You’ve heard the stories of sexual assault victims across our televisions screens, you witnessed Hollywood’s blackout on the Golden Globes red carpet and you’ve heard the slogan ‘Time’s Up’, but what exactly is the campaign that’s sweeping across the nation and who are the people leading it?
‘Time’s Up Now’ is a call for change for women, ‘from movie sets to farm fields to boardrooms alike, we envision nationwide leadership that reflects the world in which we live.’ It is a group of activists from all walks of life, and their mission is to improve laws, employment agreements, and corporate policies. It is a movement that has gained momentum recently as many stars donned Time’s Up badges at the Golden Globes. The badges these women and men wear are not political accessories. They are not fashion statements, they are badges that symbolise a united front against inequality and injustice.
Time’s Up is, at its core, a legal defence fund for those who have experienced sexual harassment or assault in the work place. It is a system to subsidize legal aid for those victims. Research from the campaign shows, 1 in 3 women aged 18-34 have experienced sexual harassment in the work place. What’s even more alarming is that according to the same poll 71% of women didn’t report it.
These numbers are shocking, it’s heart breaking to think that one in three women, from the time they enter college and the work force, will experience this. In 2018 I didn’t believe we would still be so behind the times, that women would continue to suffer, that there were no laws in place to protect them.
When the stories of #metoo began to surface there was a sense of disbelief. We see and hear horrible stories every day in the news, but we don’t prepare ourselves for the stories that scare us the most, the ones that can happen to any of us. It could happen to you, your friend, your sister, your mother, your neighbour – 1 in 3 is a terrifying statistic. High profile athletes, actresses, businesswomen and more have spoken out about their stories of sexual assault and have named the men responsible. Hollywood giants like Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Ed Westwick, James Franco, and more have been accused of sexual misconduct.
Among those who signed the times up letter of solidarity were, Alicia Vikander, Amy Poehler, Blake Lively, Carrey Muligan, Chelsea Handler, Meryl Streep, Ellen Pompeo, Emilia Clarke, Emma Watson and more. This is not some trend that will blow over, Time’s Up is a campaign that will make history. In the last two years women have marched for solidarity across the planet, they have walked the streets of our capitals with strength, with courage and with purpose. Speakers at this year’s march expressed how they will fight for rights, how we must make change as a society and move forward with the times.
We currently live in a world where the President of the United States has robbed women of basic rights, where an entire government has shut down. Across the world a prime minister makes headlines when she announces her pregnancy and reporters ask how will she do it, how will she lead her country and raise a child too? It shouldn’t be a thought, she should be asked about how motherhood will inform her decision making not hinder it.
We have a long road to go before we will see equality for all. For some of us we might see it in our lifetime, we might see a woman earn the same as a man, paid paternity leave for fathers so a mother can return to work, higher ranks for female employees, more than just a seat at the table. Time’s up now. We deserve more, we deserve to be paid, to be valued, to be respected but most of all we deserve to be heard.
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