Emma Watson took a braless photo for Vanity Fair, causing a lot of ridiculous fuss over whether she's a hypocrite. "Can a feminist show underboob?" asked the always thoughtful internet. "Feminists can wear anything they fucking want," answered feminist icon Gloria Steinem, in an interview with TMZ. Emma Watson herself expressed the same to Reuters.
"Feminism is about giving women a choice," said Watson. "Feminism is not a stick with which to beat other women with."
But this did not please Beyonce fans—aka the Beyhive—who forget nothing.
Yes, in an interview with actress/journalist Tavi Gevinson in a 2014 issue of Wonderland Magazine, Emma Watson gave her "conflicted" feelings on Beyonce's eponymous 2013 album and the accompanying music videos.
"As I was watching [the videos] I felt very conflicted. I felt her message felt very conflicted in the sense that on the one hand, she is putting herself in a category of a feminist, but then on camera, it felt very male, such a male voyeuristic experience of her," said the 2014 Watson, impressively extending her foot through three years of space time to place firmly in the mouth of 2017 Emma Watson.
Cut to the very same 2017 Watson, who addressed the Beyhive with a single tweet on Tuesday, in which she provided the full context of her comments from the interview.
Here's what Watson tweeted—it's just a photo of the written interview, with some parts highlighted. Everything below in bold is what Emma Watson chose to literally highlight for the Twitterverse.
So one last question, it's a big one and I'm quite nervous to bring it up because I still haven't really formulated my own ideas about it but [both laugh] Beyonce's new album. I don't know whether you have spoken to anyone about it, but my friend and I sat and we watched all the videos back-to-back and I was really conflicted. I so admire her confidence to put her music out in that way, in amidst all these very sensationalist MTV performances, I was so psyched about that. On the one hand she is putting herself in a category of a feminist, this very strong woman - and she has that beautiful speech by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in one of her songs - but then the camera, it felt very male, such a male voyeuristic experience of her and I just wondered if you had thoughts about that?
I would say two things. One is that in her position, and for a lot of young musicians, actors or people in our industry, it's as though you get a memo: don't be seen with your boyfriend or your wife or your child because you still want your audience to believe or male fans of Beyonce to believe that they could possess her; that in some alternate universe they could be with her. So by publicly exposing her marriage, that she is in a committed relationship, that she has a child, is probably really against that kind of memo and she does make it clear that she is performing for him. And the fact she wasn't doing it for a label, she was doing it for herself and the control that she has directing it and putting it out there, I agree is making her sexuality empowering because it is her choice.
The second is that I would say you do get sense of, "I can be a feminist, I can be an intellectual, I can be all these other things, but I can also be ok with my femininity and being pretty and with all these things that I thought might negate my message or negate what I am about." That really is the most interesting thing about the album. It is so inclusive and puts feminism and femininity and female empowerment on such a broad spectrum.
Emma Watson seems to be pointing out that while her initial comments in the interview were problematic, she eventually got to the same conclusion she's offered in defense of her own sexy images. Yeah, the Beyhive might still want an apology.