Emma Watson Too Busy Changing the World to Have Time for The Sun‘s Hypocrisy
You know what’s awesome? Hypocrisy. Today’s example comes out of the UK where The Sun, a tabloid that exclusively traffics in assuming we give a crap about celebrities published a bizarre write-up on Emma Watson’s work with the UN and HeForShe … because we shouldn’t give a crap about celebrities. At least, not when it comes to anything important. But, by all means, let’s worry about who they sleep with and what they’re wearing.
Earlier this week, Watson made a speech at the UN in her role as UN Women Goodwill Ambassador talking about the recent HeForShe IMPACT 10x10x10 University Parity Report, which provides data on their 10x10x10 “initiative that convenes 10 heads of state, 10 global CEOs, and ten university presidents to formulate solutions that will realize equality in every boardroom, classroom, and capitol building around the world.” Check out her speech here:
Meanwhile, The Sun has zero time for uppity celebrities (especially the female ones) who actually have thoughts in their heads and dare to care about the world around them and do things other than their job, like volunteer their time for causes they care about. They made that point really clear when they posted this glib write-up of Watson’s UN speech:
Offered without comment – The Sun’s response to Emma Watson addressing the UN about gender equality and sexual assault pic.twitter.com/KQ0MPSJGbL
— Louise Ridley (@LouiseRidley) September 23, 2016
Never mind that The Sun‘s Rod Liddle can’t seem to tell the difference between fiction and reality, calling her Hermione Granger at first, then implying that she should be giving speeches about “the rules of Quidditch, or how to turn someone into a frog.” The real problem here is the seeming assertion that female celebrities aren’t allowed to be knowledgeable about anything other than their work.
Watson has been an ambassador for UN Women for the past two years, working with the United Freaking Nations on initiatives devoted to bringing about gender equality. She started, and is wholeheartedly participating in, a feminist book club on Goodreads called Our Shared Shelf, using the opportunity to do further her own feminist study. In other words, she knows things, and her work is very real.
Yet she’s being ridiculed in a tabloid, when the writer himself can’t wrap his head around what an ambassador is “when it’s at home.” (Still an ambassador, dude.) Or thinks that the people at the UN, the ones who made her an ambassador, would be “bored rigid” by what she has to say about the work in which they themselves are engaged (because, of course, they’d much rather hear about Harry Potter stuff at the United Nations).
Lastly, he claims to not “understand why we take [celebrities] seriously” (while ending on a sexist comment about Angelina Jolie to boot. How sexist? Well he didn’t mention “Angelina Jolie or Brad Pitt” even though Pitt also does humanitarian work. I guess it’s only easily dismissed when women do it?) Even as, on the online edition of the story, he posts her video with Lin-Manuel Miranda with this caption:
So, which is it? Talk about women’s rights, or don’t? Doesn’t seem like he’ll be happy either way. Probably because women can’t do anything at all without being criticized for it.
While reading up on this story, I noticed that someone in a comments section posted this song in response to this latest pile of hot garbage from The Sun:
I couldn’t think of anything more appropriate.
And let’s all remember that celebrities are just people with really cool jobs. Those cool jobs don’t negate the fact that they’re people with opinions and the same rights as any of us to engage in their civic duty, or protest, or use their platforms to educate others on issues of importance. We don’t have to agree with them, just as we don’t have to agree with anyone else, but we can’t make people celebrities and give them a huge platform only to punish them when they use it, and we most certainly shouldn’t apply that punishment via a sexist double standard.
Remember when I said that hypocrisy was awesome up top? It’s actually the very worst.
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