Emma Watson has been serving as the U.N. Women Goodwill Ambassador since last year, and since then, she’s been very vocal about women’s rights and the importance of advancing women’s interests, to mixed reviews. But dealing with naysayers is one thing, and dealing with violent misogynists is completely another – especially when they start threatening violence.
During a Facebook Q&A session for the HeForShe equality campaign, Emma revealed the extent of the bullshit she dealt with from online bullies:
A lot of people that were close to me knew gender equality was an issue but didn’t think it was that urgent. And particularly, “We live in Great Britain – this is a thing of the past, oppression of women. We’re fine. We’re good. We’ve got far enough.”
When they saw that the minute I stepped up and talked about women’s rights I was immediately threatened. I mean within less than 12 hours I was receiving threats. I think they were really shocked and one of my brothers in particular was very upset.
It’s funny, people were like, “Oh she’s going to be so disheartened by this. If anything, it made me so much more determined. I was just raging. It made me so angry that I was just like, “This is why I have to be doing. This. This is why I have to be doing this. If they were trying to put me off, it did the opposite.”
Oh, and just in case people have shit to say about her “first world feminism”, Emma is fully aware that there are plenty of other big fish to fry:
HeForShe is about men coming to support women for femininity and for feminine qualities, because they are currently valued less by our society. Femininity needs to be embraced wherever its found, whether it be found in a man or a woman or a non-conforming gender person. Wherever it’s found we need to value it.
I’m also against racism, and homophobia, and classism, and ableism, and xenophobia, and all of it. My specific mandate is to advocate for women and girls, I’m the U.N. ambassador for women so I’m here to do that. But I also understand that these oppressions are interlocking, mutually reinforcing and that inter-sectionality is a really important word here. We just need to be supporting each other.
Totally agree, girl.