The new year has only just begun and already we’ve heard many powerful and inspirational women speak up about gender related issues. If this is a taste of what’s to come, it’s safe to say 2018 will be our year. 2018 will be The Year of Women.

 

2017 ended on rather a bittersweet note. Many heartbreaking stories of sexual abuse and gender inequality came to light, on social media through #MeToo and among well-known and respected women in the entertainment industry. Their stories sent shockwaves throughout the industry and beyond. The subsequent movement and determination to end sexual harassment and abuse reached an all time high towards the end of the year. Women and men in Hollywood and throughout the rest of the world came together to fight the brutal monster living among us.

The new year started off with, arguably, the most iconic Golden Globes ceremony in history, with many stars boycotting the event and the majority of nominees and attendees wearing black to show their support for victims of sexual abuse and harassment. ‘Time’s up’ was the recurring thought of the night. Time’s up for all abuse, silence, tyranny and lies. 

There were endless highlights of the evening, but I found myself quite tearful hearing Oprah Winfrey’s speech. She powerfully addressed issues of race and gender inequality. She welcomed and embraced all the young girls watching and aspiring to greatness. She portrayed the beacon of light and pillar of strength so many girls need in these difficult times.

The audience was in awe of her: “I want all the girls watching here, now, to know that a new day is on the horizon!”

And then there was Big Little Lies. It is the most stirring and emotional series I have watched in years. Its simple yet effective plot highlights the daily struggles of women, ranging from motherhood to domestic abuse and spanning socio-economic statuses. The heroic Nicole Kidman plays a woman trapped in an abusive relationship with a violent and domineering husband – a very real problem faced by women around the world. The show features leading female actresses and a female producer – Reese Witherspoon – who dedicated her acceptance speech to victims of abuse, saying “We see you, we hear you and we will tell your stories.”

Why was the Golden Globes 2018 so significant?

The commitment to making a change in society was impossible to ignore at this prestigious ceremony. Gender inequality and sexual abuse have long been issues that need to be addressed and with so many influential stars publicly speaking out, many other people have been and will continue to be inspired to speak up about their own experiences, too. Women who aren’t as privileged as many of the stars now know: it’s ok to speak up. The world is listening.

It’s high time we start to see a shift of power in Hollywood and beyond:

  • YES to female producing and directing
  • YES to gender- and race-inclusive awards
  • YES to female leading roles
  • YES to female victories and milestones being celebrated

This was much more than just another awards show. A movement is underway and we are all part of this momentous time. I believe 2018 will be a year of change and empowerment. People are standing up and speaking out. We are breaking barriers. We are fighting back.

As the courageous women behind the Time’s Up campaign state: “The clock has run out on sexual assault, harassment and inequality in the workplace. It’s time to do something about it.”

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Category: Culture    Gender Based Violence    Rights    Society
Tagged with: #MeToo    #TIMESUP    #whywewearblack    Golden Globes    Nicole Kidman    Oprah Winfrey    Reese Witherspoon

Mia du Toit

19-year-old feminist & women's rights activist. Traveller, sun seeker and plant eater from Cape Town, South Africa.

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