What Time’s Up Means for Power Dynamics

January 30, 2018

The #TimesUp movement has ignited new action and activism around the world in an effort to stop sexual violence and harassment. As Oprah said when she accepted the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the 75th Golden Globes, “a new day is on the horizon.” Brave women and men have come forward to discuss the abuse they have experienced; in many cases, the abuser was an authority figure. Oftentimes, the victim didn’t feel comfortable speaking up against a boss or someone with a celebrity status. They were told that their careers would end and that nobody would believe them. They were even told that their life would be ruined. If they did report it, some were just told to let it go and not mention what happened. Some abusers even paid reporters to stop investigating certain stories.

 

Photo: Elyssa Fahndrich on Unsplash 

 

The silencing of victims increased the power of abusers, making it more difficult for the public to believe them. However, in the past year, people have felt the need to speak up, even if the abuser is powerful. We’ve heard stories from victims about politicians, beloved celebrities, and entrepreneurs. With accusations rising, we are starting to see that the status or financial situation of the abusers will no longer shield them as it did in the past. Not only are victims encouraging others to speak out, but they are also giving society the opportunity to analyze our loyalty toward public figures.

 

The goal behind the #TimesUp movement is to eliminate sexual violence and harassment on all levels. This movement recognizes that this isn’t just an issue that is exclusive to the upper class; it affects each class. Furthermore, I think the #TimesUp movement will lead to an examination of all discrimination, especially regarding how people in power have maintained their privilege. There are still issues that we as a country and society have yet to fully address, whether that be race, class, gender, ability, or sexuality. These issues can all lead to discrimination as well. Oftentimes, discrimination continues due to the imbalance of power, as people are afraid to speak up because they might lose their job or their credibility. I think the #TimesUp movement reminds us that we don’t have to remain silent when facing discrimination. We can challenge how we traditionally interact with other people, regardless of who they are.

 

As Oprah said, the #TimesUp movement seems to be a great start to changing the way that we treat sexual violence and harassment. Along with this issue, we should start thinking about what equality looks like for each person and we must take actions to move closer to that.

 

Olivia Pandora Stokes is 21 and entering her senior year as a business administration major, with a marketing concentration. She has a love of words, Netflix, and reading.She takes her coffee strong (Harvard scientists insist it's healthy for you) and her feminism intersectional. In the future Olivia Pandora plans write more and use business to create a positive impact in the world.

 

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