Last week’s 2018 Golden Globes was highly publicized, and thankfully, it wasn’t because of a wardrobe malfunction, a celebrity falling on the red carpet, or an awards mix-up. No, this time, the awards show was in the news for a much better reason: a strong and unmistakable message of solidarity, equality, safety, and the empowerment of women and other marginalized people.
Actors and actresses walked the red carpet in head-to-toe black, but not because they were mourning anything. Instead, they were celebrating all the people who have recently stood up for themselves and called for better treatment. They used the hashtag #WhyWeWearBlack to explain their own personal stories and struggles. Many wore pins emblazoned with “Time’s Up!” and told their own stories, using the hashtags #TimesUp and #MeToo to raise further awareness.
Both movements have strive to shed light on problems that women and all marginalized people face. Celebrities have played a huge role in the traction of both movements, many of them sharing their stories about the toxic work environments in the movie/television industry and their own experiences with marginalization, abuse, and harassment.
Let’s Speak Out for Change!
A glance at any social media platform during the Golden Globes made it clear: this particular awards show wasn’t just for showing off gowns and jewelry and recognizing celebrities. It was about initiating change. Throughout the day of the awards show, the #TimesUp hashtag was used widely in nearly every celebrity’s Instagram and Twitter post. In her speech during the awards ceremony, Oprah Winfrey described the #TimesUp movement like this:
“For too long, women have not been heard or believed if they dared to speak their truth to the power of these men [i.e., powerful Hollywood leaders], but their time is up. Their time is up! So, I want all the girls watching, here and now, to know that a new day is on the horizon!”
Oprah went on to explain that our culture’s rampant sexual harassment will only end when dedicated women and men band together and fight to become the leaders in their industries—leaders who will ensure equal rights and safety for all. Time is up for those who use their power to marginalize, ignore, and harm others.
While many people criticize these celebrities for being “out of touch” with the rest of us non-wealthy, non-famous people, the truth is, they seem highly invested in using their platform for good. Criticize them if you want, but they’re doing their part in fighting against the unfairness in our world today. Unknown to most people, Time’s Up isn’t just a social media movement—it’s actually an initiative that has raised millions of dollars to help victims get legal help with sexual violence and harassment cases.
While you may not have millions of Instagram followers to share your thoughts with, and you probably don’t have a million dollars to donate to the cause, you can still make a difference!
Let’s respond to this movement with heightened awareness and empathy. Let’s work together to enact real, irreversible change on our culture and empower those around us! Just as Oprah said, I truly believe that we can work together to create a better world where everyone is safer and more respected.
2018 is the Year of the Woman! With that in mind, here are a few things I plan to focus on as we start 2018:
• Supporting and respecting women and marginalized communities: friends, coworkers, even strangers!
• Fighting back, however I can, against harassment and abuse
• Listening to women and understanding their struggles more fully
• Being a voice of encouragement