#MeToo has taken off in 2017. From the tremendous momentum of women speaking out everywhere about sexual assault, Tarana Burke’s #MeToo has become a rallying cry. In North America women in film, theatre and television have begun to speak out, loudly, and very recently in great numbers under the banner of Time’s Up.
What has changed from women being ridiculed, disbelieved and having their careers ended, to women linking arms and speaking out, is that they are being listened to. And there have been swift consequences for the men who have been getting away with abuse for years. This is a giant step forward. Time Magazine featured the Silence Breakers as “Person of the Year”. The cover photo showed 5 women together with a sixth not fully showing, in recognition of women still unable to come forward. More than 1000 women in film, theatre and TV have spoken out under Time’s Up in the USA, with many women actors in Canada speaking for the first time as well.
In response, Tarana Burke who created #MeToo ten years ago for the girls she works with in Girls for Gender Equality, with Alyssa Milano, actor, activist and Unicef ambassador, together have called for #HerToo.
I see the creation of #HerToo as pivotal. It is because of the inclusion of women and girls everywhere that I cherish WorldPulse. Here we hold collective celebration every time a woman or girl finds freedom, able to live without abuse andchoose her own life. My greatest joy in finding WorldPulse has been to find a community already committed to “HerToo”. Whenever I log on I hear from and learn about women and girls becoming free and strong, and am able to be in touch with others committed to making sure that change involves #HerToo. I love that within WorldPulse we are determined that thisjob is not done until every woman and girl is safe and free. And I love that we are in discussion with each other, knowledgeable about how much is being done, deepening our connections and finding ways to support each other.
Equally I am excited to learn about what is going on in the background of Time's Up.Looking more deeply into Time’s Up I was moved by the message of recognition of the privilege that these women have through the success of their talent, and their immediate commitment to women less able to speak out. They have formed a Legal Defence Fund not for themselves, but outspokenly for women who do not have the same privileges, support or access to publicity.
The most beautiful part of how this came about lies in a letter of loving support that the Time’s Up Silence Breakers were sent early on, by the Alianza Nacionale de Campancinas, the National Farm Workers Women’s Alliance, 700,000 members. In return the Time’s Up women sent back the message “We see you” and wrote this statement, recently published in the New York Times.
"We want all survivors of sexual harassment, everywhere, to be heard, to be believed, and to know that accountability is possible," part of the letter read. "We also want all victims and survivors to be able to access justice and support for the wrongdoing they have endured. 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-rate of gender-based violence and exploitation.”
Time's Up is now working with 5050by2020—a movement in which women, people of color and LGBTQ members in the entertainment world fight for fair hiring practices and equal representation. They specifically speak to “every farm worker, housekeeper, janitor, factory worker, waitress, domestic worker, undocumented immigrant worker”, calling for all of us, “through our eyes and voices, to create a shift in how women are perceived and treated”. This is sisterhood, the kind I experience continually within WorldPulse.
In a few days the Golden Globes will be televised. Hollywood stars will come together to vote on this year’s favourite films. But this year there is a call by the Time’s Up women, for women and men in support of ending violence against women to wear black. Not as a silent protest. This time they will wear black because instead of just having their photo taken on the red carpet, they want to be asked publicly “Why”. Gathering support that comes from this action, these women mean business. Business that includes #HerToo. Globally.
Read the original letter by 700,000 female farmworkers the Hollywood actors speaking out.http://time.com/5018813/farmworkers-solidarity-hollywood-sexual-assault/
and the response from Time’s Up.https://www.timesupnow.com