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Actresses wear black to stand up and protest

Female actresses acknowledge sexual harassment at the Golden Globe Awards show.

Female actresses acknowledge sexual harassment at the Golden Globe Awards show.

Courtesy Photo

Courtesy Photo

Female actresses acknowledge sexual harassment at the Golden Globe Awards show.

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The Golden Globes show that aired on Jan. 7 was quite different from prior years. If you were following the coverage before the show, I’m sure you saw a sea of black on the red carpet.

Actresses were dressed in black to stand in solidarity with the #MeToo movement and the Time’s Up initiative against sexual harassment in the workplace.

Essentially, the black dresses were elegant and exquisitely embroidered, despite criticism beforehand about how everyone wearing a single shade would make the actresses indistinguishable.

The Beverly Hilton, where the ceremony was held, was full of individuality as the black shade highlighted the many styles of fashion that night. Black gowns, skirts and pantsuits roamed the carpet, all delivering the same affirmation. Yes, it was an admirable and remarkable moment, but how exactly was this fashion statement going to help fight against harassment or abuse?

Questions were mainly about the need for the campaign instead of how it would work. And more notably, these questions were only asked to the women.

Ironically, men have been the main source responsible for alleged sexual harassment, yet none of the male attendees were bothered to comment on the movement that prevailed in front of them. A set of questions that could’ve been asked are: what are your thoughts on the decline of the patriarchy; why do you think it took this long for your power to be checked; how should men help the change?

Male attendees, who mostly wear black tie every year, did not speak about the campaign throughout the whole night, but did find it fitting to wear a small Time’s Up pin as if that were to speak louder than words.

People might argue that events such as the Golden Globes are not a place for tasteless specifics. But the Golden Globes this year made itself into this political platform or saw itself as a soft role for advocacy, so all those questions could and should have been answered.

Instead, the red carpet became sort of this soft set for restatements and inoffensive small talk about “the need for change” and several other things that can’t possibly be argued.

One of the main highlights of the show was Oprah Winfrey’s speech while receiving the Cecil B. DeMille award. The speech was was so captivating and given at the right time. What was missing as well as on the red carpet was someone, anyone, to just tell us the how. How will change occur? What must be done to enforce change? How would Hollywood and the workforce change?

These questions remain unanswered perhaps until the next awards show. The fashion blackout definitely took a step forward for change even if it was a small one. Audience members that were not aware of the movement have finally caught on, thanks to the choice of wearing a color that is associated with death and funerals. Perhaps it symbolizes the death of the patriarchy, which aligns with Time’s Up and #MeToo’s mission.


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1 Comment

One Response to “Actresses wear black to stand up and protest”

  1. Courtney on January 28th, 2018 5:27 pm

    Hi Victoria,

    First of all, I appreciate your perspective. It’s true that a movement encouraging equality should promote everyone’s voice. However, when a group has been systemically repressed, whether it’s women or POC or nonbinary people, I believe the repressed people should first have a chance to speak out about the grievances they have faced. Without listening to those who have been continuously trampled on by society’s misogynistic values, we might not understand the full scope of the problems we face in addressing inequality. Men have historically benefited from these values, and now it is their time to listen to and acknowledge the disadvantages, animosity, and dangers women face. So one part of not asking men their opinion, and men not speaking out, is out of respect.

    A second reason men not speak out is because of fear. They might believe that sharing their opinion, no matter how mild, would present immediate and furious backlash. Matt Damon spoke about the differences on the “spectrum” of sexual misconduct. Shortly after he was blasted on Twitter from a former co-star Minne Driver for speaking. It’s unfortunate that Damon was shut down so quickly and publicly, and I think everyone has a right to hold their own opinion. However, there are also times when it is more respectful to listen. A man’s general opinion should not overrule or overshadow women’s life experiences. We actually have a term for that: mansplaining. So men, now is the time to listen and support. Which is what the men who wore Times Up pins were doing – they reserved their voice so women could use theirs.

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Actresses wear black to stand up and protest