Popular British actress Emma Watson has raised quite a few eyebrows on social media by saying she’s “self-partnered,” not single.
Watson, 29, told British Vogue magazine on Tuesday that she has faced pressure from society to settle down and marry, especially as she soon turns 30.
This influenced her to change her views about being “single.” She said, “I never believed the whole ‘I’m happy single’ spiel. It took me a long time, but I’m very happy [being single]. I call it being self-partnered.”
Anxiety caused by societal expectations
Watson said this is her way of coping with anxiety caused by societal expectations.
“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, or you’re still figuring things out… There’s just this incredible amount of anxiety,” she explained.
She is a women’s rights activist who also serves as a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women.
Watson’s fame grew immensely after starring as Hermione Granger in the hugely popular Harry Potter film franchise.
Social media reactions
Predictably, Watson’s new phrase for being single has sparked quite some debate on social media.
Some, such as British broadcaster Fifi Haroon, supported her views on Twitter: “TY @EmmaWatson. Many women feel anxious being single and being singled out on it.
“But as you grow older with yourself, you learn to let go of the fear. When you stop depending so much on others, being single expands your life experiences in a wholly different way.”
Feminist writer Rachel Thompson agreed: “I personally love that Emma Watson calls being single “self-partnered.” We really need to overhaul the way we think about singledom and especially how our culture views single women.”
However, others like local Twitter user @TeedeeNK disagreed, “That’s just ridiculous. Rather than rename something, just conclude that there is nothing wrong with it and move on.
“You can’t partner yourself; it defeats the meaning of the word. Just be single and be OK with it. Nothing wrong with it.”