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A Mourning of Injustice

Raifa Chowdhury

January 7th, 2018

Harvey Weinstein. Kevin Spacey. #Metoo. The common occurrence of sexual assault has finally come to light with or without the consent of those who still refute its existence. Perhaps the least astonishing and most prominent facet of sexual misconduct is within the entertainment industry. Sexual harassment in the entertainment industry has existed long before individuals cared to give attention to it. But a new profound movement, Time’s Up, has come forward to combat not only the injustice of sexual assault, and the harassment of women, but inequality in the workplace. The reoccurring controversial gender wage gap is one of the goals that Time’s Up wishes to change, as well as blatant gender discrimination and the marginalization of minorities. And they are not alone.

 

Celebrities Nina Dobrev, Taylor Swift, Oprah Winfrey, Meryl Streep, and Reese Witherspoon have all stepped forward in their advocacy of this growing movement. Contributions of $100,000-$500,000 to the Time’s Up movement is only the start of what these influential women intend to do. In a staggering and powerful message, actresses and actors will wear black during the 75th Golden Globe Awards, as an insignia of their alliance with the movement that has demanded to be heard. Black is often worn in the symbolization of mourning and allies itself with death. The message that is being sent by this color is quite clear: injustice and inequality in the workplace must end. Just as death cannot be stopped, neither will this movement.

 

As usual, there will be spectators who will only see this movement as temporary, a stunt for entertainment, and ineffectual in the long run. Whereas, others will stand by their beloved role models and beliefs, spreading awareness through social media and maybe even through protests.

 

How much will the color black leave a mark? Well, the effectiveness of wearing black is seemingly temporary because although its message is clear, the push against the hurdles females face in the workplace needs to be persistent and constant. One action can ignite a spark and it is up to those who have stood by it and who have the power to influence, to continue igniting the spark so that it becomes an eternal flame. One that’s undeniable, aggressive, insatiable and above all, permanent.

 

Although, the conversation about sexual misconduct and inequality is one that’s being advised and given caution to in workplaces, the effects of these conversations do not just remain within the workplace. It is a much larger conversation. As word is being spread and celebrities educate the younger generations who may remain oblivious, this movement’s goal becomes a concern to every young individual with aspirations. It makes a student ponder if change will occur as they will one day become the very women and men in the workforce that are now being plagued by these troubles. Should they begin learning classes of self-defense? Should they learn to, as these women have, bury their injustices and strive to make it through the next day? Or should they fight for a future where these incidents are rare rather than repeated?

 

This movement has been long overdue. I can’t say that I believe total annihilation of gender discrimination will occur because it simply isn’t possible. There will always be those who feel entitled and superior, who lack in morals. However, I can say that this movement can be a crucial change that brings security to those who are entering and who are in the workforce-- but only if it continues to persevere with the same importance it began with. There have been many movements that started out strong, but fell because the same dedication wasn’t given until the end. It is especially important to do this with a movement that combats the denial and ignorance of individuals who do not believe inequality and sexual misconduct is real. I, among millions of those rooting for this movement, have my fingers crossed, and am hoping that the next story to be told of sexual assault, harassment, or inequality, isn’t mine.