Malala Yousafzai Tells Emma Watson: 'We Should All Be Feminists'

Oh, to be a fly on the wall during a conversation with these two.
Into Film Festival opening Q&A

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

Two of our favorite young feminists sat down to discuss gender equality -- and it was awesome.

Actress and UN Women's advocate Emma Watson interviewed Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai about Yousafzai's new documentary "He Named Me Malala" at a screening of the film in England. Watson shared the video of the interview and her thoughts Wednesday afternoon on her Facebook page.

Watson and Yousafzai talked about how 18-year-old Yousafzai only recently started identifying as a feminist and the importance of involving men in the fight for gender equality.

“This word 'feminism' has been a very tricky word," Yousafzai told Watson. "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?' And then after hearing your speech, when you said ‘If not know when? If not me who?’ I decided that there’s nothing wrong by calling yourself a feminist."

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In her Facebook post, Watson described this part of the discussion as "perhaps the most moving moment" of the interview. The actress planned to ask Yousafzai if she was a feminist but decided to take the question out at the last minute. To Watson's surprise and "utter shock" Yousafzai put the question back into the conversation by answering it on her own.

She said people have "forgotten" the real definition of feminism, telling Watson in the interview, "I am a feminist and we should all be feminists because feminism is another word for equality.”

Yousafzai used her father as a perfect example that men can and should be involved in the gender equality movement. “My father has set an example to all parents," she said. "If we want equality, if we want equal rights for women then men have to step forward… We all have to work together for change to come.”

“It’s about equality, it’s about feminism, it’s about saying that we’re all human beings. Why would you separate us just because our gender is different?”

Towards the end of the interview, the women's rights activist explained why a person's gender should never hold them back from reaching their goals.

“Your gender should not create any difficulty in the choices that you make," Yousafzai said. "It’s about equality, it’s about feminism, it’s about saying that we’re all human beings. Why would you separate us just because our gender is different?"

Watson reflected on the interview, writing that she's learned that while the feminist movement can be "factionalized," at the end of the day feminists have the same goal.

"Let's not make it scary to say you're a feminist," Watson wrote. "I want to make it a welcoming and inclusive movement. Let's join our hands and move together so we can make real change."

Now this is a feminist duo we'd love to see do more together.

H/T The Guardian

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The Multiple Facets Of Modern Feminism


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