Tag Archives: Emma Watson

Queer Representation and Harry Potter

For many of us growing up with Harry Potter, it is very easy to say that our lives have been shaped by the books, the series, the fanfiction and the behind-the-scenes additional information.

Years of waiting, nights of staying up late under the covers with a book with the fear of your mother catching you, whole summers of online roleplaying and endless bookmarks of essays, articles, fanart, fanfiction, headcanons, the wonderful, enchanting world that was given birth by the talented J.K. Rowling and was then enlarged and developed with the creativity and insight of the fans.

I was given the first Harry Potter book when I was six, and for more than fifteen years, Hogwarts, the magical universe and all the characters have been an irreplaceable extension of me. I don’t know how to explain what the series has meant to me and I probably don’t need to, since many people my age – as well as my forty year old aunt and my thirteen year old cousin, so not only my age – have daydreamt of walking among the streets of Hogsmeade , or sleep-dreamt of fighting Voldemort and saving the world.

Just to hand out some examples, I remember, when I was seven and my dad told me that being so obsessed with Harry Potter was unhealthy, threatening him ever-so-dramatically that for me to stop he’d first have to kill me and bury my ashes in the box of the Sorcerer’s Stone VHS.

When I finished the second book I made ice cream and hosted a Harry Potter sticker party for my grandma and my aunt. When I bought the Prisoner of Azkaban DVD I verbally greeted Emma Watson appearing on the screen like an old friend, causing my parents to actually worry.

When I was sixteen I dyed my hair magenta so that I could look like a bit like Tonks. And finally, the most treasured childhood memory I still carry with me, was reading the Prisoner of Azkaban while I was out shopping with my mother, and spotting a big black dog on the street.

Harry Potter has been a huge part of my life, and it has shaped not only me but most people my age, to the people they are today. It has taught us acceptance, love, friendship, it has given us courage and enlightened us from a very young age in social issues like discrimination, prejudice, financial and social inequalities, the dangers of a totalitarian government, of greed, hatred, stereotypes and social indifference.

There are studies that show how Harry Potter fans are less likely to vote for Trump in the US presidential election and Pride signs referring to Dumbledore’s sexuality. The Harry Potter series has resulted to social change. In fact, it could have the potential to result to it on a much bigger degree.

Having been an active member of the Harry Potter fandom for the two thirds of my life, I have come to the conclusion that such inordinate success in Harry Potter’s receptivity and impact has two sides: the incredibly talented author, J.K. Rowling, and the fandom itself. People usually tend to diminish the power – both creative and critiquing – of the fans, by laughing at fanfiction or demeaning their needs and demands. What the – extremely diverse – Harry Potter fandom has done, actually, is remarkable.

Not only have people given life to, and extended the universe with all kinds of insightful essays, articles, researches and criticisms, but they have also appropriated parts that are important for different identities and social situations through headcanons, discussions, meta, fanart and fanfiction– of incredibly high quality at times, with remarkable writing I would pay to buy in print – resulting in an even more diverse universe that represents our extremely complex muggle society, its problems we have to face every day, the social and cultural exchanges within it, and issues that found a wonderful, allegoric way to be discussed.

That’s not to undermine J.K. Rowling’s world-changing impact in our growing up, by creating from scratch all those amazing characters and coming up with such spectacular universes, tropes and plots. No one could do that. But somewhere during the process, extremely loyal fans who have actively contributed to making Harry Potter so amazing, have felt betrayed, and I do believe that we have the right to express these feelings, especially when it comes to a series that had so big a potential to change the world and the people in it.

The fandom is not doing trivial job when depicting Harry and Hermione as non-white, to an extent that it’s taken by now as a thing that’s almost canon in most fans’ minds. I’ve seen dozens of Tumblr posts explaining why this is so important for fans who grew up without any other kind of representation whatsoever, how life-changing and empowering this has been for them. And seriously, it makes much more sense that way. It’s realistic.

Our diverse societies consist of people of all skin colors, genders, sexualities and religions. Having an all-white, cis/heteronormative magical universe, while diverse in terms of blood status and creature species, is not realistic in itself.

In fact, especially considering that new, exciting additions still occur in the Harry Potter story, what with the Pottermore material updates, the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them trilogy, the revelations about the characters’ backstory on J.K. Rowling’s Twitter, and the Cursed Child play, there is a feeling that Harry Potter’s author has left way too many chances of important, realistic representation of diverse identities go amiss.

Rowling is still putting much work in additional content that has the purpose of expanding the magical universe, without investing nearly enough effort in trying to represent a current complex world she seemingly always used to allude to, and failing to include the experiences of a diverse fandom.

The explicit references to people of color are very few, yet the cast of Fantastic Beasts would be, once again, all-white, if it weren’t for the black woman casted as head of the American ministry of magic, as a result of the complaints within the fandom, and the insight given on History of Magic is North America, in the movie’s promo backstory, is particularly problematic when it comes to the representation of Native Americans. The biggest problem is that, even when there is actual representation, it usually is off-screen, leading many fans to perceive it as tokenism.

Such is the case of the revelation of the existence of one minor Jewish character within the entire series, and the promises for more in Fantastic Beasts, or even of gay Dumbledore, and the way his sexuality was announced after the whole series was over.

Rowling announcing that Dumbledore was gay in 2007 at Carnegie Hall was something the importance of which, and ten years ago, should not be undermined. Many will argue that the author of Harry Potter has done many supportive things for LGBT+ people, such as defending Dumbledore’s sexuality and gay people on Twitter and responding appropriately to complaints made by Westboro Baptist Church about the same thing.

However, a 2007 interview, shows that Rowling’s way to adaptation of LGBT+ issues in the Harry Potter series is trodden with ambiguities: she stated that being gay isn’t a major issue in the wizarding world, compared to other prejudices and forms of discrimination, such as blood status, while at the same time she presents dozens of relationships in Harry Potter and all of them are straight.

There are so many different complex characters, but all of them in heterosexual relationships. There is at least one man who loves muggles, Arthur Weasley, but not even one man – stated explicitly, apart from Dumbledore – who loves other men. There are werewolves, vampires, centaurs and banshees, but not one trans person, or even a gender-non-conforming person, aside from Tonks, who ended up being called by a more feminized ‘Dora’ by Remus after they married.

Other than that, Rowling received backlash for presumably confirming that Sirius Black is not gay and, even after denying doing so stating that there are “no news” regarding his sexuality, and she also answered, to a question about Charlie Weasley’s sexuality, that he’s just more interested in dragons than women.

All that, added to the announcement about Dumbledore – to whom not many teenage kids can relate and who, let’s be honest, while having been in a relationship with a super evil wizard, Gridelwald, and being the only representation, is not the best representation we can have – shows that, it’s not that Rowling is homophobic or has shown she’s got an issue with LGBT+ people, but she simply hasn’t felt the need to grasp on the chances that have been given her to easily and harmlessly represent them.

So here’s what seems to place all this responsibility on Harry Potter and the types of representation in the magical universe: what has always made the series so special, ever since the publish of the first book, was the inimitable opportunity it gave young readers to escape from a millennial world full of inequalities, expectations, anxiety and pessimism, in a world where they could be someone else from the person they were assigned to be, where they could apparate, turn their bully into a weasel and transform into an animal at will, find a place within the magic even if they were the outcasts or the weirdos.

Having these attributes, the Harry Potter series, for many, didn’t meet up to the expectations of kids being othered for their race, sexuality and gender. The amount of “slash” fanfiction, or even the amount of fanfiction with canon characters headcanoned as trans, shows how intense this need was among millennials, and how it eventually did not get catered for.

Speaking of fanfiction, one thing that was quite overwhelming for Harry Potter fans reading or watching Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, was that they could actually identify several fanfiction tropes in the plot, writing, and character development, which is not necessarily a bad thing. We are hungry for fanfiction references and tropes in pop culture – let’s remember the Moriarty-Sherlock kiss – and The Cursed Child managed to weirdly balance some characteristics that catered to that impression, and were downright different from what Harry Potter fans have been used to.

This article sums up the points perfectly well: Delphi’s character with the cool hair and the whole Voldemort’s daughter thing going on for her, appearing out of the blue, the language in which the characters spoke, Hermione and Ron’s romantic time-crossing backstory, the undead Zombie-Robot-Killer-Guard Trolley Witch and, of course, the ever so discussed romance between Harry and Draco’s sons, Albus and Scorpius. Because, let’s face it, it was a romance, and even if that’s not confirmed in canon, it had all the elements that romances written in the Harry Potter universe do, with a similar – if not more realistic and intriguing – background build up.

Albus and Scorpius have been one of the strongest ships in the fandom already after their brief appearance – and zero interaction – in the last chapter of The Deathly Hallows. Imagine the fans’ excitement when the two characters’ deep, complex relationship, started being unraveled before them as they turned the pages, in ways that left little space for doubt when it came to the nature of the feelings the boys shared. Even I, who never experienced any particular interest for the next generation fics, was absolutely thrilled when I saw where it was going… or, as it turned out was going to go, but lost its way somewhere in the last few pages.

Because you see, the thing is that Albus and Scorpius’ relationship was one of devotion, teenage jealousy when it came to one of them showing interest in a girl, and an awkward, hardly believable twist in the end, that left a bitter “no-homo” taste when Scorpius’ attention turned to Rose Weasley – who spent the entire book practically hating him and doing her best to let it show – that felt forced and definitely not quite right. Albus and Scorpius are left devastated when McGonagall separates them, Scorpius feels odd when Albus spends time with Delphi, and romantic vibes are scattered literally everywhere in the subtext, leading even to Albus being the material for Scorpius’ patronus against dementors to be produced.

With all this hope building up while we read the book – feeling that this was certain, it was heading there, queer young Harry Potter fans would finally be represented in the way they deserved – we actually found ourselves in a state of low-key shock when we realized that this was, for once again, not the case. Apparently it was too much for two young boys sharing a relationship with all the elements of a romantic one to be anything more than friends. This denial gave off the same old feeling: that even for people who seemingly support LGBT+ rights, a queer relationship between two boys is not deemed as natural enough, inoffensive enough, secure enough to be put in mainstream teenage –yet dark and mature enough –  literature (or in West End). Yet, for people who are hungry for the representation they can’t easily get, this was significant. It was not just another story which “happened” to have straight characters. It was a reaffirmation that they’re not accepted therefore they should not demand to be visible.

Jack Chellman, Writer and Student at the University of Virginia, writes in his moving and respectful letter to J.K. Rowling: “You wrote a gay romance. You pulled us along by the power of that romance. And then you told us it was unacceptable. The more-than-friendly magnetism between the boys felt real. The strictly straight conversation at the end felt false, contrived. But the script sides with the straight, and in doing so it tells us that there’s a way things are done in this world. That whether you buy into it or not, heterosexuality is what’s normal and natural and inevitable.”

What is described here is called queerbaiting, and it is thought to be a disease that affects most mainstream media, books and stories that young people love and lay their expectations upon. Queerbaiting is the writing trope that gets fans hooked by “baiting” them (aka generously handing out to them all the queer romance/or just the overall queer identity elements they’ve been craving for – always in the subtext) but never actually confirming the existence of such feelings in canon, usually twisting the plot somewhere towards the climax or the end of the series, to have the main characters settling down for love interests of a different gender.

Another occasion that has felt as queerbaiting – or queer erasure in general – is that of Remus, Sirius and Tonks’. Even academically speaking, werewolves are often compared to gay men because of the marginalization parallels, and lycanthropy is often alluded to as a metaphor for the HIV/AIDS virus and the social stigma that surrounds it, an allusion that Rowling herself has confirmed to be true in the case of Remus Lupin. Remus and Sirius’ queerness are ideas strongly applauded by the fans and, even though the subtext supporting their relationship may not be as strong as that supporting Albus Potter and Scorpius Malfoy’s, it’s still strong enough to make the ‘Wolfstar’ ship one of the most popular in the fandom, rendering it the perfect opportunity for Rowling to give us some representation even if that wasn’t her initial plan – which, spoiler alert, she eventually didn’t.

When (my absolute favorite) Nymphadora Tonks appeared in The Order of the Phoenix – and, to be fair, many a fanfiction appeared shipping her with Lupin even before their relationship was confirmed in The Half Blood Prince – many fans felt threatened by her, led to even misogynistic comments. However I see this case as somewhat different. Remus and Tonks’ relationship doesn’t have to invalidate the presumed queerness of either. Instead, this was actually some excellent opportunity for some bisexual representation, when it came to Lupin, something that of course is not likely to be confirmed as canon anytime soon, since Rowling has already stated in Pottermore in 2013 that Remus had never been in love with anybody before Tonks.

What’s more, Tonks’ character has a number of elements that allude to a stereotypically queer-read young character – from the shifting appearance and colourful hair, to her stereotypically un-feminine attitude and choice to be called by her gender-neutral surname. In fact, Tonks – as well as, according to many fans, hers and Remus’ son, Teddy – are often depicted as not identifying with a binary gender identity. Instead of that being played out though, before and during Tonks’ relationship with Lupin, we see her suddenly being called “Dora” after they marry, as well as being expected to stay back at home – brief reminder that Tonks is a powerful auror in the Wizarding World – with her kid, while the Last Battle is taking place.

The aim of this entire discourse is not to blame the Harry Potter series, since the criticism is being made by extremely loyal fans who reached the point of feeling personally affected and disappointed by staying in the dark, twenty years after the birth of the story, with effort constantly being put in the updates, through Pottermore, The Cursed Child, the Fantastic Beasts sequels and, of course, Rowling’s personal active social media. The issue here is not to demand something extreme, like every single character to be queer. On the contrary, it is actually asking for something to see realistic, in a series where the existence of some very real people is simply erased. It’s not the specific case of Scorpius and Albus, of Dumbledore or Sirius; it’s not just about Remus’ potential bisexuality and the possibilities that open for the fluidity of Tonks’ gender.

It’s the general bitter aftertaste this all leaves. It’s a series of crushed hopes and expectations from something that we held dear to our hearts while growing up. It’s all these put together, all the possibilities that could have effortlessly served as amazing, well-rounded forms of representation to questioning, closeted and anxious kids all over the world. As it is stated in this Vox article, all stories, sequels, remakes and behind-the-scenes information on Harry Potter, are keeping the protagonists strictly at European-centric, white, cis, straight standards, in a world that is changing and presenting all kinds of social issues that should not allow for its representors to be limited to that.

All these concerns are still phrased with love, and for specific reasons: towards the very story that taught us to question Umbridge’s authority and translate that to a wider skepticism towards any kind of oppression, especially towards marginalized social groups, while still being ten years old. Towards the story that taught us to hope instead of giving up, even when the world seemed at its most hostile around us.

Sorry, But Emma Watson & Margot Robbie Aren’t Starring In A Lesbian Remake Of ‘Brokeback Mountain’

This week, the Twitter universe went into shock when it heared that Emma Watson and Margot Robbie are slated to co-star as romantic leads in a 2017 lesbian remake of the gay classic Brokeback Mountain.

Alas, it was only a rumour spread by The Portly Gazelle, a satirical site, published an article claiming that the remake was confirmed for 2017.

The film will follow two lesbian lovers in rural USA and will retain most of the themes of the original film, aside from the obvious gender switch,” the story read.


Mega-stars Margot Robbie and Emma Watson have been cast to play the two lesbians struggling to compromise their secret lesbian relationship with their intolerant surroundings.”

Though the story was a hoax, fans had such a fierce reaction that Hollywood should probably consider producing this movie.

7 Of The Biggest Things To Affect Women in 2015

It’s hard to believe that the year is almost over. 2015 has whizzed by like super progressive blur as so many important political decisions were made and so many important discussions were had about equality.

But what were the most influential? And which events made the most headlines?

Read on for our round up of the biggest things to affect women that happened in 2015.

1. Viola Davis’ Emmy Win


On this very site, we’ve mentioned countless times how Hollywood is happy to exclude and refuse to hire actors of colour altogether. So naturally, we (and many other people around the world) for ecstatic when Viola Davis won an Emmy Award for her role as bisexual lawyer Annalise Keating.

Making history as the first African-American woman to win an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, Viola Davis’ also gave an incredible speech that not only quoted abolitionist and humanitarian Harriet Tubman but it also name-checked other black actresses (such as Gabrielle Union and Kerry Washington) and called on Hollywood to offer the same opportunities to women of colour as it does to white women.

2. Misty Copeland Becomes the First Principal Dancer at the American Ballet Theatre

Misty Copeland

The ‘principal dancer’ is a dancer at the highest rank within a professional dance company; it’s the role that every ballet dancer would love to hold and it’s one that Misty Copeland, who has been a dancer at the American Ballet Theatre for 14 years, especially wanted to achieve. In her 2014 memoir, Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina, she revealed that “if I don’t rise to principal, people will feel I have failed them”.

But Misty Copeland needn’t have worried to much as in 2015 she was finally promoted to the role of principal dancer in a round of summer promotions. In her role, she became the very first African-American woman to become a principal dancer in the American Ballet Theatre’s 75 year history and of the achievement.

3. Supreme Court Same-Sex Marriage

Californians React To Supreme Court Rulings On Prop 8 And DOMA

In other historic news from 2015, in June, the United States’ Supreme Court finally had a vote on same-sex marriage. Previously, it had been up to each state in the country to decide individually whether or not same-sex couples could get married putting couples in a difficult position as it meant that they may have to travel hours away from home just to enjoy the same ‘big white wedding in a church’ privilege that opposite sex couples got to enjoy.

Thankfully, on June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court voted to make same-sex marriage a right nationwide. This meant that one great obstacle on the road to equal rights had been defeated and that anywhere in the country, same sex couples could marry each other.

4. FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015


Another big event making headlines over the summer of 2015 is the FIFA Women’s World Cup. Here at KitschMix we were excited not just because it’s always wonderful seeing talented women do what they do best but because many out athletes such as Megan Rapinoe, Casey Stoney and Abby Wambach would be taking part as well.

Not only did the England women’s national team reach their highest ever position in the tournament (they got 3rd place) but the final, where the USA beat Japan 5-2 also became the most watched football match in US history as it had 25.4 million viewers, beating the 18.2 million viewers who tuned into watch the US men take on Portugal the year before.

(That said, the tournament was also marred by criticism as FIFA made the women play on astro-turf unlike the men’s tournament which was played entirely on grass).

5. Hillary Clinton Running for President

Hillary Rodham Clinton Signs Copies Of Her Book 'Hard Choices' In New York

One of the dominating stories at the beginning of the year was whether or not Hillary Clinton – who had once tried to run for president in 2007 – would run for president again. In an official announcement video in April, Clinton confirmed that she’d be running for president and that she wanted to be a “champion” for “everyday Americans”.

While Clinton hasn’t always been so progressive (she was once against same-sex marriage), nor is she regarded as progressive as (fellow presidential candidate) Bernie Sanders, she has lots of viewpoints that could do some good. Clinton wants to reform the criminal justice system, offer comprehensive immigration reform with a “pathway to citizenship”, she supports LGBT equality and she hopes to close the wage gap between men too.

6. The Rise of the ‘F’ Word


Feminism, by definition, is the “advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of equality of the sexes” and while there are still plenty of people who do still think that it’s about women having more rights than men, in 2015, lots of influential women revealed why they were feminists,

These include Harry Potter star Emma Watson, girl group Fifth Harmony whose ‘Worth it’ music video included pro-women quotes and Taylor Swift who has spoken out about misogyny in the media and has championed powerful women with her ‘girl squad’ of friends including Serena Williams, supermodel Karlie Kloss and singer and actress Selena Gomez. Admittedly, a lot of the feminist rhetoric this year has surrounded cis, white women and has completely ignored the struggles of trans women and women of colour but it’s a positive step forward at least.

7. The MTV VMAs 2015

2015 MTV Video Music Awards - Press Room

And finally, we had the MTV Video Music Awards 2015. Hosted by professional headline-grabber and former Disney star Miley Cyrus, the MTV VMAs 2015 were always going to get serious attention and while they offended just as much as they did good (one example is comedian Rebel Wilson making light of police brutality), they did give us plenty to talk about.

In the run up to the show, Nicki Minaj called out MTV for ignoring her Anaconda music video saying that the company only “celebrates women with very slim bodies” and overlooks the contributions of black women. Then Taylor Swift got offended and accused the rapper of pitting women against each other and Miley Cyrus then chimed in saying that Minaj’s comments were “not polite”.

During the show, Nicki Minaj called Miley Cyrus out, before criticising her again in the days after the show, saying that Miley enjoys black culture without wanting to address the issues that face black people. It led to some very important and very necessary discussions about race in the media.

Also at the MTV VMAs, Blac Chyna and Amber Rose went as each others dates dressed in outfits emblazoned with things they’d been called (e.g ‘whore’, ‘bitch’, and ‘golddigger’) seemingly in an effort to reclaim those slurs. As eye-catching as their getups were, again, they got people having serious conversations.

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10 Bad-Ass Actresses Who Should Take the Lead in James Bond

So rumour has we’re getting a new James Bond lead, and while other news outlets rush to tell which guy will get the job, we decided to look at the potential female contenders…

Historically the Bond franchise has always implied that a women’s place is in the bedroom. James is a serial shagger and comes across as either a cheeseball or an oaf when it comes to seduction. A significant amount of his sexual partners end up dead. On the one occasion he marries (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service) his wife also dies. Those who live are rarely seen again, unless they’re evil double agents. They also have demeaning names like Honey Rider, Pussy Galore or Octopussy.

So it about time they switched up. Here are the 10 Bad-Ass actresses we think should take the lead in James Bond.

1. Jaimie Alexander

She’d treat dudes the way Bond traditionally treats women, or maybe she’d be a badass lesbian, either way it’s something I could get down with, and Jaimie Alexander has proven in all her movies she’s a sexy lady who would totally take her martini shaken, not stirred.

James Bond Jaimie Alexander

2. Angelina Jolie

James Bond Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie is very sexy, and has time and time again proven that she can successfully pull off action roles, while also bringing depth to hercharacters. She can be subtle, she can be intense, so she should played Bond.

3. Emily Blunt
james bond emily-blunt

Well… I mean… come on. She’s pretty much the most obvious choice for the next James Bond. Give me a break.

4. Anne Hathaway

james bond anne hathaway

It might seem weird, and I know Bond is traditionally from the UK, but if they were to completely re-invent the series, couldn’t you just see Hathaway as an American Bond with a soft side she hides under her jaded bad girl facade? Yeah, I could dig that.

5. Emma Watson

Emma Watson

I know with Craig’s Bond they explored the origins of James Bond, but what if they did his earlier years? Like early-late 20’s Bond? What made him choose this career path? We could always do with more backstory and Emma Watson would be a great young Bond.

6. Cate Blanchett

James bond Cate-Blanchett

Are you looking at the above picture? The argument makes itself.

7. Lena Headey

Lena Headey

If Lena Headey played Bond the character would be rowdier, a bigger womanizer (if possible), a heavier drinker, and a dirtier fighter. Yeah, I think I’d enjoy that.

8. Rachel Weisz

james bond Rachel Weisz

She’s dark, she’s classy, she’s sexy, she’s British, and she looks good in a suit. I mean, what more do you need?

9. Kate Beckinsale

Kate Beckinsale

Well, if we’re going to suggest a woman to play Bond I obviously can’t leave out the ultimate British bad girl: Kate Beckinsale. If anyone could play a female bond, it’s this broad.

10. Michelle Rodriguez

michell rod

Michelle Rodriguez is a sexy, badass, mature woman. If she can play action, I think she can handle Bond.

Emma Watson to All Men ‘Gender Equality is Your Issue, Too’ – #HeForShe

“It is time that we all see gender as a spectrum instead of two sets of opposing ideals. We should stop defining each other by what we are not, and start defining ourselves by who we are.”

Emma Watson

Emma Watson made this call as she launched a United Nations campaign for men and boys worldwide to join the movement for gender equality.

The UN Women Global Goodwill Ambassador was at the UN Headquarters in New York on Saturday, to deliver a strong and personal message on equality, gender roles, and feminism.

The UN Women campaign called “HeForShe” aims to mobilize one billion men and boys as advocates of change in ending inequalities that women and girls face globally.

“I want men to take up this mantle so their daughters, sisters and mothers can be free from prejudice but also so their sons have permission to be vulnerable and human, too and in doing so, be a more true and complete version of themselves,”

Emma Watson

In the speech, Watson stressed the importance of men’s involvement in promoting women’s rights.

“How can we effect change in the world when only half of it is invited to participate in the conversation? Men, I would like to take this opportunity to extend your formal invitation. Gender equality is your issue, too. I’ve seen my father’s role as a parent being valued less by society. I’ve seen young men suffering from illness, unable to ask for help for fear it will make them less of a man …. I’ve seen men fragile and insecure by a distorted sense of what constitutes male success. Men don’t have the benefits of equality, either. We don’t often talk about men being imprisoned by gender stereotypes but I can see that they are.”

Emma Watson

Watson said liberating men from stereotypes ultimately benefits women.

“When they are free, things will change for women as a natural consequence. If men don’t have to be aggressive in order to be accepted, women won’t feel compelled to be submissive. If men don’t need to control, women won’t have to be controlled. Both men and women should feel free to be sensitive. Both men and women should feel free to be strong.”

Emma Watson

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka commended Watson for her work with UN Women.

“Men are responsible for most of the threats and violence against women. Often, these men are close to the victims – fathers, husbands, boyfriends or supervisors. We need to say to men and boys: Do not raise your hands in violence – raise your voices to stop it – and to support human rights for all.”

Ban Ki-Moon, UN Secretary-General