If you don’t routinely keep up with the stars of society, you likely woke up on January 8th, 2018 unaware that the night before marked a distinct change in Hollywood. At the Golden Globes on January 7th, women celebrities united to take a stand against sexual violence through the Time’s Up campaign, dressing (almost) exclusively in black. Many brought social activists in lieu of dates, and throughout the night women gave up their speaking time to draw attention to the campaign, Natalie Portman pointedly introducing the all-male nominees for best director. For the first time, women took control of an award show that historically celebrates the white male to call out the abuse and harassment they have suffered over the years. You could feel the empowered energy simply tuning in from home.
Times Up is a campaign created as a result of the recognition that people are being left out of the conversation that began the moment the Weinstein story broke. Over 300 women in the entertainment industry have united to put an end to sexual assault and harassment in all workplaces. The campaign entails the creation of a legal fund, and is aiming to target all men, not just the ones in the public eye.
However, people are extremely willing to accept this moments as a sign of changes to come. I’m sure we have all heard and seen this; we are seeing powerful men stripped of their privilege, and hearing the discomfort this inspires in their peers.
Many forget that we have seen this before. In recent years the stars we know and love have tried taking a stand and pointing out flaws in the industry, and with little lasting success.
These are problems that are systematically enforced in the very structure of our society, capitalizing on the gender binary by dividing us into man and the other; they cannot be solved overnight. It is satisfying and empowering to see women standing up to say, ‘no more,’ but if there is one thing we can learn from our history is that change that questions the foundations of our society is difficult and slow. We are not there yet. It’s going to take a lot more than women with social power changing their outfits while men don pins despite allegations against them. This is a promising start, we cannot stand up and declare freedom until every woman, no matter what race, age, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or any other creed are united and standing up together. This is a small step toward a better future.
—Rachel Larson, Staff Writer