When Emma Watson uttered the words "self-partnered" in lack of a better way to describe her current position in life, she didn't realize people would react so passionately to the phrase.

“For me it wasn’t so much about coining a word; it was more that I needed to create a definition for something that I didn’t feel there was language for. And it was really interesting because it really riled some people up!” Watson said to Teen Vogue in a conversation with one of the “Sex and World Peace” authors Valerie Hudson. “It was less for me about the word but more about what it meant — just this idea that we need to reclaim language and space in order to express ourselves because sometimes it’s really not there.”

The 29-year-old former Harry Potter actress and United Nations Women Goodwill Ambassador has been one of the leaders in the gender equality movement, thanks to her campaign, “HeForShe” launched in September 2014, according to UN Women.

Since then, she has traveled the world learning about women’s rights in different countries and what measures need to be taken to break down negative stereotypes and behaviors surrounding gender roles.

Watson opened up to Hudson more about the usage of “self-partnered,” which she first used in her November 2019 Vogue interview, saying, "It took me a long time, but I’m very happy [being single]. I call it being self-partnered."

After a few months of reflection on the impact of that quote, Watson said her usage of the phrase was her way of "trying to express” herself “in a language that just doesn’t have vocabulary” for her feelings.

“I talked about how, in the run-up to my 30s, [I felt] this incredible, sudden anxiety and pressure that I had to be married or have a baby or moving into a house, and there was no word for this kind of subliminal messaging and anxiety and pressure that I felt building up, but I couldn’t really name, and so I used the word ‘self-partnered,’” she said.

Watson and Hudson also bonded over their mutual love for Harry Potter, when Hudson admitted her daughter is in the middle of reading the series, and Watson echoed her compliments saying she was “starstruck” to meet the author.

“You are such a [expletive],” Watson said. "Your book, it exploded my brain — I think that’s the most accurate way that I can put it!”

Emma Watson
Emma Watson attends the "Little Women" premiere at Museum of Modern Art on Dec. 7, 2019 in New York City. Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images