The year 2017 will go down in history as one of the most prominent years in terms of women’s rights and gender equality. We not only learnt to speak out about sexual crimes committed against us, but also to not feel ashamed or sorry about it. Powerful men who thought that they could hide behind their money and power, and continue harassing women or even other men, were outed and banished. We learnt to fight it, instead of tolerate it.
What started with some women reporting their sexual harassment by Harvey Weinstein, increased to over a 100 women, which further turned into a movement against sexual harassment by women worldwide. Using #MeToo, more and more women came out with their stories of sexual harassment by men and what came to be known as ‘The Weinstein Effect’, gave several men the confidence and the courage to speak up about the times they were victims to harassment and assault.
The movement against sexual harassment and for gender equality has only begun. The Weinstein Effect continues into 2018 with the #Timesup campaign in the US. Following a letter from the National Farmworker Women’s Alliance, ‘Time’s up’ was announced in The New York Times on the 1st of January 2018 through a letter of solidarity, written on the behalf of over 300 women working in film, television and theatre. It expressed the goal of these women to speak out about sexual harassment and support women who have less access to media platforms and funds to challenge their harassers.
You can read the letter here.https://www.timesupnow.com/
You can also read the original letter, published by TIME on 10th November 2017, on the behalf of700,000 women from the Alliance, who work in the agricultural fields and packing sheds across the US. In the letter, addressed to a legion of hollywood actors, these farmworkers express their support for the hollywood actors against sexual harassment, in response to which, the #TimesUp was announced by women in American film, tv and theatre.http://time.com/5018813/farmworkers-solidarity-hollywood-sexual-assault/
The movement isn’t just posts on twitter or wearing a time’s up pin to an awards show. As a part of the Time’s Up movement, there have been a number of initiatives announced that include a $13 million defence fund to help survivors of sexual assault in challenging their perpetrators. The fund aims to support women from lower-income backgrounds, seeking justice for sexual harassment at workplace. In addition, the movement also advocates for legislation to punish companies that tolerate persistent sexual harassment and calls for gender parity in studios and talent agencies in the US.
Actors and actresses in Hollywood recently showed their support for the movement by wearing black and speaking about sexual crimes against women and gender equality, at the Golden Globes 2018.
“We particularly want to lift up the voices, power and strength of women working in low wage industries where the lack of financial stability makes them vulnerable to high rates of gender based violence and exploitation.” – Time’s Up letter, TIME Jan 2018.
You can read the complete letter below.
The women in the US have united against gender inequality and sexual harassment. It’s time we put our foot down when it comes to discrimination, gender inequality and sexual crimes against women. Because, enough is enough and the time really is up!