Let's just cut to the chase: Emma Watson is a badass.

Photo by Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images.


At 25, she's already built a killer, A-list acting career for herself...


Here she is accepting the 2013 MTV Trailblazer Award. Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images.

"Harry Potter" (x8), "The Perks of Being a Wallflower," "The Bling Ring," "Noah" ... shall I go on?

She didn't let fame influence her into thinking she's too cool for school...

It's easy to forget that Watson went back to college after raking in millions from her acting chops and graduated from Brown University in 2014.

And, arguably the most badass resume item of all: She's become a champion for women's rights around the world.

Photo by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images.

Since July 2014, Watson has been a UN Women goodwill ambassador, leading the United Nations' HeForShe campaign. The initiative is focused on global gender equality and specifically targets men in becoming better advocates. (I'll say it again: badass.)

On Sept. 28, 2015, she spoke out on her feminism again, unafraid to take on the industry that made her a star.

In an interview with The Guardian, Watson used her own experiences to highlight the inexcusable gender gap that persists in Hollywood.

"I have experienced sexism in that I have been directed by male directors 17 times and only twice by women. Of the producers I've worked with 13 have been male and only one has been a woman. But I am lucky: I have always insisted on being treated equally and have generally won that equality. Most of the problems I have encountered have been in the media, where I have been treated so incredibly differently from my male co-stars. I think my work with the UN has probably made me even more aware of the problems. I went out for a work dinner recently. It was 7 men … and me."

You can read her whole interview here.

Watson's experiences aren't an anomaly. Sadly, they're to be expected.

Women accounted for a measly 1.9% of directors who created the top 100 grossing films of 2014, a study by USC's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism found. And that figure gets even more disappointing when you look at top films from 2007 to 2014 (excluding 2011) and consider race.

Out of 779 directors, just three were black women. And one was an Asian American woman.

Chart from "Inequality in 700 Popular Films: Examining Portrayals of Gender, Race, & LGBT Status from 2007 to 2014" via the Media, Diversity, and Social Change Initiative at USC Annenberg.

Seriously, pathetic.

At least we have leaders like Watson using their voices to demand more from the industry.

And, as the report noted, those voices may finally be heard: Films in 2015 showed modest improvements on the diversity front from recent years.

Films created by and featuring women like "Pitch Perfect 2," "Spy," and "Fifty Shades of Grey" had blockbuster success in 2015, and the number of female directors of top films is on pace to beat 2013 and 2014.

Still, more is needed.

"While the economics are encouraging, long‐term solutions and further monitoring are required," the report reads. "Only with sustained effort and change can Hollywood move from an industry of inequality to one of inclusion."

Photo by Maxim Hopman on Unsplash

The Sam Vimes "Boots" Theory of Socioeconomic Unfairness explains one way the rich get richer.

Any time conversations about wealth and poverty come up, people inevitably start talking about boots.

The standard phrase that comes up is "pull yourself up by your bootstraps," which is usually shorthand for "work harder and don't ask for or expect help." (The fact that the phrase was originally used sarcastically because pulling oneself up by one's bootstraps is literally, physically impossible is rarely acknowledged, but c'est la vie.) The idea that people who build wealth do so because they individually work harder than poor people is baked into the American consciousness and wrapped up in the ideal of the American dream.

A different take on boots and building wealth, however, paints a more accurate picture of what it takes to get out of poverty.

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Katie Peters shared a day in the life of pandemic teaching and pleaded for teachers to be given grace.

Teachers are heroes under normal circumstances. During a pandemic that has upended life as we know it, they are honest-to-goodness, bona fide superheroes.

The juggling of school and COVID-19 has been incredibly challenging, creating friction between officials, administrators, teachers, unions, parents and the public at large. Everyone has different opinions about what should and shouldn't be done, which sometimes conflict with what can and cannot be done and don't always line up with what is and isn't being done, and the result is that everyone is just … done.

And as is usually the case with education-related controversies, teachers are taking the brunt of it. Their calls for safe school policies have been met with claims that kids aren't at risk of severe COVID, as if teachers' health and well-being are expendable. Parents' frustrations with remote or hybrid learning are taken out on the teachers who are constantly scrambling to adjust to ever-changing circumstances that make everything about teaching more complicated.

Superheroes, seriously.

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This article originally appeared on November 11, 2015


Remember those beloved Richard Scarry books from when you were a kid?

Like a lot of people, I grew up reading them. And now, I read them to my kids.

The best!

If that doesn't ring a bell, perhaps this character from the "Busytown" series will. Classic!

Image via

Scarry was an incredibly prolific children's author and illustrator. He created over 250 books during his career. His books were loved across the world — over 100 million were sold in many languages.

But here's something you may not have known about these classics: They've been slowly changing over the years.

Don't panic! They've been changing in a good way.

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