Monday 23 April 2018

Yes #Metoo is a global shift, but don't forget #Themtoo...

As women begin to win, we must stand for all who suffer discrimination, writes Sophie Donaldson

Emma Stone’s jibe while presenting the award for best director at the Oscars last week did little for feminism. Photo: AP
Emma Stone’s jibe while presenting the award for best director at the Oscars last week did little for feminism. Photo: AP
Sophie Donaldson

Sophie Donaldson

This time last year, I was feeling a tad jaded by International Women's Day. The premise of gender equality seemed to be smothered by individuals applauding themselves and their squad with flattering selfies and brands jumping on the hashtag bandwagon. None of it seemed empowering, nor did it seem likely to help the advancement of women in the workplace or elsewhere.

This year, however, things have changed. Last Thursday's celebrations felt more significant than any other year. The #Metoo movement has miraculously segued from a celebrity-endorsed hashtag into a global attitude shift in which women feel supported in speaking out against sexism and abuse. The power imbalance that exists in many workplaces has finally been called out for what it is. Predatory behaviour is no longer something that stays in the boys' club and men in positions of power have been toppled from dizzying heights. These spectacularly public fallouts would have seemed unfathomable this time last year.

The worlds of politics, business, education and media have been rocked by revelations of abuse and harassment that have emerged from #Metoo. The Hollywood awards season, which wrapped up last Sunday with the Oscars, wholeheartedly supports the movement. All-black dress codes, Time's Up badges, white roses, standing ovations, a possible presidential candidate and scathing speeches against the patriarchy; this awards season rippled with ire.

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