The last six months have been a tumultuous time for U.S. history, as allegations of sexual harassment, abuse, and assaults against individuals like Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, actors James Franco, Kevin Spacey and James Masterson, former Today Show anchor Matt Lauer, and U.S.A. Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar have been shared by hundreds of survivors through social media and during court-held hearings. In response to these reports, two important movements, #MeToo and Time’s Up, have risen to the forefront in the fight against personal and professional sexual harassment and assault, gaining speed and support nationally and globally.
What is the #MeToo Movement?
Founded in 2006 by Tarana J. Burke, the #MeToo movement (also known as the “me too. movement”) was created in order to provide support, healing, and resources to survivors of sexual violence, in particular women of color from low-income communities. The hashtag “#metoo” received much attention when, in October 2017 after allegations against producer Harvey Weinstein surfaced, actor Alyssa Milano encouraged individuals who’d experienced harassment and/or abuse to come forward with the statement of “me too,” in order to demonstrate the scope of the problem of these occurrences. On Twitter, many high profile figures and celebrities came forward in the weeks and months following to share their accounts of sexual violence, among them including Gwyneth Paltrow, Ashley Judd, Terry Crews, Uma Thurman, and many more. Since its widespread use in October 2017, the #MeToo movement’s “Silence Breakers” were named Time’s “Person of the Year.”
What is the Time’s Up Movement?
This movement against sexual harassment was founded on January 1st, 2018 by performers and public figures in response to allegations against producer Harvey Weinstein and in support of the #MeToo movement. Founding signatories of the Time’s Up coalition to end sexual assault, harassment, and inequality in the workplace include Reese Witherspoon, Rose McGowan, Taylor Swift, Shonda Rhimes, and dozens more. Several initiatives were announced at the inception of the movement, including:
- An act of solidarity for all female attendees of the 75th Golden Globes to wear black.
- Advocating for new legislation that exacts consequences on companies that condone and/or tolerate persistent harassment and inequality in the workplace.
- Founding the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund to provide legal support for anyone who has experienced harassment and/or retaliation due to allegations in the workplace, housed and administered by the National Women’s Law Center.
Both of these movements, along with many other organizations advocating for safety in the workplace against sexual violence, are accepting support financially and through volunteer work for survivors and their families. Individuals who’d like to provide donations for the #MeToo movement are directed to Girls for Gender Equity (GGE), the official fiscal sponsor for the #MeToo movement which is also helmed by founder Tarana J. Burke and focuses on providing healing for survivors of sexual violence. The Time’s Up Movement provides opportunities for donations to their Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund on GoFundMe, and attorneys can also join the Legal Network by following this link.
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