by Jessica Bruening
On January 7, the 75th annual Golden Globe awards were held. Instead of the usual array of colors seen on the red carpet, just about all the stars showed up wearing black. The dress code was in solidarity with the victims of sexual harassment and assault in Hollywood who have come forward over the course of the past four months or so. It was also to show support for the Time’s Up movement that was started about a week before the awards took place.
The movement began when the Alianza Nacional Comesinas, a national group representing women in agriculture, published an open letter expressing their support for the assault victims coming forward. This inspired a new letter to be written, thanking the Alianza for their support and acknowledging that sexual assault is, unfortunately, a shared experience among women everywhere. This letter was then signed by around 400 women in the entertainment industry, including Emma Watson, Meryl Streep, Rashida Jones, Kerry Washington, Zoe Saldana, Reese Witherspoon and many, many more. Through social media, Time’s Up’s mission has spread around the world, encouraging people to stand up to harassment as well as support those who have been sexually harassed or assaulted. It also asks that organizations to work towards more balanced workforces and leadership teams. Lastly, a Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund has been started to financially support those who have been affected by harassment and assault, and people are encouraged to make donations if they are able.
This is a big step towards ending the harassment of women, particularly in the workplace, but there is still a lot of work to be done. It is important to continue to listen to and support those who choose to come forward to share their experiences, so that other victims feel comfortable speaking up as well. It is also important to educate companies on what sexual harassment is and how to combat it. If we all continue to do what we can to stand up to sexual harassment and assault, there will hopefully come a day sometime soon when all women are able to feel not only safe in the workplace, but listened to and supported by those around them as well.