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Single? I'm self-partnered, says British actress Emma Watson

41 Comments
By Sonia Elks

Actress Emma Watson has given up calling herself single and now describes herself as "self-partnered" as she faces down societal pressure to marry and have a family, she said in an interview published on Tuesday.

The "Harry Potter" star told with British Vogue magazine she had battled anxiety as she approached age 30 without a stable career, partner or baby.

"I never believed the whole 'I'm happy single' spiel," she told the magazine, saying she had gradually changed her views. "It took me a long time, but I'm very happy. I call it being self-partnered."

Women have long faced particular pressure to partner up and start a family, rights campaigners have argued, with older single women more likely to be seen as an object of pity while men tend to be perceived as free and enjoying bachelor life.

Watson, 29, said she had struggled with anxiety and stress as she approached her 30th birthday, eventually realizing it was because she was facing an "influx of subliminal messaging".

"If you have not built a home, if you do not have a husband, if you do not have a baby, and you are turning 30, and you're not in some incredibly secure, stable place in your career ... There's just this incredible amount of anxiety," she said.

Watson is a leading women's rights activist and a goodwill ambassador for U.N. Women, championing the HeForShe campaign, which urges men to advocate for gender equality.

She has also spoken out about her own experiences of sexism, recalling suffering gender-based discrimination from age 8, and has said as she grew into adulthood she was sexualized by the media in a way that her male "Harry Potter" co-stars were not.

© Thomson Reuters Foundation

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

41 Comments
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"...she had battled anxiety as she approached age 30 without a stable career, partner or baby."

Emma Watson is worth approximately $80 million dollars.

Just saying.

10 ( +14 / -4 )

Looks like Professor Trelawney was right. She’s going to be single her whole life.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

If she has cause to complain so much and with such anxiety, what about the rest of us? A whole generation of wimps coming on down the line.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

This is getting boring, what is with that generation that wants to re-label everything. You are single, it isn't offensive, get over it.

8 ( +14 / -6 )

Your heart bleeds, doesn’t it?

Help out at your local foodbank to get some perspective.

8 ( +13 / -5 )

My recent research has shown me that feminism has become an unpopular word. Women are choosing not to identify as feminists. Apparently, I’m among the ranks of women whose expressions are seen as too strong, too aggressive, isolating, and anti-men. Unattractive, even. 

-Emma Watson (2014)

0 ( +4 / -4 )

She should live her life in the way she likes. Whether that includes marriage, kids, a lifetime partner or not is completely up to her.

I hope she has and finds happiness with her choices.

gender-based discrimination from age 8,

Uh ... everyone experiences some sort of discrimination as they grow up. Other kids are not always nice and some adults aren't nice to kids, especially if they are working.

Being in a media-driven business, being attractive to other humans matters. I see she is listed as an actor, model and activist. Especially as a model, it is all about physical appearance. Perhaps she should have chosen a different career?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

it's called single. That's the word.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

What a whinner LOL!! At least she has made a lot of coin, will give her that for sure!

Basically she is coming to realize she has wasted her youth, people don't seem to realize just how much basic biology comes into play in our lives.

Self partnered...…...sounds like she just wants to avoid her own reality, & she is free to do so, carry on!

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Money doesn't equal happiness, and being single doesn't mean unhappiness. Seems like an inflated problem.

I wish her well, except for using the term "self-partnered"

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Money doesn't equal happiness

Millions upon millions of people would disagree with you.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Like a dear friend use to say to me,

"Better to be unhappy and rich than unhappy and poor".

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Let people identify how they wish to.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Jimizo your tone is clearly more congenital/compromising than mine.

Self-partnered as a noun is divisive, it is pretentious and unnecessarily provocative.

It insinuates the caricature of feminist, as being celebrity is the epitome that defines equality for women.

Putting it mildly it is Harry Potty

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

You can think what you will about the term, but I think it's important to make people aware of the fact that they are whole people by themselves, you don't have to have a partner to be complete and fulfilled. Of course it can be a great thing to have, but it seems like a lot of people want to be with someone just to be with someone. In my view, it's a good thing that celebrities like Watson brings attention to this issue.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

I pity her.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Not surprisingly, Brigid Delaney the Guardian has sprung to the defence of ‘self-partnered’ as ‘single’ can have rough connotations. Thankfully, the word ‘sinister’ wasn’t designated as hate speech in the article.

Phew!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Oh dear, please tell me "self partnered" isn't going to be a thing now...

2 ( +6 / -4 )

I am a self-identified genius. Deal with it.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I think it's important to make people aware of the fact that they are whole people by themselves

oh, come on. people are only half people. stop trying to trick us!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Pathetic girl..

2 ( +5 / -3 )

“Societal pressures to get married and have children..” huh? Have we travelledback in time toLittle House onthe Prairie, or something?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Thankfully, the word ‘sinister’ wasn’t designated as hate speech in the article.

That would be leftist speech, or so my self-invented friend Dexter tells me.

When I first saw the various headlines about her "self-partnered" designation, I assumed she was having a laugh. I thought it was pretty funny. (Memories of her giggling in Harry Potter perhaps.) Anyway, I'm declaring myself self-youthanized. (Did I spell that right?)

3 ( +4 / -1 )

self seeking, attention seeking and delusional. a serious lack of understanding of the words she is using.

She is single, accept your own choices! She chose to be a spinster.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

She has also spoken out about her own experiences of sexism, recalling suffering gender-based discrimination from age 8, and has said as she grew into adulthood she was sexualized by the media in a way that her male "Harry Potter" co-stars were not.

Always the fault of somebody else, in this case men! Alas, we inspireth to beest victims.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

It looks to me like a lot of men don't really quite understand the pressure that women face from society to marry and have children, or sympathize with the sexism women face when they go against societal norms. While I think inventing a new term for it is unnecessary, I understand quite well what she is going though.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

It looks to me like a lot of men don't really quite understand the pressure that women face from society to marry and have children, or sympathize with the sexism women face when they go against societal norms.

Why do you feel these things are issues only women face? It would seem to me you’re just as guilty for those you condemn of that which you would condemn them for.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

”Facing an influx of subliminal messages.” Are you sure youre not simply delusional, Emma?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Do bigtime actors/actresses have to drink a special kool-aid that turns them into empty headed attention seekers?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Do bigtime actors/actresses have to drink a special kool-aid that turns them into empty headed attention seekers?

Yes.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

It looks to me like a lot of men don't really quite understand the pressure that women face from society to marry and have children, or sympathize with the sexism women face when they go against societal norms. While I think inventing a new term for it is unnecessary, I understand quite well what she is going though.

Well said girl_in_tokyo. I'm a man but I think I understand the pressure pretty well. At least I am always doing my best to keep my mind and ears open to empathize. I'm a bit surprised by the amount of vitriol aimed at her in these pages. Sure, the term "self-partnered" is a bit odd and silly on the surface and it will not catch-on but the sentiment is great if it helps you change your mindset. Not to get all Whitney Houston about it, but one really isn't going to make much of a partner to another human being anyway until they are comfortable being alone and enjoy their own company.

You can choose to focus on the hypocrisy of some one her financial stability and who enjoys the level of mass adoration she receives from the public making such statements or the awkwardness of the terminology she in advocating or the suspicion that she may be making such waves to draw attention to herself OR you can take seriously and consider the message she is trying to convey with the platform she has been granted and take the words and concepts by itself and weigh it independently. I don't really like John Lennon much as a person from what I have read and there is a massive hypocrisy of him having been the one who wrote Imagine from his ivory tower but it does not mean that we would be wise to disregard what it wants to help us to understand.

Anything that tries to communicate to others ("the other") what certain sections of society feel, particularly when it is grief, I think is valuable and should be given the respect that you would want for your own. More empathy will certainly not be the end of humankind.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Her life, her choice.

Who am I to judge?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Where is that tiny violin?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

It looks to me like a lot of men don't really quite understand the pressure that women face from society to marry and have children,

My partner and I decided not to have kids and we were both questioned about why we didn’t have any kids. My partner’s grandmother called us, both of us, selfish, while I was once asked by my drunk cousin if I was unable to perform or if I was ‘shooting blanks’.

You do have a habit of generalizing and seeing things from one side.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

You do have a habit of generalizing and seeing things from one side.

Careful. One more step and you’ll be accused of mansplaining.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

StrangerlandNov. 7 06:29 am JST

Why do you feel these things are issues only women face? It would seem to me you’re just as guilty for those you condemn of that which you would condemn them for.

I didn't say that men don't face any pressure from society. I said that men don't quite seem to understand the pressure women are under to get married and have children. Men and women don't face the same kinds of issues, and men tend to be oblivious of women's issues and/or dismiss them, or else say women need tougher skin or are just too weak, among other sexist tropes.

I'm condeming the pressure put on women by society to fit into a mold created by misogynistic men who want to control women, because that is the topic of this article.

However, if an article with the topic of toxic masculinity is presented, I will be more than happy to also comment on the pressure society puts on men. Is that okay with you? That I wait until the topic is actually about men, to comment on men?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

JimizoNov. 7 01:55 pm JST

You do have a habit of generalizing and seeing things from one side.

This is actually my point.

This article is about women, yet here we have multiple men castigating me for commenting only about women instead of changing the topic back to men.

It seems as though whenever the topic of women is brought up, men want to change the subject back over to themselves. Apparently it didn't occur to you that by castigating me for commenting about women on an article about women, you are proving that you only see things from your side.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I didn't say that men don't face any pressure from society. I said that men don't quite seem to understand the pressure women are under to get married and have children.

And I pointed out how your post makes it clear you don't quite seem to understand the pressure men are under to do the same.

Men and women don't face the same kinds of issues, and men tend to be oblivious of women's issues and/or dismiss them

Which you ironically do yourself, clearly without being aware that you are doing so.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

J-DakeNov. 7 09:51 am JST

Well said girl_in_tokyo. I'm a man but I think I understand the pressure pretty well. At least I am always doing my best to keep my mind and ears open to empathize.

Thank you so much for saying that - I do think that most guys do try to understand, and are open to listening. That is all I ask. :)

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

StrangerlandToday 09:42 am JST

And I pointed out how your post makes it clear you don't quite seem to understand the pressure men are under to do the same.

And as I pointed out, this story is not about men. It is about women. Why would I make comments in regard to men's issues, on an article that about women's issues? Why are you castigating me for not changing the topic over to men?

Which you ironically do yourself, clearly without being aware that you are doing so.

Again, if you point me to an article where men's issues are being discussed, I promise that I will stay on topic and won't suddenly start point out that women have issues, too, and ask why aren't we talking about those?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I had a thought to add to this. I would like to ask why there are so few articles in JT about the societal issues that effect men. Examples of these include overwork, lack of family time or family ties, problems with expressing emotions or having deep friendships with other men, pressure from society to take care of the family and to be the sole breadwinner, health problems caused by alcoholism, stress, and so on.

Actually, I am quite cognziant of what men's issues are, Strangerland. If I were in charge, I would definitely be using this space to promote awareness because a lot of the time men, Japanese men in particular, are loath to talk about their troubles - which in itself is yet another issue.

You have the right to be angry that men's issues are often ignored by mainstream media. What you cannot do, however, is attempt to hijack the conversation away from whatever women's issue is currently being addressed just because you are upset that it's not about men.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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