Why Emma Watson Doesn't Care If You Call Her A 'Feminazi'

March 10th 2016

Laura Donovan

Emma Watson says she still has a lot of feminist work to do — it's why she's taking time off from acting, too.

The United Nations Women Goodwill Ambassador and HeForShe founder has faced critics on social media who have called her a privileged "white feminist" on her quest to promote gender equality, and she recently explained to Esquire U.K. that she will continue to fight for women no matter what people think of her.


Emma Watson opened up about the Sony hack and Hollywood's wage gap.

In an Esquire U.K. interview for the publication's Women & Men issue with Tom Hanks, Watson said that it's a shame that it took the infamous Sony hack, which revealed a major wage gap for actresses such as Charlize Theron, Amy Adams, and Jennifer Lawrence, for people to start talking about the problem. She also said her critics can say whatever they want about her because she will be a staunch feminist no matter what. She explained:

We are not supposed to talk about money, because people will think you're "difficult" or a "diva." But there's a willingness now to be like, 'Fine. Call me a 'diva,' call me a 'feminazi,' call me 'difficult,'call me a "First World feminist,'call me whatever you want, it's not going to stop me from trying to do the right thing and make sure that the right thing happens.'Because it doesn't just affect me, it affects all the other women who are in this with me, and it affects all the other men who are in this with me, too.

Emma Watson

Watson said that the pay gap in Hollywood is just a "small piece of a gigantic puzzle" in regards to gender inequality.

"Whether you are a woman on a tea plantation in Kenya, or a stockbroker on Wall Street, or a Hollywood actress, no one is being paid equally," she said.

Watson, who is reportedly worth more than $51 million as of October 2014, recently announced she will take a year off acting to focus on feminist activism, and some have pointed out that her wealth and privilege set her apart from the average feminist. The British celebrity has always known of her immense privilege, and she broached the subject of her "white feminism" in an #AskEmma Twitter conversation late last year.

Emma Watson

At the time, a Twitter user asked whether Watson considers herself a "white feminist," a feminist born with white privilege. Watson responded that she recognizes her privilege:

"I'm glad this question came up," Watson wrote. "I've been thinking about it a lot. White feminist implies an exclusion of black women from the movement which I find surprising because my bosses (and the people who gave me the job) are two black women."

She added, however, that "white feminism" seems to indicate that a person isn't interested in intersectionality, which UCLA professor Kimberlé Crenshaw coined in 1989 as the "view that women experience oppression in varying configurations and in varying degrees of intensity. Cultural patterns of oppression are not only interrelated, but are bound together and influenced by the intersectional systems of society.” Watson wanted to make it clear that she cares about intersectionality.

"It implies that I am not aware of my own privilege but I mention my own good luck/fortune/privilege something like five times in my UN speech and my wish to make sure other women have access to the same opportunities that I have," Watson said. "It implies a willful ignorance or neglect of the issues surrounding intersectionality."

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