Feminism in the News: way to go, celebrities!

I just love finding out that child stars I always loved have grown up into intelligent, kind, and proactive people! And particularly when they grow up to be outspoken feminist people! Yeeeeah!

Case in point: this week the internet is abuzz with news of Emma Watson’s speech to the UN, where she launched her campaign #HeforShe, which promotes gender equality and asks for the help of men and women (and, one would hope, those of other genders as well, though it’s early days and I’m not certain of the official take on that just yet).

Not only is she a brilliant public speaker, a visionary, and a badass, but she’s clearly nervous, too. Her voice is tremulous throughout the speech, which I find endearing, and which makes sense given that she spoke to a room full of men.

FULL of men.

But, no matter how terrified she may have been, she did it anyway, and she kicked butt at it, and effectively, loudly, and brashly called everyone who has shied away from the scary word “feminism” to get involved. “I want men to take up this mantle,” she said, “so their daughters, sisters and mothers can be free from prejudice but also so that their sons have permission to be vulnerable and human too—reclaim those parts of themselves they abandoned and in doing so be a more true and complete version of themselves.”

And, just in case anyone thinks her statements about the need for gender equality are overblown: When a friend of mine posted the above video to Facebook and clicked to watch it, the first of the three “suggested” links that showed up beneath it was to a photo set on The Daily Mail titled “Emma Watson is smart and sophiticated in belted white dress.” I’m not kidding. It was really spelled “sophiticated.” The irony was deafening. The headline has been cleaned up so that at least “sophisticated” is spelled right now, and there’s a bit more in there about meaning business and the UN and all that, but honestly. The first thing Facebook thought of when I clicked on an Emma Watson link was a comment on her fashion choice. Because girls! They love dresses! They’re so cute!

*massive eye roll*

Anyway, taking up the call to action for his TV show HitRecord, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, self-proclaimed feminist and filmmaker (total massive hearts to him for Don Jon) and all-around sweetheart, took to the internet with a video in which he explains his choice to identify as a feminist, and asks the world to tell him what that word means to them for an upcoming episode.


Well? Why are you still reading this? GO RECORD YOUR ANSWER TO JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT! Seriously. This is a massive, celebrity-led, important call to action for the world to start really having this conversation. DO IT. Help out.

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