Here's Why Emma Watson's Interview with Tom Hanks is Important
by Thulasie Manoharan
Emma Watson enthralled us all with her charms and potions as Hermione Granger and today she still continues down that road. In September 2014, shortly after being named Goodwill Ambassador of the UN Women, Watson had launched the HeForShe Campaign aiming to fight for gender equality, saying that “it’s not just a women’s issue, it’s a human rights issue”. Ever since the launch of the campaign, Watson had taken time off acting and started educating herself on the issues of gender equality and feminism. The actress also created a feminist book club called Our Shared Shelf, where she picks a book every month and has open discussions with people from all around the world (how cool is that!).
This aspiring and inspiring actress has made a lot of effort in bringing HeForShe to a full bloom and talking to Tom Hanks is one of them. Watson interviewed Tom Hanks for Esquire men and women issue. Having won an Oscar for Philadelphia, the movie that set a benchmark of a whole new perspective on gay rights issues and also worked alongside some of the most prominent female figures in the film industry, Hanks is no stranger to the issues of gender equality. When asked if he was a feminist, Hanks said, quote;
“Yes I am. We are in the Third Millennium. We have thousands of years of human history under our belts. If we are not continuously moving towards equal rights, equal opportunities and equal freedoms for every member of the human race — not just that half that is male — then we have squandered all we have learned.”
As Emma Watson spoke on the issues of same-sex marriage and how it is being perceived today, this is what Hanks had to say;
“Look at us human beings! Each of our fingerprints is unique. Our eyes are just as varied. Just as no two snowflakes are the same, neither are we. We are as singular as those lines and ridges on our palms and fingers. Our gender is defined the same way. We love who we love, we are passionate for those who stir us. The directions our love takes us in are infinite. Not just two boxes marked EITHER and OR.”
The discussion between the pair did not just prove it was stimulating and informing rather it created a platform for a whole new perspective to be formed. Being a person who rarely Occam’s razor a situation, I see this as a beacon of all things good to come. What women must understand is the fact that more men are taking efforts to educate themselves on the issues of equality. Compared to men of the 20th century, the men of the 21st century claim to be feminists. Even if they don’t overtly make a claim, they silently practice equality. Although men today open doors for women or pay the bill before it’s been paid for, they do know that women are very well capable and they respect them for it. Our media has for generations highlighted the bad that has been happening ever where. But if they actually took the opportunity to show the world that the good does happen ON A DAILY BASIS, we would actually be setting a good example for our society now and for the future.
We have reached leaps and bounds because of feminism. As all things evolve, so has feminism over the years. From women being no. 2 on the charts, we have made our way into the male driven world, proving that we can do everything a man is capable of. This is a strong proof that we have made progress and this only goes to show that we will ultimately reach the pinnacle of equality in due time. Like the old adage goes, there is always light at the end of the tunnel.
Let us all say goodbye to troglodytic ways and ruminate a world where all is equal and in harmony.
May your perspectives be constantly challenged.