Diary

Emma Watson is finding out the hard way that feminism ain't all it's cracked up to be

Poor Emma Watson is having a tough time these days proving her feminist bone fides.

Just a few years back, she was the darling of the feminist movement. She spoke in front of the U.N. in 2014 in her new role as Goodwill Ambassador. Her speech about feminism received a standing ovation, and media outlets around the world hailed her as a feminist “game changer.”

Here’s some of what she said back in 2014:

I decided I was a feminist and this seemed uncomplicated to me. But my recent research has shown me that feminism has become an unpopular word. Apparently I am among the ranks of women whose expressions are seen as too strong, too aggressive, isolating, anti-men and, unattractive.

Why is the word such an uncomfortable one? I am from Britain and think it is right that as a woman 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 decision-making of my country. 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.

Please hold. You can’t think of ONE country in the ENTIRE world that doesn’t afford women these rights? How about the country that, you know, houses the U.N.?

In that same speech, Emma proved she is nothing if not the ultimate hypocrite, a true hallmark of modern-day feminism. She claims, on the one hand, that she was a victim of “sexism” from the age of eight because she was called “bossy.” Egad, how could she carry on? But, then, there’s this:

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 I would go less far because I might give birth to a child one day.

Ah, so that whole “bossy” thing actually worked out okay, then.

Recently, however, Emma has fallen out of favor with the relentlessly odious feminists of the digital age. She was featured in a Vanity Fair article ahead of her new movie, the live action version of “Beauty and the Beast.” Accompanying the article were photos of her in various states of undress; in one, she seems to be trapped in some kind of birdcage-like contraption.

Cue feminist outrage.

“Attention seeking hypocrite. acting like a slut and flashing her tits is not what a real feminist does,” tweeted one. “Is Actress and Feminist Emma Watson a Hypocrite for Going Topless in Vanity Fair?” asked the Hollywood Reporter’s Pret-a-Reporter. “Did Emma Watson pose ‘topless’ because of the patriarchy or despite of it? I doubt she knows herself,” announced one particularly bold headline in the Independent.

Even CNN ran a headline posing the question: “Emma Watson’s revealing Vanity Fair photo: Feminism or hypocrisy?”

Emma told Reuters she was “quietly stunned” by the reaction. She went on to despair that, “Feminism is not a stick with which to beat other women with.” Trying being a conservative woman, Emma. You’ll find that feminism is exactly that.

And now that “Beauty and the Beast” is a box office success? The feminists have ratcheted up their scorn.

Over at Observer.com, supposed feminists Chelsea Skojec and Michael Sainato (ugh, nothing worse than a male feminist) have written an article entitled: “Emma Watson’s Faux-Feminism in ‘Beauty and the Beast'”. The subhead is even worse: “The new adaptation fails to dispel the misogyny in the outdated story.”

Where did Emma go wrong with the film, according to Skojec and Sainato? Well, for one thing, her much-beloved character, Belle, traded her own freedom to save her imprisoned father. In the world of feminism, women must never sacrifice their own happiness, even – or, perhaps, especially – if it means helping out family. From the article:

They fail to acknowledge the internalized fallacy as to why a woman would choose to imprison herself as a sacrifice for her family, or in this case her only family member, her father.

Yeah, the problem here isn’t Emma or Belle or even the film itself. The problem is people like Skojec and Sainato, who care only about their own happiness and insist that everyone, including characters in beloved fairy tales, conform to their warped vision of the world.

Oh, and a pox on any film character who gets the prince, the castle, and the happily-ever-after.

It would be beneficial for filmmakers to remake Disney movies that perpetuated sexist stereotypes into films that provide healthy portraits of women, but this adaptation of Beauty and the Beast fails to do so. Instead, feminism is hijacked to dispel the story’s sexist qualities so that the film industry can profit off a remake of the film without losing potential audience members due to criticisms of misogyny in the outdated story.

There feminists go again, sucking the joy out of absolutely everything. Poor Emma Watson is learning that lesson the hard way.