Here is a short summary of our analysis of the “HeForShe Speech” by Emma Watson.
Emma Watson’ speech revolves around the topics of gender inequality and gender roles. More specifically, it is about how stereotypical gender roles contribute to creating and preserving gender inequality.
As a speaker, Emma Watson comes across as credible and reliable and sends her message across by building a trust relationship with the audience. This trust is built as Watson admits both her strengths (which are her strong principles about gender equality and her personal experiences) and her weakness (she does not a lot of have experience as a UN Goodwill Ambassador).
Watson engages the audience – formed by all those attending the UN Women conference or seeing it televised and online— through a number of language techniques and rhetorical devices.
She uses short sentences to capture the audience’s attention in the beginning. She uses numerous repetitions and enumerations to make her ideas stick with the receivers and to add emphasis. Furthermore, she engages the audience by using all three forms of appeal: ethos, pathos, and logos. This means that she makes the audience have emotional reactions, draw logical conclusions, and trust her and themselves as capable of affecting change and promoting gender equality.
The speech is also specifically addressed to boys and men as it is the opening speech at the launch of the UN campaign HeForShe, aimed at engaging men and boys in advocating women’s rights. The circumstances of the speech imply that much of the speaker’s intention is to inspire the target audience to take action and promote gender equality in accordance with the UN campaign.
Additionally, Watson’s intention is to clarify what feminism and gender equality mean, to raise awareness about the negative consequences of gender inequality, and to make the audience understand why taking action is necessary.
You can read the full analysis of the speech in the following pages.
For my rhetorical analysis essay, I plan to analyze the written text of the speech that actress Emma Watson gave at the United Nations headquarters on September 20, 2014 regarding gender equality.
Video – Emma Watson HeForShe Speech
Watson was appointed Goodwill Ambassador for UN Women about six months prior to giving her speech, and she used this opportunity to promote a new program that UN Women is sponsoring called HeForShe. The goal of the HeForShe initiative is to encourage men and boys to support gender equality, not only to help empower women, but also to free men from their own gender stereotypes. Watson’s speech addressed this issue in conjunction with her own experiences with gender inequality as a means to encourage both men and women to identify as feminists.
I first came across this speech last week when it was posted online, and I was immediately drawn in because, like most of my generation, I am a pretty big fan of Emma Watson, who is best known for her role as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter franchise. However, what made me choose to analyze this speech is not that fact that Watson is a famous actress whom I admire, but rather that the content of her speech evokes a message that I too believe is important. Furthermore, I felt that the way in which she presented her argument was both effective and unique
This speech has many rhetorical elements that could be analyzed, but I am going to focus on the written text of the speech rather than Watson’s delivery. In my essay, I intend to investigate how useful the facts and statistics that Watson uses are to her argument. Second, I plan to examine her use of personal anecdotes and how they express pathos. Finally, I plan to look at how Watson uses her ethos as an actress to explain why she is “qualified” to speak out about gender equality.
I look forward to analyzing the text of Watson’s speech, as well as researching the topic of gender equality with regards to men and women!