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Emma Watson's UN Address, and Why 'Feminists' Matter

By Emily Cutler | Videos | September 22, 2014 |

By Emily Cutler | Videos | September 22, 2014 |

The word “feminist” has lost a lot of its value in the past 20 years or so. Fewer and fewer Americas identify as “feminist”, it’s been co-opted by assholes to mean “man hating lesbian”, and even supporters of gender equality have made really good arguments for abandoning the word in favor of a new, less fraught term.

Emma Watson, who was named a goodwill ambassador for U.N. Women earlier this year, addressed the lack of popularity “feminist” has experience when giving a speech at the United Nation’s Headquarters on Saturday to introduce the HeForShe campaign.

Here’s why I say “feminist” is still important:

Because the reality is that if we do nothing it will take 75 years, or for me to be nearly a hundred before women can expect to be paid the same as men for the same work. 15.5 million girls will be married in the next 16 years as children. And at current rates it won’t be until 2086 before all rural African girls will be able to receive a secondary education.

By and large, the only people doing anything about those problems, people like Emma Watson, call themselves feminists. Until that changes, I’m in full favor of keeping feminist around.

Read the full transcript here.

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