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This place matters

Sunday, January 7, 2018

The blacklist

If you haven't heard already, you'll be seeing a lot of black on the red carpet at the Golden Globes tonight. Tons of Hollywood elites have committed to wearing black in solidarity with the #MeToo movement started by activist Tarana Burke. What's more, a bunch of celebrity women will be bringing activists, including Tarana Burke, as their plus ones. And that's important because those women dedicated their lives to fighting the fight long before the whole movement was a blip on Hollywood's radar. 
Not pictured: woman who started the damn movement.

A few people have called the act of wearing black an empty gesture, a symbolic act that looks good but doesn't do good. And I'd be inclined to agree, if not for the money.
See, wearing black isn't just a symbolic gesture. It's a gesture that's probably going to cost people some money, and that, my friends, is hitting 'em where it hurts.
The red carpet won't be a rainbow of showy gowns tonight. Though celebrities will naturally be wearing the most expensive of designer black gowns, the drab color palate will probably mean fewer people tuning in for the preshow, costing probably costing some advertisers some money. Magazines, I'd wager, won't sell quite as many best dressed lists, fashion pundits on TV will actually have to acknowledge the movement, at the very least. Fashion houses will lose an opportunity to display their brightly-colored show-stoppers.
All this sends a clear message: keep harboring abusers and we will cost you money. 
The monochrome might push the journalists covering the event to ask women questions more substantive than "who are you wearing?" Women, seeing all the people whose clothing choices declare them allies, might feel more empowered not to humor interviewers asking condescending questions about jewels and shoes and underwear. Those dresses might inspire winners to dedicate at least some of their acceptance speeches to the movement. Surely every winner will feel compelled to acknowledge the movement. There will be a whole lot of shout-outs to the Time's Up nonprofit, started by celebrities and activists dedicated to ending workplace harassment.

And that's a whole lot more than an empty gesture. 

1 comment:

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