Emma Watson’s Message: Intelligence Trumps Sex

Emma Watson

Emma Watson

I’ve made a point here of coming out against “third wave feminism” and its demonization of men. But the well-publicized speech by Emma Watson calls for an equity feminism which is equally concerned with men’s rights, and she touches on many of the points made by MRAs (Men’s Rights Activists) in calling for equal treatment of individuals regardless of sex.

Emma Watson is very, very smart, and wise beyond her years in negotiating the difficult no-man’s-land between politicized left-wing feminism and equity feminism from a platform representing the UN’s agency for women. Naturally her speech was excerpted and used by slanted media to make whatever points they wished to make, and was then followed by even more publicity when someone created a site called “Emma You Are Next” and left messages on 4Chan threatening to post nude photos of her. This was a hoax by a scurrilous viral marketing company, but left-wing sites ran with it since it confirmed their biases, as seen in this breathless ThinkProgress report:

Meanwhile, Business Insider is reporting that a 4chan user “has created an ominous countdown site that hints at the release of leaked naked photographs of actress Emma Watson in just over four days.” The site, called “Emma You Are Next,” shows a countdown ticker and the message, “Never forget, the biggest to come thus far.” Though this comes on the heels of round two of a celebrity photo hacking, the Business Insider report is quick to add that this site is likely just a “prank.” You know, just one of those super-funny pranks where garbage people try to intimidate and silence women by threatening to invade their privacy and, as Anne Hathaway put it to a leering, totally out-of-line Matt Lauer, “commodify the sexuality of unwilling participants.”

Most such reports failed to note that these actions might be less than representative of male 4Chan users.

One point to remember: the mistreatment of individual women is close to a non-problem in the highly-educated, wealthy precincts of the Anglosphere, where third-wave feminists now have to fudge statistics about rape and equal pay to justify an ever-more-intrusive sex-based HR bureaucracy. While some women still encounter slights and difficulties because of others’ prejudices, the remaining issues are not materially greater than what everyone suffers when stereotyped.

But in less rarified heights, in some of the world just coming to terms with industrialization and global trade, women are still treated unjustly and have little recourse. These societies do little to protect the rights of individuals–your safety is based on family, tribe, and custom, and these can be a prison that limits and harms people of both sexes.

Here are some excerpts from her speech (full text here):

I was appointed six months ago and the more I have spoken about feminism the more I have realized that fighting for women’s rights has too often become synonymous with man-hating. If there is one thing I know for certain, it 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 the political, economic and social equality of the sexes.”

I started questioning gender-based assumptions when at eight I was confused at being called “bossy,” because I wanted to direct the plays we would put on for our parents—but the boys were not. When at 14 I started being sexualized by certain elements of the press. When at 15 my girlfriends started dropping out of their sports teams because they didn’t want to appear “muscly.” When at 18 my male friends were unable to express their feelings. 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….

These rights I consider to be human rights but I am one of the lucky ones. My life is a sheer privilege because my parents didn’t love me less because I was born a daughter. My school did not limit me because I was a girl. My mentors didn’t assume I would go less far because I might give birth to a child one day. These influencers were the gender equality ambassadors that made who I am today. They may not know it, but they are the inadvertent feminists who are. And we need more of those.  And if you still hate the word—it is not the word that is important but the idea and the ambition behind it. Because not all women have been afforded the same rights that I have. In fact, statistically, very few have been.

Men—I would like to take this opportunity to extend your formal invitation. Gender equality is your issue too. Because to date, I’ve seen my father’s role as a parent being valued less by society despite my needing his presence as a child as much as my mother’s. I’ve seen young men suffering from mental illness unable to ask for help for fear it would make them look less “macho”—in fact in the UK suicide is the biggest killer of men between 20-49; eclipsing road accidents, cancer and coronary heart disease. I’ve seen men made fragile and insecure by a distorted sense of what constitutes male success. Men don’t have the benefits of equality either. 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….

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….

And having seen what I’ve seen—and given the chance—I feel it is my duty to say something. English statesman Edmund Burke said: “All that is needed for the forces of evil to triumph is for enough good men and women to do nothing.” In my nervousness for this speech and in my moments of doubt I’ve told myself firmly—if not me, who, if not now, when. If you have similar doubts when opportunities are presented to you I hope those words might be helpful.

My headline makes the point that “Intelligence Trumps Sex”–this is the most important (if unspoken) message. The smart and civilized aren’t spending their time nursing grievances based on sex, gender, race, or religion. If only the most intelligent voices were as amplified as the voices of ignorance and hate promoted by the grievance-mongering misandrists of third-wave feminism as well as insecure male misogynists.

[PS–this piece was republished at A Voice for Men and was quite controversial, so it was removed. There’s a long and possibly interesting story about how that happened which I will try to write up later. Since a lot of people are reading it here now that it’s censored (!), here’s how I would have rewritten the last paragraph for a larger audience:

My headline makes the point that “Intelligence Trumps Sex”–this is the most important (if unspoken) message. The smart and civilized shouldn’t be wasting their time in foxholes fighting over grievances based on sex, gender, race, or religion. Most people agree no one should be held back or harmed because of some class they belong to, but entrenched political camps make it very hard to discuss these issues without heated attacks. Would that the most intelligent voices were as amplified as the voices of ignorance and fear promoted by the grievance-mongering misandrists of third-wave feminism, as well as the (small number of) true misogynists online.]

Death by HR: How Affirmative Action Cripples OrganizationsDeath by HR: How Affirmative Action Cripples Organizations

[From Death by HR: How Affirmative Action Cripples Organizations,  available now in Kindle and trade paperback.]

The first review is in: by Elmer T. Jones, author of The Employment Game. Here’s the condensed version; view the entire review here.

Corporate HR Scrambles to Halt Publication of “Death by HR”

Nobody gets a job through HR. The purpose of HR is to protect their parent organization against lawsuits for running afoul of the government’s diversity extortion bureaus. HR kills companies by blanketing industry with onerous gender and race labor compliance rules and forcing companies to hire useless HR staff to process the associated paperwork… a tour de force… carefully explains to CEOs how HR poisons their companies and what steps they may take to marginalize this threat… It is time to turn the tide against this madness, and Death by HR is an important research tool… All CEOs should read this book. If you are a mere worker drone but care about your company, you should forward an anonymous copy to him.


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  1. Is it rather not the case that she is pushing for traditional gender roles by calling out to men to — again — step aside and help the woman?

    I can not see in her speech any concern for men, let alone an attempt to understand men’s situation today. It’s all and again feminist propaganda, while being a million dollar industry.

    1. It certainly is suspect coming from a UN agency. However, taking her words at face value, she points out that she comes from a background of privilege and has never suffered serious hindrance because of her sex–undercutting the marxist-feminist dogma; she acknowledges that modern feminists are widely seen as demonizing men; and she says the right things about valuing fathers and being aware of men as individuals as well. So I think of her speech as a positive sign.

  2. But the well-publicized speech by Emma Watson calls for an equity feminism which is equally concerned with men’s rights,…
    And yet, somehow, this concern will take the form of no action whatsoever to help men and boys around the world who suffer terribly; who are incarcerated as in the U.S. by the millions for nonviolent drug offenses, and where they are raped at rates unprecedented around the world except in active war zones.

    If women were jailed at half and raped at even half this rate it would be considered a planetwide calamity demanding immediate, global action. This is only one of the huge number of devastating problems men face, yet Ms. Watson calls for absolutely no action whatsoever on behalf of men and boys.
    We are to act only on behalf of women. We are called only to serve. If we are aided, it will be incidentally, somewhere down the road. In the meantime, we suffer and die.
    No. I will not assist in this. I will instead support genuinely egalitarian calls and movements.

    1. You’re absolutely right that “HeforShe” shows no signs of being at all useful to anyone, much less men and boys. The glimmer of an opening of a crack was that she acknowledged some men’s issues and that feminism is being seen as anti-male, but only in her speech; no sign of any sensitivity in the organization’s actual program.

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