2017 bulldozed over the gates that kept women and men silent on the issue of sexual harassment. And if the 75th Golden Globes are anything to go by, people are tired of just talking about it— times up and we need actual change.
There were a number of powerful statements made on the night but perhaps the loudest was each guest’s chosen attire. They all donned black outfits in solidarity with the Time’s Up campaign; redirecting a self-praising awards night, to raise awareness on a topic that affects all women, no matter their culture, country-of-origin or race.
On their website the Time’s Up campaign outlines its mission as a call for change “from women in entertainment for women everywhere.”
The Time’s Up mission statement goes on to say:
“Powered by women, Time’s Up addresses the systemic inequality and injustice in the workplace that have kept underrepresented groups from reaching their full potential.”
“We partner with leading advocates for equality and safety to improve laws, employment agreements, and corporate policies; help change the face of corporate boardrooms and the C-suite; and enable more women and men to access our legal system to hold wrongdoers accountable.”
Last night, people from over 100 countries around the world joined together to share one clear message: #TIMESUP. Thank you to everyone for making our collective voice too loud to ignore. pic.twitter.com/CznbwuT81p
— TIME’S UP (@TIMESUPNOW) January 9, 2018
The Golden Globes acted as the perfect launching pad for the campaign on an international stage, that saw a chorus of support from actors and actresses. Support that reached its crescendo when Oprah Winfrey delivered her speech as she accepted the Cecil B. DeMille Award, becoming the first black woman to receive this honour. She coupled this achievement with a stirring rallying call to let the audience and those watching know that times up on sexual harassment and the silence surrounding the issue.
“I want all the girls watching here, now, to know that a new day is on the horizon,” said Oprah in her closing statement.
“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.”
What became evident throughout the award’s night is that this statement is not just a catch-cry for the rich and famous. This push to change our behaviour towards sexual harassment and to end the toxic rape culture, may gain traction in the entertainment industry but it takes the everyday women and men to make it stick. It may very well be a new dawn and it’s time to decide how we create work spaces and social environment free from inequality and gendered harassment.
Image: Tarana Burke, left, and Michelle Williams at the Golden Globes (AAP)