Time’s Up: Has Anything Actually Changed?

On January 1st, 2018, women including Reese Witherspoon, Selma Blair and Ashley Judd launched Time’s Up. The aim of the organisation is to change:

‘the systemic inequality and injustice in the workplace that have kept underrepresented groups from reaching their full potential’.

The organisation began after the #MeToo went viral. Months prior, actress Alyssa Milano asked her Twitter followers to use the hashtag if they have experienced sexual assault.

Tarana Burke first coined the phrase in 2006. Originally a movement against sexual assault and harassment, Burke has recently stated that it is now an international movement for justice for marginalised people in marginalised communities.

Both Me Too and Time’s Up do just that. In 2018, McDonalds’ workers in America held multi-state strikes in an attempt to pressure those in higher positions to change policies on harassment. 

One of the activists, Kim Lawson, said:

‘Everybody’s been brave about it […] It’s time to stand up for what we believe in’.

Women are standing up for each other and are no longer afraid of the repercussions. A recent survey revealed that 82% of women are now more likely to speak out about harassment since the Weinstein allegations.

Something that is also important to note about Time’s Up is the fact that we are still discussing it.

It is still a frequent topic of conversation for many. The movement could easily have been something as fleeting as a fashion trend but it wasn’t. This month, Hollywood will release the movie Bombshell which focuses on the sexual harassment allegations media executive Roger Ailes is facing.

However, it is important to remember that these stories are real. They aren’t just a movie script. Multiple women, and men, are the victims of these villains. 

In 2008, movie director Harvey Weinstein sexually assaulted Sarah Ann Masse. Sarah was an actress, but also worked as a nanny in-between jobs and was applying for the latter role with Weinstein when he interviewed her in his underwear, then hugged her whilst still in his underwear and told her that he loved her. 

She has explained that one of the reasons she hasn’t:

‘they start dragging your name to the mud and trying to destroy your character and reputation. It’s a fine line to walk, wanting to be honest and wanting to warn other women but not having to go through the trauma of people calling you a liar’.

Time’s Up has been criticised for having celebrities as spokespeople. They are still women who are entitled to stand-up for their rights. More importantly, Time’s Up was formed as a response to the open letter that 700,000 farmworkers from the Alianza Nacional de Campesinas signed. 

The Time’s Up actresses have said they want to change things for every woman in every industry.

Discussing the future of Time’s Up, their president and CEO, Tina Tchen said:

‘Our goal is to get more companies and employers to step up and make changes’.

I, for one, want this to be the decade where that happens. 

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