Emma Watson gave a rousing speech about feminism and gender equality this weekend in her new role as the first Goodwill Ambassador for UN Women.
The 24-year-old actress spoke openly about the state of women around the world today and the gender-based assumptions that we as a society are force fed from an early age.
“The more I’ve spoken about feminism the more I have realized that fighting for women’s rights has too often become synonymous with man hating,” she explained.
“If there is one thing I know for certain it is that this has to stop.”
The Harry Potter star was in New York to launch the ‘HeForShe’ campaign that is calling on men around the world to take up the fight for gender equality alongside their female counterparts.
“Men – I would like to take this opportunity to extend your formal invitation.
“Gender equality is your issue too.”
In response to Watson’s speech, a 4chan user has threatened to leak nude photographs of the British actress with a countdown website entitled ‘Emma You Are Next’.
Comments from fellow 4chan users do little to dispel one’s fears that the pathetic depravity of the trolls lurking in depths of the Internet knows no bounds.
“It is real and going to happen this weekend. That feminist bitch Emma is going to show the world she is as much of a whore as any woman.”
Is this the reaction that women are to expect for coming forward and embracing the title of feminist?
Are vile, intrusive threats of illegal hacking to become the norm for anyone who dares suggest that men should also be interested in gender equality?
How far away is this new threat, really, from a threat of physical violence towards a woman who speaks her mind and attempts to empower others?
Are we just going to accept this as the norm?
Oh dear, better not say anything about women’s rights or someone will leak nude photos of you.
Don’t mention the F word, unless you want someone to go through your entire dating history and publish a list of every person you’ve ever been intimate with.
Do not, under any circumstances, attempt to enroll men in the fight against the crippling inequalities that face people around the world unless you want to be branded a “whore”.
Like Emma, I have attempted to shine a light on men who openly fight against misogyny and gender inequality and found myself the target of angry Internet trolls.
Last month, I wrote an article entitled ‘Male Feminists Exist And We Wish More Of Them Would Speak Up’.
The headline is pretty self-explanatory – it detailed the high profile male figures that had either identified as feminists or were strong advocates for equal rights.
About a week after writing it, I logged on to Twitter to see I had 13 notifications.
I only have 590 followers – 13 notifications means that a celebrity has retweeted me (not likely) or I had f****d something up so monumentally that I had most definitely lost my job.
I was relieved to find that I was just being trolled by a hatefully misogynistic online radio show hosted by some incredibly angry white middle-aged men.
These gentlemen had stumbled upon my article and dedicated a whole 30 minutes to tearing it to pieces line by line, while calling me a ‘feminist f***tard’ who apparently in her praise of male feminists would like to see all men dead.
It’s an interesting leap to take and I don’t quite follow their logic, but as it was a male-only forum where I was not given a right to reply one can only try to fathom the though processes behind angry white men who call feminists ‘bigots’ and ‘vaginauts’.
I call them angry because the pervading tone throughout the hour-long show was one of tangible hatred, which any Star Wars fan knows comes from a place of fear.
Why are they so afraid of equality? Why are they so afraid of women?
This fear manifests itself in abusive tweets, in bitter, vitriolic online rants and in threats of privacy invasion.
These aren’t real men who attack women and feminists like this. They’re not even boys. They’re faceless, worthless trolls.
Guess what hackers and trolls – the world is changing and we’ve asked ahead, there isn’t any room for you.
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