Censoring the ‘f’ word, among other profanities, in television, music and print is a commonplace practice. But what if the ‘f’ word that was the object of attempted censorship was not a dirty word?
This is exactly what happened to actress Emma Watson when she launched the HeForShe gender equality campaign in September 2014. According to The Huffington Post, Watson faced some opposition prior to her delivering her now-famous speech to launch the campaign because of a different ‘f’ word: feminism.
“I was encouraged not to use the word ‘feminism’ because people felt that it was alienating and separating and the whole idea of the speech was to include as many people as possible,” Watson said of her speech, which intended to encourage men “to participate in and support feminist causes.
In her interview with Porter magazine, Watson explained her decision to use the word anyway, despite the pushback. “But I thought long and hard and ultimately felt that it was just the right thing to do. If women are terrified to use the word, how on earth are men supposed to start using it?”
The actress and feminist figure said that using the word “feminist” in her speech was as much a way to make others comfortable with the term as it was a way to assert her own identity.
“For the first time in my life I feel like I have a sense of self that I’m comfortable with,” she explained. “I actually do have things that I want to say and I want to be my most authentic self.”
No censorship needed for this ‘f’word. Thanks, Emma Watson, for showing us that the word “feminism” isn’t a profanity.