Time’s Up is working to end institutionalized sexual harassment and we can all get behind that


After the slew of sexual harassment scandals, 300 women have banded together to launch the Time’s Up initiative and fight institutionalized sexism.

Time’s up on sexual harassment. We’ve spent months watching powerful men fall after sexual harassment and assault allegations came out about them, starting with Harvey Weinstein. But the truth is, even if individual powerful men are held accountable for their actions, there are still institutionalized systems in place to keep women down. But no more. 300 women in Hollywood have banded together to create an initiative to fight that systemic sexism in the workplace.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, women including Shonda Rhimes, Reese Witherspoon, Ashley Judd and more have come together to create Time’s Up. And, yes, it addresses the serious problem of sexual harassment in the entertainment industry, is working for the “50/50 by 2020” effort to get pay parity in Hollywood, and calls on women to wear black at the Golden Globes.

But Time’s Up is also working to fight for women in blue-collar workplaces that don’t get the same kind of media attention famous actresses get, and is working to fight institutionalized sexism as a whole.

Back in November, the National Farmworkers Women’s Alliance sent an open letter to women in Hollywood to say they supported them after the barrage of sexual misconduct allegations began.

Well, the women in Hollywood have their backs too. Because this isn’t just a Hollywood issue: It’s a global issue and women from all backgrounds are banding together to say “time’s up.” And Time’s Up includes a legal defense fund for women in blue-collar jobs to fight against sexual misconduct.

Speaking to “every woman employed in agriculture who has had to fend off unwanted sexual advances from her boss, every housekeeper who has tried to escape an assaultive guest, every janitor trapped nightly in a building with a predatory supervisor, every waitress grabbed by a customer and expected to take it with a smile, every garment and factory worker forced to trade sexual acts for more shifts, every domestic worker or home health aide forcibly touched by a client, every immigrant woman silenced by the threat of her undocumented status being reported in retaliation for speaking up and to women in every industry who are subjected to indignities and offensive behavior that they are expected to tolerate to make a living,” the women of Time’s Up said they stand with them and support them in their own open letter.

Time’s Up, which is made up of multiple committees, also has an anti-sexual harassment commission chaired by Anita Hill. The goal is to cover everything including legislation, corporate policies, hiring practices and more to end institutionalized and patriarchal systems of oppression.

There’s even a GoFundMe campaign for the legal defense fund, which has already made almost all of its $15 million goal, which everyone from celebrities to talent agencies have contributed to.

The Me Too movement could have easily just been about individual, prominent men like Weinstein. Because it affected famous actresses, it made the news. But these 300 women are using their voices, privilege, and media attention to make sure everyone is heard, and Time’s Up is working to make real, substantial change. They’re making sure that working class women, women of color, and marginalized women aren’t being silenced, forgotten or left in the dust. And they’re working to make sure that actual change is made to end systemic sexual harassment in the workplace when the big headlines and big names go away.

The goal is to make sure the workplace is a safe and fair place for women to go every day and to increase representation in positions of power.

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“Fifty-one percent of our population is female, over 30 percent of our population is of color. Those are important, vital, economically [powerful] voices that need to be heard at every level,” Rhimes said in a statement. “Time’s Up is working to make sure the people walking the corridors of power within the workplace and in politics truly reflect the full mix of America – the real America that looks like and includes all of us. Look, this isn’t going to be easy but it is right. And fighting for what is right can seem hard. But letting what is wrong become normal is not easier – it is just more shameful.”