Dear Emma Watson,

I love you. From the time you starred in the Harry Potter series as the smart and witty Hermione Granger to the time you cut off your long curls (for short hair) to the time you graduated from Brown, I have been an avid supporter.  In short, you have had a spot in my top ten girl crushes since you punched Malfoy.

But now you have outdone yourself.

On September 20th, when I logged on to Facebook and saw my newsfeed covered with videos of you speaking at the UN, I could not have been happier.

The HeForShe campaign is probably one of the best things to happen for feminists in the past few years.  When you mentioned that feminism was not man-hate but rather the equality of the sexes I practically cried tears of happiness.  The fact that someone so important in pop culture was addressing a problem so universal is a really big deal.

Sure, more and more popular women are calling themselves feminists, but you have done more than just flash the word feminist behind you while you sing a song about how you woke up like this.  You actually made an attempt to educate people on what you believe in.  And yes, there will always be the argument that women don’t need feminism anymore because they are equal to men, but just look at the difference in pay or random comments on Facebook comparing equality of the genders to the equality of humans to dogs .  It is clear women still need feminism.

The best part of the HeForShe campaign is that it targets more than just young women who want to make a difference; it is meant for everyone.  The only way to get feminism heard is by educating people on what it truly means and telling people that it supports equality of the sexes, not women hating men.  The idea of bringing men into the equation is a great idea, although the fact that sexism is primarily a women’s problem is downplayed a lot.  Also, you never really provided any evidence that sexism still exists, and considering HeForShe is addressing sexism on a global level, it would have been easy to just state a few statistics.

But no matter. I will always love you, despite the campaign’s flaws.

Love you always,

Ally Santa Maria

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