Emma Watson stirs up a debate and Greg Portell gives us his take on the “Emma Watson Effect” on LinkedIn

I am a little late to get on the bandwagon about the Emma Watson speech. And I might have skipped it altogether if not for this article: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/article/20141003152603-4361863-the-emma-watson-effect?trk=pulse-det-nav_art

Leaving aside the supposed “naivete” of the speaker, maybe we should look at just how stirring it was for many, (and I sincerely hope it was not a sympathetic but superior-complex desire to be stirred by a young girl actor that motivated the world to be stirred!) and understand why people were moved by the speech.

She had an interesting approach and that is what is discussed in the article. I won’t say that this is the only possible way to look at the speech, but I think it is a valid way to look at it. Maybe we needed a personalization in our interactions, and maybe we needed to speak in absolutes at the UN rather than in the theoretical and ornate writing much preferred in certain fields and professions (academics and UN, here’s looking at you!). We needed to include people rather than antagonize. I am not excluding myself here. I have been a militant feminist and then a passive feminist in the first 17 yrs of the past two decades and have thought complete separation of men and women into supporting/against camps was the way to go. In the last three years (or so), I have been less militant and much more in the humanist camp because I was enlightened (the particular focus of an educator can do so much) and knew male support was important and appreciated the male feminists. Not to say I don’t still fall back on the two camp scenario, but I try to look at things in a more human way. And that is why I identify with humanists more now.

I digress. The point is then, to include everyone. To make everyone feel they are part of the solution. I do understand what you say, but this approach resonates with me more. And by this I mean the article and the inclusive approach. The Emma Watson speech is still a question mark in my mind. There  are some places where she needed to fly higher. Nonetheless, I thought she was good. She somehow circumvented all the defenses and came at us from nowhere. And opened up a debate! Now isn’t that wonderful?! We all need to engage, but we rarely do express our opinions unless someone first starts it. So Kudos! I appreciate her.

Have a look at the article, and draw your own conclusions. And if you haven’t seen it, watch her speech.

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