Maisie Williams Criticizes Emma Watson’s Brand of “First-World Feminism”

Maisie Williams and Emma Watson
Game of Thrones actress Maisie Williams took issue with Emma Watson's United Nations speech on gender equality, telling The Guardian that it represents a kind of "first-world feminism" Ian Gavan/Getty Images; Michael Tran/FilmMagic

Game on. Emma Watson got a lot of buzz for her speech on gender equality at the United Nations on Sept. 20, but at least one fellow female star wasn't all that impressed. Game of Thrones actress Maisie Williams told The Guardian recently that she thought Watson's remarks took kind of a narrow view on feminism.

"We talk about actor Emma Watson's recent U.N. speech, in which she talked about her reasons for becoming a feminist, and the need for men to be onside; Williams says she is impatient with this kind of 'first-world feminism,'" Guardian writer Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett wrote of the 17-year-old Brit. 

"A lot of what Emma Watson spoke about, I just think, 'That doesn't bother me,'" Williams told the paper. "I know things aren't perfect for women in the UK and in America, but there are women in the rest of the world who have it far worse." 

Watson, 24, received a standing ovation for her headline-making speech at the U.N., in which she addressed the ever-present gender gap between men and women. 

"I am from Britain and I think it is right that I am paid the same as my male counterparts. I think it is right that I should be able to make decisions about my own body," the Harry Potter alum argued at the time. "I think it is right that women be involved on my behalf in the policies and the decisions that affect my life. I think it is right that socially, I am afforded the same respect as men. But sadly, I can say that there is no one country in the world where all women can expect to receive these rights." 

Williams doesn't necessarily disagree with any of those arguments but thinks there are other priorities. "There are creepy things that people say online that I shouldn't have to read," she told The Guardian, "but there are bigger things going on in other countries."

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