Tips for Getting From #MeToo & #TimesUp to Real Change
The #MeToo and #TimesUp movements are much needed, but how can they lead to systemic lasting change? Here’s how to get there.
This article is slightly edited from an interview I did with the Omega Institute.
Omega: These past months have shown the power women have, with the #MeToo movement, with Matt Lauer and Harvey Weinstein being held accountable for their actions, and with so many women coming together. What do you think about this, and how do you think we can move forward?
Gloria: This is an incredibly opportune moment. The worry I have is that righteous indignation feels really good. It’s so important for women to get in touch with the power they have inside of themselves, and use it intentionally to create change. Writing #MeToo is cathartic. Saying #TimesUp and suing perpetrators is necessary. Talking about it openly is incredibly important, but it’s just the first step.
To make real systemic change, we have a long road ahead. It’s not going to be easy. We’re up against a few millennia of culture. We need to gird our loins and be ready to use “power to,” in a positive way. We need to transform power to make the world better, to claim our space and not let anybody push us back.
It’s good to march. It’s good to picket. It’s good to write stinging blog posts, and it’s good to use the power of our voices to raise these issues. But, again, it’s a momentary feel good. It’s something that we need to do because it lets us know we’re in solidarity with others. We have to take that solidarity moment and turn it into real action, and that’s the slogging hard work of real movement building. That’s what we have the opportunity to do right now.
This is hard work but it’s also joyous work. It’s energizing work. Often people don’t know where to begin, so they default to doing one small thing. It certainly does take an accumulation of small things to make big systemic change—there’s no doubt of that. But it must be strategic and aimed at a collective goal. Continue reading “Are You Marching?”