“The clock has run out on sexual assault, harassment and inequality in the workplace. It’s time to do something about it.” The #timesup is being used to spread awareness of women’s rights and equality, and it is a unified call from women all over the world. I am a strong advocate for women’s rights and in ending abuse of women. I believe in the equality of women among men in workplace and life itself. The Times Up organization stemmed from the #metoo, when women in entertainment and other workplaces stood up and spoke out about the sexual assault and harassment they have experienced by men at their places of work.
On January 7th, nearly everyone attending the Golden Globes wore black to stand in solidarity for women. This movement felt so empowering to me, and as I watched them I participated by wearing black. I was so moved by how many people wore black, and how a group of women brought women’s rights activists as their plus ones for the occasion. Inspired by this movement, I decided to interview students and teachers if they know why women and men wore black to the Golden Globes. I was disappointed to find that many people did not know, nor did they care to know. I found that some men wore black, however they didn’t even know why they did. They claimed they wore black because people told them to. That is not the kind of result the activists and I intended with this movement. We wanted people to take a stand in order to recognize that sexual assault, harassment, and inequality is incredibly prevalent in the workforce for women, and it needs to change now.
I also found that some male teachers were not even familiar with Times Up. They claimed that they did not follow social media so therefore they weren’t aware of it. I understand that it might be difficult to follow the movement when one is not on social media, however it is something that has been incredibly prevalent in the news, and it is a very important issue in our society today. After the interactions with these teachers, I decided to research some statistics about sexual harassment, abuse, and inequality in the workforce. I found that “nearly 50% of men think women are well-represented in leadership in companies where only one in ten senior leaders is a woman” (https://womenintheworkplace.com). This was a shocking statistic to me, however, I truly saw some of the effects of it when male figures in my own community appeared to be unphased by the movement.
Another shocking statistic is that “1 in 5 C-Suite leaders is a woman. Fewer than 1 in 30 is a woman of color” (LeanIn.org and McKinsey & Company, “Women in the Workplace,” 2017). This also proves that there is another layer of discrimination towards women of color, which is a huge issue of inequality in our society. There is a serious flaw in income for women and specifically women of color, for example, “White non-Hispanic women are paid 81 cents on the dollar compared to white non-Hispanic men. Asian women are only paid 88 cents on the dollar. Black and Hispanic women are only paid 65 cents and 59 cents on the white male dollar, respectively” (Economic Policy Institute, 2017). I am truly appalled by how blatantly discriminating this is, and it is shocking that the world is still in this state and mindset today in 2018.
I have been greatly affected by many factors of sexism and inequality in all sorts of aspects of life and I have met so many people who have also experienced these things. I recognize it as an issue that must be fixed, and I believe it can through the promotion of different movements and protests. Therefore, I have committed myself to promoting the Times Up movement and distributing knowledge about it in any way I can. I hope this will impact young women and men, and influence them to attempt to make a great change in the world.
Times Up by Bella is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
This article was prepared by a young writer through Youth Voices, an exciting initiative helping students find their own voice in the digital world.