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TIME’S UP NOW

Rachael Blackwood in a black Time's Up t-shirt

#whywewearblack

“It’s been a heartwarming, puddle-of-tears inducing twenty-four hours here in Hollywood. The Golden Globes took place yesterday, with almost every woman wearing black to show their support of the Time’s Up Now movement, and many of the men wearing pins to show their support.

If you’ve been down with the awful flu that’s been going around lately and have no idea what this is all about, here’s a quick summary. Eva Longoria, Reese Witherspoon, Shonda Rhimes, and about 300 other entertainment industry leaders, all women, signed a letter stating “The clock has run out on sexual assault, harassment and inequality in the workplace. It’s time to do something about it.”

They unveiled their plan over social media and online on January 1, 2018. It was a superb way to start the year, and I loved seeing my feed flood with posts from these wonderful human beings.  (I can’t find a source that states who brought the 300 women together. My brain tells me it was Eva Longoria, but maybe I just happened to see her post first? I’ll provide an update if I find something concrete.)

The Time’s Up Now initiative is leaderless, and it manages a legal defense fund for women in all industries to fight sexual harassment, assault, and retaliation for reporting these crimes. One of my most favorite suggestions under the heading What You Can Do is:

“Acknowledge that talent is equally distributed, but work and career opportunities are not. Mentor someone from an under-represented group in your industry. If you are in a position to do so, hire someone who can diversify the perspectives included in your organization; your team will be better and stronger for it.” Link here.

This is such an important movement to me. I signed the letter myself, and I donated to the legal defense fund. As a woman in both the tech industry and the entertainment business, I’ve been on the receiving end of harassment and prejudice more times than I care to count. The most memorable for me, in this moment, is when I worked in a very professional, corporate office in the tech industry. If you want to read a more creative version of the story, I’ve already blogged about it here. Go read it first, it’s definitely a more engaging version of the story.

TLDR version: One afternoon, a colleague of mine, who was hired with no experience or training, and who I trained to do the job, threw me over his shoulder and spanked me in front of around 100 people, including our boss and our boss’s boss. Guess who got a promotion? Spoiler: it wasn’t me.

Time is up, and it’s up now. My deepest thanks and great respect to the bold women who started it all. To Geena Davis for her tireless work with her Institute on Gender in Media. To the women and men that called out Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, and the other predators in Hollywood. To the 700,000 Latina farmworkers who reached out to the women of Hollywood to stand together against sexual assault. To the women that created the Time’s Up Now movement. To the men who put aside their immediate personal gain to stand with us, to champion us, who believe in the greater good of equality. To all the women that came before, and all the women who will come after:

Thank you. I believe you. I stand with you.

What an exciting time to be involved in this industry. To see women come together in solidarity, to see true sisterhood being displayed on worldwide stages like the Golden Globes. To see women no longer allowing the media, the men, or even other women to pit us against each other, and instead, to pledge loving allegiance to each other and to changing the world. What a stunning time to be alive.

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