VIDEO: Emma Watson gives impassioned speech on feminism and gender to U.N.

This weekend actress and U.N. Women Goodwill Ambassador. Emma Watson gave an impassioned speech on feminism and gender at the U.N. headquarters in New York to launch the “HeForShe” campaign which aims to galvanize one billion men and boys as advocates for ending the inequalities that women and girls face globally. The speech was brilliant, as you can see for yourselves.


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32 thoughts on “VIDEO: Emma Watson gives impassioned speech on feminism and gender to U.N.

  1. I was expecting a call for the end of forced clitoridectomies or at least the right to drive, but no. To her credit she did mention the child bride problem. She did mention twice I think that she should be paid as much as men for her work. I didn’t know she was being shortchanged and I suspect there are more than a few actors, er waiters, just waiting for the opportunity to be similarly abused by our capitalist and misogynist system . But she is easy on the eyes and does have a lovely voice so I was able to watch the whole presentation. Oops, that’s probably sexist of me. Perhaps they should have had a homely woman launch the Heforshe campaign, in the interest of equality for all women, of course.

    1. Or perhaps they should only have nonentities speak at the UN. That way folks like you are spared the effort of wallowing in unrealistic criticism brought on by envy and self-pity when you’re confronted with celebrity and success. Personally I thought the speech was well done within its scope and doubtless in her new role, Watson will have an opportunity to learn and discuss the full spectrum of women’s issues.

  2. Sorry EmmaR, I did not express any envy or self pity in my comments. I have no problem with Emma Watson making a fortune in the film industry. I am just not sure how a woman making such a fortune can decry the supposed sexist pay injustices when she is no doubt making 20X that of the average actor. No self-pity or envy here EmmaR. I think very talented people such as Ms Watson deserve their pay and notoriety. I just don’t think they should be bitching about a system that rewards them so well, unless she is willing to turn over the bulk of her salary to struggling actors. Otherwise, she is just being a bit hypocritical on this issue. But I am with her on the child bride problem. Not sure why she avoided the very serious injustices happening in much of the Muslim world, but I could probably venture a pretty good guess.

    1. If a job is valued at $3 million a year, $300k a year or $30k a year when a male is in it but $2.3 million, $230k, and $23k when a woman does it how is this not the same issue across pay grades? If an unskilled job dominated by women pays less than one dominated by men and a profession dominated by women pays less than a profession dominated by men how is that a different issue across skill levels? One’s dissent should not be squashed regardless of whether they are the poorest in the land or on a Forbes list or have a GED or a degree from Brown. And what you see as bitching, I see as dissent to the status quo. And when you criticize her in a framework of her appearance, voice, and celebrity rather than logic, I see prejudice and insecurities brought on by a loser made to feel his lack of status when confronted by youth, beauty, success, and brains. Get a grip, improve yourself, and enjoy the freedom.

    2. EmmaR

      We sure see a lot of big corporations continually bitching about big government regulations as Walker continues to handsomely reward them, provide legislative favors for them and gives away public trust natural resources to them in exchange for campaign contributions. Don’t hold your breath waiting for Mr Misogynist to tell those corporate beneficiaries to give up their undeserved lucre to the less fortunate business players or to quit bitching about “uncertainty,” as the problem that is keeping them from creating jobs to share the profits with those who perform the labor.

      1. For sure, NQ, the status quo produces winners. You and I see eye to eye on this matter. If it’s a free market, why do they need subsidies? The biggest joke of the Tea Party is how it’s been totally co-opted by big money interests so while they’ll fight tooth and nail against SNAP, they’re horrified if you propose any reform of agricultural subsidies. They claim poor people with housing subsidies are moochers, but a subsidy to keep a corporation in Wisconsin without employment guarantees is a good deal? Walker isn’t going to propose any pay equality measures in Wisconsin nor is he going to propose raising the minimum wage because both would increase the wages and purchasing power of regular people, precisely because they are regular people.

  3. EmmaR, wrong again. I was criticizing her emphasis on wage discrepancies with logic, noting the fact that she makes far more than her male counterparts that are doing the same job, acting. Regarding her good looks and lovely voice, those were meant to be considered compliments, not criticisms. Again, it is obvious by now that you have your mind made up, but I don’t envy or resent success or beauty despite your repeated attempts to project those qualities onto me. Why not simply respond to what I am writing and leave your imaginary thoughts about me in a diary or perhaps discuss them with a trained professional?

    Regarding the supposed pay inequalities for the same job, I can’t help but wonder why some evil capitalist doesn’t just hire women only, pay them the prevailing low wage and destroy the male dominated industries that pay 20% more or whatever the alleged difference is. Seems like a real opportunity if the pay differences are for real.

    1. So you ran the salary data on leads by picture, supporting actors, by picture level and came to the conclusion she’s making more than her male counterparts? Prove it. It’s not her salary versus all males in the acting profession, of course. It’s male actors in her categories – lead, major budget, lead middle budget, supporting big budget, etc. Just like you wouldn’t compare a female surgeon’s salary against all male doctors – you’d compare her salary against other male surgeons. So when you’ve mastered the logic and data, I’m happy to discuss further. Of course your loser in life mentality is fair game. I don’t know anyone (male or female) who is confident in their ability to compete who bothers to defend the status quo on this issue.

  4. EmmaR, you are clearly a sexually frustrated feminist upset that they keep choosing beautiful Hollywood actresses like Watson and Jolie as spokeswomen. Since leftist political correctness prevents you from expressing such dissenting thoughts, you instead project your rage, envy and sexual frustration onto me. Ok, I don’t really think that, but two can play that game. Just wanted to demonstrate that it isn’t very nice.

    OK, on to the meat of the matter. You want to compare Watson’s pay with other lead actors and actresses in big budget films. I think she should be compared to all actors. Of course major budget actors and actresses are going to make more that community theatre actors or actors with small parts. That is the point. If you are good at something, you get paid more. And that is how it is in every industry as it makes no sense for any businessperson to overpay for labor when they could supposedly get away with 20% lower labor costs by hiring only women. Think, Emma, think! Why don’t the evil Koch brothers start an all female engineering firm, lower their labor costs by 20% and crush the competition? Why not Emma?

    1. Denis,

      1. You wrote: “EmmaR, you are clearly a sexually frustrated feminist”

      Unless you are a “sexually frustrated feminist,” how do you know this?

      1.1. Since you raised the issue, when was the last time you had sex?

      1.2 How frequently do you have sex, per week, per month, per year?

      Thanks in advance.

      2. You wrote: “upset that they keep choosing beautiful Hollywood actresses like Watson and Jolie as spokeswomen.”

      I saw none of that in what Emma wrote. Please by all means point out what Emma wrote that you claim is consistent with what you claimed she wrote.

      3. You wrote: “Since leftist political correctness prevents you from expressing such dissenting thoughts,”

      Please, where can I get the bible of leftist political correctness?

      3.1 You wrote: “you instead project your rage, envy and sexual frustration onto me.”

      What does “project” mean?

      “Why are you repeating “sexual frustration?”

      You already mentioned it above, but now you’re adding “rage” and “envy.”

      Are you enraged with Emma?

      Are you envious of Emma?

      3.2 Are you fixated on sexual frustration?

      3.3. Or, are you repressing your feeling of rage and envy?

      3.4 Do you always have feelings of “rage” and “envy” when you comment at BB or is it just with this post?

      4. You wrote: “Ok, I don’t really think that,”

      Perhaps the truest words your handle (which I’m guessing wing nuts trade among different writers) has ever written.

      4.1 You wrote: “but two can play that game.”

      Is this a reference to your multiple personalities?

      4.2 You wrote: “Just wanted to demonstrate that it isn’t very nice.”

      Please explain your “demonstration.” Is it like #floodwallstreet?

      5. You wrote: “OK, on to the meat of the matter.”

      Even you admit what you write isn’t worth reading.

      6. You wrote: You want to compare Watson’s pay with other lead actors and actresses in big budget films. I think she should be compared to all actors.”

      So should “all” football players likewise be paid identically? Do you want to pay kickers the same as running backs, line backers and the positions that routinely have the most collisions? Those are the most dangerous positions to play. Their careers are the shortest.

      8. You wrote “Of course major budget actors and actresses are going to make more that(sic) community theatre actors or actors with small parts.”

      Thank you captain obvious!

      9. You wrote: “That is the point. If you are good at something, you get paid more.”

      Who is disputing this?

      10. You wrote: “And that is how it is in every industry as it makes no sense for any businessperson to overpay for labor”

      Splendid argument for collective bargaining, thank you.

      That’s how physicians, attorneys, engineers, tenured professors, anyone who uses credentialing to limit the supply of their labor, does it. Unless you restrict the supply of your labor, how do you put a floor underneath your wages?

      Glad you support unions.

      11. You wrote: “when they could supposedly get away with 20% lower labor costs by hiring only women.

      What a brilliant argument for reparations for women. It’s obvious that the long history of sexism is the only explanation for women being under-represented in fields that pay higher wages. How large should their compensation be?

      11.1 You wrote: “Think, Emma, think!”

      Take your own advice.

      11.2 You wrote “Why don’t the evil Koch brothers”

      Glad we agree on something.

      11.3 You wrote: “start an all female engineering firm,”

      It’s against the law to not hire someone on the basis of their gender.

      11.4 You wrote: “lower their labor costs by 20% and crush the competition?”

      You don’t understand capitalism. Lowering your labor costs will only lower your marginal costs of production. You’re increasing your net income. Unless you pass that savings onto your customers, you gain zero market share. Whatever percentage of that savings you pass onto your customers, you lose in net income, but you will gain some competitive advantage w/r/t price. Accredited engineering firms understand this and try to take reasonable steps to protect their net income.

      1. John, I will ignore most of your pointless comments as it is clear you have no sense of humor. But I will bite on the capitalism challenge. A company that can reduce its labor costs by 20% will have an advantage in that they can pass on the savings to customers and gain market share and increase net income. Just hire women. To hell with the men. Isn’t that feminism distilled anyway? You should embrace my proposal.

        1. Denis, you wrote: “John, I will ignore”

          Everyone has to have a talent and ignoring facts and logic may be yours.

          You wrote: “most of your pointless comments”

          They’re ALL questions about what YOU wrote.

          You wrote: “as it is clear you have no sense of humor.”

          You’re the one who brought up “sexual frustration.

          You’re the one who brought “rage.”

          You’re the one who brought up “envy.”

          You wrote: “But I will bite on the capitalism challenge. A company that can reduce its labor costs by 20% will have an advantage in that they can pass on the savings to customers and gain market share and increase net income.”

          Congratulations on regurgitating back what I spoon-fed you.

          You wrote: “Just hire women.”

          Evidently you “ignored” what I wrote in 11.3.

          Try reading it again.

          You wrote “To hell with the men.”

          I’m sorry you feel that way.

          You wrote: “Isn’t that feminism distilled anyway?”

          Please, tell us about all the books you’ve read about feminism, all the classes you took on gender, all the experts in the field who you respect.

          You wrote: “You should embrace my proposal.”

          Pro tip: Buy ’em a drink before you bring up marriage.

      2. LMAO, John. Nobody in the state breaks down the words of the wingers like you do.

        As for Denis, insult me all you want. I’m impervious to it. I also am going to observe not for the first time and likely not for the last time, how business-illiterate wing nuts are when it comes down to it. Even if the Koch brothers broke the law by excluding all but women from their employment, they would very quickly learn that as employees are your workers, brand-builders, and customers (in their case indirectly), they would likely lose business as their overall product/service offering and client experience would be eroded. Since price is only one consideration in the purchase decision the existing clients would leave and their ability to gain new clients would be further harmed. So let’s start at the beginning. Ayn Rand was a writer of fiction. Fiction is not real. Go to business school, go to the library, but whatever you do, don’t go to WTMJ talk radio and Breitbart and expect to learn anything useful.

  5. I don’t think anyone disagrees with equal pay for equal work. Man or woman.
    Reality is that there are pay differences between even white males doing the same work. It’s not all cut and dried, plus & minus, subjectivity, more are involved. Not saying it’s right, but, the way it is in the private sector.
    So as a white male am I supposed to make an impassioned speech until the day “I reach equality?”
    I think not. I may have tough decision(s) to make, but making noise is not one of them.
    You show me an HR department anywhere that has a male/female pay scale and I’ll eat it.

    1. No IG, nobody is expecting an impassioned anything from you as much as you might mentally masterbate over actually being able to do it. Just the usual self-serving gibberish and clueless rationalizations dis-owning any responsibility but to yourself, that we have continually witnessed and come to understand as your eternally predictable SOP.

    2. ig, I’m shocked to learn that you’re a “white male.”

      Like Denis above, you make a terrific argument for the payment of reparations to women. How else but for their gender do you account for their pay scale being secondary? It’s only by the accident of gender that they can bear children. As a consequence of that accident, on average, they are punished forever by lower wages.

      1. Being born a woman is not an accident John. Shame on you. You should be expelled from polite society! On the other hand, I bet that your fight for female reparations gets you laid a lot. Nice angle!

        1. Sheesh Denis, do we also have to teach you how to get laid? Anything else? Would you like NQ to explain which fork to use at the dinner table? Perhaps John could instruct you on the finer points of parallel parking. For my part, I shall direct you on how to mix the perfect old-fashioned.

  6. I think Emma Watson needs to investigate the Feminist movement further before she makes impassioned speeches like this. The Feminist Majority Foundation set a very dangerous precedent with their public support for the war in Afghanistan over the last many years, potentially setting the stage for swaying public opinion toward favoring American military intervention in countries that treat women badly. Everyone from Laura Bush to Howard Dean cited the Taliban’s treatment of women and female children as a justification for the ” surge ” in Afghanistan shortly after Obama was elected, which is not the original stated reason we went to war there, and which is not a justification for invading and occupying a sovereign nation.

    What was particularly disturbing at the time is that most of the rest of the Left found it difficult to criticize the war’s escalation, in no small part because the Obama administration had the support of mainstream American Feminism, and people on the Left find it very difficult to criticize the sacred cow of the Women’s Movement.

    So when Emma Watson calls on one billion boys and men to take up the challenge of striving for gender equality around the globe, she may not fully understand what that means.

    1. Well, let’s see. We could not involve men in feminism to help combat abuse, rape, low wages, child brides, genital mutilation, etc. so as to not pile on one more reason to meddle in the Middle East in addition to oil, arms sales, terrorism, Israel, defense industry profits, war hawk desires, populist support for warfare among certain voter segments, etc. or we could involve them as equal partners to solve real problems. Hmmmm. Which to choose. It’s so hard.

      1. EmmaR,

        There’s increasing evidence that the issue of ” womens rights ” is seen by the war mongers as a way to counter Leftist opposition to western militarism in places like Afghanistan and Iran. This is a very disturbing trend, especially when a major feminist organization like the FMF publicly endorses such a notion.

        You need to go talk to Eleanor Smeal and Gloria Steinem and help them get their heads straight. Then you can come back here and straighten out mine.

        1. Steve,

          Thanks for bringing up the point, heard a couple of clips from V McKenna mouthing about the horrible way “Mooslums” treat women, and thus that Obomba obviously isn’t man enough to help protect those women by not immediately bombing the crap out of and killing every last one of them (men, women and children) to “protect,” them. Also saying near the same exact thing (plagiarism?) was Oshkosh “pundit” Michelle (I will blather on forever even if you try to stop me) Litgens on WPR last week on the, Cardin Conservative Comedy Club™ review of nitwit knowledge.

          1. NQ, I don’t know much about McKenna as I can never listen to these shows for more than a minute – they are truly for the brain-dead, aren’t they? Sounds like you only can make it through clips yourself. My guess is she has displayed zero interest in women’s reproductive rights, improving sex education in the schools, providing strong, subsidized childcare services to low income families, making 4k mandatory, unionizing the service industry, raising the minimum wage, pay equity, ending the war on drugs and all the various economic issues that would dramatically improve the economic well-being of women (and thereby, men and children – so like, everyone). If she doesn’t really possess a track record on supporting women at home then we can comfortably state that this is simply another excuse for perpetual warfare.

        2. Feminism is a big tent movement, like the Democratic Party. I wouldn’t expect everyone in it to agree with me totally nor I with them. ISIS strips the rights, dignity, and opportunities from the women within its territory. I sympathize with the view that an added bonus of military intervention is to improve the conditions for women, while I don’t ultimately think it to be true. I can also see why it would be attractive to haters of feminism here to conflate a segment of the movement with the entire movement. Still more I wonder at the pretzel like twisting one must go through to claim to care about the poor while disavowing feminism.

            1. Get with the times. These two represent feminism’s direction in no one’s minds except certain media outlets who want a brand name to work with and yourself. Their day is past. I assume too you condemn all of Christianity for the acts of individual priests, bishops and given the swathes of evangelicals who use it to justify war and winger policy? You of course have stopped watching football since a few players are abusers?

              1. EmmaR,

                I don’t see anything on either the NOW or FMF websites supporting a living wage or Medicaid expansion, both of which are issues that predominantly effect poor women in America, likely tens of millions of them. I do see NOW wants Roger Goodell to resign. Solid.

                My experience with the women’s movement over the last 30 years is that it’s primarily a white, upper middle class women’s club, which explains why we hear a lot about the glass ceiling but little about the linoleum floor. There was hardly a peep out of feminism when Bill Clinton dismantled AFDC, Aid to Families with Dependent Children i.e. poor women, in the mid 1990’s. There’s that linoleum floor thing again.

                So if Emma Watson wants to give impassioned speeches about gender equality she should start with the leaders of the very movement she’s extolling and call them out for their crass classism and elitism, and their horribly misbegotten ways regarding support for a war that Afghan women’s groups oppose. Probably the most notable thing Watson said during her speech was something to the effect of ” you’re probably all wondering what the Harry Potter girl is doing here “. As someone who’s never read a Harry Potter book or seen a Harry Potter film, that’s exactly what I was wondering.

    2. Steve,

      Well said.

      IMHO, Obama’s bombing of a sovereign nation, Syria, without a declaration of war by Congress, is a deep affront to claims that we are a functioning democracy.

      “Rand Paul and I Told You So”

      “…Back in 2011, Rand Paul had the batshit crazy idea that, since we were ending the war in Iraq, we ought to repeal the AUMF that authorized the war. You never know, after all, when someone might pull that cobwebby AUMF out of a drawer and start using it again.

      Not many of Paul’s colleagues agreed with him about this basic matter of AUMF hygiene.

      From time to time over the last several years, I’ve reminded people about that dusty old AUMF lying around like Chekhov’s gun.

      In 2012, when Obama officially told Congress the, “responsible withdrawal … in accordance with the 2008 Agreement Between the United States of America and the Republic of Iraq on the Withdrawal of United States Forces from Iraq and the Organization of Their Activities during Their Temporary Presence in Iraq,” had been completed, I suggested maybe that marked a good time to repeal that AUMF. …”

      On a practical level, imho bombing Syria is a huge win for Republicans and the oligarchs going into the midterms. That’s especially true in Wisconsin where low information voters will decide the Governor’s race. IMHO it would be a lot easier for Dems to hold onto the U.S. Senate (and beat Walker) if “income inequality,” was on the front page of the major big-city dailies from now until November.


      Instead of more welfare for Lockheed Martin,… defense contractors, Exxon, and British Petroleum, aka bombing Syria, the media could be talking about “The political economy of a universal basic income.”

      In the link above the proposal is for a monthly FEDERAL check for $750* that would go out to every U.S. adult. Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, all the billionaires get the same $750/month that everyone else receives. In the proposal, this UBI would replace food stamps** and the federal income tax credit on home ownership. It doesn’t have to be that way. You could keep both those benefits and the federal government could still write that monthly check to every adult, U.S. citizen. Another option is to adopt this UBI and bring back the holiday on the most regressive federal tax, the payroll tax. That would put a lot of money back in the pockets of working folks, especially those who don’t earn enough to qualify for the cap on the payroll tax, afaik, about a $106,000/year.

      A lot of people won’t like the idea of a Universal Basic Income. IMHO, that’s fine, it puts a much more conservative option, a federal job guarantee, in the middle of the political spectrum.

      “…The government could serve as the “employer of last resort” under a job guarantee program modeled on the WPA (the Works Progress Administration, in existence from 1935 to 1943 after being renamed the Work Projects Administration in 1939) and the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps, 1933-1942). The program would offer a job to any American who was ready and willing to work at the federal minimum wage, plus legislated benefits. No time limits. No means testing. No minimum education or skill requirements….”

      That’s still lightyears ahead of where we are now.

      *The link specifies something between $500 – $1,000/month. In terms of introducing this idea to a lot of folks, I wanted to emphasize that UBI isn’t welfare. Everyone, regardless of income, gets the same amount, so I used $750 as the midpoint in his range $500 – $1,000.

      **JP Morgan rakes in more than 1/2 a billion a year from administering food stamps.

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