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Emma Watson fell into sulk over feminism backlash



  • The actress, 26, launched UN-backed HeForShe campaign last year
  • Faced backlash and was branded a 'feminazi' and 'white privileged feminist'
  • Watson reveals the criticism left her in a 'sulk' and struggling to get out of bed
  • Harry Potter star admits she has a lot to learn and isn't an 'expert' on the subject

By MailOnline Reporter

Published: 09:45 EST, 15 February 2017 | Updated: 16:15 EST, 15 February 2017

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She took a year away from the big screen in a bid to focus on raising awareness of her UN campaign urging men to back feminism.

But after being branded a 'white privileged feminist' whose male-focused drive actually furthered the oppression of women, Emma Watson admits she struggled to cope with the backlash.

The Harry Potter star, 26, says that her self-esteem took such a hit, she fell into a '24-hour sulk' and had a battle on her hands even to get out of bed.

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Anger: Emma Watson admits she struggled to cope with the backlash over her UN-backed feminism campaign  Anger: Emma Watson admits she struggled to cope with the backlash over her UN-backed feminism campaign 

Anger: Emma Watson admits she struggled to cope with the backlash over her UN-backed feminism campaign 

Speaking to Elle magazine, she explained: 'It really toughened me up. There is a level of criticism that comes with being an actress... which I expect, but once you take a stance on something like feminism, that's a completely different ball game. There were a couple of days when I just didn't want to come out from under the duvet... I realised I needed 24 hours to sulk.'

Last September, the actress made headlines with her rousing speech at the United Nations as she launched He For She, which pushed the message: 'Gender equality is your issue too.'

Despite a tide of negativity against her, Emma has since been in demand to speak more on the subject - and even pen a book.

But she admits herself that she is far from being an 'expert' on the history of women's rights - and claims she 'doesn't deserve all the respect' she has received from her supporters since.

Hiding: The Harry Potter star, 26, says that her self-esteem took such a hit, she fell into a '24-hour sulk' and had a battle on her hands even to get out of bed after she was slammed for founding her UN-backed HeForShe drive Hiding: The Harry Potter star, 26, says that her self-esteem took such a hit, she fell into a '24-hour sulk' and had a battle on her hands even to get out of bed after she was slammed for founding her UN-backed HeForShe drive

Hiding: The Harry Potter star, 26, says that her self-esteem took such a hit, she fell into a '24-hour sulk' and had a battle on her hands even to get out of bed after she was slammed for founding her UN-backed HeForShe drive

In demand: Despite a tide of negativity against her, Emma (pictured above on the Women's March in Washington) has since been in demand to speak more on the subject - and even pen a book In demand: Despite a tide of negativity against her, Emma (pictured above on the Women's March in Washington) has since been in demand to speak more on the subject - and even pen a book

In demand: Despite a tide of negativity against her, Emma (pictured above on the Women's March in Washington) has since been in demand to speak more on the subject - and even pen a book

More to learn: Emma admits herself that she is far from being an 'expert' on the history of women's rights - and claims she 'doesn't deserve all the respect' she has received from her supporters since More to learn: Emma admits herself that she is far from being an 'expert' on the history of women's rights - and claims she 'doesn't deserve all the respect' she has received from her supporters since

More to learn: Emma admits herself that she is far from being an 'expert' on the history of women's rights - and claims she 'doesn't deserve all the respect' she has received from her supporters since

She adds: 'I need to see and do a bit more first. It's not like I have been reading this material for years and I don't have an encyclopedic knowledge. It can be a lot of pressure sometimes, as people expect me to know so much. 

'I'm no expert, and people push me into a corner... it's uncomfortable because I have a long way to go. I am not sure I deserve all the respect I get yet, but I'm working on it.'

Last year, Emma revealed that even as Hollywood star she is not immune from unwanted advances - and has even had her bottom slapped by a stranger.

The actress said that her celebrity does not protect her from leering men and some have followed her home.

In one particularly galling instance, a man slapped her bottom as she left a room. 

Everyday: Last year, Emma revealed that she is not immune from dealing with unwanted adances and has had her bottom slapped by a stranger Everyday: Last year, Emma revealed that she is not immune from dealing with unwanted adances and has had her bottom slapped by a stranger

Everyday: Last year, Emma revealed that she is not immune from dealing with unwanted adances and has had her bottom slapped by a stranger

The starsaid that she has been called a 'diva' and a 'feminazi' but she does not let it bother her - and will not shut her up.

Watson has been vocal in support of feminism and in 2014 founded gender equality organization HeForShe, the year she was appointed a UN Global Goodwill Ambassador

But she has also suffered a backlash and has come under fire from men on social media.

The Brit, who played Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter films, said that talking about women's rights was 'the most fun I've ever had'.

She told People magazine: 'We are not supposed to talk about money, because people will think you're 'difficult' or a 'diva.'

'But there's a willingness now to be like: fine. Call me a 'diva', call me a 'feminazi', call me 'difficult,' call me a 'First World feminist', call me whatever you want, it's not going to stop me from trying to do the right thing and make sure that the right thing happens.

'Because it doesn't just affect me.

Still at risk: The actress said that her celebrity does not protect her from leering men and some have followed her home Still at risk: The actress said that her celebrity does not protect her from leering men and some have followed her home

Still at risk: The actress said that her celebrity does not protect her from leering men and some have followed her home

Hitting back: In March, Emma said that she has been called a 'diva' and a 'feminazi' Hitting back: In March, Emma said that she has been called a 'diva' and a 'feminazi'

Hitting back: In March, Emma said that she has been called a 'diva' and a 'feminazi'

'Whether you are a woman on a tea plantation in Kenya, or a stockbroker on Wall Street, or a Hollywood actress, no one is being paid equally.'

Emma drew on her personal experiences to show that she too has had to endure sexism.

She said: 'I've had my a**e slapped as I've left a room. I've felt scared walking home. I've had people following me.

'I don't talk about these experiences much, because coming from me they'll sound like a huge deal and I don't want this to be about me, but most women I know have experienced it and worse'.Watson said that the only way things would change is if men heard her message.

She urged men to 'go away and speak to the women in their lives about what they are experiencing' so they understood what it meant to be discriminated against. 

Candid: The star - who took a year off to focus on her UN role - revealed she has also been threatened with blackmail  Candid: The star - who took a year off to focus on her UN role - revealed she has also been threatened with blackmail 

Candid: The star - who took a year off to focus on her UN role - revealed she has also been threatened with blackmail 

 

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