WATCH: Emma Watson Chats With Malala Yousafzai In A Game Changing Interview
Emma Watson and Malala Yousafzai are two very different people from different walks of life, but deep down they have a lot in common. For example, they’re both inspirational young activists who care deeply about elevating the status of women around the world, and have both spoken at the United Nations to champion their cause. And now that they’ve have something else to share with each other — neither of them are afraid to publicly identify as feminists.
— Emma Watson (@EmWatson) November 5, 2015
The pair met yesterday (November 4) during a Q+A session which opened the Into Film Festival, a “free and annual celebration of film and education for 5 to 19-year-olds in the U.K.” Over the course of the interview they discussed “He Named Me Malala,” the documentary inspired by Yousafzai’s story and her movement to improve female education, and Watson asked questions sent in by young participants of the festival. But one question, she says, she decided not to ask at the last minute — until Malala basically answered it anyway.
“I had initially planned to ask Malala whether or not she was a feminist but then researched to see whether she had used this word to describe herself. Having seen that she hadn’t, I decided to take the question out before the day of our interview,” Watson wrote on her Facebook page. “To my utter shock Malala put the question back into one of her own answers and identified herself.”
Malala also revealed that her newfound willingness to use the term came directly from hearing Emma Watson’s impassioned “He For She” speech.
“This word, feminism, has been a tricky word. When I heard it the first time, I heard some negative responses and some positive ones, and I hesitated in saying, ’Am I a feminist or not?'” she told Watson in the interview. “Then after hearing your speech, when you said, ’If not now, when? If not me, who?’ I decided there’s no way and there’s nothing wrong by calling yourself a feminist. So I am a feminist and we all should be a feminist because feminism is another word for equality.”
“Let’s not make it scary to say you’re a feminist,” Watson concluded in her Facebook post. “I want to make it a welcoming and inclusive movement. Let’s join our hands and move together so we can make real change. Malala and I are pretty serious about it but we need you.”
You can watch the entire conversation between these two exceptional young feminist leaders below.
Today I met Malala. She was giving, utterly graceful, compelling and intelligent. That might sound obvious but I was struck by this even more in person. There are lots of NGOs out there in the world doing great things... But if there were one I would put my money on to succeed and make change on this planet, it would be hers. (The Malala Fund). Malala isn't messing around or mincing her words (one of the many reasons I love her). She has the strength of her convictions coupled with the kind of determination I rarely encounter... And it doesn't seem to have been diminished by the success she has already had. And lastly…She has a sense of peace around her. I leave this for last because it is perhaps the most important. Maybe as a result of what she has been through? I personally think it is just who she is…Perhaps the most moving moment of today for me was when Malala addressed the issue of feminism. To give you some background, I had initially planned to ask Malala whether or not she was a feminist but then researched to see whether she had used this word to describe herself. Having seen that she hadn't, I decided to take the question out before the day of our interview. To my utter shock Malala put the question back into one of her own answers and identified herself. Maybe feminist isn't the easiest word to use... But she did it ANYWAY. You can probably see in the interview how I felt about this. She also gave me time at the end of the Q&A to speak about some of my own work, which she most certainly didn't need to do, I was there to interview her. I think this gesture is so emblematic of what Malala and I went on to discuss. I've spoken before on what a controversial word feminism is currently. More recently, I am learning what a factionalized movement it is too. We are all moving towards the same goal. Let's not make it scary to say you're a feminist. I want to make it a welcoming and inclusive movement. Let's join our hands and move together so we can make real change. Malala and I are pretty serious about it but we need you. With love, Emma x#HeNamedMeMalala #notjustamovieamovement Malala Fund Into Film
Posted by Emma Watson on Wednesday, November 4, 2015
- Victoria McNally