This past weekend, Emma Watson gave a speech on gender equality to the U.N. on behalf of the HeForShe campaign. While the speech went viral with viewers in awe of Watson’s powerful stance on the matter, 4chan’s board saw her speech in a very different light.
Almost immediately after hearing Watson’s speech, news about 4chan campaigning against her erupted on the interwebs. So far, this has included not only bad-talking Watson with comments like, “That feminist bitch Emma is going to show the world she is as much of a whore as any woman.” And others which are equally, if not more, sick, disgusting and violent… but also threats to release hacked nude photos of her – in the same manner that Jennifer Lawrence’s recent pictures were leaked. The desired goal of the tyrant members of this board on 4chan is to make it as uncomfortable and terrifying as possible for people to speak out against gender inequality. They are trying to use this threat as an example to keep other women silent with misogyny as their weapon.
The fact of the matter is, that this is nothing but a threat. As one anonymous poster put it, “if anyone from 4chan had the skill to do this, there’d be no threats, only nudes.” While the fact that it’s probably a hoax is all fine and dandy, I don’t think that it really changes the deeper issue of what this threat represents. That being, that the main way in which our society targets and puts down women is to diminish them to nothing more than a sexual entity. The problem isn’t the leaking of nudes (or having nudes in the first place); it’s the fact that leaking them is considered to be the worst thing you can do to a woman. On top of that, let’s not even get started on the argument of why sexuality is, in the first place, something to be ashamed of at all.
Overall, this turn of events has only proven further argument for why the world is in dire need of feminism and gender equality. Fortunately, Emma is not being put down by this and is continuing to show support for her campaign on Twitter – and is likewise being shown support by other celebrities and fans. In the mean time, while we wait for 4chan to finally get shut down, let us take a moment of silence for all the fucked up man-children-basement-dwellers who have participated in this disgusting threat, and hope they all heal emotionally and mentally at some point in their future. Amen.
*Update* Since this piece was written, we found out that this whole entire 4chan controversy seemed to have been a hoax put together by a viral marketing company. Click below to read more about it.