2014 was an amazing year for feminism in young Hollywood -- with many celebs declaring their loud, proud affiliation with the F-word. And if one lady in particular led that charge, it would have to be Emma Watson.
Emma was a feminist before it was cool. In Vogue in 2011, she used the word to identify herself while answering a question about evolving romantic ideals. It made her quite the trailblazer -- unabashedly stating her support for feminism when even Beyonce was waffling about using that word -- but it was also only the beginning.
This year, she went from being just a feminist to being the de facto face of feminism in Hollywood, when she used her status as a UN Goodwill Ambassador to launch HeForShe, a campaign that calls on men to get on board with gender equality, too.
"Men -- I would like to take this opportunity to extend your formal invitation. Gender equality is your issue too," she said. "We don’t often talk about men being imprisoned by gender stereotypes but I can see that that they are and that 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 have 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. It is time that we all perceive gender on a spectrum, not as two opposing sets of ideals."
Of course, there was some dumb, ugly backlash, including a particularly icky promise to leak nude photos of the actress in retaliation for her outspokenness (because nothing says "classy intellectual disagreement" like threatening to commit sex crimes, right, guys?). But the backlash was more than drowned out by the thundering chorus of support from men all over the world -- including some of the hottest guys in Hollywood, all made monumentally hotter by their dedication to a worthy cause.
Thanks to Emma, the HeForShe campaign was a wild success, and the visibility of feminists in Hollywood has never been greater. We can't wait to see what happens for this awesome F-word in 2015, but whatever it is, we can almost certainly count on Emma Watson to be on the front lines, wearing her support for gender equality on her sleeve... er, chest.