On the day Emma Watson turned 18, a swarm of adult men laid down on the pavement and took pictures up her skirt as she exited her birthday party.
Charming, isn’t it? A cake would have been better, or a firm handshake.
Watson described the awful incident during her speech announcing the launch of HeForShe Arts week, “a celebration of gender equality in the arts”, to illustrate how she’s been treated differently from her male co-stars.
“I remember on my 18th birthday I came out of my birthday party and photographers laid down on the pavement and took photographs up my skirt, which were then published on the front of the English tabloid [newspapers] the next morning,” Watson said.
“If they had published the photographs 24 hours earlier they would have been illegal, but because I had just turned 18 they were legal.”
Watson is taking a year off from acting to focus on her role as UN Women Goodwill Ambassador and her HeForShe campaigns.
She spoke to Esquire UK recently about other experiences of sexism.
“I’ve had my ass slapped as I’ve left a room. I’ve felt scared walking home. 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… It shouldn’t be an acceptable fact of life that women should be afraid,” she said.
Watch Watson receive her GQ Woman of the Year award… Post continues after video.
She intends to be part of the solution, and has no intention of sitting down and shutting up.
“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 the right thing happens. Because it doesn’t just affect me,” she told Esquire.
Sing it, Hermione!