I’m kind of conflicted about it. On one hand, she’s a very well-known and respected celebrity figure and the fact that she publicly identified herself as a feminist is not trivial in my opinion since it might at least encourage people (especially girls who look up to her, maybe?) to open their minds to feminism a little.
On the other hand, as much as I love Emma, she is far from being an expert on this topic, and the fact that she was the one to give a speech instead of someone who has studied gender issues extensively goes to show that feminism, like virtually anything else, has to be marketed, in this case through a celebrity. This is also pretty clear if you look at the speech itself. What Emma presents is a very nice, watered-down version of feminism. It’s Feminism Lite. It was centered around men and why they matter to the cause, because people still believe that making feminism attractive and marketable is the best way to make progress.
That said, I can’t and won’t blame Emma for painting feminism in such a welcoming and unintimidating light. The world is a dangerous place for women who dare to be threatening, and even more so when you’re a celebrity and every aspect of your life is scrutinized and published. Emma giving that speech was probably a better alternative than no speech at all. Still though, it would be nice to see this attitude of “but how are we going to get the men to like what they hear so that they’ll agree to support us” discarded. We need to stop marketing and start educating. There is no way to make a liberation movement attractive enough for the oppressing group to comfortably accept it without ridding it of all meaning and power.