By Samantha Milowitz || Layout Assistant
On January 7th, 2018, the Golden Globes had a darker (pun intended) and more serious cloud surrounding the typically light-hearted award ceremony. With each passing car that pulled up to the red carpet, celebrities were decked out in black gowns and suits in support of the new Time’s Up movement. The Time’s Up movement was created in light of the flood of sexual assault cases and victims who have come forward in recent months. While the movement focuses on giving women the courage to come forward with their experiences and stories, it also focuses on women finally receiving equal pay and respect in all industries. For the Golden Globes, this movement was especially prevalent because they did not have any female directors nominated this year. In light of this, and after so many powerful men in Hollywood have been exposed, it would have been ridiculous to go on with the award show as if it was just another fun night.
This is not the first time an awards show has been absorbed by an issue in the culture of hollywood; in 2016, the Oscars had a lot of controversy surrounding it when there were no black nominees in any categories, sparking the #oscarssowhite movement. While award shows are normally meat to be a celebration, they are also the perfect platforms to bring up real-world issues. While wearing black seems like a simple enough idea to express solidarity, it also is the perfect way to address sexism on award shows. For the first time, reporters couldn’t simply scan the bodies of the women and ask them, “who are you wearing?” The decision for everyone to wear black deterred people from focusing on the clothing, and forced them to pay attention to the issue at hand.
The stretch of red carpet on every award show has always bothered me since questions are always asked concerning the clothes the women are wearing, but never the men. The Time’s Up movement removed the privilege of prioritizing women’s appearances from the reporters, instead emphasizing the goal of taking power away from these male superiors that have taken power away from women.
This flood of sexual assault cases did not just come out of nowhere; I attribute these women coming forward to the election of a man who has used his power to dominate women as well: Donald Trump. The one good thing about Trump’s election is that it seems to have woken people up to male dominance and power. His election has caused women to face their attackers and to stop them from rising to any higher place of power. When Trump was elected, I was in shock; I had been promised by everyone I had known that Clinton would win, that I would be a part of the years of the first female president.
For the first time, I felt limited by being a woman; if Trump could get elected simply because he was a man, what hope was there? I grew up privileged in the sense that I never felt I couldn’t accomplish something because I was a woman. Now, not only do I feel that being a woman will interfere with my ability to go into the profession I want, but that it will interfere with my ability to feel safe in the presence of a man in power. Although this truth is scary, these women coming forward gives me hope that women will take this power away from men, together.
The Time’s Up movement is going to start a long theme of award shows facing issues of gender and race in the industry. For now, the lightheartedness that award shows used to center around won’t be as evident as it used to be, but this is what has to be done in order for change to come about. Although the Golden Globes appeared to look like one giant funeral, it was not a sad occasion, but a hopeful one, for the future of women.
First-year Samantha Milowitz is a Layout Assistant. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.