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Updated on April 6, 2015

Emma Watson - Face of feminism or pretentious attention seeking celebrity

In 2014, Emma Watson was appointed as United Nations Women Global Goodwill Ambassador to advocate the HEFORSHE campaign, a solidarity movement that urges males to play a bigger role in advocating gender equality.

The HEFORSHE campaign was initiated by United Nation women to combat the human rights issue of gender inequality. In an attempt to raise awareness of the issue, Ms. Watson gave a mediocre twelve-minute speech at the United Nations Headquarters in New York which has been rapidly disseminated through the social and mainstream media. The job function of a Goodwill Ambassador is to raise awareness and to support United Nations programs. The United Nations has used celebrities time and time as Goodwill Ambassadors in order to highlight and draw attention to certain issues.

In social media, Emma Watson has been made out to be a feminist crusader fighting for gender equality. In the December 2014 Elle Cover Interview by Editor-in-Chief Lorraine Candy, Emma Watson’s transcendent sapience is all apparent when she says “Feminism is not here to dictate to you. It’s not prescriptive, it’s not dogmatic. All we are here to do is give you a choice. If you want to run for Prime Minister, you can. If you don’t, that’s wonderful, too. Shave your armpits, don’t shave them, wear flats one day, heels the next. These things are so irrelevant and surface to what it is all really about, and I wish people wouldn’t get caught up in that.” Yes, well said Ms. Watson! These are true words of wisdom that have never really crossed anyone’s mind! Ms. Watson is described as “fiercely intelligent, spirited, and playful.” She is even described as the “new face of feminism.” While Ms. Watson is a female and claims to be a feminist, that does not necessarily make here an expert on the issue. Perhaps she is spirited and playful, but to describe her as “fiercely intelligent” is a bit of a stretch. Ms. Watson has a degree in English from Brown University. Although many Emma Watson fans will bring up, in fact yell out with indignation, that she graduated from Brown University, this does not make her intelligent. While the majority of people would say that you would have to be intelligent to be accepted and to graduate from Brown, the reality is that Emma Watson’s mainstream success is the reason why she was able to attend. Her success and notoriety as an actress has brought more attention to the already notable Brown University. Brown University has an acceptance rate of 8%. One has to take into account that her notoriety as a successful movie star may have played a part in her being accepted into Brown University. The mainstream success that Ms. Watson has had as a movie star has opened up a number of doors and has presented a number of opportunities that certainly would not have appeared and certainly would not have been available if it wasn’t for the motion picture industry and the success of the Harry Potter franchise. As for the “new face of feminism” title that has been bestowed upon her by Lorraine Candy, Emma Watson has yet to prove herself worthy of such a title. She may be accorded such a title by her legions of fans, but this does not necessarily mean that it is true. Simply raising awareness about a campaign or a key issue does not make you unique, fiercely intelligent, or the new face of anything in any way. Women like Mary Robinson, who was Ireland’s first female president and a High Commissioner for Human Rights for the United Nations, and women like Aung San Suu Kyi, chairperson of the National League for Democracy have made a difference in the world. Their stories have had an impact on people and on real feminists who want and who have been fighting for gender equality for years. These women started from nothing and from nothing they worked their way to the top. They have made an impact and they have inspired others and will continue to inspire other feminists to make a difference. They have pushed their way into history. Their efforts and their contributions have been overlooked and marginalized time and time again and yet through all that they have endured, they have changed the lives of hundreds of thousands for the better. Both Men and Women. They are worthy of being called fiercely intelligent, because they are fiercely intelligent and iron willed. These women are the faces of feminism. From a detached point of view it seems as if Emma Watson is nothing more than a tool. It seems as if Emma Watson is nothing more than a recognizable face that is being used to sell magazines and campaigns. She has yet to prove herself as someone who has made or is trying to make a difference in the world.

Only time will tell how serious Emma Watson is about gender equality. Only time will tell how successful and effective the HEFORSHE campaign really is.


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