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#TimesUp

Jordan Strauss

Jordan Strauss

Michaela Fromme

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#MeToo was a huge social media outburst by women who were victimized by sexual assault from men in high power. The number of people calling out their assaulters is not dying down, and a new hashtag, #TimesUp, is now starting to sweep social media as a direct response to #MeToo.

On Sunday, January 7, during the 2018 Golden Globe awards, Oprah Winfrey, who was a rape victim when she was only 9-years-old, received the Cecil B. DeMille Award, as the first black woman to do so, and upon accepting it, delivered a speech that was incredibly moving to both men and women. Within it, she not only told the story about her as a young girl watching the first black man to have received the same award fifty-four years earlier, but she praised the victims of sexual abuse who have recently spoken out about the pain they’ve endured and who have worked through the fear of telling their stories to the world for the first time. In her nine-minute speech, Oprah said, “I want tonight to express gratitude to all the women who have endured years of abuse and assault…For too long, women have not been heard or believed if they dare speak the truth to the power of those men. But their time is up.” And from her powerful words, the #TimesUp movement was born.

Although the foundation of both of these hashtags has resulted from the growing number of sexual harassment victims speaking out about their traumatizing experiences, the new hashtag, #TimesUp, isn’t just stopping there. People are now assosciating #TimesUp with not just rape and unwanted, forced sexual interactions but with other social injustices such as domestic abuse, racism, sexism towards women within leadership positions, discrimination towards genders and sexual orientations, and more, but most importantly with remaining silent on the sidelines. People will read the story about the famous actor who was around 24-years-old when he attempted to rape a young boy ten years younger than him (Kevin Spacey and “Anonymous New York Artist”). People will be told about the actions of an officer responding to an eviction order, who shot a bullet that pieced right through an armed father’s arm and killed his 12-year-old daughter standing behind him. They will be appalled by the knowledge that the father of this 12-year-old girl was then charged with criminal homicide and that the officer was free to leave, his ruling being left justified (Donald and Ciara Meyer). People will hear about the alarming suicide rates among adolescents and learn that even after a transgender, 15-year-old boy’s suicide, his school still would not honor his request to be recognized as a male (Leo Etherington). People will read and take in all of these tragic stories and think, “How awful,” and, “People can be so cruel and unfair,” but they don’t do anything to fight social injustices or attempt to change our world for the better.

According to RAINN, the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization, statistics show that every 98 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted.

According to a 2017 Police Violence Report, statistics show that black people are 3x more likely to be killed by police than white people.

According to Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law and Public Policy, statistics show that 42% of transgender women (male-to-female) and that 46% of transgender men (female-to-male) have attempted suicide.

These statistics are proven true by the horrifying events that happen every day. The time is up for sitting by sympathizing for the victims but continuing to allow these numbers to rise. The #TimesUp movement started with Oprah Winfrey’s moving and unforgettable speech, but it lives through every single one of us who fight to force attention onto these social issues and bring forth a change for the best. Fight not only to create a world where a young boy doesn’t have to show up at school, his nails painted, with the fear of being called “gay,” because there is absolutely nothing wrong with being homosexual, or where a woman’s worth isn’t second-guessed because of her gender, but to also one day tell your children, who are actually proud to be alive in this world, that the reason they can walk freely in their school hallways and busy sidewalks without discrimination or harassment is because one day you decided that the time was up for allowing it to happen.

 

Read Oprah Winfrey’s full 2018 Golden Globes speech here: http://www.cnn.com/2018/01/08/entertainment/oprah-globes-speech-transcript/index.html

Watch Oprah Winfrey’s full 2018 Golden Globes speech here: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=fN5HV79_8B8

Read Oprah Winfrey’s heartachening childhood story here: http://www.irishexaminer.com/world/oprah-i-was-raped-when-i-was-only-9-215310.html

Read about the allegations of sexual assault and harassment made against Kevin Spacey by over a dozen men here: https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/2017/11/07/kevin-spacey-scandal-complete-list-13-accusers/835739001/

Read the story of 12-year-old Ciara Meyer’s death here: http://yourdailydish.com/worst-police-brutality-cases-2016/1/

Read the story of transgender, 15-year-old Leo Etherington’s death here: https://www.advocate.com/transgender/2017/9/01/even-after-trans-teens-suicide-school-refuses-recognize-his-gender

Learn the statistics of sexual violence victims here: https://www.rainn.org/statistics/victims-sexual-violence

Read the 2017 police violence report here: https://mappingpoliceviolence.org

Read the Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law and Public Policy suicide statistics here: https://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/AFSP-Williams-Suicide-Report-Final.pdf

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