Remember when Emma Watson said she was ‘conflicted’ about whether or not Beyonce was a good feminist?
Who anointed Emma ‘Queen Feminist’?
by Amanda Ross
On the very same day I saw a video of Emma Watson’s impassioned insistence that feminism is “not supposed to be a stick” to hit other women with, one of her resurfaced interviews washed up on my timeline and I couldn’t help but wonder, Carrie Bradshaw-style, how Emma came to become our Ambassador to Feminism.
In an interview with Rookie magazine editor Tavi Gevinson for Wonderland, Emma had this to say about Beyonce’s self-titled masterpiece:
“As I was watching [the videos] I felt very conflicted, I felt her message felt very conflicted in the sense that on the one hand she is putting herself in a category of a feminist, but then the camera, it felt very male, such a male voyeuristic experience of her and I just wondered if you had thoughts about that or if you had any of your own thoughts about any of it really ….”
This is, in the words of every hyper-feminist writer to ever hit the internet, a lot to unpack.
Apparently, Emma Watson, patron saint of digestible feminism and poster woman for our cause (I didn’t elect her, did you?) has a lot to learn about agency and a woman owning her own sexuality. Never mind the fact that Beyonce made an entire audio-visual concept album that shattered records and spoke to her own Black experience. That’s irrelevant to Emma. What she cares about is that Beyonce, a grown woman and mother, sexualized herself in a context she didn’t find acceptable.
The question is, though, what kind of self-administered sexuality would she deem appropriately feminist? Do you think she’s changed her tune after the unfair backlash against her semi-topless photoshoot?
It’s truly troubling that Emma Watson doesn’t know the different between a woman sexualizing herself and a man objectifying a woman. Maybe she’s realized how wrong she was since then, but it still leaves a bad taste in my mouth to think that the same woman policing others’ sexuality is put on a pedestal as the epitome of modern feminist excellence.