4Chan users threaten to release nude photos of Emma Watson because she’s a feminist

Dont' fuck with Emma.

Don’t fuck with Emma.

Sadly, it could probably have been predicted that Emma Watson’s speech at the UN would reveal the absolute worst of the misogynist internet. Enraged by her audacity–having an opinion about feminism and saying it aloud for important people to hear!–4Chan users immediately set up a countdown site called Emma You Are Next, which threatens to release hacked nude photos of her

It should be abundantly clear already that the non-consensual leaking of nude photos–like any other sexual violation, from harassment to rape–is not about sex but instead about power. It’s about using sexuality to humiliate and degrade and punish. As Roxane Gay wrote after the original hacking, the message sent to women by such violations is: “Your bared body can always be used as a weapon against you.”

And while simply existing as a well-known woman in the public sphere means you need to be cut down to size in the eyes of many misogynists, the attack on Watson shows that being a vocal feminist is an even worse offense. While the site promising to release her photos is probably a hoax, 4Chan users are very clear about the root of their misogynist glee at the prospect: “It is real and going to happen this weekend. That feminist bitch Emma is going to show the world she is as much of a whore as any woman,” one wrote. “She makes stupid feminist speeches at UN, and now her nudes will be online, HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH,” says another.

As Jill writes, we see this kind of attempt to sexually humiliate outspoken women–particular feminists who speak out for other women–everywhere. From the trolls who ensure that any woman who writes about feminist issues on the internet receives a stream of rape threats and sexually degrading comments to to the conservative response to that “floozy” Sandra Fluke who dared to testify before congressional on birth control. As Jill writes, “Sexuality is the bludgeoning stick and the place they aim the blow.”

So go ahead and add this response to Watson’s argument for why we need feminism. Misogynists do have a tendency of proving your point for you–they can be helpful like that.

Maya DusenberyMaya Dusenbery is an Executive Director of Feministing.

St. Paul, MN

Maya Dusenbery is executive director in charge of editorial at Feministing. She is the author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick (HarperOne, March 2018). She has been a fellow at Mother Jones magazine and a columnist at Pacific Standard magazine. Her work has appeared in publications like Cosmopolitan.com, TheAtlantic.com, Bitch Magazine, as well as the anthology The Feminist Utopia Project. Before become a full-time journalist, she worked at the National Institute for Reproductive Health. A Minnesota native, she received her B.A. from Carleton College in 2008. After living in Brooklyn, Oakland, and Atlanta, she is currently based in the Twin Cities.

Maya Dusenbery is an executive director of Feministing and author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm on sexism in medicine.

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