Time’s Up

Kahn Li McClaire, Staff

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I open my social media and my feed is filled with emotional messages about terrifying encounters caused by men who were friends, coworkers or (and even) strangers. These women, after feeling helpless and alone, began to  start to fight back and voice their confidence. The captions move me to tears because I know someone who has been assaulted. I now realize this is unfortunately common.

Many women delayed speaking out due to the assumptions that it is somehow the woman’s fault.TeenVogue author, Maureen Shaw, reveals she “didn’t speak a word of [her] own rape for seven years. It is a humiliating experience to recount privately, let alone publicly, and victims’ accounts are often scrutinized to the point of exhaustion. We [victims] are asked what we were wearing at the time of the assault, how much we were drinking, how we provoked it, and our sexual histories are leveraged against us as evidence that we ‘asked for it’.

Because of this trauma, Tarana Burke started the “me too”campaign in 2006 to provide companionship and “empowerment through empathy” to survivors of sexual violence. Women of different ethnicities, occupations, religions and sexual orientation began to publicize their experiences with the #metoo hashtag, and the #metoo movement has shockingly amassed 17,700,000 reports of sexual assault since 1998.

During this year’s 2nd Annual Women’s March, celebrities, such as Scarlett Johansson, Natalie Portman and Whoopi Goldberg, spoke out with stories of their pasts and hopes of future justice. Halsey recited a tear jerking poem “A Story Like Mine” about her sexual assault.

After the upheaval of multiple scandals involving Harvey Weinstein, 700,000 women signed the Time’s Up movement’s Letter of Solidarity, which promoted “change from women in entertainment for women everywhere” on January 1, 2018.

At the 2018 Globen Globes on January 7, Hollywood stars wore their expensive, black attire with Time’s Up pins to rally against sexual misconduct. Even those who did not attend wore black, including me. The evening was filled with powerful females, moving speeches and teary eyes along with speculations of Oprah’s 2020 presidential campaign.

On January 19, Condé Nast, the mass media publication company of Vogue Magazine and The New Yorker, held an Ebay auction for the outfits worn at the 2018 Golden Globes with the proceeds given to the Time’s Up Movement. On the 60th Grammys on January 28, artists wore white roses, symbolizing “hope, peace, sympathy and resistance” to stand with the Time’s Up movement.

Sexual abuse victims do not include only actresses and singers. 134 female athletes, including Olympic medalists Aly Raisman and Simone Biles, have spoken out against the sexual abuse of Larry Nassar, USA Gymnastics team physician from Michigan State University. Nassar now faces 40 to 175 years plus 60 years for child pornograpy in prison.

During the court case, Raisman said “Larry, you do realize now that we, this group of women you so heartlessly abused over such a long period of time, are now a force, and you are nothing. Larry, the tables have turned. Larry, we are here. We have our voices and we are not going anywhere.”

The overwhelming need for change in our society has been presented with words of potential presidential candidate Oprah, “for too long, women have not been heard or believed if they dare speak the truth to the power of those men. But their time is up. Their time is up.”



2018 Women’s March

Oprah Winfrey at 2018 Golden Globes.

Women of Time’s Up Movement.

Ne-Yo, Janelle Monae, Lady Gaga and Kelly Clarkson at the 2018 Grammys.

Aly Raisman at Larry Nassar court case.