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By Whitney Jani ’18
At the 2018 Golden Globes, the hashtags #metoo, #whywewearblack, and #timesup swept across platforms such as Twitter and Instagram. Hours leading up to the star-studded event, celebrities such as Sophia Bush, Kerry Washington, and Shonda Rhimes took to their social media platforms to speak out against sexual assault and harassment of women in the workplace. This is something that is especially prevalent in the world of movies and t.v. shows, as well as everyday life.
The hashtags come in the wake of women in the industry accusing Harvey Weinstein, a prominent Hollywood producer, of sexual harassment and assault. People who have accused him include Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Ashley Judd among many more. #Metoo was a call to women to stand up and speak out against sexual assault or harassment that they had faced.
At the Golden Globes, almost every woman decided to wear black as a sign a solidarity among them. No longer would they be brought down by something they were told to feel ashamed about. They embraced their shared burden and went to the Golden Globes knowing that they all had each others back, and that was the most important part of it all. Just because a woman was wearing a black dress did not mean that she was also a victim. However, it was a sign that all women, affected by sexual abuse or not, had a voice and were taking a stand against a thing that has been plaguing women for far too long.
One of the most memorable moments of the night was Oprah Winfrey’s speech towards the end of the show. She talked about race as well as gender inequality. She spoke on the importance of women coming forward and not feeling ashamed for the actions of others. She stated, “What I know for sure is that speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have. And I’m especially proud, and inspired by all the women who have felt strong enough and empowered enough to speak up and share their personal stories.” She is exactly right. One of the most powerful ways to combat sexual harassment and abuse is to speak up and not let the perpetrators get away with these acts.
That is how social media has become an amazing platform to speak out. Women across the country who do not even know each other have the ability to share their stories with one another. Women everywhere using hashtags like #Metoo and #Whywewearblack have the ability to use their voices and unite with women who were once too afraid to speak out.
We seem to be in a new dawn where once powerful men are being held accountable for their actions more and more. As women continue to take a stand, the power that these men had over them will continue to dissipate.