BY NUHA ISLAM
The red carpet’s blackout this year at the 2018 Golden Globes was more than a mere fashion statement. In order to protest the recent wave of sexual harassment cases that have thrusted famed Hollywood actors in the limelight, over 300 industry A-listers showed up to the award show cloaked in black. #TimesUp, the slogan for this emerging movement was found on lapels and cufflinks, then later on Newsfeeds and Twitter searches as news spread about the cause.
“The struggle for women to break in, to rise up the ranks and to simply be heard and acknowledged in male-dominated workplaces must end; time’s up on this impenetrable monopoly,” an open address letter to women published by #TimesUp in the New York Times read.
Founded by Jennifer Lawrence, Shonda Rhimes, America Ferrera, Eva Longoria, Jill Soloway, Ashley Judd, Rashida Jones, Emma Stone, Taylor Swift and other key celebrities, the organization aims to campaign against sexual harassment, founded in response to the Weinstein effect and the #MeToo campaign.
The #TimesUp movement follows in the wake of recent sexual misconduct revelations about numerous well known celebrities. Unlike the #MeToo movement expressing solidarity following the Harvey Weinstein accusations, this new organization aims to add legal action to their cause, by raising over $15 million dollars.
The money raised via GoFundMe will primarily go to the National Women’s Law Center’s Legal Network for Gender Equity, who will connect victims of sexual harassment with legal representation. The goal of this is to encourage women in positions of low power to gain entry into the court system.
“Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund will provide subsidized legal support to women and men who have experienced sexual harassment, assault, or abuse in the workplace and while in pursuit of their careers,” a statement on the donation page read.
Other ambitions of the group include creating congressional legislation that will penalize companies that tolerate harassment, and that will discourage the use of the nondisclosure agreements that have historically been used to silence victims of abuse.
“While I love the attention the movement is bringing to the issue of sexual assault, I am concerned that it will have no longevity once the attention fades away,” sophomore Mason Tutko said. “To incite lasting change is extremely hard, and I’m glad they are raising money instead of just a social media campaign.”
There are important implications of #TimesUp that affect women in the workplace and those in the future planning on advancing their career. For the many students who choose to enter the workforce, the right to security in the status quo is not always guaranteed. With group activism, they hope to inspire a lasting cultural shift that deters from this common malpractice.
Already, this can be seen with big name actors. The New York Times has canceled an upcoming interview with actor James Franco after allegations of Franco trying to engage with a minor in sexual activity.
“The movement shows the cultural shift where accountability for sexual assault is becoming more attainable, and the monetary backing makes it a real possibility even for those who aren’t in positions of power,” junior Michelle Adelman said. “The change #TimesUp will inspire can only be beneficial.”
Photo courtesy of The Rolling Stone