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Time’s Up: Meet Five of the Women Who Staged Protest at Golden Globes Against Gender Violence

StoryJanuary 12, 2018
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Across the United States, women are declaring “Time’s Up!” That’s the rallying cry that’s bringing together women—from Hollywood actresses to housekeepers—to demand gender and racial justice and a world free of sexual harassment and assault. The movement launched on Sunday night at the Golden Globe Awards, where the red carpet went dark, with many dressed in black to show their solidarity with the movement. And it wasn’t just actors and actresses. A number Hollywood stars brought social justice activists with them to the Golden Globes this year. Meryl Streep attended the ceremony with Ai-jen Poo, director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance. Shailene Woodley was accompanied by Suquamish Tribe member Calina Lawrence. Emma Stone brought tennis champ and LGBT advocate Billie Jean King. Susan Sarandon brought media justice activist Rosa Clemente. Amy Poehler’s guest was Saru Jayaraman, president of Restaurant Opportunities Center. Emma Watson brought Marai Larasi, executive director of the British anti-violence organization Imkaan. Laura Dern attended with Mónica Ramírez, president of the National Farmworker Women’s Alliance. And Michelle Williams walked the red carpet with #MeToo movement founder Tarana Burke.

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: “Generations” by our guest, Calina Lawrence of the Suquamish Tribe, speaking to us from Washington state. She was one of the people who was at the Golden Globes, one of the activists. “Time’s Up,” that’s the rallying cry that’s bringing together women, from Hollywood actresses to housekeepers, to demand gender and racial justice and a world free of sexual harassment and assault. The movement launched Sunday night at the Golden Globes, where the red carpet went dark, many dressed in black to show their solidarity with the movement. A number of Hollywood stars brought social justice activists, like Calina Lawrence, who was brought to the Golden Globes by our other guest today, Shailene Woodley, who was up for a Golden Globe for Big Little Lies, a remarkable production of five, to say the least, extremely strong women dealing with issues of sexual assault and abuse. Here in New York, Tarana Burke. She walked the red carpet, and she is really founder of the #MeToo movement, established over 10 years ago to focus on girls and women enduring sexual abuse, now director of Girls for Gender Equity. Ai-jen Poo with us, executive director for the National Domestic Workers Alliance, a co-director of Caring Across Generations. In Washington, D.C., Mónica Ramírez, also at the Golden Globes, co-founder and president of the National Farmworker Women’s Alliance.

So, I wanted to go to Ai-jen Poo. Yes, you got a lot of attention as an activist at the Golden Globes, part of this Time’s Up movement. What are you hoping will come out of this, from Hollywood actresses to domestic workers?

AI-JEN POO: Well, one of the things that is so powerful about what was happening and what is happening is the incredible unity that we’re seeing across diverse industries and communities, where women are coming forward, standing together to support all survivors, and then bringing forward all of these stories that we need to hear in order to find solutions that leave no one behind. Domestic workers, for example, have been left out, along with farmworkers—and Mónica will say more about that—but domestic workers have been excluded from some of the most basic protections that many of us take for granted, everything from the right to overtime to the right to organize. And many anti-discrimination and harassment protections exclude domestic workers. And so, we want to make sure that every single woman is protected and can live and work with safety and dignity. And what we’re seeing in this moment is incredible momentum and incredible unity so that we can realize that goal.

AMY GOODMAN: Mónica Ramírez, you represent the Farmworkers Alliance. You’re speaking to us from D.C., deeply involved in the movement. Can you talk about what farmworkers face?

MÓNICA RAMÍREZ: Sure. Migrant farmworker women, specifically, are extremely vulnerable workers in our workforce. They make, on average, $11,000 a year, compared to the $16,000 a year made by their male counterparts. Sexual violence against them in the workplace is widespread, with women reporting out at 80 to 90 percent in the few studies that have been done about the prevalence of sexual violence against them. It’s so common that farmworker women refer to the fields as “green motels” and “fields of panties.” And we’ve been fighting against these issues, as well as things like pesticides exposure and other kinds of safety issues that farmworker women and other farmworkers face in our nation, because they, too, are excluded from major protections, and the protections that exist do not adequately address their needs, because it is so difficult for farmworkers to come forward, given their reliance on the employer for transportation and for housing and for other things, and given the extreme poverty they’re living in.

And so, you know, we are proud to be working with our sisters here, participating in the show, and all of those who are part of the Time’s Up campaign, because we know that together we’ll be able to make a difference, and we’ll be able to bring in those who are the most marginalized to those who are perceived to be the most powerful, so that we can make the changes that are required, because farmworker women strongly believe that no matter what workplace you’re working in, you deserve protections, and just like farmworker women do. And we’re going to get there by working together.

AMY GOODMAN: If you could speak, Calina Lawrence, about Native American women and what they face? When we talk about rates of sexual abuse, we must multiply this so many times when we talk about Native women, so vulnerable in this country.

CALINA LAWRENCE: Absolutely. The violence against Native women is 10 times the national rate. Four out of five women experience violence—excuse me, four out of five Native American women are on the receiving end of violence. I think one in three are exposed to domestic violence. And so, one of the things that we definitely had time to share space about, when we met as a collective group, actually, right before the Globes, was that although we also experience this epidemic in the workplace, we experience it in our home, we experience it on college campuses, we experience it in the streets.

This is an ongoing—obviously, been ongoing since colonial invasion. It’s been ongoing since the boarding school eras, where they stripped our children from families and abused them in religious boarding schools. Those things have been inherited. The patriarchal violence that we’ve been on the receiving end still very much exists today. And so, there’s a lot of work that’s happening, not only around collecting these stories and this information, but really working in the community to shift our psychological approach, to start to ask the comfortable questions and to hold more folks accountable as to what contributes to our dehumanization.

And so, Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women USA, Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women in Canada—there are so many different chapters of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women that are consistently working around the clock. One of the things that is really difficult, obviously, that as sovereign nations and government-to-government relationships, it’s often difficult to really track the actual numbers, because of the fact that most of the time convictions cannot happen on reservations if committed by non-Native violators, and vice versa. A lot of times when Native women are violated off of the reservation, their traumas, their experiences never see investigation, and they rarely have attained justice, right?

So, it’s an incredible like necessity to be included in the conversation and say that we have been doing this work for essentially 500 years. And we’ll continue to do this work in solidarity with those who now share this, this—you know, what is now the United States. But they share this land with us, and we’re really honored to offer the resources and the tactics that we have used to women who are doing the same work in their respective communities.

AMY GOODMAN: Shailene Woodley, you took Calina to the Golden Globes. She was your plus one. Can you talk about that movement and also the Time’s Up movement overall? Specifically, concretely, so far, the fund apparently has raised $16 million for people to be represented who have experienced sexual and, I assume, racial abuse, as you talk about sexual harassment and racial injustice.

SHAILENE WOODLEY: Yeah. So, Calina and I have been fortunate enough to be friends for a couple of years now and work together through—on a few different movements. And when I first found out about Time’s Up—I have to admit I was not one of the founders in the entertainment industry. I wasn’t a part of the group of women who came together originally to create Time’s Up. I joined the movement later on. So, I just wanted to make that clear.

But when I first read about it and I received the invite of empowerment to bring someone or to wear black and sort of got the download on what everyone was aiming for with the Golden Globes, I realized that, in their messaging, almost every single minority group was mentioned amongst women except for Native American women and except for indigenous women. And that is a common theme that we see constantly. I am not Native, but it is something that I recognize as, you know, we saw Standing Rock last year and we saw a lot of people begin to pay attention to Native Americans and indigenous people overall. And then that’s kind of waned, and people haven’t been including that community in movements overall.

So, Calina was the first person I called, and I said, “Hey, I have a plus one.” Or, actually, I was just like, “What are you doing on January 7th?” And she’s like, “I’m free. I’m in, whatever it is. Let’s go.” And we were lucky enough—

AMY GOODMAN: And what was it like to join? I mean, you traverse these worlds, Shailene. You were at Standing Rock, you work a lot with activists, and you’re an A-list actress in Hollywood. What was it like to bring these worlds together with these activists together with—the actresses together with the activists?

SHAILENE WOODLEY: It was gorgeous. I was very emotional. It was the first time in my life that I had gone to an award show and when I looked in people’s eyes, I saw nothing but authenticity and nothing but a genuine desire to learn more and a genuine desire to use our platforms for a purpose that is far larger than just our own lives.

What was also beautiful about what happened on Sunday at the Golden Globes was that as much as we were spreading the message of the Time’s Up movement and spreading the message of solidarity, it was not a disrespectful movement. It wasn’t disrespectful to all of the other actors and artists who were there who were being praised for their artistry. But there was an awareness and a mindfulness about the bigger picture that I haven’t personally seen in this industry before on this level.

And being someone who does traverse both worlds, we all have our strengths, and we all have our weaknesses, and we all have very different gifts. But, to me, if we—I mean, for all of us, if we come together and we unify, which is the underlying message of what we’ve been talking about, then those strengths and those weaknesses will be balanced out, and we’ll be able to do so much more, because our voices will be that much louder.

AMY GOODMAN: We have 10 seconds, Tarana Burke. From dropping the ball at New Year’s Eve in New York to the Golden Globes, your final comment? And then we’re going to go into a Part 2 discussion and post it online.

TARANA BURKE: Yeah, I agree with Shailene. I think that this was an amazing moment for us, and I think it symbolizes what’s to come.

AMY GOODMAN: We have to leave it there. I’ll be speaking in Basalt, Colorado, tonight at The Temporary. I’m Amy Goodman. Thanks so much for joining us.

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