What a time to be a woman. We’ve all had time to soak in the #MeToo movement, allegation after allegation, and most recently, the “Time’s Up” movement which was centerstage at the 2018 Golden Globes last weekend. My conclusion? I have never been prouder to be a woman.
Yes, at moments I thought the Golden Globes were overkill, but I reminded myself that the message was too important to ignore. In reflecting post-award show and taking in endless discussion on the topic, I realized that my attitude towards these movements is due to privilege — the privilege of not being a victim.
How so? I found the #MeToo movement to be inspiring. I know young women and men who were abused at a young age or as an adult. Though I’ve experienced cat-calling and crude comments, I’ve never considered myself a victim. Rather, I have always swept less than gentleman-like experiences under the rug because of my “boys will be boys” mentality. So as I was watching the Golden Globes with comments from women in the room such as “okay seriously, we get it”, I realized that our views on the topic are skewed because we could not understand first-hand the damage and trauma that comes with sexual abuse and harassment. We understand it, we support it, we will fight for it, and somehow, we were the lucky ones that haven’t had to experience it.
I’ve been circling back and forth on this topic for days. At moments, I feel empowered to help make change, and other times I’m tired of the absolute demise of men (because good ones still exist). Am I insensitive to the issue? I’m still trying to figure that out.
I am so proud to be witnessing this monumental era in history. The Time’s Up movement shows that women will resist and fight for what they deserve — whether that’s equal pay in the workplace, equal opportunity, gender equality in healthcare and voting rights, the list goes on and on. Women are urged to speak up, publicly call out harassers, and speak their truth.
Which brings me to my next point… What if “your” truth isn’t always the truth? In the last few days, there have been several allegations against James Franco after he won Best Actor in a Comedy / Musical at the Golden Globes, proudly showing off his “Time’s Up” pin. Allegations included forcing young actresses to go topless in films for $100, based on a contract they did sign, or Franco being aggressive towards a young woman in his car, urging oral sex. (DISCLAIMER: here comes the possible insensitivity). As a young woman (who is not in the entertainment industry) with particularly liberal ideals when it comes to sex, I find this accusations to be a plea of attention and demise. Let me be clear — I obviously don’t know the truth and neither do you. I’m not ruling out Franco’s actions, nor am I dismissing them. I’m not saying that these young women are lying. Yet, my thoughts can’t get past: don’t sign a contract to do a topless scene for $100 if you don’t want to. And don’t get in a car with James Franco if he makes you uncomfortable, and if he does, get out.
Of course, this is easy for me to say, the privileged one remember? The argument is that as young actresses, these women had no other options. With no money or job opportunities on the horizon, they couldn’t simply turn their backs to Franco, a brilliant artist. Which proves male dominance in the entertainment industry and corporate world. A real thing that once again, I have not experienced for myself. I understand that it exists, I think it needs to change, I will fight for it, but I have never had to experience it.
I’m continuing to learn about these issues, just like all of you. You can start by learning more about how to support the new legal defense fund against sexual harassment. According to Girlboss, “the fund has already received $14 million in donations”. We can all make a difference for a young woman who needs help and support.
I am a proud woman in this movement, and at the end of the day, I will support other women in their words and actions, as we fight for a brighter and better tomorrow. Am I truly an insensitive person? I don’t think so. I have a perspective that is shaped by my own my life, my environment, and most importantly, by the men I have interacted with in my life. Some women are naturally stronger, some women have to find it deep within (trust me ladies, it’s there). Some women will speak out right away, and some are scared, needing support and encouragement. That’s okay too.
Guys, you’re not all bad. As a friendly reminder to any man reading this, we’re not out to get you. In fact, we want you on our team. I hope that all the women taking part in the Time’s Up fight remembers that too. Women, stand up for women. Let’s be kind to each other, let’s fight for each other, and let’s kick some ass.
Visit the official website of the Time’s Up Movement here: https://www.timesupnow.com/
This is an opinion piece. Any feedback is greatly appreciated.