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Can a Dress Make a Political Point?

Brianna Noto, Staff Writer

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The Golden Globes Awards were widely talked about on social media, which isn’t surprising. However, this year the trending hashtag wasn’t about a nominated TV show or film. The hashtag of the night was #TimesUp, a movement started by 300 female  celebrities including Reese Witherspoon and Meryl Streep. This movement was started as a way to help all women, in any field, who have been assaulted, discriminated against or harassed.

Celebrities posted “Dear Sisters” pictures on their Instagram to promote the movement and to tell people to wear black on Sunday the 7th, the night of the Golden Globes. Female artists and activists showed up to the award show wearing black dresses to support the movement. Even celebrities who didn’t attend the ceremony posted pictures, wearing black as well. The movement was talked

 about a great deal throughout the program; viewers tweeted about #TimesUp about 473,900 times. 178,500 tweets mentioned #WhyIWearBlack, and  174,300 mentioned the #MeToo movement.

Although the movement reached many, started conversations, and was praised extensively, it was also critiqued for a number of reasons. Critics say that no real action was taken because it involves fancy dresses, a party, and privileged people, and that it changed nothing about sexual assault or discrimination. Even celebrities had something to say about the award show. Rose McGowan tweeted, “And not one of those fancy people wearing black to honor our rapes would have lifted a finger had it not been so [trendy]. I have no time for Hollywood fakery.”   

While sexual assault is still a major problem, this movement got people thinking, and more importantly talking, about the issues. Although this doesn’t exactly change the extent of the issues, talking about it and raising awareness is the most important step.  

Ansel Elgort tweeted, “We won’t solve our problems overnight, but it’s movements like Time’s Up that allow our voices to be heard.” Events and movements like this aren’t meant to change conditions in just one day. They are used to create conversation and shine some light on the topic, which will then lead to action.

It is true that the black dresses were the main focus, but that wasn’t all that happened for the movement that night. What was said was far more important than any black dress. Natalie Portman pointed out that all of the nominees for “Best Director” were male, bringing attention to the male dominated field in which she works. Debra Messing commented on the wage gap between male hosts and female hosts at E! News, and Oprah Winfrey made a speech that moved millions. Oprah’s speech acknowledged women who have been assaulted and stated that, “A new day is on the horizon” for women everywhere.

There’s also a Time’s Up GoFundMe account that is used to raise money to pay the legal fees of victims of sexual harassment and assault. This account raised $16.7 million with donations from all over the world in less than a month. Celebrities like Jennifer Aniston and Sandra Bullock each donated $500,000 to the account, and Katie McGrath & J.J Abrams donated $1 millon. Many other celebrities donated in various amounts, as well.

Although it is true that these women in Hollywood are privileged, they are using their status to communicate their cause and make a difference in their field and the world we live in.

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