#TimesUp, #MeToo Make Waves

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Source: Times of San Diego

This article has been changed to reflect corrections.

Amajla Tricic, Assistant News Editor

Following the events of the Women’s March and the success of the Time’s Up movement, students on campus are speaking out about the circumstances that prompted these women-led campaigns that have sparked inspiration and controversy.

At the heart of these equality-based movements has been the #MeToo campaign. The hashtag was used as a tool on social media for victims of sexual harassment and assault to come forward about their own experiences — highlighting how prevalent the problem has been in society.

Christy Dean, a member of the K. Della Ferguson Womyn’s Resource Center (WRC), is thrilled with the outcome of these movements.

“I think it’s a monumental step for women and a right step and change for everyone,” Dean said. “The Time’s Up movement is absolutely inspiring and helps bring power and healing to men and women.”

Peter Gaughan, who is also a member of the WRC, said he is glad that the issue is being addressed but is reluctant to think it might end the problem completely.

“I think the Time’s Up Movement is showing real progress as we are having a real conversation with change happening in the workplace and courtroom but not without its pushback,” Gaughan said. “I don’t see it truly ending the problem, but I do believe it will serve as a means to fight assault and defend/support women.”

As for the Women’s March, a worldwide protest that made its debut last year following the inauguration of Donald Trump as president, the issues become much more complex. The marches are broader in scope, highlighting the need for better reproductive rights, immigration reform, racial equality and women’s rights.

According to the Washington Post, the January 2017 Women’s March on Washington was the biggest single-day demonstration in history. Per the Post, between 3,267,134 and 5,246,670 people, or “1 to 1.6 percent of the U.S. population,” were involved. In 2018, demonstrators took to the streets of D.C. again.

For Dean, she is thrilled to see individuals band together to fight for the rights of not only themselves but for everyone else. She supports the causes and is excited to see the directions the movements will take forward.

Gaughan, however, sees the great potential but wishes to see more radicalization in the marches.

“Women’s marches have in multiple locations been very neoliberal, capitalist, white and anti-trans,” he said. “All of which I feel like hurts the feminist cause by not being intersectional, but still repeated large scale protest is great.”

Some women felt underrepresented in the 2017 marches, and Tamika D. Mallory, co-president of the Women’s March Board, said the goal for the marches this year was to ensure everyone had a role.

“We’re looking through our organization and figuring out where diversity is a problem even within the network, where we have chapters that are mainly led by white women and there needs to be an intentional effort to bring women of color into those particular networks,” Mallory, via USA Today, said.

Bianca Nitti, campus correspondent and editor-in-chief of Her Campus Utica, said she felt strongly not only about Time’s Up and the women’s marches but the #MeToo Movement. Nitti has been following the hashtag and finds it courageous.

“I think the fact that we can actually all come together to have a voice in a respectful and uplifting manner is so amazing,” Nitti said.  

Nitti mentioned becoming invested in the Larry Nassar sentencing, the USA Gymnastics doctor who was sentenced to up to 175 years in jail for sexually abusing more than 150 women and girls. She recently wrote a paper about the trial and stated that as a young woman she found herself feeling very passionate about it.

“I think Aly Raisman’s speech at Nassar’s hearing was very impactful,” she said. “One step at a time, these women are speaking out, and it is so incredibly brave. They have set a new standard for women to now have a voice. I commend anyone brave enough that steps forward to be heard, now is the time, things will be different, even if it’s a subtle difference at first — this is definitely a step in the right direction.”

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