The Golden Globes. Women wearing black in protest against sexual harassment. Men wearing pins in solidarity reading “Time’s Up”. Great signs that the tide is finally turning, right?
Well, maybe. But looking at the men and women on the red carpet and I still have doubts. Justin Timberlake with a Time’s Up pin? Time should have been up for you long ago, buddy. You rode on the coattails of Britney Spears’ success and used her to climb up to your own fame, destroying her in the process. And Timberlake wasn’t the only example of a hypocritical man.
I have to admit I am cynical. When even our staunchest allies don’t really understand what women go through, how can we change the tide? How can we convince society that it is not only the rapists and the abusers that need to change their behaviour? How can we convince women that no, romance isn’t dead when you insist on consent? Yes, you can still flirt, but there is a difference between consensual flirting and being a creep.
I can’t be too deeply cynical though. When the #MeToo campaign started, I was convinced it would die an early death. It did not. We are still talking about it and the media hasn’t put it to rest yet either. But we still have such a long way to go. I sometimes get tired when I think about how much needs to change in society before we have eradicated all sexual harassment. And let’s face it: we will never eradicate it completely. But it would be a win to be in a situation when women don’t have to deal with it on a daily basis. And when men who sexually harass women have to face consequences.
I seriously doubt that I will see a huge change in my lifetime. I think that if we raise our sons to be more respectful, compassionate and less entitled, then the next generation will stand a chance. But misogyny is SO engrained in our society, it’s not even funny. When even Matt Damon, who I always viewed as such an upstanding guy, can’t even see what’s wrong with slapping a woman’s ass on set, then what hope is there?
But of course there is hope. There always is, and Oprah’s speech gave me that hope. I cried during her speech, because it was amazing and she so perfectly expressed what most of us are feeling. So I will leave you with her words here. May we continue to fight to eradicate misogyny and never lose hope.
“I want all the girls watching here and now to know that a new day is on the horizon! And when that new day finally dawns, it will be because of a lot of magnificent women, many of whom are right here in this room tonight, and some pretty phenomenal men, fighting hard to make sure that they become the leaders who take us to the time when nobody ever has to say, ‘Me too,’ again.”