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Emma Watson has the wrong idea about feminism
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By Andrea Peyser
September 29, 2014

Emma Watson has the wrong idea about feminism

Sorry to disappoint you, Emma Watson. But I am not a feminist.

Oh, I believe gals should be paid the same as guys for doing the same work. I also believe that at the end of a long work day, a lady deserves to have her feet rubbed by a hot man. (Or woman.)

But I believe women should enjoy equal rights as men while — and this is critical — bearing equal responsibilities. Watson apparently does not.

Speaking in an adorable English accent, the actress who played Hermione Granger in the “Harry Potter” movies pushed feminism in a speech she gave at the UN Sept. 20. “Powerful,” raved People magazine. “Game-changing,” gushed Vanity Fair.

Watson said she believes women should have “equal rights and opportunities.” Not “responsibilities.” Did she misspeak? I don’t think so.

There are things about which I disagree, vehemently, with modern Western feminists, whose ranks Watson publicly joined at the UN while asking us all to come into the club. For one, I don’t believe females should be handed opportunities — or foot rubs — without demonstrating their willingness to shoulder responsibilities equal to those undertaken by males of the species.

No free rides for females.

In her 13-minute chat, Watson, 24, championed the HeForShe initiative, a campaign that attempts to enlist men in the fight for women’s rights. She issued a few gripes.

Watson moaned that she was called “bossy” at age 8 and was sexualized by “certain elements of the media” at 14. At 15, her girlfriends started dropping out of sports because they didn’t want to appear “muscly.” Not exactly oppression.

She was at her best when she spoke like a booster for men’s rights.

“And, the more I spoke about feminism, the more I realized that fighting for women’s rights has too often become synonymous with man-hating,’’ she said.

She gave a shout-out to her dad. “I’ve seen my father’s role as a parent being valued less by society, despite my need of his presence as a child as much as my mother’s.” In the UK, she said, suicide is the biggest killer of men 20 to 49. “I’ve seen men made fragile and insecure by a distorted sense of what constitutes success.”

Today in the US, as well as much of the rest of the Western world, including Watson’s Britain, women are already treated equally to men under the law. And yet, the women’s movement, led in this country by the leftists of the National Organization for Women, deals in the notion that females are, by definition, victims of the wicked patriarchy. Rubbish.

We’ve been told for years that American women make less money — 77 cents for every dollar earned by men. The bogus number, from the Committee on Pay Equity, got President Obama to call on Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would bring a new layer of bureaucracy. (It hasn’t passed.)

In truth, the 77 cents statistic compares the median salaries of all workers. If you compare, say, female teachers with male teachers, or if you factor in the women who chose to jump off the fast lane to raise families, the pay gap vanishes. In fact, the median income of young, single, childless, urban women is higher — sometimes much higher — than that of men, according to a study by Reach Advisors, a Boston market-research firm. Yet I’ve heard of no initiatives to erase this anti-male injustice.

Another myth pushed by feminists is that large numbers of men are budding rapists. The Obama administration announced this year that nearly one in five female students at US colleges are victims of sexual assault each year. This month, Obama vowed to combat campus “rape culture” with the It’s on Us campaign. He called on young men “to help shut stuff down” when a woman can’t or doesn’t consent to sex.

But the alarming stat was gleaned partly from a 2007 online survey in which some women at two universities compared things such as consensual drunken hookups to forced sex, said Christina Hoff Sommers, resident scholar of the right-leaning American Enterprise Institute.

Watson, who clearly means well, blew it. She ingratiated herself to leaders of countries, from Iran to Sudan, where women are stoned to death for being raped, and female genital mutilation is commonplace.

She said she’s grateful for being paid as well as male movie stars. And “I think it is right that I should be able to make decisions about my own body,” she added, “but sadly, I can say there is no one country in the world where all women can expect to see these rights.”


Watson’s earnest efforts propelled a user of the website 4chan to threaten to leak nude photos of her. But that appeared to be a cruel hoax.

Emma Watson is harmless.

But she’ll never get me to declare myself a feminist.

©2007-2024 Andrea Peyser and; No Reuse without permission.
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