by Lizzie Howe
It’s time for a change in conversation about feminism in the twenty-first century. Many prophesied 2018 as a ‘post-Weinstein’ era, in which rampant sexism and sexual assault would be a thing of the past, and abusive men consigned to the annals of history. Unfortunately, this movement has proved that although there needs to be a reevaluation of feminism in the 21st century, the current reevaluation has utterly missed the mark.
After several accusations against Harvey Weinstein, who allegedly had attacked and assaulted multiple young women seeking a career in the film industry, the floodgates opened in the American media. One such example of this was a list published by Buzzfeed, listing every woman who had allegedly been attacked by Weinstein, of which some were credible and others were less so. Due to relatively relaxed defamation laws, which place the burden of proof on the accused rather than the accuser, it became easy for woman after woman to point fingers at men for outrageous and unchecked behaviour - some of which was entirely justified, and yet some of which managed to hijack the movement into a direction that led it far from the realms of credibility.
The pinnacle of female empowerment apparently came during the Golden Globes, when the red carpet was festooned with women in black. Although this was in theory to be a defiant stand against the tyrannical men in the industry who had been in power for too long; in reality, it became an exercise in vanity. Many of the dresses were more glamorous and expensive than had been seen in many years. Bianca Blanco, who turned up in a red dress, was reportedly snubbed by the other women at the event, proving that female solidarity was clearly a central theme to the evening.
Although the Time’s Up Movement did attempt to address issues affecting women universally, one being the potential establishment of a legal fund consisting of $13 million for lower-income women seeking justice for workplace assault, this has been ignored in the loud conversations over injustice in Hollywood. Although sexism and abuse should be vilified in every industry, when the conversation becomes solely about a very small number of women in a very small and specific industry, it is frustrating to read as what seems to be a genuine vehicle for change becomes bogged down in the issues which, to be frank, do not demand the greatest attention.