“Who are you wearing?”
That is what the women of Hollywood had to say Sunday night.
In an epic display of solidarity and rebellion, star after star graced the Golden Globes’ red carpet in striking, head-to-toe, black ensembles. Their outfits were a symbol of the celebrity-led TIMES UP movement launched just last week in reaction to the sexual assault and abuse charges brought up against some of entertainment and politics most powerful “stars.” Accusations that were repressed, hidden, ridiculed and paid off for months, years, decades and even lifetimes, finally brought to light.
Man, after powerful man has stepped aside. These fallen idols have been fired, embarrassed, and exiled, but most of them have just slid into a comfortable early retirement with their tails stuck between their legs. So what does all of this mean for women? Will companies stop hiring women out of fear of liability? Will more women rise to new power? Will change spread to the average American workplace?
Last night’s Golden Globes answered these question for us. A new age is on the horizon, one where women are truly equal in their power, achievements, and sexuality. These questions weren’t answered for us because a group of famous women decided to wear black to an awards show- although that was pretty amazing. It’s because for the first time, maybe ever, women and men stood side by side in a room, knowing that their influences had been equaled.
From Laura Dern to Emma Watson, actresses brought activists from a range of fields as their guests. Ai-jen Poo, the director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, accompanied Meryl Streep, Billie Jean King, the tennis champion who founded the Women’s Tennis Association, walked the red carpet with Emma Stone and Tarana Burke, senior director of the nonprofit Girls for Gender Equity and founder of the #MeToo movement, linked arms with Michelle Williams. In a clear take over of the Golden Globes, the conversations led by both women and men on the red carpet were about the issues of gender inequality in the workplace and beyond, sexual assault and harassment and more.
The dialogue continued on stage. Oprah became the first black woman to win the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement. Oprah took this chance to speak to the theme of the evening, “For too long, women have not been heard or believed if they dare speak the truth to the power of those men. But their time is up. Their time is up.”
She continued, “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.”
A moment frozen in time, that one can assume, will continue to be quoted for a long, long time to come. The night has ended but the feelings of excitement and pride have continued to swell inside of us. So, what’ next? How do we keep this momentum moving in our day-to-day lives? Read below for the Times Up Movement’s ideas on how you can join the effort.
What can you do? From Timesupnow.com:
Don’t be part of the problem. For starters, don’t harass anyone.
If a person who has been harassed tells you about it, believe them. Don’t underestimate how hard it is to talk about these things.
If you know someone who has been harassed, connect them to resources who can help, such as the ones found here.
If you are a witness or bystander and see a harassing situation, you can help the person being harassed. You could actually intervene. You could confront the harasser. You could also help the person get out of the harassing situation. If you cannot do any of these things, you can still support the harassed person by corroborating and confirming the account of what happened.
You can support those affected by sexual harassment by donating to the TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund.
If you are part of an organization, look at the workforce and the leadership (management, officers, board of directors). Does it reflect the market where you operate and the world we live in? If not, ask why not and do something to move it closer to that goal.
Acknowledge that talent is equally distributed, but work and career opportunities are not. Mentor someone from an under-represented group in your industry. If you are in a position to do so, hire someone who can diversify the perspectives included in your organization; your team will be better and stronger for it.
- You can vote with your wallet: in your purchasing, in your investing and in your charitable giving. Spend or give to companies and organizations who have more equitable leadership and opportunities for all.