Op-Ed: Times up, for everyone


Artwork emphasizing the #MeToo movement. The #MeToo movement was created to support survivors of sexual violence. Illustration by Arianna Miller ’20.

As I  watched actresses and activists parade down the Golden Globes’ red carpet dressed in various forms of black gowns, dresses and suits in solidarity for those affected by sexual harassment, I was empowered. Yet I still wondered, how will this statement make a change?

 At the 75th Golden Globe awards on Jan. 7, Time’s Up encouraged everyone to wear all black to show their support for women affected by sexual harassment in the workplace. And every woman, except for three, did.

The Times Up movement, which was announced Jan. 1 on many social media platforms, is a movement started by actresses and activists in Hollywood to be a voice for women in all industries affected by sexual harassment. When the movement began, a letter was written on behalf of the 700,000 farmworkers to express their alliance with Hollywood actors to stand against sexual assault. According to a survey done by Cosmopolitan in 2015 , one in three women ages 18 to 34 have been sexually harassed at work. Thirty-eight percent of those women said they were harassed by male managers, and 71 percent said they did not report it.  The movement, backed by over 300 women, includes a legal defense fund with a $17 million dollar goal.

While many people, including myself saw the statement of wearing all black in solidarity as a solid plan with positive intentions, many people viewed it as another act of typical Hollywood tokenism — not as something that was truly aiming to make a change. At first I did not understand where this opinion was coming from, but after looking deeper I began to see that not everyone there was truly supporting the cause.

While wearing black was supposed to make a bold statement in support of the affected women, many men — who usually wear black suits to black tie events — did not have to put much effort into appearing like they supported the cause. While many men did wear pins with the “Times Up” logo, none of them used acceptance speeches and their very public platform to shed light on harassment.

Due to Hollywood’s “post-Weinstein” state, the men in Hollywood have been under a microscope. Women have found their voices and are rightfully speaking out about about being taken advantage of and sexually assaulted by their agents, directors, bosses and co-stars. Many women used their acceptance speeches to speak about harassment and making a change, but the men — excluding host Seth Meyers, who made tantalizing jokes about Harvey Weinstein — did not comment on it at all. It seemed as though to the men this was just another award show and that nothing had changed.

“For the male nominees tonight,” Meyers said during his speech, “This will be the first time it won’t be terrifying to hear your name read out loud.”

While women are becoming empowered and justly speaking up against those who have done wrong, their goal is not to scare all men, but to expose those who wrongfully harassed women.

According to a case study done by Women in the Workplace,  nearly 50 percent of men think women are well-represented in leadership in companies where only one in ten senior leaders is a woman. The lack of knowledge about harassment is concerning, and if our communities are not educated, there will be no change.

In order to make change, everyone needs to be educated and men need to stop being fearing being the victim and speak up to support the real victims. Although the Time’s Up movement has prompted conversation about the sexual harassment, in order for there to be change, the men in our society need to stop being afraid and use their collective strength to support those affected. We need to stand together as a society to support women and fight the monsters who have committed these crimes.