Can Emma Watson still call herself a feminist?

The world is divided whether Emma Watson can still call herself a true feminist after the Vanity Fair cover and photo-shoot she did to promote her most recent film Beauty and the Beast. The photos are very sexy and reveal her womanly assets in a crochet top, which leaves little to the imagination. But is this a reason to bash her and take away her title as a feminist, definitely not.

When asked to comment on the publics outrage during an interview she seemed honestly stunned that people would go as far as calling her a ‘hypocrite’ after all being a feminist doesn’t mean you have to shy away from the world and hide what God gave you, it’s about being a woman and being proud that you are one.

“Feminism is about giving women choice. Feminism is not a stick with which to beat other women. It’s about freedom, it’s about liberation. It’s about equality.” Says Emma.

This is correct, being a feminist mean fighting for women’s right and making them equal to men it’s about achieving gender parity in all aspects of life. Being able to be a woman and do a photo-shoot like that, being confident and sexy is part of that same fight! She did a job which she enjoyed and is proud of yet, she is criticised for it and made to feel like she did wrong, this is exactly why she is a feminist in the first place, to stop women feeling ashamed and scared to do what they really want.

After the release of Vanity Fair Emma Watson was exposed to some hate on social media, most surprising of all was that women attacked her too!

It is unfortunate that even now in 2017 women still can’t do what they want with their bodies, they have to fear answering to the public around them and explaining their choices, do men do that? Absolutely not. Feminism is losing it’s true meaning in the midst of all the people that have created their own meaning for it.

In an article posted by the Telegraph of January last year, Radhika Sanghani conducted a survey and concluded that,

“More than two thirds of Britons support gender equality — but just seven per cent would call themselves feminists.”

This is a sad statistic, as more people should be recognizing that gender equality is important and we should aim to achieve it. Most people may have not identified as feminists because they literally fear the term ‘feminism’, being a feminists is attached to extremism and people now believe that if you are a feminist you will not shave, cover your body and protest in the streets. This is not true. It’s those kind of stereotypes that led to a bad reaction to a perfectly normal photo-shoot pictures, the woman on the pictures happened to be a feminist. If she wasn’t, the world wouldn’t have looked twice at it. Where is the fairness in that?

People as a whole are too sensitive to what happens around them, the pressure on women to look a certain way or dress a certain way is huge. When someone then does something that is remotely different to what is expected of them they get backlash for it. At what point did Emma Watson stand up and say ‘I am a feminist and I believe women should keep their bodies covered up’ she did not, so why is it expected from her?

The chart statistics above aren’t a total surprise. The term ‘feminism’ or ‘feminists’ is associated with women who hate men or want to be so independent they believe they don’t need anyone else, this isn’t correct. The term feminism has been lost in all kinds of descriptions throughout the years, many of which aren’t even accurate.

Women should not be bashed for dressing how they like or doing what they like with their bodies, they aren’t a possession of anyone and therefore decide for themselves. To call someone a ‘hypocrite’ because they are a feminists yet they also want to be free and enjoy doing what they want is absurd! This is exactly what feminism is fighting against.

Aleksandra Ganuszko