If there's one person you should listen to, isn't it Hermione Granger? OK, so she's not actually Hermione, but Emma Watson is her own kind of brilliant, amazing, warrior. She's unapologetically intelligent and political and, between leaving books for people to find and giving groundbreaking talks at the UN, she's always trying to make the world a better, fairer place. But more than that, she sends a clear message that even one person can make a difference. That every person can make a difference. That there's nothing too small or insignificant to try. So if you need some encouragement when it comes to finding your own inner activist, Emma's your girl.
Because the truth is, not all of us are going to speak at the UN. But that's OK, there are so many ways to make a difference, so many ways to stand up to unfairness and inequality and prejudice. So many ways to say, "I'm here and I'm ready to help make things change." So she's way more than Hermione— and she's way more than Belle. She's galvanization and inspiration. And if you're not sure if your'e ready to jump into the world of activism, she'll definitely help get you there.
"If you stand for equality, then you're a feminist. Sorry to tell you."
"What gets scary is when you're self-worth is tied up in what strangers think of you."
"It is time that we all perceive gender on a spectrum not as two opposing sets of ideals. We should stop defining each other by what we are not and start defining ourselves by what we are"
"Feminism is not here to dictate to you. It’s not prescriptive, it’s not dogmatic. All we are here to do is give you a choice. If you want to run for President, you can. If you don’t, that’s wonderful, too... Gender equality is your issue too. Both men and women should feel free to be strong. All we are here to do is to give you a choice."
"Young women are bombarded by images of perfection which no human being can really achieve."
"Women feel like they need permission... we need to lead and change that."
"There is nothing wrong with being afraid. It's not the absence of fear, it's overcoming it. Sometimes you've got to blast through and have faith."
"I am not what happened to me. I am what I choose to become. "
"Don't ever hear in your own head, 'who am I to say something?' you are a human being, you are a person, you can 100% change the world . It's the little things that really count. Be brave."
"The saddest thing for a girl to do is to dumb herself down for a guy."
"We [women] really damage our own confidence when we put ourselves down, so I try not to."
"I'm going to do what I want to do. I'm going to be who I really am. I'm going to figure out what that is."
"In my moments of doubt, I've told myself firmly: If not me, who? If not now, when?"
"If you truly pour your heart into what you believe, even if it makes you vulnerable, amazing things can and will happen."
"Both men and women should feel free to be sensitive. Both men and women should feel free to be strong."
"Girls should never be afraid to be smart."
"Young girls are told you have to be the delicate princess. Hermione taught them that you can be the warrior."
"All I can do is follow my instincts, because I'll never please everyone."
"I don't want other people to decide who I am. I want to decide that for myself."
See? She can be pretty damn magical even without a wand. And if you're not sure whether or not you can make a difference, you can always check up with what she's doing and get the extra push you need. Because the world always needs more activists, more warriors, more women wiling to call themselves feminists. Which, baffling, some women aren't comfortable doing. Hell, it's baffling that all people aren't comfortable doing it. But Emma Watson's no-nonsense message will help you get over your hangups and jump in.
Still don't know where to start? There are so may ways. Pick up a book on feminism or activism, look on Facebook about how to help causes that are important to you or find ways to pitch in in your local area. There's something so grounding, rewarding, and humbling about activism and public service. I mean, really— can you think of a better way to spend your time? Netflix with always be there. It's time to think beyond the couch and discover your inner activist. It's in there, now you just need to find it and put it into action. You can do it, I promise. And if Emma Watson believes you can do it, that should definitely quell any doubts.