Welcome to 2018. If 2017 was the year of organizing change for women, 2018 has kicked off by implementing actual change towards ending sexual misconduct and harassment.
We’ve seen from the ongoing news stories, women who have come forward to break their silence on the sexual misconduct that they've experienced. After the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke out, a domino effect of powerful men being called out for sexual misconduct allegations broke loose. The sexual harassment and abuse at work sparked a dialogue in how women are often treated and how hard it is to report that abuse without facing backlash. The brave women who shared their stories started a movement called #MeToo and Time’s Person of the Year was dedicated to these “silence breakers,” acknowledging them for having the strength to voice their stories that a lot of women face.
While bringing to light to the reality of sexual misconduct that exists in the workplace was an enormous step another step in the right direction was taken on Monday with a new anti-harassment initiative called, Times Up.
Times Up is an anti-harassment action plan backed up by hundreds of powerful women, many of them in Hollywood to pledge support for working-class women who need help reporting sexual harassment, want to know more about it or want to help stop it. This plan addresses how important it is for women who might not be A-listers but still face serious sexual harassment in the workplace and don't have the funds or information to do anything about it. After 700,000 female farmworks pledged their solidarity with Hollywood actors against sexual assault, many women in Hollywood understood that when it comes to social justice we need to lift everyone up and it starts from helping the most vulnerable.
Some of the Hollywood women pledging their solidarity include America Ferrera, Eva Longoria, Reese Witherspoon, Shonda Rhimes, Ashley Judd, Rashida Jones, Kerry Washington, Ava DuVernay, Emma Stone, Nathalie Portman and Meryl Streep.
The pledge letter took up an entire page on the New York Times, as you can see from America's Instagram post below.
Our letter of solidarity as a full page in the @nytimes ! #TIMESUP my Dear Sisters, reSisters, perSisters! Stand with women across every industry in saying: #TIMESUP. The @TIMESUPNOW Legal Defense Fund provides subsidized legal support across industries to those who have experienced sexual harassment, assault, or abuse in the workplace. Join me! Read the letter, sign & donate: Link in bio.
Maria Eitel, co-chairwoman of the Nike Foundation, who helps moderate Time’s Up meetings since its founding in October, said “They didn’t come together because they wanted to wine, or complain, or tell a story, or bemoan. They came together because they intended to act. There was almost a ferociousness to it, especially in the first meetings."
What other status quo will we challenge in 2018 and how will we fight to combat?