We’ve all seen the movie 300 right?
The one where 300 women working as actresses, directors, producers, writers and agents in Hollywood kick off an initiative to support women across all industries in battling sexual abuse in the workplace? How they, improbably, managed to keep the media’s attention long enough to use their platform, and the horrible events that led to what we’ll call Hollywood’s Great Predator Outing of 2017, to elevate voices of victims who work in fields “less glamorous” than the movies?
What, that's not a movie. It's a real thing that happened — radically belatedly — today.
The group behind the initiative, Time’s Up, offer a clear-eyed plan of action for fighting sexual harassment in the workplace, including legislation and a $13M legal defense fund supporting women without the finances to negotiate the legal system.
The plan was revealed in the January 1st New York Times in the form of an open letter signed by 300 women working in Hollywood, most if not all of them major players. Survivors are not more or less deserving of support based on their social or economic backgrounds — appropriate when you consider that the abuse goes much further than Hollywood, and disproportionately affects women of color.
When consequences of sexual violence permeate even our daily lives, we have to ask ourselves some serious questions: How did we get here? What are we doing to help those who have been affected? And what are we going to do to prevent this trend from persisting in the future?
We can start by listening to survivors. But then we must act. And in lieu of the legislative action this issue sorely deserves, a chartered effort spearheaded by some of the most influential women in Hollywood is a promising first step.