Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Women In Entertainment Launch "Time's Up" Campaign

As I previously referenced in my piece, "Rape Culture Rigs the System Against Women," in November 2017, Latina farmworkers signed a letter of solidarity for those who have experienced gender-based violence in the entertainment industry.

Yesterday, 300 women in the entertainment industry issued a response letter, called Time's Up, expressing gratitude for, and solidarity with, the farmworkers and those in other industries who experience assault and harassment. The letter can be read in its entirety here.

The signatories of the letter have called for an increase of women in leadership positions and have seeded a legal defense fund to help survivors of sexual assault and harassment challenge perpetrators. The fund will be housed and administered by the National Women's Law Center.

I'm glad that women in the entertainment industry responded to the farmworkers' letter and are using their platforms and privilege to take concrete actions around this pervasive issue.

Many people and companies reflexively respond to harassment scandals by suggesting that harassment trainings need to be implemented. Many companies offer "trainings" in order to reduce their corporate liability, to help demonstrate that their workplace is not hostile. However, with research suggesting that harassment trainings don't work, I'm glad to see that this campaign is taking the action of funding legal advocacy and advocacy around women's leadership.

That said, barriers exist to using the legal system to address harassment and assault. Rape culture is so ingrained that we need a multi-faceted approach to account for the myriad experiences and barriers that survivors face.

Time's Up is a good and important step. It will be flawed at times, but I hope its leadership is open to dialogue with different classes of women and survivors.

In the Trump years, the anti-feminist, misogynistic backlash is real. But, as we move into the new year, do not forget this: so is the resistance.

Stronger together.

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