— Emma Watson British actress and model 1990
Context: I decided that I was a feminist and this seemed uncomplicated to me. But my recent research has shown me that feminism has become an unpopular word. Women are choosing not to identify as feminists.
Apparently I am among the ranks of women whose expressions are seen as too strong, too aggressive, isolating, and anti-men, unattractive even.
Why has the word become such an uncomfortable one?
I am from Britain and think it is right that I am paid the same as my male counterparts. I think it is right that I should be able to make decisions about my own body. I think it is right that women be involved on my behalf in the policies and the decisions that will affect my life. I think it is right that socially I am afforded the same respect as men. But sadly I can say that there is no one country in the world where all women can expect to receive these rights.
No country in the world can yet say that they have achieved gender equality.
These rights I consider to be human rights but I am one of the lucky ones. My life is a sheer privilege because my parents didn’t love me less because I was born a daughter. My school did not limit me because I was a girl. My mentors didn’t assume that I would go less far because I might give birth to a child one day. These influencers were the gender equality ambassadors that made who I am today. They may not know it, but they are the inadvertent feminists who are changing the world today. We need more of those. And if you still hate the word — it is not the word that is important. It's the idea and the ambition behind it. Because not all women have received the same rights that I have. In fact, statistically, very few have been.