Along with being an actress, Emma Watson is a U.N. Women Goodwill Ambassador, runs a feminist book club, and hides feminist fiction on the subway. (In her spare time, she dabbles in offshore investing.) In a new Vanity Fair cover story, we learn that Watson’s also befriended Gloria Steinem, even inviting her to a screening of the final cut of her upcoming live-action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast.
Steinem speaks warmly of Watson throughout — and completely shuts down writer Derek Blasberg when he ventures that perhaps Watson could come to be perceived as “annoying” by the public:
As Steinem honors Watson’s high moral standards and relentless activism, I ask her if there’s a risk of becoming, well, annoying to the general public. Is she too much of an ethical Goody Two-Shoes? After all, what other starlet assigns fashion designers homework before she wears their clothes? Steinem is not amused. “Let me ask you something: If you did a story on a young male actor who was very private and involved in activism, would you think he was too severe or serious? Why do women always have to be listeners? Emma is interested in the world, she is caring, and though she is active she is also joyous and informed.” At this point I’m backpedaling—“I think she’s wonderful!”—but Steinem still digs in. “It’s possible to be both serious and fun, you know. That response is why men will ask a woman, ‘Why don’t you just smile, honey?’
Well then. Remind me to never try to gossip with Gloria Steinem.