1. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Do not read the youtube comments.

    *makes sign of crossed tentacles to ward off evil*
    Free tankard of grog/dirty glass of swill for anybody who needs to forget those comments.

  2. Menyambal says

    Sorry, I did read the comments. There is a transcript of the speech in them.

    It was kind of nice to see how obviously wrong the bad comments were, and how many people were pushing back.

    Yay for Emma Watson, and good luck to the project.

  3. Menyambal says

    From comments:

    “Today we are launching a campaign called ‘HeForShe.’

    I am reaching out to you because we need your help. We want to end gender inequality — and to do this we need everyone involved.

    This is the first campaign of its kind at the UN: we want to try and galvanize as many men and boys as possible to be advocates for change. And we don’t just want to talk about it, we want to try and make sure that it is tangible.

    I was appointed as Goodwill Ambassador for UN Women 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 a long time ago. When I was 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 media.

    When at 15 my girlfriends started dropping out of their beloved sports teams because they didn’t want to appear ‘muscly.’

    When at 18 my male friends were unable to express their feelings.

    I decided that I was a feminist and this seemed uncomplicated to me. But my recent research has shown me that feminism has become an unpopular word. Women are choosing not to identify as feminists.

    Apparently I am among the ranks of women whose expressions are seen as too strong, too aggressive, isolating, and anti-men, unattractive even.

    Why has the word become such an uncomfortable one?

    I am from Britain and I think it is right that I am paid the same as my male counterparts. I think it is right that I should be able to make decisions about my own body. I think it is right that women be involved on my behalf in the policies and the decisions that will affect my life. I think it is right that socially I am afforded the same respect as men. But sadly I can say that there is no one country in the world where all women can expect to receive these rights.

    No country in the world can yet say that they have achieved gender equality.

    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 that I would go less far because I might give birth to a child one day. These influencers were the gender equality ambassadors that made me who I am today. They may not know it, but they are the inadvertent feminists who are changing the world today. We need more of those. And if you still hate the word — it is not the word that is important, it’s the idea and the ambition behind it. Because not all women have received the same rights that I have. In fact, statistically, very few have been.

    In 1997, Hilary Clinton made a famous speech in Beijing about women’s rights. Sadly many of the things she wanted to change are still true today.

    But what stood out for me the most was that less than 30 percent of her audience were male. How can we effect change in the world when only half of it is invited or feel welcome to participate in the conversation?

    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 less of a man — 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 they are and that when they are free, things will change for women as a natural consequence.

    If men don’t have to be aggressive in order to be accepted, women won’t feel compelled to be submissive. If men don’t have to control, women won’t have to be controlled.

    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 instead of two sets of opposing ideals.

    If we stop defining each other by what we are not and start defining ourselves by who we are — we can all be freer and this is what HeForShe is about. It’s about freedom.

    I want men to take up this mantle. So that their daughters, sisters and mothers can be free from prejudice but also so that their sons have permission to be vulnerable and human too — reclaim those parts of themselves they abandoned and, in doing so, be a more true and complete version of themselves.

    You might be thinking: who is this Harry Potter girl? And what is she doing speaking at the UN? And it’s a really good question, I’ve been asking myself the same thing. All I know is that I care about this problem. And I want to make it better.

    And having seen what I’ve seen — and given the chance — I feel it is my responsability to say something. Statesman Edmund Burke said: ‘All that is needed for the forces of evil to triumph is for 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 that those words will be helpful.

    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 can have a secondary education.

    If you believe in equality, you might be one of those inadvertent feminists that I spoke of earlier. And for this I applaud you.

    We are struggling for a uniting word but the good news is that we have a uniting movement. It is called HeForShe. I am inviting you to step forward, to be seen and to ask yourself: if not me, who? If not now, when?

    Thank you very, very much.”

  4. Esteleth is Groot says

    The bit about how she was sexualized at an early age is possibly a reference (in part, because that was hardly all of it) the “Emma Watson Countdown” that could be found on various corners of the internet (and offline). The purpose of this was to count down to when she was legally an adult, and thus it would be acceptable (?!) to post photos of her scantily clad, etc. This includes an incident where, shortly after the birthday in question, a photographer situated themself outside her car in such a way that when she got out wearing a skirt, an upskirt photo was possible. And published. To much consternation regarding her undergarments choices, including speculation regarding her sexual habits.

  5. Akira MacKenzie says

    I like to think of this as her payback for all those years of male creeps constantly wondering aloud and online ” Is she legal? Is she legal?”

  6. says


    Do not read the Youtube comments.


    On that, here are two arsehole-prevention remedies for Firefox users (IE/Chrome/Safari users might well know some similar remedies):

    1. Install the Comment Snob addon. It can block all YT comments or block them according to a number of criteria including all caps, no caps, excessive punctuation, no punctuation and user-specified words.

    I haven’t read a YT comment in years. I regret nothing.

    2. Install AdBlock. After you’ve whitelisted your favourite sites (hint, hint), visit where you can kill stuff like comments, annotations and the recommendations sidebar.

    Unwanted YT recommendations came to mind recently as I’ve noticed, when watching atheist or gamer vids, Phil Goddamn Mason (aka Posterboy for Misogynist Stupidity aka PMS) still being recommended to me. Since even the titles of his pitiable sneering hyperbolic scenery-chewing vids shit me to tears I resented his continuing presence in my sidebar, so he’s toast.

    Recommendation management, all browsers (that I know of), no plugins required:

    1. To kill all recommendations, open your YT account, click Video Manager, open Search History from the left sidebar and clear it. Your history will now start recording afresh from a blank slate.

    Obviously YT remembered that I’d watched Phil G. Mason’s stuff before but the algorithm doesn’t appear to take into account un-subscriptions (a clickable “I do not want to see this idiot again, ever” option when unsubscribing would be welcome, Youtube).

    2. To just remove someone from your YT recommendations without clearing your search history, visit the offending tuber’s account, click their “About” link and find the little flag icon (bottom left IIRC). Click that and select “block user” from the menu.

    I suggest this if you only see a few objectionable douchesplosions in your recommendations and occasionally check out others. After all, checking reco’s is how I discovered the inimitable Steve Shives. Go and visit him and watch all his things, especially in-depth reviews of apologetics tomes – he’s thorough, entertaining and, bonus, loathed (with good reason) by MRAs (his “Five Stupid Things About…” episode concerning the Macho Rambo MoveMENt cemented his place as a pink fluffy mangina in thrall to the Vagylon Bralek C*ntspiracy which seeks to harvest all our sperms to make into more wimminz and turn all our wonderful manly video games into Candy Crush). Steve’s got a bunch of other interests (movies, pro wrestling) but his destruction of apologetics and occasional MRA burns are what got me hooked.

    And that concludes “How to rid yourself of Phil goddamn Mason and Youtube idiots in general in about three minutes.” We will now be serving freeze-peaches and two cokes in the auditorium.

  7. Louis says


    In other news, Emma Watson has always been pretty cool in my book, but the Mummy of them all is J K Rowling. Sorry but I have serious admiration for that woman. (Not willy based admiration before anyone goes there)


  8. says

    It would be nice if the comments here were about what Ms. Watson talked about, rather than ‘tube comments and other people who are admired. It is of absolute importance, men speaking up and speaking out. The campaign is here: and it would be great to see men click over, and make a commitment. It would be nice to see the men here talking about things they can do and what things they have done. It would be nice to hear from men who understand that yes, it’s up to those in the homosocial sphere to help make change happen.

  9. says

    Menyambal @7:
    Thanks for posting the transcript of Ms Watson’s speech.

    I liked her speech. I hope it resonates with men, and they take up her challenge to step up. After all, as she says, the fight for gender equality concerns us all.

  10. Golgafrinchan Captain says

    I noticed in the video the web address: so I went and searched for Emma Watson, hoping for something nicer than someone making a cellphone video of their TV.

    The video is: Launch of the HeForShe Campaign – Special event.

    It’s 2:06 long and behaves badly (long pauses and frozen video) when I try to skip to different parts of the video (at least on this computer) so I don’t know when Emma Watson starts talking. From the bit that I’ve seen (or just heard with the image of mid-blink Wolf Blitzer frozen on my screen), there are other speakers and, for some reason, Wolf Blitzer. I should have the chance to watch it tomorrow on a better computer.

  11. mykroft says

    No incantations, but a well reasoned and articulate argument has its own magic. I would love to see her tour with Patrick Stewart speaking on this. The two of them arguing as one would be amazing.

  12. azhael says

    Every fucking word: truth.
    I find that the connection between toxic masculinity and misogyny is often ignored, at least in my environment. It is an excellent point that in order to get rid of one, you need to get rid of the other. They go hand in hand.
    That was an excellent speech, and she is one brave young woman. Ah, if only i could get good news like this every morning :)

  13. prae says

    To me it seems misogyny is on the rise again. I don’t believe in the possibility of changing the world anymore, nowadays I only want for me and those close to me to survive. For that I’m glad that I’m straight, male, mostly white and will never have children.

  14. says

    So I went over and made a commitment. I do not think it makes any difference, my cynism is too strong. I cannot do much more than to call out some men sometimes out for their sexism – that is I can do this in situations when I know the opposing party is enough reasonable not to hurtle abuse my way or to otherwise escalate (despite my penis and testicles i hate confrontations and they make me physically sick).

    l am extremely glad that Emma Wattson recognizes her priviledges and tries to use them to help others instead of tallking down to those less fortunate. Nice to see that in a celebrity once in awhile.

    I noticed there were only 8 other men from CZ who made their commitment theŗe. I wonder hkw many of those are Pharyngula readers. I do not think this initiative will be mentioned in our mainstream media, or anywhere in mainstŗam media, which is a shame.

  15. prae says

    Also, I kinda have mixed feelings now, since Emma had a role in that Noah Bible movie there. Why would anyone do that? ;_;

  16. says

    prae @25:

    To me it seems misogyny is on the rise again. I don’t believe in the possibility of changing the world anymore, nowadays I only want for me and those close to me to survive.

    I’m glad there are a lot of people out there, including myself, who don’t think like this. It *is* possible to change the world. We’re not dealing with unchangeable forces of nature that humanity is swept up in, unable to affect. We’re talking about social forces WE created. What we created, we can change. That doesn’t mean it will be easy. It doesn’t mean it will come overnight. It does mean it can be done.
    If social change couldn’t be made, women wouldn’t be able to vote in the US.
    If social change couldn’t be made, black people would still be slaves in the US.
    If social change couldn’t be made, the rates of nonbelievers would not be on the rise.
    If social change couldn’t be made, acceptance of LGBT people and marriage equality would not have happened.

    Perhaps you’ve thrown in the towel too soon. Or maybe you expected change to occur on a level too large over a time period too short.

    In addition, only being worried about you and yours sure is a privileged position. And not one I’d want.

  17. Antares says

    At Reddit and Imgur, of course, they’re already hard at work spinning this into “Yay, Emma Watson is an egalitarian TRUE feminist as opposed to those man-hating, radical feminazi BAD feminists.”

    I think they misunderstood. Watson does not want feminists to change. She wants people complaining about feminism to change.

  18. madtom1999 says

    #29 Tony – I tried signing the pledge but it wouldn’t let me and I nearly went blind trying – that’s not a pretty site!

  19. opposablethumbs says

    So impressed. What a wonderful way to respond to having become deservedly well-known for her professional achievements.

  20. Great American Satan says

    Antares@30 – There may be a grain of truth to the egalitarian/change tha feminists angle, though not to the extent they’d wish. The speech demonstrated she’s good with every major objective of the feminists the creeps hate on. But she’s speaking for an agency that’s specifically trying to be nice to menz to rally their help – and that probably means stifling the voice of ragey feminists, at least in HfS’s activism.

    I take this as a “multiple approaches” thing. Taking evolution v. creationism as a metaphor, she’s repping the equivalent of the NCSE while more ragey feminists are the equivalent of a PZ. It’s all good. Also, her extreme nervousness kicked up the pathos several notches. Powerful stuff. :-)

  21. F.O. says

    @Tony: 17360 here. Doing a projection, it’s 10K per day. It’s doable.
    I’m more concerned that the pledge is more “I don’t hate women” than “I acknowledge a pervasive cultural problem and will try to see where I am blind”.

    @Prae: did you expect the sweeping victories for marriage equality in the US?
    Stupid ideas will die. It’s just a matter of time and our ability to survive them.
    Keep screaming loud. It’s slow, but it works.

  22. Jackie says

    Great American Satan,
    Only, it isn’t a change. Feminism has been about dismantling rigid gender roles. When you accept that a girl can grow up to be a soldier or a fire fighter, you also have to accept that a boy can grow up to be a stay at home dad or a nurse.

  23. prae says

    @28 Tony:
    Well, I think humanity itself is a force of nature, with an inborn urge to hate. The only thing that changes is the enemy image. But OK, you do have a point, it seems some things change, at least a little. People still get arrested for being black in public, or beaten up for being gay while the police eats donuts nearby. Or suddenly have to leave the house for being a woman on the internet. Also, it doesn’t paint a good picture of humanity if the only way an opinion in a society can actually change is when the ones bearing it die off.

    And yes, I understand that I’m priviledged, as far as it’s possitble for a depressed, socially inept nerd. I won’t lie, I’m thankful for that. Sometimes I still have to rage about stuff like sexism, though…

  24. says

    prae @46:

    Also, it doesn’t paint a good picture of humanity if the only way an opinion in a society can actually change is when the ones bearing it die off.

    I wonder if perhaps you’re still expecting too much in too small a time frame. The above comment by you reads to me like someone who’s expecting the world to change in a lifetime. For the world to change, people have to change, and people change all the time. I have not always been a feminist. I have not always been outspoken about social justice issues. I have not always been an atheist. My views and opinions changed. I don’t think it’s any great leap to say the same happens to people all across the globe all the time. Social change doesn’t require regressive assholes to die off. Change can take effect if enough people support it. Again, look to my example of marriage equality. The Santorums, Limbaugh’s, Bachmann’s, Palin’s, etc–they’re all still alive. They haven’t died off. And yet we’ve seen social change. No, it hasn’t happened everywhere, no it’s not been easy, and yes there is still resistance. But it has happened.
    The forces supporting the status quo are powerful, but they aren’t omnipotent. They can be overcome.

    Well, I think humanity itself is a force of nature, with an inborn urge to hate.

    I’m sorry that you have such a dim view of humanity. Me, while there are days the actions of humans enrage me, there are other days when I remember that humans are not limited to one emotion, and they certainly don’t have an inborn urge to hate (I haven’t been around a lot of young children, but the ones I have interacted with don’t appear to have this urge-they have to be socialized to be hateful). I suspect you’re seeing the darkness in humanity, without acknowledging the light, or the fact that there are shades of grey between the two extremes.

  25. says


    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.”

  26. voidhawk says


    it could be because the website appears to be borked. Apparently my name (13 characters) and email (28 characters) are both too short…

  27. favog says

    Nice to see how she didn’t fall into the child-star-grows-up-to-be-an-embarrassment-to-ours-species pattern. Intelligent, thoughtful, and of good character.

  28. says

    The weird thing is that she’s a professional actor whose work is seen by many millions of people, and she was so nervous in her presentation. I guess an audience is really different from a camera.

  29. favog says

    As a professional actor, she not only gets do-overs in front of a camera, she’s also presenting an interpretation of other people’s writing, other people’s words, other people’s ideas. This was all Emma Watson, laying her personal self out there. I think that makes it really different, too.

  30. azhael says

    Much like when ellen Page came out, it seems that being a professional actress is of no help when what you are saying is something that really, trully matters to you and when you know that there are people who will hate you for it.

  31. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Wow, I read the transcript earlier today but now that I’ve heard her speak it brought a tear to my eye.

  32. Jeff S says

    I honestly don’t understand how anyone could object to the message presented in Emma Watson’s speech.

    This is an inclusive, positive, feminist message that should appeal to men en-masse.

  33. Julie says

    You know what’s sad…my first thought was oh no Emma don’t do it.

    *sigh* I just seems too soon for her to be fielding all the crap headed her way.

  34. biogeo says

    Also, I kinda have mixed feelings now, since Emma had a role in that Noah Bible movie there. Why would anyone do that? ;_;

    Did you see the film? I thought she was very good in it, and in my opinion it seemed like her feminist sensibilities strongly informed her portrayal of her character.

    Anyway, this was an excellent speech, and good for her for putting her fame to good use.

  35. Adam James says

    The YouTube comments are as expected. Even the feminists are embarrassing themselves. One went off on Emma for asking men for help, claiming that men could only see her as a sex object and shouldn’t be expected to treat her as a person. Not even the suggestion that men might attempt self-control. They also advocated for gender segregation, then topped it all off with a bit of transphobia. Quite a read. I’ve only glanced at what the MRAs are saying, I think I’ll stay out of that rabbit hole.

  36. says

    Adam James @ 59, those would be Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminists, and I’d like to know why you chose to bring them up in this thread, which is supposedly about men happily agreeing to join the fight against entrenched sexism, and the move toward gender equality.

    Even the feminists are embarrassing themselves.

    I’m a feminist. I’ve been a feminist for over 40 years. I’m not embarrassed by being a feminist, and I don’t identify with TERFs, nor do any of the feminists here at Pharyngula that I’m aware of, and they certainly don’t speak for all feminists. So, if you’ve been reading here, I expect you’d know at least a little bit about the subject. So, what was your point? That we have a long way to go? Yeah, we know. That there’s backlash? Yeah, we know. That some people believe really stupid shit? Yeah, we know. That we could use help from all thinking people? Yeah, we could.

  37. leni says

    The weird thing is that she’s a professional actor whose work is seen by many millions of people, and she was so nervous in her presentation. I guess an audience is really different from a camera.

    Well, this isn’t just any audience. It’s the UN! I don’t know, I thought her nervousness made it seem more real. I wanted to give her a high five :)

    I am also very, very glad she (probably, hopefully) has people to sort her mail and manage her social media accounts. Because holy shit is she going to hear about it. I’m guessing the douchenozzles at 4chan are already trying to hack her accounts.

    Adam James:

    The YouTube comments are as expected. Even the feminists are embarrassing themselves. One went off on Emma for asking men for help, claiming that men could only see her as a sex object and shouldn’t be expected to treat her as a person. Not even the suggestion that men might attempt self-control. They also advocated for gender segregation, then topped it all off with a bit of transphobia.

    I wish those assholes would just stfu.

  38. Adam James says

    My only point was that YouTube is a horrible place for discussion, especially for something like this. It seems to bring out the worst in people. I certainly don’t think anything said there is any reflection of feminism in general. In retrospect something as wonderful as Emma’s speech deserved better than my cynical comment.

    So, the positives of Emma Watson’s speech. It was moving and disarming, and puts the lie to the idea that feminism is some kind of attack on men, or that feminists are generally hateful or bitter. I can’t imagine any person with a pulse wouldn’t be moved by such a heartfelt request for help.

  39. says

    44,000-ish. (I was on mobile, and didn’t record the exact number.)

    It was pretty difficult to sign up — every time I tapped on the form it scrolled to the top of the page. But I thought it important enough to persist, small gesture though it is.

    I think they have a case of too much fancy web design getting in the way of their message. I understand the need to be eye-catching, but it may actually interfere with the campaign.

  40. mildlymagnificent says


    I cannot do much more than to call out some men sometimes out for their sexism – that is I can do this in situations when I know the opposing party is enough reasonable not to hurtle abuse my way or to otherwise escalate

    That’s what is needed.

    No one can do everything. If everyone does whatever they can, when they can, where they are – that’s enough. Those who do a little (in their own view, it might seem like quite a bit to an outsider) make a more workable space for those with more scope or energy or capacity for doing even more.

  41. screechymonkey says


    I’m so impressed with Emma Watson. Nothing she said here should have been controversial, but sadly it seems it was.

  42. Derek Vandivere says

    #29 / Tony – I’m only #685 in The Netherlands…

    Unless I’m looking at the wrong page, Gen, it’s 64,434 as of 14:00 CET on the 23rd.