Donning an all black gown with the Cecil B. DeMille Golden Globe trophy in hand, media proprietor, actress and producer Oprah Winfrey stands before an applauding crowd of Hollywood celebrities.
Taking advantage of her influence to provoke action, Winfrey presents a power message in her speech: “I want all the girls watching here and now to know that a new day is on the horizon. And when that new day finally dawns, it will be because of a lot of magnificent women, many of whom are right here in this room tonight, and some pretty phenomenal men, are fighting hard to make sure that they become the leaders who take us to the time when nobody ever has to say ‘me too’ again.”
Amidst a trend of sexual assault victims voicing their story, celebrities like Winfrey stood in solidarity for those who have experienced adversity due to their gender. In response, over 300 women in the entertainment industry founded the Time’s Up movement. Aiming to eliminate harassment and inequality in the workplace, leaders of the movement have created of a defense fund to support victims in legal battles.
We believe that it is important to not only acknowledge gender inequality but to also take initiative towards dismantling this systemic pattern of discrimination against women for future generations.
Throughout history, women have been continually deemed as submissive to men as they were restricted to roles that revolved around the household. While society is evolving, that doesn’t change the fact that these ideas of traditional gender roles are engrained in society, which explains why only 11 women worldwide currently serve as Head of State.
With patriarchal ideas paving the way for men to take advantage of their authority, women have been left at an unfair standing, often abused and not taken seriously because of their gender. According to the National Sexual Violence Research Center, one in five women in the U.S. will be raped in their lifetime but only one in 71 men will experience the same.
In the U.S., women working full-time only receive 80 percent on average of what men in the same positions are paid. Although the gap has decreased since the 1970s, women are still not expected to reach the same pay as men until 2059.
This is 2018; women are more than just mothers or housewives. Women are scientists, politicians, engineers and professors. Gender is a trivial idea when dictating a person’s capabilities. Regardless of who one is, their labels given at birth should not be overlooked. For this generation of women and those to follow, activist movements for gender equality provide hope that women will no longer be deemed confined to certain roles or expectations in society.
While there is much heat surrounding the movement at the moment, we must not let the momentum fade unless we are smug with the current lack of leadership roles that women assume. If progress is to truly be made, then supporters must be persistent, or else this will be nothing more than another failed attempt at reform.
Attending protests or donating to organizations aren’t the only ways to encourage the progress. People can simply support films or shows with women as leads or directors, and there is also significance in educating others whether in person or through social media. While immediate change is nearly impossible, immediate action to speed up the process of progress is much needed.
Eliminating society’s gender inequality would provide proceeding generations of women with the respect they deserve. Gender is not something that one can control. When it is our generation’s turn to fulfill our dreams, gender should not be a qualification of whether we are worthy of a job.
After centuries worth of gender inequality, we must maintain a collective agreement that the time’s up for systemic mistreatment. Being held at the same standard as men and given the same level of respect as men is right that women are entitled to.
Are you with Time’s Up?