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Emma Watson took part in a live Q&A about gender equality Sunday to promote the HeForShe organization.
During the event, which coincided with International Women’s Day, the 24-year-old Harry Potter actress and U.N. ambassador discussed the goals behind the group’s campaign to encourage men to support feminism.
“We just want to be included,” Watson said, paraphrasing what a child had told her about wanting to be able to play with boys. Watson explained that women around the world still face serious issues, including violence, wage inequity and biases about gender roles.
The star said she heartened when Steve Carell wore HeForShe cufflinks to this year’s Oscars. “I had no idea that he was going to do that,” she said. “It’s just so overwhelming and humbling when men want to show their support like that. It’s just so nice — it really is, and it does spread awareness, and it does make a difference.”
Watson gave a U.N. address last year for HeForShe, and she discussed during the Q&A that, shortly after she made her speech, hackers threatened to release nude photos of her. As it turned out, the pics didn’t exist, but the nude-photo claim still spoke volumes. “The minute I stepped up and talked about women’s rights I was immediately threatened — in less than 12 hours I was receiving threats,” said Watson. “I think that [men were] really shocked. One of my brothers was very upset. So, I think it was a wake-up call of, ‘Oh, this is a real thing that’s really happening now. Women are receiving threats in all sorts of different forms.’ That was just one specific one.”
“It’s funny because people went, ‘Oh, she’s going to be disheartened by this,’ ” she added. “If anything, it made me so much more determined. I was just raging. It made me so angry that I was just like, ‘This is why I have to be doing this!’ “
According to Watson, people who want equality shouldn’t be afraid to call themselves feminists. “If you stand for equality, then you’re a feminist — sorry to tell you, you’re a feminist,” Watson said. “We’re never, ever, ever going to be able to fly as high unless we’re both in support of each other.”
Video footage of the Q&A can be seen below.
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