Initially, many were peeved – and with reason – about Hollywood actors and actresses banding together to wear black to what was already a black-tie event, the Golden Globes, to fight against sexual assault in the entertainment industry. Following the empowerment provided to sexual assault survivors by the #MeToo movement, it seemed like a rather lame gesture; however, what initially seemed to be a weak attempt at celebrity activism transformed into an actual movement for change: the #TimesUpNow movement.
While the #MeToo movement raised awareness for the harassment of women within the entertainment industry, the #TimesUpNow movement plans to take this momentum and turn it into concrete change. Through partnering with advocates for women’s rights, this organization serves to change legislation regarding sexual misconduct in the workplace. For instance, as over one-third of countries in the world do not have any laws prohibiting sexual harassment in the workplace, this organization aims not only to change laws within the United States but on a global scale as well.
However, this Hollywood gesture does not come without an element of facade; while many actors are quick to slap on a black tuxedo and tweet a hashtag, taking action to actually dismantle the patriarchal levels of the entertainment industry is where most fall short. Justin Timberlake, for example, did exactly this; boasting of supporting sexual assault victims for social media clout, Timberlake ignored one crucial detail – he’s still cast in a notorious sexual predator, Woody Allen’s, next movie. But don’t take this as a reason to disregard the entire movement, as some have. Instead, use this as motivation: activism is more than a facade. It’s taking direct action to make a change, and this is how you can do so:
- Donate to #TimesUpNow’s Legal Defense Fund.
By donating to the Legal Defense Fund, you can help provide victims of sexual assault with a lawyer and the means to fight against workplace abuse – a problem that is severely underreported (1 in 3 women ages 18 to 34 have been sexually harassed at work, but 71 percent never report it.)
- Speak Out Against Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
It seems simple enough, but many people don’t engage when they see their coworkers being harassed at work; instead, they turn a blind eye to avoid “getting into other people’s business.” Remember: the person getting into business they shouldn’t is the predator, not you. Talk to victims you see and give them the courage to come forward – no one should have to live in silence.
- Stop Making Excuses for Harassers
If a victim comes to you with their experiences, don’t try to downplay their trauma. Popular phrases like “Maybe he didn’t mean it like that,” and “Are you sure you’re not overreacting?” should be barred from our vocabulary; remember whose side you’re on.
“No more silence. No more waiting. No more tolerance for discrimination, harassment or abuse. TImes up.”