"Feminism is about equality and it's about choice. Feminism is not a stick with which to beat other women."
Emma Watson hitting back at critics who claimed her recent photoshoot for Vanity Fair betrayed her feminist ideals. In one image from the shoot, photographed by Tim Walker, Watson poses in a crochet white top that reveals part of her cleavage. The 26-year-old Watson said on Saturday that the controversy represented "a fundamental and complete misunderstanding of what feminism is." Even CNN ran a headline posing the question: "Emma Watson's revealing Vanity Fair photo: Feminism or hypocrisy?" Many critics referenced a 2014 interview Watson gave, in which she discussed Beyoncé's sexually charged music videos. Watson said:
"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, you know this very strong woman and she has that beautiful speech in one of her songs but then the camera, it felt very male, such a male voyeuristic experience of her."
The criticism reached such intensity, Watson responded during an interview with Reuters on Sunday. She said she mostly felt "quietly stunned."
"It's about freedom, it's about liberation, it's about equality. I really don't know what my tits have to do with it. It's very confusing."
Feminist organizers and writer Gloria Steinem put it most bluntly in an interview with TMZ.
"Feminists can wear anything they f—ing want," Steinem said, adding about those attacking Watson: "Perhaps they have an incomplete idea of who women are." — AP and Washington Post