Actress Emma Watson has responded to recent criticism where people slammed her claims of being a feminist after a revealing Vanity Fair photo shoot.
Former ‘Harry Potter’ star Watson is well known for her strong support for gender equality and is a proud feminist. Not only that but she’s currently a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador and a big advocate of the HeforShe campaign which calls for men to support the need for equality.
Yet when she did a recent Vanity Fair shoot many people were quick to, and unfairly so, brand her a hypocrite.
The actress was the focal point on this month’s cover, with an extensive feature in the magazine. A series of photographs, taken by Tim Walker, accompanied the text; with one image in-particular triggering some into attacking her.
The ‘offending’ photo (featured in the below Tweet) is, as you can see, nothing untoward and there’s nothing gratuitous about it. The shot is part of a series of tasteful, artistic snaps yet many people criticised her for having her boobs on display – which they’re really not – leading to said types saying she therefore couldn’t be a feminist.
Watson seemed baffled to the negative response when speaking to the BBC this week, saying: “Feminism is about giving women choice. Feminism is not a stick with which to beat other women. It’s about freedom, it’s about liberation. It’s about equality.”
See the interview here. (Be warned, it contains mild language.)
“I don’t know what my t**s have to do with it. It’s very confusing. Most people are confused. I’m always just kind of quietly stunned,” Watson said, clearly looking bemused in regards to the nature of the backlash.
Talk Radio host Julia Hartley-Brewer had plenty to say on the so-called hypocrisy Watson was peddling, only to be met by an army of people defending the actress and calling Hartley-Brewer’s comments misjudged and, in some cases, plain wrong.
It’s unfortunate that, as Emma says, some people are unable to accept that one of the fundamental ideas surrounding feminism is to liberate and express oneself in whatever way they wish. There’s no reason a woman cannot be both politically opinionated and sexual at the same time.
“They were saying that I couldn’t be a feminist and have boobs,” is perhaps a fitting statement to summarise the point that being a female feminist doesn’t mean she should have to hide her sexuality or body parts affiliated with being a woman.
The notion that feminism is all about the fight for gender equality while at the same time modestly covering up, being ashamed of, and repressing one’s femininity just shows the movement still has a long way to go when it comes to educating the masses.
The reason Watson ended up voicing her thoughts was because she was on the promotional tour for her new film Beauty and the Beast’ – Disney’s live-action adaptation of the 1991 animated classic. In it, she plays Belle, with Dan Stevens alongside her as Beast.
‘Beauty and the Beast’ is in UK cinemas from 17 March.