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← Emma Watson HeForShe Speech at the United Nations | UN Women 2014

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Showing Revision 4 created 09/24/2014 by Wouldn't you like to know?.

  1. Your excellencies,

  2. UN Secretary General,
  3. President of the General Assembly,
  4. Executive Director of UN Women,
  5. and distinguished guests.
  6. Today, we are launching
    a campaign called He for She.
  7. I am reaching out to you
    because we need your help.
  8. We want to end gender inequality,
  9. and to do this,
    we need everyone involved.
  10. This is the first campaign
    of its kind at the UN.
  11. We want to try and galvanize
    as many men and boys as possible
  12. to be advocates for change.
  13. And we don't just want to talk about it.
  14. We want to try and make
    sure that it's tangible.
  15. I was appointed as Goodwill Ambassador
    for UN Women six months ago.
  16. And the more I've spoken about feminism,
    the more I have realized
  17. that fighting for women's rights
    has too often become
  18. synonymous with man-hating.
  19. If there is one thing I know for certain,
  20. it is that this has to stop.
  21. For the record,
    Feminism, by definition,
  22. is the belief that men and women
    should have equal rights
  23. and opportunities.
  24. It is the theory
    of the political, economic,
  25. and social equality of the sexes.
  26. I started questioning gender based
    assumptions a long time ago.
  27. When I was eight, I was confused
    about being called "bossy"
  28. because I wanted to direct the plays
    that we would put on for our parents.
  29. But the boys were not.
  30. When, at 14, I started to be sexualized
    by certain elements of the media.
  31. When, at 15, my girlfriends started
    dropping out of their beloved sports teams
  32. because they didn't want to appear muscly.
  33. When, at 18, my male friends
    were unable to express their feelings...
  34. I decided that I was a feminist.
  35. And this seemed uncomplicated to me.
  36. But my recent research has shown me
    that feminism has become
  37. an unpopular word.
  38. Women are choosing
    not to identify as feminists.
  39. Apparently, I am among the ranks of women
  40. whose expressions are seen
    as too strong, too aggressive,
  41. isolating, and anti-men.
    Unattractive, even.
  42. Why has the word become
    such an uncomfortable one?
  43. I am from Britain,
  44. and I think it is right that I am paid
    the same as my male counterparts.
  45. I think it is right that I should be able
    to make decisions about my own body.
  46. - I think--
    - (raucous applause)
  47. I think it is right
    that women be involved,
  48. on my behalf, in the policies
    and the decisions that will affect my life.
  49. I think it is right that, socially,
    I am afforded the same respect as men.
  50. But sadly, I can say
    that there is no one country
  51. in the world where all women
    can expect to receive these rights.
  52. No country in the world
    can yet say that they have
  53. achieved gender equality.
  54. These rights...I consider
    to be human rights,
  55. but I am one of the lucky ones.
  56. My life is a sheer privilege
    because my parents didn't love me less
  57. - because I was born a daughter.
    - (hooting)
  58. My school did not limit me
    because I was a girl.
  59. My mentors didn't assume
    that I would go less far
  60. because I might give birth
    to a child one day.
  61. These influences,
    with the Gender Equality Ambassadors
  62. that made me who I am today...
  63. they may not know it,
    but they are the inadvertent feminists
  64. who are changing the world today.
  65. We need more of those.
  66. And if you still hate the word,
    it is not the word that is important.
  67. It's the idea and the ambition behind it.
  68. Because not all women have
    received the same rights that I have.
  69. In fact, statistically,
    very few have been.
  70. In 1997, Hillary Clinton
    made a famous speech in Beijing
  71. about women's rights.
  72. Sadly, many of the things that she wanted
    to change are still true today.
  73. But what stood out for me the most
    was that less than 30%
  74. of the audience were male.
  75. How can we affect change in the world
    when only half of it is invited,
  76. or feel welcomed to participate
    in the conversation?
  77. Men...
  78. I would like to take this opportunity
    to extend your formal invitation.
  79. (applause)
  80. Gender equality is your issue too.
  81. Because, to date,
    I've seen my father's role
  82. as a parent being valued less
    by society, despite
  83. my needing his presence as a child
    as much as my mother's.
  84. I've seen young men
    suffering from mental illness,
  85. unable to ask for help,
    for fear it would make them
  86. less of a men--
    or less of a man.
  87. In fact, in the UK,
    suicide is the biggest killer of men
  88. between 20-49, eclipsing road accidents,
    cancer, and coronary heart disease.
  89. I've seen men made fragile
    and insecure by a distorted sense
  90. of what constitutes male success.
  91. Men don't have
    the benefits of equality either.
  92. We don't often talk about men
    being imprisoned by gender stereotypes,
  93. but I can see that they are,
  94. and that when they are free,
    things will change for women
  95. as a natural consequence.
  96. If men don't have to be aggressive
    in order to be accepted,
  97. women won't feel
    compelled to be submissive.
  98. If men don't have to control,
    women won't have to be controlled.
  99. Both men and women
    should feel free to be sensitive.
  100. Both men and women
    should feel free to be strong.
  101. It is time that we all perceived
    gender on a spectrum,
  102. instead of two sets of opposing ideals.
  103. (applause)
  104. (Ms. Watson) If we stop defining
    each other by what we are not,
  105. and start defining ourselves
    by who we are, we can all be freer.
  106. And this is what He for She is about.
  107. It's about freedom.
  108. I want men to take up this mantle,
    so that their daughters,
  109. sisters, and mothers
    can be free from prejudice.
  110. But also so that their sons have permission
    to be vulnerable and human too,
  111. reclaim those parts
    of themselves they abandoned,
  112. and, in doing so, be a more true
    and complete version of themselves.
  113. You might be thinking,
    "Who is this Harry Potter girl?"
  114. - (laughter)
    - "And what is she doing
  115. - speaking at the UN?"
    - And it's a really good question.
  116. I've been asking myself the same thing.
  117. All I know is that I care
    about this problem, and I want
  118. to make it better.
  119. And having seen what I've seen,
    and given the chance,
  120. I feel it is my responsibility
    to say something.
  121. Statesman Edmund Burke said,
  122. "All that is needed
    for the forces of evil to triumph
  123. is for good men and women
    to do nothing."
  124. In my nervousness for this speech,
    and in my moments of doubt,
  125. I've told myself firmly,
  126. "If not me, who?"
  127. "If not now, when?"
  128. If you have similar doubts
    when opportunites are presented to you,
  129. I hope that those words will be helpful
  130. because...
  131. the reality is that if we do nothing,
    it will take 75 years,
  132. or for me to be nearly 100,
    before women can expect
  133. to be paid the same as men.
  134. For the same work.
  135. 15.5 million girls will be married
    in the next 16 years as children.
  136. And, at current rates, it won't be until
    2086 before all rural African girls
  137. can have a secondary education.
  138. If you believe in equality,
    you might be one of those
  139. inadvertent feminists
    that I spoke of earlier.
  140. And, for this, I applaud you.
  141. We are struggling for a uniting word,
    but the good news is that we have
  142. a uniting movement.
  143. It is called He for She.
  144. I am inviting you to step forward,
    to be seen, and to ask yourself,
  145. "If not me, who?
    If not now, when?"
  146. - Thank you very, very much.
    - (applause)