Actress Emma Watson has risen to become one of the most influential female voices in the world. The star is a passionate advocate for women and education and has worked closely with the UN on these efforts.
In an interview with Dr. Valerie Hudson on her book Sex and World Peace, Emma goes into her missions to have child marriage abolished in Malawi.
Hudson’s book is a data-fuelled look into the way that society treats women and how it reflects bigger structural inequalities. The discussion touched on the Goldberg paradigm which shows that in evaluating speech, words or ideas that come out of a male’s mouth are rated more valuable than if they are voiced by a woman. The actress is shocked by these data revelations.
The interview also reveals the actress’ take on modern relationships and how they shape the perception of women. She admits that reaching the age of 30 had made her feel that she needed to perhaps have had a child or been married.
This connects to the way that women are perceived within society and the origins of traditional marriage. This led the ever so influential Emma Watson to coin the term self-partnered to define her own relationship status. This term is indicative of the need to give women the voice and language to define themselves outside the traditional expectations of marriage and children.
The #Metoo movement came up here as Hudson comments on the absence of language for women to express themselves. That silence is the cement that keeps up the walls which slows down the progress for women.
The book concludes, through well-researched data, towards the idea that the key to world peace is the empowerment of women. That even climate change is a reflection of the way that we treat women.
The question raised and inspired by a dear friend of Emma’s is if we gave the Earth a male pronoun would we still treat it the same way? Because for the world to care about Mother Nature, we would have to care about women too.
Written by: Sanelisiwe Nyaba