Over the past few months a movement fighting against sexual harassment has erupted. Emerging after allegations of sexual assault by prominent Hollywood stars and producers, Tanara Burke’s #metoo hashtag went viral. Born from this movement is Time’s Up – an initiative intended to counter systemic sexual harassment in the entertainment business and blue-collar workplaces.
At the Golden Globes this year, women on the red carpet wore black to signify solidarity, and many stars came arm in arm with activists. From Tarana Burke, founder of Just be Inc and the #metoo hashtag, to Monica Ramirez, cofounder of Alianza Nacional de Campesinas, to Marai Larasi, executive director of Imkaan, the red carpet had transformed from a fashion statement to a political statement. Oprah Winfrey’s viral speech paints a ‘new day’, a day when no one will have to say the words “me too”.
The impact of a-list celebrities bringing activists to the Golden Globes cannot be understated. As new movement leaders connect with grassroots leaders who have been building movements throughout their lives, we’re witnessing the development of a genuine, self-aware movement, that actively attempts to shift the power balance and recognise privilege.
But beyond this one night, Time’s Up have a strategy.
Formed by 300 women celebrities in Hollywood, the campaign have set up a Legal Defense Fund with the aim to help those with less power and money achieve justice in the workplace across the US. The fund has already raised $16 million dollars. Their open letter expresses solidarity with working class women and the campaign has a number of demands aiming to penalise companies that routinely accept or ignore sexual harassment in the workplace.
We’re in a really exciting time of witnessing the development of a movement through to meaningful action. The #metoo movement provided a powerful space for people to speak out against harassment. Starting off with prominent celebrities, it travelled across networks and resulted in a global movement of speaking out.
In our last blog about the #metoo movement we asked, ‘where to now’? Time’s Up has provided the answer. Emanating from the core values of solidarity, speaking out and defiance, Time’s Up provides the practical elements to take this movement forward.
We’re excited to see the future of this movement, in particular how it’s going to flourish in the UK. There are a number of fantastic organisations, such as Level Up, Organise and CHAYN, all with their own unique experiences and expertise, that we would love to see band together in this movement against sexual harassment in the workplace.
If you’d like to support Time’s Up, you can donate here: https://www.gofundme.com/timesup
Time’s Up have a number of resources to recognise sexual harassment and know your rights: https://www.timesupnow.com/