the flowers start wilting,
their petals falling into the dry, crackling dirt.
the resilient weeds start sprouting,
entangling their way around the stems of the dying blooms.
that old rose bush that you prized is now riddled with thorns.
i tried to pluck one,
send you a picture of it,
but my fingers got cut up and started bleeding
and i knew it wasn’t worth the trouble.
the single flower wouldn’t bring you back,
why try so hard to make it bloom again?
why keep it in a vase that glistens during the 3 pm glow of the sun?
why stare at it, remembering the day we planted the damn rose bush?
no, i’ll stick to bandaging up my hand,
ridding it of the metallic red,
dripping down my palm,
almost staining my pants.
i’ll stick to staring out my kitchen window at the garden, once blooming,
now only a couple of rotten, lonesome plants.
At this year’s Golden Globes ceremony, the usual sea of colorful ball gowns and loud accessories were missing from the red carpet. Instead, all but three women wore completely black dresses.
Their dark choices were in accordance with the Time’s Up movement, founded on the first of this year, in response to the Harvey Weinstein allegations, with nearly 100 women accusing him of misconduct, and the #MeToo movement. Its mission statement is as follows:
“TIME’S UP is a unified call for change from women in entertainment for women everywhere. From movie sets to farm fields to boardrooms alike, we envision nationwide leadership that reflects the world in which we live.”
The movement is backed by hundreds of actresses and other entertainers, who sent out a massive social media campaign on New Year’s Day. Just a week later, they all donned their midnight black dresses in protest towards the years of abuse faced by many female entertainers. Since then, they’ve inspired the adornment of white roses at this year’s Grammy Awards.
Ironically, many men who donned the Time’s Up pins with their black suits at the Golden Globes have since been accused of sexual misconduct, such as Aziz Ansari and James Franco.
Many Time’s Up activists were also present at this year’s Women’s March, which was held on January 20. With notable speeches from Natalie Portman, Viola Davis, and Halsey, the massive crowds got even more heartbreaking first-hand accounts of the grotesque incidents found throughout the industry.
With all of these very public protests, people are finally recognizing years of sexual misconduct from producers, directors, casting agents, and more.
It is abhorrent and dehumanizing for a person to be put in the position of having an undeserved, unwanted sexual encounter forced upon them, with health of their career being at stake lest they say “no.” When a thirteen-year-old actress receives a rape fantasy in her fan mail, as Natalie Portman recounted in her Women’s March speech, she loses a slice of innocence that she cannot get back.
Foundations like Time’s Up are certainly bolstering this movement, making the harsh reality of the age-old misconduct much more public than previous years. Finally, sufferers of sexual assault are being heard.
This year, I’ve already seen so many cases against previously respected men. Harvey Weinstein was fired from his company following an article published by the New York Times and Kevin Spacey was removed from the fifth season of House of Cards.
Finally, abusers and rapists are receiving repercussions for their actions. Not just in Hollywood, but throughout many different industries.
On January 24, Larry Nassar, former Olympic doctor, was sentenced to another 40-175 years in prison (added to his 60 year sentencing for child pornography possession) for the decades of molesting and raping young gymnasts under his care. Notable athletes, such as Aly Raisman and Jordan Weiber, have spoken out against their abuser, even appearing in court to deliver impact statements.
With so much awareness, the time for change has come. No longer can we sit idly by when a man or woman is accused of assaulting another. No longer can we support known rapists. No longer can we support sympathizers of abusers.
While Time’s Up is a good first step, it’s the first of many we have to take to reach change. If a victim comes forward, they have to be taken seriously. They have to see that their bravery is matched with justice.
Woody Allen, who has been accused of sexually abusing his adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow, is still making films. While many actors have spoken out against him, he is still in the industry.
Casey Affleck, who went to court for sexually harassing two women back in 2010, won best actor last year. However, he has been asked to not present at the 2018 Oscars this year.
Melanie Martinez was accused by former best friend Timothy Heller of being raped, but Martinez fans instantly shot down the victim’s narrative, calling it “attention-seeking” and “jealous.”
Lena Dunham has admitted to experimenting sexually with her little sister in her book Not That Kind of Girl. However, she still went on to act in another three seasons of hit show Girls and continues to act in many other projects.
Another sad reality is that too often people across all walks of life are being abused. Sexual misconduct isn’t a “Hollywood issue.” Everyday, thousands of people in offices, farms, bus stops, stores, schools, and even in their own homes are being sexually abused. The issue goes beyond what 300 celebrity signatures can achieve.
No matter the instance, thousands of victims are still being de-legitimized daily. No amount of colorless attire can deter from the sad reality that every 98 seconds an American is sexually assaulted. No amount of celebrity endorsements can stop the years of distress faced by victims after their assaults. While time’s up for sexual misconduct, it’s been up for far too long.