As one of the most prominent global voices fighting for gender equality today, Emma Watson has had firsthand experience with the kind of fierce backlash that comes with the territory.
But in a recent interview with Esquire magazine, the actress-activist revealed that she isn't at all bothered by the criticism.
Watson told Esquire that being called a "diva" or "feminazi" — the latter term a dubious one that alludes to feminists who seek superiority over, rather than equality with men — won't stop her from championing equality.
When the topic of the gender wage gap in Hollywood was brought up, Watson said:
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.
Eduardo Munoz Alvarez / Getty Images.
Watson shot to fame as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter films, but in recent years the actress has blossomed into a passionate advocate for gender equality. In 2014, she gave a remarkable speech at the United Nations announcing the launch of the HeForShe campaign that marked her as one of the leading young feminists of our time.
The campaign calls on both men and women to fight for gender equality, arguing that it affects men as much as it does women. This year, Watson announced that she was taking a yearlong break from acting to focus on HeForShe because there's still "a lot to do."
Watson also addressed why being a feminist is much more than wanting equality for yourself, or your sister or girlfriend.
"I think it's important to note that it's not about us convincing you that gender equality is worth engaging in only because there might be something in it for you. Or in it for your sister or your mother," she told Esquire.
"The question is, what's in it for humans? Martin Luther King said injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. I really do believe that. And the benefits on top of that? Happier, healthier, more successful children? Being able to take proper paternity leave and see your baby? Being able to talk to someone if you're feeling shit? Actually getting to be yourself? Getting asked out by a woman? Better sex? A marriage that is a true partnership? More diverse and interesting perspectives in art, culture, business and politics? Getting to crowdsource all the innovation and genius in the world, not just half of it. A highly increased number of safe, confident and fulfilled people on the planet, particularly women? World peace? Seriously. World peace!"