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Emma Watson Reveals The Impact Of Sexism In Her Own Life

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Photo: Beretta/Sims/REX/Shutterstock.
Generally speaking, Emma Watson keeps her own personal experiences of sexism pretty close to the chest — and there's a reason for that.

"I've had my arse slapped as I've left a room. I've felt scared walking home," the actress, United Nations ambassador, and founder of the gender equality movement HeForShe recently told Esquire. "I've had people following me. I don't talk about these experiences much, because coming from me they'll sound like a huge deal and I don't want this to be about me, but most women I know have experienced it and worse."

Which is to say that she's aware that — in the grander context of women in the world — she's certainly on the lucky end of the spectrum. But, perhaps because of her privilege and the megaphone she's been handed, the 25-year-old actress feels even more responsibility to speak up on behalf of those who are worse off.

"We are not supposed to talk about money, because people will think you're 'difficult' or a 'diva.' But there's a willingness now to be like, 'Fine. Call me a 'diva', call me a 'feminazi', call me 'difficult,' call me a 'First World feminist', call me whatever you want, it's not going to stop me from trying to do the right thing and make sure that the right thing happens," she explained.

"Because it doesn't just affect me, it affects all the other women who are in this with me, and it affects all the other men who are in this with me, too," she added. "Hollywood is just a small piece of a gigantic puzzle but it's in the spotlight. Whether you are a woman on a tea plantation in Kenya, or a stockbroker on Wall Street, or a Hollywood actress, no one is being paid equally."

So what's the solution? There's no clear-cut answer to that — but according to Watson, getting men to speak up is a big part of it. "There's no point in me going, 'You all have to go away from having read this article and decide that you are a feminist,'" she told the mag. "That's useless. The only thing that is going to make a difference is if men go away and speak to the women in their lives about what they are experiencing."
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