Jan 212018
 

“Me, too” And “Time’s Up” Movement Call For Social Justice

There is no better day to reflect on the #MeToo and #TimesUp movement(s) than the day following the massive Women’s Marches in Los Angeles, New York and Chicago. These weren’t voices of the “suffragettes” we’ve just heard. These are the voices of the human beings who balance checkbooks, give lives and raise future generations. They know what our collective household’s needs are and how to meet them, better than anyone. Hats off to the spectacular women, men and families who marched for a better life, yesterday!

The #MeToo and #TimesUp movement(s) begun with accusations leveled against the movie mogul Harvey Weinstein who was initially outed by one person, the actress Rose McGowan. She was soon joined by other female, well-known American – and not only American – actresses. The list of over 50 accusers includes many A-listers. (Eventually, Weinstein’s wife, Georgina Chapman, left him and he was forced out from the company he founded.)

In response to the shockingly long list of victims of one man’s – Harvey Weinstein’s – victims, actress Alyssa Milano created the #MeToo hashtag on Twitter which opened the floodgates for women from all walks of life who suffer – or suffered – sexual harassment or sexual assault in the workplace. We have quickly learned the magnitude of sexual harassment in the U.S.

Meanwhile, other male celebrities, entertainment industry heavyweights, politicians, etc. continue being outed. Some of the best known names include: Tavis Smiley, Mario Batali, Matt Lauer, Dustin Hoffman, Sen. Al Franken, Charlie Rose, Roy Moore, Louis C.K., Kevin Spacey, and others.

Out of the Harvey Weinstein scandal and the #MeToo movement came about #TimesUp. #TimesUp took center stage at the 2018 Golden Globe Awards which gave exposure to the solidarity of women against sexual harassment which was on full display when all female participants of the event wore black. (Of course, the most profound statement on #TimesUp came in form of a fiery speech given by Oprah during the Golden Globe Awards ceremony.)

Sexual harassment and / or sexual assault aren’t laughing matters and against popular opinion have nothing to do with sex. The life of a sexually harassed – or sexually assaulted – person is severely damaged and in some cases, permanently destroyed. It’s not about sex. It’s about human life. We each have only one and it is ours to run. Nobody – regardless of their success, gender, money or power – has the right to damage or destroy another. Each of us has ONE life and no claim on the lives of others. Sexual abuse in its many forms changes the trajectory of human lives.

The perpetrator’s abuse of power compels sexual harassment and / or sexual assault victims to give up their beliefs and dreams. The pursuit of safety often becomes more important to them than life itself. Their self-respect, leave alone self-esteem plummets. Many succumb to the trauma entirely (out of respect for victims, we are not naming names!) use alcohol or drugs to cope and stop pursuing their goals.

For the perpetrators nothing changes. They lead “successful” lives, have rewarding careers and sleep well at night. If anything, their self-confidences raises with each “conquest”.

This could have been a long story detailing individual instances of sexually violated individuals who failed miserably at the game of life in the aftermath of sexual assault. It isn’t.

This is a brief story intended to inspire men to think. For just a moment, forget about sex. How would YOU feel if someone in a position of power attacked you, overpowered and / or threatened you and yours, limited your options, deprived you of what’s rightfully yours and effectively derailed your whole life?…

Do not diminish – leave alone, ignore! – a woman’s complaints about workplace sexual misconduct suffered at the hands of a superior or coworker. She isn’t speaking about a flattering compliment but criminal behavior which may threaten hers – and by extension, yours! – way of life.

Anything L.A., Los Angeles Liberal Magazine supports #MeToo and #TimesUp: sex crimes of any magnitude violate human rights. The shape of genitals and bank balances aside, we are all equally human. Violations of human rights and social injustice aren’t male or female. They compromise our collective humanity.

Anything L.A. Liberal Magazine’s Editor, E. Elrich

United States Of Righteous Indignation

 

Californian Values Stand In Spite Of Fires And Flood But The Trash Stinks

 

#MeToo And #TimesUp Movement Call For Social Justice

 

 

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Oct 232016
 
Tom Hayden Passed Away

Photo courtesy of TomHayden.com

Tom Hayden, legendary activist, later a politician and ex-husband of Jane Fonda has died at 76.

Hayden established himself as a political activist in 1960s. Activist at heart, he stood for what’s right from civil rights, peace, social justice and environmental protection to the fight for clear labeling of products containing cancer-causing chemicals and an increase on tobacco sales’ taxes.

A Democrat through and through, Hayden served on California State Assembly and California Senate for a total of 18 years. He passed over a 100 measures in California, some of the most notable are:

• Establishment of a statewide Agent Orange registry;
• Equal university access for disabled students;
• Recruitment of gay and racial minority AIDs researchers at universities;
• Requirement of set-asides for renewable energy in state planning;
• Extension of sexual harassment codes to professional relationships;
• Prohibitions on date rape drugs;
• Funding for tattoo removal;
• Standards prohibiting MTBE in drinking water;
• Requirement for longer holding periods for lost animals in shelters;
• Reducing start-up fees for new small businesses;
• Requiring trigger locks on guns sold;
• Training for immigrant parents of public school children;
• Drafted largest state park and environmental restoration bond in nation’s history;
• Minimum vision standards and testing for senior drivers;
• Funding for gang intervention projects.

Tom Hayden was also a prolific writer who authored and / or edited twenty books. His latest book is “Inspiring Participatory Democracy: Student Movements from Port Huron to Today”. (Now just days before a crucial presidential election, we all have participatory democracy on our minds…)

Tom Hayden has died. We have lost a good man. Hayden lived his life well and made a positive impact on our reality. Tom Hayden leaves behind a proud legacy.

(Some information for this article was excerpted from TomHayden.com, The Peace & Justice Resource Center)

Anything L.A. Magazine’s Editor / Eve Elrich

 

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