Celebrity Feminist Emma Watson Makes Inspirational Feminist Video

Photo Credit: Getty Images
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Two years after the launch of the He For She campaign, actress and United Nations Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson continues apace with her feminist projects. A few days ago she spoke at the U.N. about campus safety, and today she wished bell hooks happy birthday on Twitter. She also contributed to a Global Goals video focused on women’s empowerment.

Global Goals, a nonprofit organization devoted to “sustainable development,” put together a video entitled “Hurdles,” which chronicles women’s achievements in gaining equality and points to just some of the work remaining. Watson provides the voiceover as we watch footage of female Olympians jumping hurdles. And, in keeping with the theme of physical feats via inanimate objects, Sia’s “Chandeliers” scores the video.

The video is well-intentioned, but the metaphor of jumping hurdles, not to mention the doubling down on athletic prowess, seems especially ableist in this context. We know how profoundly language figures when it comes to identifying systemic sexism and prejudice. Campaigns for equality demand particularly careful attention to word choice and image — after all, inclusivity is the paramount goal.

Advertisement

[The Cut]

Share This Story

Get our newsletter

DISCUSSION

lookatthosecavemengo
LookAtThoseCavemenGo

“The video is well-intentioned, but the metaphor of jumping hurdles, not to mention the doubling down on athletic prowess, seems especially ableist in this context.”

This seems overly-critical and nitpicky. I was pleased to see in that video a real effort at diversity from a young woman who has been rightly called out for engaging in white feminism in the past. Sure, there are other metaphors that could have worked, too, but I thought this was some nice work. Good job, Emma!