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Time's Up

The Time’s Up Movement began on January 1, 2018 as a response to sexual misconduct in the entertainment industry, but has since expanded to all men and women. This movement arose from a previous one, the Me Too Movement, which was a call for solidarity against sexual misconduct everywhere.

On Thursday, October 5, 2017, Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein was accused by several women of both rape and sexual harassment. The following Sunday, Weinstein was effectively removed from his and his brother’s namesake company. In the next few months, over fifty more men were accused of some form of sexual misconduct (the most high profile of which included actor Kevin Spacey, actor Ed Westwick, comedian and producer Louis C.K., Minnesota senator Al Franken, Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, co-founder of Def Jam Records Russell Simmons, and co-host of The Today Show Matt Lauer) and the Me Too movement, founded by Tarana Burke in 2006, went viral as millions of sexual assault survivors shared their stories. Burke, in an interview with Business Insider, says of the movement, “The Me Too Movement is essentially about survivors supporting survivors. And it's really about community healing and community action.”

Exactly this type of healing and action was begun shortly thereafter on Sunday, January 7, 2018 at the Golden Globe Awards, when women such as Reese Witherspoon, Tracee Ellis Ross, Angelina Jolie, and Viola Davis and men such as Chris Hemsworth, Nick Jonas, Zac Efron, and Steven Spielberg wore black to stand in solidarity with the victims of sexual assault. Natalie Portman articulately presented the “all male nominees” for Best Director while wearing her all-black ensemble, Jessica Chastain acknowledged the wage gap when presenting with Chris Hemsworth, and Oprah Winfrey, who accepted the Cecil B. Demille award and was the first black woman to do so, left the audience stunned, but cheering after delivering her moving acceptance speech. “It’s not just a story affecting the entertainment industry. It’s one that transcends any culture, geography, race, religion, politics, or workplace,” Winfrey says in the speech.

Mrs. Adkins, moderator of the Feminism Club at SUA, holds a similar belief: “I hope it expands beyond a focus on the media and entertainment industries and brings awareness to sexual harassment in other sectors of society.”

While the goal of the Time’s Up movement is still the same solidarity that the Me Too movement provided, it is a more urgent call for change. “It’s about time!” Adkins adds. Karley Cappel ‘19 says that the movement is “women putting an end to sexist traditions in the workplace so that [they] can excel in the lab, the courtroom, or on the stage, without [being] punished because of their gender.” Alexandra Leurck ‘19 says that, regardless of what the workplace is, it is “a place where [women] focus and work hard to achieve [their] goals, not to be used as an object.”

Although Hollywood is receiving the most attention from this movement -- followed closely by the government -- many attendees of the Golden Globes brought an activist along with them instead of the traditional date. It’s “a revolutionary way in which women are showing society the power that we possess,” Katie Schwettman ‘19 comments. She continues, “The faces of the Times Up Movement are examples of the ideal advocates for the movement: determined, driven, brave, and graceful. What I️ find most inspiring about these female figures is that they have come together from different age groups, social backgrounds, and races, and they have shocked the nation with their voices of reason.” Grace Coughlin ‘19 sees the movement as “not only a way of stopping criminals from the abuse of a position of power but as a promise to us, the younger generation, that the law, companies, and people will do better.”

This movement is long overdue. So, to all the abusers of power, to all the people that blame the victims of sexual misconduct rather than the criminals, to all the people who brush it off, and to all the people that have not been accused yet simply because of fear: your time is up. To all the women and men who stand in solidarity, to all the victims of sexual misconduct, and to all those who provide support for this movement: your time is up, too. Change begins now.


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