Here's Why Women Need Men To Not Be Silent About #MeToo And Time's Up This Awards Season


Women were front and center at the 2018 Golden Globes, both on the red carpet and during the awards show itself. But even with the positive attention for various topics — from sexual misconduct, gender parity, and equality for all — things fell a bit short in regards to the men. While #AskHerMore finally seemed fulfilled, it left us asking if we need to #AskHimMore now.


Most if not all female celebrities spent their time plugging the #TimesUp campaign and calling for change in their and all industries. Some even left their mom, best friend, or significant other at home and opted to bring activists as their dates to the star-studded event, providing a platform for those who dedicate their lives advocating for progress. Men, it seemed, maxed out at wearing one of the Time's Up pins and simply abiding by the all-black dress code — and not even all of them did that bare minimum.

"We're not asking, 'Who are you wearing?' We're asking, 'Why are you wearing black?' " Giuliana Rancic told E! viewers ahead of the network's red carpet coverage. "There'll still be all the fun and exciting moments that you have come to expect from the E! red carpet, but we also want to embrace this movement and allow these celebrities who are coming tonight, who have a big voice, to speak on behalf of millions who don't."

In E!'s defense, it did attempt to do its part by allowing women to talk about important matters other than the typical red carpet questioning and did have a few good moments. But when it came to the men, it was business as usual. There were questions about their projects. There were questions about their day-to-day lives. There were questions about how they felt to be nominated. And there were questions about anything other than fixing the broken system. Women, it seems, were the only ones doing the heavy lifting.

Yes, it was time for women's voices to be heard, to both lift them up and amplify them for the world to hear. But it was also a chance for men to speak out about what they can do to help improve Hollywood and every other industry, and to be allies for the women who are bravely speaking out. It has to be a two-way street and this made the whole night quite one-sided. That said, those asking the questions should have known better because, after all, the activism-focused night wasn't a secret, was planned out beforehand, and everyone — women and men alike — hopefully had answers to hard-hitting questions prepared. As for the men who didn't use their platform during the show, that is all on them. This is just the beginning of awards season and, as Time notes, we're crossing our fingers that the line of questioning will get better.

There were exceptions to this, however. Golden Globes host Seth Meyers had an entire monologue that poked fun at Harvey Weinstein and brought important topics to the forefront in an often-hilarious way. Per E! News, the men of The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story paid homage to the powerful night and called out men to be "held accountable" and for them to "voice their own solidarity" on the issue, plugging the HeForShe campaign. Actors Denzel Washington, Armie Hammer, and Sam Rockwell were also briefly asked about the Time's Up movement on the red carpet. Chris Hemsworth joked alongside Jessica Chastain when presenting the best actress in a comedy award, quipping: "In response to everything that's going on in today's world, we've decided to remove all the men from this category." One Lady Bird producer, instead of delivering a speech himself, handed the microphone over to Greta Gerwig, saying she was the only person who should speak for her movie.

It's not that these men didn't have the opportunity to speak out — after all, almost every single show or movie that won a trophy was one that put women in the spotlight in powerful ways. We had Big Little Lies, a show about domestic abuse, sexual abuse, and the power of female friendship. We had The Handmaid's Tale, a show about a dystopian future in which women are subjected to sexual and reproductive servitude under a fundamentalist theocratic dictatorship. And we had Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, a movie about a grieving mother whose daughter's rape and murder spawns a justice-seeking campaign against the police. These projects, all featuring powerful female characters, were perfect introductions to give strong speeches. Though some tried, it was quite lackluster in terms of what they had to say.

Other than that, it was largely up to the women to spend their time on the red carpet and onstage hammering home the hot-button topics — and that they did. Women — including Debra Messing, Sarah Jessica Parker, Laura Dern, and Eva Longoria — spoke out about E!'s recent gender pay gap fiasco surrounding longtime host Catt Sadler. Natalie Portman called out the "all-male nominees" up for best director, highlighting how women were once again shut out of this category despite having a few huge shots this year. Michelle Williams and Meryl Streep praised their activist guests — Tarana Burke and Ai-Jen Poo, respectively — instead of focusing on themselves or their projects. To be quite honest, we could go on and on about how other women — from Rachel Brosnahan to Reese Witherspoon and, well, basically every other woman in attendance — made the most of the platform they were given.

As The Atlantic points out, this dichotomy of how men and women were treated at the Golden Globes split the night "neatly into two very different categories." As USA Today notes, "Contrast that with Winfrey's powerful call to arms, and it's the men of Hollywood have more work to do." Melissa Silverstein wrote on Women and Hollywood, "My overall feeling about last night? The women led. Now the men need to follow." And, as HuffPost puts it perfectly: "#AskHerMore and #AskHimMore."

Yes, men need to listen to the women speaking out — but we also need to hear them, too.

Cover image via Mario Anzuoni / Reuters


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