Emma Watson has revealed her “raging” anger towards the men who threatened to leak naked photographs after she stood up for women’s rights.
Speaking on International Women’s Day, Watson has smacked down the people who said they were about to expose her online through racy photographs, which Watson said do not exist.
The threat came hours after she made an impassioned speech about gender equality to the United Nations in September.
She said the fact that she was targeted proved that inequality was still a major issue.
“I knew it was a hoax but I think a lot of people that were close to me knew gender equality was an issue but didn’t think it was that urgent, that it was a thing of the past,” Watson said in an interview at Facebook’s UK headquarters.
“The minute I stepped up and talked about women’s rights I was immediately threatened. I mean, within less than 12 hours I was receiving threats.”
“It’s funny because people were like, ‘She’s going to be disheartened by this’. If anything it made me so much more determined.
“I was raging, it made me so angry that I was like, ‘This is why I have to be doing this’ … If they were trying to put me off it, it did the opposite.”
Watson, who is a UN Goodwill Ambassador for Women, gave the interview to promote her campaign for gender equality HeForShe, which encourages men to stand up to address discrimination against women and girls.
Watson said that she asked her younger sister ahead of the interview what was the one thing she would want from the boys in her life.
“She went ‘I just want them to want to play with us’ … And I was like, well that translates at every level. We just want to be included,” Watson said.
She also said that women were “complicit” in bringing their own gender down.
“A lot of the criticism I’ve ever had in my life, some of the harshest moments of criticism or some of the hardest moments I’ve had, have been comments from other women.
“It’s not just enough to ask men to come in and support us, we really need to support each other. We really do.”
Her campaign is also designed to demolish the notion that feminism is about “hate towards men” and is only a women’s issue.
“Our society in general devalues the ‘she’. And by that I mean the qualities of the feminine, which are found in all of us … It’s hindering our progress. It’s causing discrimination and violence, pain and fear the world over,” she said.
But she said that attitudes were changing and that she wants to see more men become comfortable with calling themselves feminists.
“Men think it’s a women’s word, that it’s only for women. But it really just means that you believe in equality. And if you stand for equality, you’re a feminist — I’m sorry to tell you.”
The HeForShe petition has been signed more than 242,000 times.