Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Emma Watson and Feminism

If you, like me, have been gradually discovering the awesome person that is Emma Watson, you would be excited to discover that she is just as obsessed with books as the bookworm characters she plays. As well as apparently taking a year off acting to ‘read more books’ (oh, the luxury!), she is an actress, an English Literature graduate, a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador who launched a campaign to encourage men to advocate for gender equality,  and a woman who sometimes takes time off to hide books on trains. Whew. And yes, I may be fan-girling just a little bit.

At the beginning of last year, inspired by her collaboration with the UN, she decided to start a feminist book club online, on a popular book-sharing platform, to discuss the wealth of information about equality she had been reading. If you’d like to join, all you need is a Goodreads profile, and boom, you’re in. Every second month Ms. Watson selects a book, posts some questions and thoughts to start it off, and the community takes it from there. Currently there are over 190,000 members across the globe.

Curious about the books she chose? You can head over to Goodreads (incidentally; a great website for discovering and discussing books) and join Our Shared Shelf. If you want to get your greedy little mitts on the actual books, though, they are all available through your local library.

Emma Watson and her fellow ‘book fairies’ have got famous for hiding dozens of books on public transport, to the delight of fans. Unfortunately, unless you live in London, Paris, or New York, you’re unlikely to come across Our Shared Shelf’s new pick.

As well as the classics, there are some less well-known choices in there, ripe for exploring. Here is the full list:

  1. My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem
  2. The Colour Purple by Alice Walker
  3. How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran
  4. The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson
  5. The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
  6. Hunger Makes Me A Modern Girl by Carrie Brownstein
  7. Mom & Me & Mom by Maya Angelou
  8. The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler and Gloria Steinem

Coincidentally, for someone so identified with the ‘bookish’ characters she plays, nearly all the major film roles Emma Watson has taken on are based on books. She appears in the Harry Potter franchise, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and The Bling Ring, (all originally based on books), as well as Noah, based on a book of the bible, funnily enough.

Or maybe, knowing Emma’s love for reading, it is truly not a coincidence at all.