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Emma Watson Celebrates International Women’s Day with HeForShe Webcast

Emma Watson
Eduardo Munoz Alvarez, Getty Images

Emma Watson celebrated International Women’s Day with a live webcast to talk about the HeForShe movement, gender equality and what “feminism” really means.

Broadcasted live on Facebook earlier today (March 8), the UN Women Goodwill Ambassador shared her thoughts on HeForShe and how it isn’t just a boys club but wanted to bring males into the conversation and show their support for feminism.

“I guess I really wanted to communicate that gender equality historically has been a predominantly women’s movement,” she said, “but I think the impact of gender in equality and how it’s been affecting men hasn’t been addressed. So I wanted to make that one of the clearest messages in my speech.”

And with all the various definitions for “feminism” out there, she wanted to change the image people associate with the word and make it more of a positive thing. “I think people associate it with hate, with man hate, and that’s really negative,” she said. “And I don’t think that’s what feminism is at all. I think it’s something positive. I think that’s why women were reluctant to us that word, and that’s changing, which is cool.”

While the HeForShe movement is trying to recruit men to make an online pledge to join the gender equality fight, this isn’t just trying to bring the guys in. There were moments when Emma got really personal — speaking about her family and even the fake photo leak. She also touched on the criticism she’s gotten since starting this campaign and revealed what comments really hurt her.

“Some of the hardest comments I’ve had have been from other women,” she admitted. “And it’s not just enough to ask men to come in and support us. We really need to support each other. We really to do.”

The hour-long conversation fielded questions from social media, the audience and even host Greg James. And while the talk could have gone on for hours, the webcast ended on a final note. Emma was asked if gender equality will be reached in our life times, and she said that right now, we’re not there. However, she did promise to see it through and said:

“But I think I’m just going to refused to die. I think I’m just going to be like, ‘No, I’m not going to go. You’re not going to get rid of me until I get to see an equal amount of prime ministers and presidents and CEOs and more men that feel like it’s okay to express how they really feel about things and more fathers who are present in their children’s lives.’ And until I see us all not policing ostracizing each other and oppressing each other or living in a world where this isn’t such a narrowly defined masculinity and femininity, I just won’t go. I just won’t. I refuse.”

You can watch the full conversation here.

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