Watson vs. Gender Inequality Essay Example

Brave is only one word to describe the measures rightful activists have taken to strike back against a society that allows or even advocates social injustices, such as inequality. We as a complex intelligent life form have been dealing with this since we discovered how to construct fire. No matter how long it has been an issue, the concept of inequality is still too rational. We still see substantial amounts of inequality and loathing against other groups all around the world. The fight against inequality has been lingering for a criminalizing amount of time, this societal conflict will not have a resolution until more individuals stand up, especially that of Gender inequality. Activist Emma Watson sees the unethical ness of this and combats it with her speech at the HeforShe campaign at the U.N headquarters in New York. 

In Watson’s speech, she uses rhetorical appeals to give an eye-opening speech and argument on Gender inequality. She uses these appeals (Ethos, Pathos, Logos) with a calm yet assertive tone to persuade her projected audience (Mostly men but women as well) to get involved/stand up against the nuisance of Gender inequality. She tells personal stories of her own, uses actual statistics to both back her words and give more meaning to the speech. Watson does all this to convince men and women to join the fight against gender inequality.

Watson's use of her personal stories is to present that she is rightfully able to make this argument. 

This also appeals to the Rhetorical appeal Pathos, as it makes the audience garner sympathy. The Rhetorical appeal Ethos is present as well as it adds the extra layer of trust from the viewer to Watson. Watson has clearly struggled with inequality before, Watson talks of this when she says, “When I was 14, I was being sexualized by certain elements of the press…When at 18 my male friends were unable to express their feelings.” Watson uncovered this to tell the viewer that she is not some woman fighting for something she has never experienced. With Watson doing this she legitimizes her argument and attracts her audience. Some Men or even Women assume that gender inequality is just a myth because they have never experienced it before, but Watson contradicts this by telling her own experiences on this matter.                                            

Through statistics and logic, Watson solidifies her points that could be contradicted. These parts of her speech also appeal to logos as she uses logic and statistics to make an argument. When telling facts on the matter Watson implements statistics to give irrefutable evidence of Gender Inequality. Using this opens the eyes of her audience on the issue. She is able to do so when talking of the urgency of Gender Inequality,“Because the reality is that if we do nothing it will take 75 years, or for me to be nearly a hundred before women can expect to be paid the same as men for the same work”. This gives a sense of urgency to the situation; this further pushes the persuasion and pressure on the audience. Watson does this towards the end of her speech as well, this is to leave the viewer of the fresh thought of the fact that nothing is going to change unless enough people stand up. 

One of her speeches is vital to not turn off the audience. Watson using a specific tone of being calm and collected, but assertive and demanding at the same time tells the viewer that she is not overbearing. Watson makes her argument more productive with this tone as opposed to using a more aggressive one. Watson brings up the fact that it is the man’s job to combat this problem first by saying “If men do not have to be aggressive in order to be accepted women will not feel compelled to be submissive. If men do not have to control, women will not have to be controlled”. When doing so she uses this tone to be demanding and not aggressive to get her point across. Watson is very careful on how she conveys her point here; she knows it is sensitive and any wrong word/ raise in tone could lead to a refute of her argument. Watsons main point is that Men need to be the change for the change to happen, she does not do this by using excessive language or tone. She subtly hides her true point with more agile words and a calmer tone to not lose her audience.

With this, statistics, tone, telling of personal stories, and rhetorical appeals Watson can persuade her audience to fight against gender inequality. Watson grabs her audience of the speeches attention to make the argument on what we need to do as a society to help make each gender equal. Gender inequality and inequality is still something that happens in every corner of the world, we still have a long time to go before we see change. But activists like Emma Watson are the ones that can be the difference and change the world for the better. 

Works cited

Watson, Emma. “Gender Equality Is Your Issue Too.” UN Women, 20 Sept. 2014,


Accessed 15 Oct. 2020.



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