaign called HeForShe. Watson, a goodwill ambassador for U.N. Women, explained that the campaign is aimed at getting men involved in stopping violence against women.

She stated how there is an increasing need for feminists in our modern society and that men can help by advocating for gender equality. Watson also stressed that the practice of feminism being referred to as “Man Hating” needs to stop. She said that society has become too quick to judge feminists as being anti-men, unattractive, aggressive and isolated. Feminism has become a touchy subject because of all the negativity that arises from it.  This negativity stems from a miscommunication in the way people understand and comprehend the definition of it.

“If we stop defining each other by what we are not and start defining ourselves by what we are—we can all be freer and this is what HeForShe is about. It’s about freedom,” said Watson.

I found this statement to be so powerful because Watson is saying how this campaign is for everyone. It is not an attack on a certain gender for not doing enough for the other, but rather it says we can all come together and find freedom for everyone.

After the speech, social media outlets blew up with support for Watson and HeForShe. It did not take long for the simple but effective hashtag #HeForShe to be trending on Twitter. Many of Watson’s male friends, including Potter co-star Matthew Lewis, have been posting selfies of themselves with a poster saying #HeForShe.

Emma Watson showed the world that gender equality can be a reality, and that through HeForShe it can be reached. She is asking men around the world to “be the he for she.” Watson has definitely made a breakthrough in the fight for gender equality and it will be thrilling to see how much of a change the campaign HeForShe will make on the world.

Sophomore at the University of Maryland and a double major in Journalism and Government & Politics. As most college students, Netflix is my number one friend and I am a frequent visitor to procrastiNATION. My talents include not being able to ride a bike and knowing tons of Gilmore Girls trivia.

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