Intention

The “HeForShe Speech” by Emma Watson focuses on topics like gender inequality and gender roles. The speaker’s message is that traditional gender roles have negative consequences for both women and men and that they contribute to gender inequality.

Emma Watson’s intention with the speech is to motivate people —men and boy especially— to give up gender stereotypes, and promote gender equality and women’s rights within the UN Women campaign, HeForShe.

From the beginning of the speech, the speaker uses direct address to announce the launch of the UN campaign and to ask people to join it—which is her main intention: “I am reaching out to you because I need your help. We want to end gender inequality—and to do that we need everyone to be involved.” 

Later on, she explicitly addresses men with the same intention—getting them engaged with the UN campaign—and at the end, she uses rhetorical questions to the same purpose: “Men—I would like to take this opportunity to extend your formal invitation. Gender equality is your issue too.”; “And to ask yourself if not me, who? If not now, when?” 

Part of speaker’s intention with the speech is also to dismantle negative views on feminism and make the audience understand that feminism is about gender equality and not aggression against men. To this end, Watson u...

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