Every 98 seconds, someone in America is sexually assaulted. By the time you get to the end of this article, more than four people will have endured rape, molestation, or any other unwanted sexual contact.
For years, female Hollywood actors lived in silence, and some still do, allowing their assailants to thrive, due to the stigma of what their advocacy would provoke. #MeToo encouraged these women, along with millions, to share their stories of sexual harassment.
As participation increased, it became immensely apparent that sexual assault in places that woman should not have to be fearful of, such as their workplaces, homes, and campuses, is an epidemic and it’s severe. Due to this fact, Emma Watson started Time’s Up, an organization that thrives to combat sexual assault in the film business and in society.
What has Time’s Up done thus far?
- Gained the support of millions
- Raised over $15 million for their legal defense funds
- Attacked the root of the problem at the Golden Globes
Involvement at the Golden Globes
The previous Golden Globes are incomparable to what happened this year. Time’s Up pioneered an entire movement that took place, between men and women, humanitarians to entertainers, who showed their firm stance of solidarity with sexual assault victims – simply by wearing black.
Anyone could have participated in the movement by wearing black, and its successes at the Golden Globes sent the message that Hollywood’s “Reign of Terror” will no longer be tolerated; that time’s up for sexual harassment in places that are suppose to be safe havens.
Being the first black woman to receive the Cecil B. DeMille Award, it was a momentous achievement for Oprah Winfrey. Harnessing the idea, of what Time’s Up advocates for, Oprah gave an awe-inspiring speech, heard around the world, that left girls and women empowered. But most importantly, it left men privy to the infinite pain of living when your truth is not validated nor respected by the majority.
Some highlights from Oprah’s speech:
“…it’s not just a story affecting the entertainment industry. It’s one that transcends any culture, geography, race, religion, politics, or workplace. So I want tonight to express gratitude to all the women who have endured years of abuse and assault because they, like my mother, had children to feed and bills to pay and dreams to pursue. They’re the women whose names we’ll never know. They are domestic workers and farm workers. They are working in factories and they work in restaurants and they’re in academia, engineering, medicine, and science. They’re part of the world of tech and politics and business. They’re our athletes in the Olympics and they’re our soldiers in the military.”
“And there’s someone else, Recy Taylor, a name I know and I think you should know, too. In 1944, Recy Taylor was a young wife and mother walking home from a church service she’d attended in Abbeville, Alabama, when she was abducted by six armed white men, raped, and left blindfolded by the side of the road coming home from church. They threatened to kill her if she ever told anyone, but her story was reported to the NAACP where a young worker by the name of Rosa Parks became the lead investigator on her case and together they sought justice. But justice wasn’t an option in the era of Jim Crow. The men who tried to destroy her were never persecuted. Recy Taylor died ten days ago, just shy of her 98th birthday. She lived as we all have lived, too many years in a culture broken by brutally powerful men. 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.”
“It was somewhere in Rosa Parks’ heart almost 11 years later, when she made the decision to stay seated on that bus in Montgomery, and it’s here with every woman who chooses to say, ‘Me too.’ And every man — every man who chooses to listen.”
“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.”