Ladies have some pretty powerful allies on their side these days – from Taylor Swift to Beyonce to recently-appointed UN Women Global Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson. The Brown University graduate hasn't wasted any time settling into her role – she's already launched a new gender equality campaign.
Watson debuted "HeForShe" – a solidarity movement aimed at mobilizing men and boys in taking steps toward gender equality – at the UN Headquarters in New York yesterday.
"It is time that we all see gender as a spectrum instead of two sets of opposing ideals," Watson explained. "We should stop defining each other by what we are not, and start defining ourselves by who we are."
No surprise, here – Watson's speech, which underscored the vital role men play in promoting women's rights, earned her a standing ovation. The actress formally invited men to participate in the conversation, saying, "Gender equality is your issue, too."
You can read a full transcript of Watson's speech here, but we've pulled a few of our favorite mic drop moments:
"The more I spoke about feminism, the more I realized that fighting for women’s rights has too often become synonymous with man-hating. If there is one thing I know for certain is that this has to stop. For the record, feminism by definition is the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. It is the theory of political, economic and social equality of the sexes."
Didn't we just hear that in a Beyonce song too? It's so nice to hear so many strong, successful women taking on the role of feminist with passion.
"I think it is right I am paid the same as my male counterparts. I think it is right that I should make decisions about my own body. I think it is right that women be involved on my behalf in the policies and decisions that affect my life. I think it is right that socially, I am afforded the same respect as men."
"We don’t want to talk about men being imprisoned by gender stereotypes but I can see that they are. When they are free, things will change for women as a natural consequence. If men don’t have to be aggressive, women won’t be compelled to be submissive. If men don’t need to control, women won’t have to be controlled."
Watson ends her speech by humbly asking, "You might think: who is this 'Harry Potter' girl?" Well, Emma, we know exactly who you are – we've known it all along: she's an intelligent, brave, talented, passionate activist. Bravo, Emma!