Margaret Eby
March 09, 2015 6:51 am

In honor of International Women’s Day Sunday, UN Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson participated in a Facebook Q&A about gender inequality. Watson’s one-hour discussion covered all kinds of interesting ground, from wage discrimination to female leadership, but one of the most intriguing points that Watson made was about the idea of chivalry and dating as a feminist.

It’s an interesting topic, because it’s one that’s raised often in discussions of dating as equals: can chivalry and feminism coexist? Can you hold the door for someone or pick up the check if you’re on equal footing? Or have the door held for you?

“I love having the door open for me,” Watson said. “I love being taken to dinner…but I think the key is would you mind if I open the door for you?” she rhetorically asked her male interviewer. “I’m polite and you’re polite and we’re making the world a better place with this small kind polite gesture.”

Watson put her belief in equality into action by turning the traditional gender role tables on a date.

“I actually took a man out for dinner,” Watson continued. “And I chose the restaurant and I offered to pay and it was really awkward and uncomfortable. . .but the cool thing about it was we were both willing to have the conversation about why it was awkward or why it was uncomfortable. We were able to have this dialogue. “

“I think the key is that chivalry should be consensual,” Watson added. “Both parties should be feeling good about that. I think it’s a problem when people expect things to be a certain way to follow a certain status quo and it’s awkward and it’s messy and we’re in transition right now. And everyone doesn’t really feel like they know what to do—but it’s OK. Just be willing to have that awkward conversation. It does come out OK in the end.”
That sounds pretty smart to us. To quote another piece of the discussion, “We’re never, ever, ever going to be able to fly as high unless we’re both in support of each other.” That goes for dating as much as it does for politics.
“I actually took a man out for dinner,” Watson continued. “And I chose the restaurant and I offered to pay and it was really awkward and uncomfortable. . .but the cool thing about it was we were both willing to have the conversation about why it was awkward or why it was uncomfortable. We were able to have this dialogue. “

“I think the key is that chivalry should be consensual,” Watson added. “Both parties should be feeling good about that. I think it’s a problem when people expect things to be a certain way to follow a certain status quo and it’s awkward and it’s messy and we’re in transition right now. And everyone doesn’t really feel like they know what to do—but it’s OK. Just be willing to have that awkward conversation. It does come out OK in the end.”
That sounds pretty smart to us. To quote another piece of the discussion, “We’re never, ever, ever going to be able to fly as high unless we’re both in support of each other.” That goes for dating as much as it does for politics.

To watch the entire livestream of Watson’s epic four-part Q&A, check out her Facebook page or watch Part 3 below (starting at minute five) where she gets down to the business of dating while feminist.

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