Columnists, Columns, Opinion

American Protest: Why this year’s Golden Globes were so important

Every year, the Golden Globes come around so we can celebrate the people in the entertainment world who blew us away with their talent and creations. This year, the awards ceremony went beyond just a celebration of exemplary work and made me feel hopeful for the future of women.

In the past few months, women have stood up and decided that enough is enough. The crackdown on sexual predators and harassers has been the biggest headline for a while now, and it feels like every day there is another woman coming forward with a traumatic story of sexual abuse and harassment.

The most prominent industry being exposed for its frequent and often unchecked sexual harassment is the entertainment industry. The stories about people like Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey and Louis C.K. have certainly left people wondering what else has been going on behind closed doors in Hollywood. What is most certain is that these men have left a dark mark on Hollywood that will continue to grow.

As new accusations came out what seemed like every day, I was getting more and more discouraged. How could we have let these disgusting acts happen, and why did we not notice? But this past month my faith has been restored seeing all the strong women and men stand in solidarity, dressed in black, protesting the sexual assault trend in the entertainment industry and joining the “Time’s Up” movement.

This movement was so important because for too long, women have been silenced by fear and rejection from society. When prominent people stand up and say “we stand with you,” the rest of the world can too. It was truly empowering to see such a wide range of people come together to resist this culture we have become much too accustomed to.

These protests and movements are most important in a time where our president’s outlook on women is similar to that of sexual predators. When Trump first got elected, one of my greatest fears was that his actions and outlooks would become more excusable, and sexual harassment would happen more often. Instead, his presidency helped spur a feminist movement that is showing this behavior is even more inexcusable now than ever.

The entire night revolved around women standing up for themselves and their past struggles, as  seen by actress Natalie Portman and her frustration with the all-male candidates for Best Director. These nominations indicated not only a lack of representation, but also a lack of encouragement for women to take on leadership roles. With celebrities like Portman speaking out against discrimination in the industry, hopefully we will see a future full of strong female directors.

This movement did not end at the night of the Golden Globes — the celebrities’ black dresses will be auctioned off in order to raise money for the Time’s Up sexual harassment defense fund. The fact that this conversation is going beyond simple protest and is now taking concrete action with monetary donations to the movement makes the future seem that much brighter.

The time of normalized sexual harassment in the workplace is over. For too long, women have dealt with uncomfortable interactions, name calling, sexual innuendos, inappropriate touching  and much worse in the place where they are just trying to do their job. The entertainment industry is one of the best examples of this behavior right now, but we cannot forget this happens everywhere.

Women and men everywhere must come together and continue to say “time’s up.” We as a society are so much closer to a safer world for women, but we have so much work left to do. I am feeling more empowered than ever after watching all of the strong women at the Golden Globes speak their mind and show the world how unacceptable sexual harassment will always be.

This Saturday, a women’s march will be taking place in Cambridge. The march is an opportunity to take part in the resistance and join the movement that has gained significant momentum.  Events like these need to be taken advantage of, and we need to continue showing the world that time is in fact, up.

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