Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc ruffled some serious feathers on July 28 when he gave a speech about moral corruption in Turkey that singled out women for displaying happiness in public. “A woman should be chaste,” Arinc said, according to the Hurriyet Daily News. “She should know the difference between public and private. She should not laugh in public. She should not be inviting in her attitudes and protect her chasteness.”
Who knew that women’s laughter was bringing down society? In response to Arinc’s speech, Turkish women posted photos of themselves looking joyful outside, refusing to be shamed into biting back their guffaws. And Emma Watson, the newest U.N. Women Goodwill Ambassador, has lent her efforts to the fight.
Watson posted a photo on Twitter of her laughing enthusiastically to join in the movement, and flout the supposed doctrine of moral corruption. Since she posted the image on Friday, it’s been favorited over 14,000 times, shining a spotlight on Arinc’s backwards comments for her 14 million followers.
It’s amazing that something so simple—expressing joy in public—can be a political act, too. But for the women of Turkey it is. And for Watson, it was.