Written by Rocky Mountain and Aesthetic
Being a victim of such a vile act whether its sexual assault, harassment or inequality, leaves a mark on your mind, body and soul. Finally, people are taking action on this issue.
This year’s Golden Globes was impactful for us at home and for many of the stars. A campaign called Times Up was formed after many situations had come out about workplace sexual harassment which has been a common issue that people have been dealing with for a long time.
The entertainment industry, as well as American culture generally, as been rocked by recent stories of inappropriate behaviour. While these stories have been shared for a long time, they are finally receiving a sympathetic response. Stories include people being told to perform things sexually that do not want to be done, being forced into uncomfortable and inappropriately sexual conversations with bosses, and even sexual assault.
The Times Up campaign supports the victims of harassment. Not only is the campaign seeking to spread awareness to everyone to let them know that committing terrible actions like these will not be tolerated and must be dealt with, it is also taking concrete steps. For example it is spear-heading initiatives including a legal defence fund that helps women that are less privileged and protects them from sexual misconduct and fallout that occurs when reporting it, penalties for companies that tolerate harassment, and a drive to reach gender parity in entertainment wages.
The idea of getting celebrities to wear black in stand and support to this at the Golden Globes raised more awareness for others worldwide and watching from any location. It made many realize just how big and important this situation is.
In addition, eight female actresses brought certain activists with them on the red carpet. A Emma Watson brought female activist Marai Larasi who said, “It felt profoundly meaningful to attend the Golden Globes alongside other inspirational activists and organisers fighting for equality for all women.” Meryl Streep who brought the executive director of National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) named Ai-jen Poo. In an interview on the red carpet Meryl Streep talked about how women are a thick black line between the way things used to be and the way that they will be, and should be. Ai jen also said, “This was so much more than a dress-code protest. It was a powerful show of unity and solidarity among women, across industries and communities, to say that we all deserve to live and work with safety and dignity. I think everyone felt the power of that unity, it carried the night.”
The Times Up campaign and the theme of female empowerment was brought up many times during the awards show, with many stars commenting in their own words about their feelings on this during speeches. One of the most powerful speeches was Oprah Winfrey’s.
Oprah began with the story of Recy Taylor–a wife and mother who was walking home from church once day when she was then abducted, raped and left blindfolded on the street by six white males. The six men that did this to Taylor were never prosecuted or punished for this vile act.
Oprah’s speech was inspirational for many of the viewers that watched it and is worth looking at in detail:
“In my career, what I’ve always tried my best to do, whether on television or through film, is to say something about how men and women really behave. To say how we experience shame, how we love and how we rage, how we fail, how we retreat, persevere and how we overcome. I’ve interviewed and portrayed people who’ve withstood some of the ugliest things life can throw at you, but the one quality all of them seem to share is an ability to maintain hope for a brighter morning, even during our darkest nights. So I want all the girls watching here, now, to know that a new day is on the horizon! And when that new day finally dawns, it will be because of a lot of magnificent women, many of whom are right here in this room tonight, and some pretty phenomenal men, fighting hard to make sure that they become the leaders who take us to the time when nobody ever has to say “Me too” again.”
In this part of Oprah’s speech, she explains how situations like this have always been occurring in both our daily lives and in entertainment but now with the spreading awareness, we’re all hoping to take positive steps against it. She wants all the girls and boys to know that a new day is coming where situations like this won’t occur, but in order to get there, we have to make the change.
There are many different ways to put in your contribution. A couple of ways is by funding the legal defense fund and signing up for their email. You can do all this through the Times Up website.
If you are a victim or know a victim of harassment or other inappropriate sexual or discriminatory behaviour, be sure to get the proper help you need and tell someone about it. Remember that you aren’t alone and that this should not be ignored.
Overall, the Time’s Up campaign has made a strong start in bringing awareness to these issues and pushing for positive change. It really made us and many more realize just how important and pervasive this situation really is. We hope that all the people in this world take the time and effort to fight against this terrible problem, so we don’t have to live in fear and to make this world a better place.