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Shaming women for not wearing black at the Golden Globes misses the point
On Sunday night, many women wore black to the Golden Globes to protest sexual assault and harassment in Hollywood and raise awareness for the Time’s Up initiative, which aims to provide legal resources and hold the industry accountable.
But women’s attire was still apparently a problem. In particular, a Variety reporter’s tweet about Blanca Blanco caught some heat for its hypocrisy.
— Cynthia Littleton (@Variety_Cynthia) January 7, 2018
There’s nothing wrong with her outfit. The cool thing about gender equality is that we all get to wear whatever the fuck we want these days. https://t.co/U6jQoPwTjQ
— Sam H. Escobar (@myhairisblue) January 8, 2018
don't be the person who shames women on the carpet instead of the men who made their industry a minefield. https://t.co/fwBMltARAC
— Caitlin VH (@HelloCVH) January 7, 2018
In a statement to Refinery 29, Blanco explained that she chose to wear red because she loves the color, and not because she’s “against” the movement, or trying to “shun” it, as the Daily Mail so eloquently put it in a tweet about Blanco not wearing underwear with her dress.
The issue is bigger than my dress color #TIMESUP
— Blanca Blanco (@blancablanco) January 8, 2018
Shaming is part of the problem
— Blanca Blanco (@blancablanco) January 8, 2018
Model Barbara Meier explained why she chose not to wear black in an Instagram post, stating, “We should not have to wear black to be taken seriously.”
Viele Frauen werden heute im Zuge der Time‘s Up Bewegung auf dem Roten Teppich schwarz tragen. Ich finde diese Initiative im Allgemeinen super und extrem wichtig. Trotzdem habe ich mich entscheiden, heute ein buntes Kleid zu tragen. Wenn wir wollen, dass heute die Golden Globes der starken Frauen sind, die für ihre Rechte kämpfen, ist es in meinen Augen der falsche Weg, sich nicht mehr körperbetont anzuziehen und uns die Freude am Ausdruck unserer Persönlichkeit durch Mode zu nehmen. Wir haben uns diese Freiheit lange erkämpft, dass wir tragen können, was wir möchten und es auch in Ordnung ist, sich sexy zu kleiden. Wenn wir das einschränken, weil sich einige Männer nicht unter Kontrolle haben, ist das in meinen Augen ein Rückschritt. Wir sollten nicht schwarz tragen müssen, um ernstgenommen zu werden. Wir Frauen sollten strahlen, farbenfroh sein und funkeln. So wie es in unserer Natur liegt! Das symbolisiert in meinen Augen unsere Freiheit und neue Stärke. Um das aber dennoch nochmal klar zu sagen: Viele schreckliche Dinge sind passiert und dürfen sich nie wieder wiederholen! Und wir sollten das immer wieder und direkt ansprechen und aufklären! Ich freue mich auf starke und inspirierende Reden heute Abend! (c) @gettyentertainment — A lot of women will wear black tonight to support the time‘s up movement! I think this is a great and extremely important initiative! Nevertheless I decided to wear a colorful dress tonight. If we want this to be the Golden globes of the strong women who stand up for their rights, I think, it’s the wrong way not to wear any sexy clothes anymore or let people take away our joy of showing our personality through fashion. We were fighting a long time for the freedom to wear what we want to and that it is also ok, to dress up a little more sexy. If we now restrict this, because some men can’t control themselves, this is a huge step back in my opinion. We should not have to wear black to be taken serious. US women should shine, be colorful and sparkle. Just like it is our nature. In my opinion this symbolizes our freedom and our new strength. But to make clear: A lot of bad things happened and should never happen again!!!
A post shared by Barbara Meier (@barbarameier) on
Hollywood Foreign Press Association President Meher Tatna wore red as a celebration of her culture, but still expressed support of women and the movement. She told Vanity Fair before the awards: “I’m really glad that they found that power, and I hope that this is a time of profound change.”
— S. Mitra Kalita (@mitrakalita) January 8, 2018
For all the fussing over what women were wearing and what it meant, there was mostly silence from the male actors who won awards. Not one mentioned Time’s Up or #MeToo or men’s roles in fighting systemic sexism. Alexander Skarsgard was called out for playing a violent abuser in Big Little Lies and not saying a word about the real-life abuse women face. James Franco, who plays a somewhat abusive personality in The Disaster Artist, was met with reports of misconduct after winning a Globe for his role in the film.
I’m so inspired by men wearing black to the Golden Globes, an event to which they’d normally wear black tuxedos. It’s part of the storied man tradition of making the least possible effort but expecting credit anyway
— , like, really (@morninggloria) December 28, 2017
While there was still focus on what women were or weren’t wearing, many actresses still made sure to mention Time’s Up onstage or offer comment on the struggle women face. Natalie Portman called out the lack of representation in at least one category. The men’s silence showed how much work is still ahead. Now it’s time to see what the initiative can accomplish off stage.
Audra Schroeder is the Daily Dot’s senior entertainment writer, and she focuses on streaming, comedy, and music. Her work has previously appeared in the Austin Chronicle, the Dallas Observer, NPR, ESPN, Bitch, and the Village Voice. She is based in Austin, Texas.