“I remember when your mom and I went on our first date and she said something that stuck with me, ‘if you stand for nothing, you’ll fall for anything’, it blew my mind and I respected her for those words”, my dad once told me. I have found that this is a good quote to live by, yet it is a hard quote to live by. When you are the lone beacon standing out for a cause, quivering in the wind of adversity, it can be difficult to stand your ground. Emma Watson is taking a stand that has swept her up into the cyclone of criticism and made her a terror target of hackers who have threatened to release nude pictures they claim they have of her in five days. On September 20, 2014 Emma Watson announced to the UN that she was launching a campaign called “HeForShe” which called on men and boys to take a stand to support women becoming gender equals politically, economically and socially. In her speech Ms. Watson stated that:
“I decided I was a feminist and this seemed uncomplicated to me. But my recent research has shown me that feminism has become an unpopular word.
Apparently I am among the ranks of women whose expressions are seen as too strong, too aggressive, isolating, anti-men and, unattractive.Why is the word such an uncomfortable one?” (UNWomen)
Ms. Watson brings to our attention that in fact the word and meaning of feminism has been strongly challenged in recent months with new anti-feminist campaigns such as “Women Against Feminism.” It appears the entirety of the definition has been contorted, deranged and sculpted into a completely untrue and bizarre concept that feminism equates to hating men. Ms. Watson hopes her invitation to men and boys via the HeForShe campaign will make them feel included in the movement of feminism and not attacked. It seems Ms. Watson words have sparked anger and fear in certain hackers who have threatened to steal and leak supposed nude photos of her online. A website has been constructed called EmmaYouAreNext.com and has a countdown clock counting down the days until Ms. Watson’s supposed/rumored nude photos are to be leaked with a picture of Ms. Watson crying. It is startling to imagine that these individuals who created this site might have mothers, sisters, grandmothers, nieces, aunts etc and can still create such a vicious and cowardly attack on a woman who has a mission for equality. I can only wonder how these stories will be retold in history books, that there was even a time when a woman could make non accusing and non threatening speech to support equal rights and people would threaten her. It seems ludicrous even now. I imagine a day when students learn about a society where these kind of attacks happen and both male and female students alike are stunned and horrified that these days existed.