An essential facet of humanity is our desire to rebel. Since the dawn of our species itself, we have been proven incapable of adhering to a status quo – on the contrary, we fight valiantly against it, time and time again. Humans have an inherent belief in “this can be better”, and it’s driven our species far. We’re innovators, creators. We refuse to be content with surviving – we’d much rather live. We have overcome adversity and oppression, armed with nothing but our own pride and knowledge that we are doing what is morally just. Humans have gone against our primary instinct and died for their beliefs – for the hope that future generations may see a world where the issues that plague their existences are eradicated and nothing but a fable of the past. We have rebelled against tyranny and discrimination: from Spartacus to Martin Luther King Jr., we have laid down our lives for what is right, to tell our leaders that “this is not okay!”.
However, apparently that was completely unnecessary. Apparently wearing black to a fancy award show is enough to spark change. Who would have thought?
On Sunday January 7th, the Hollywood Foreign Press held its 75th annual Golden Globes to recognize outstanding achievements in film and television, and all (save three) celebrities attending using the star-studded and thus incredibly-publicized award night to advocate for the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements. These hashtags have made waves on the internet lately, bringing to light the massive problem Hollywood has with sexual harassment and gender inequality, and even carrying in to other professions where misogynistic chauvinism is prevalent. On the 7th, it appeared as if every attendee not only disagreed with Hollywood’s toxic sexism but was actively fighting against it.
Or at least, that’s what they would have you believe. Unfortunately for them, wearing black does not constitute activism. Simply saying, “hey, maybe let’s not enable serial rapists and give them a ton of money and recognition” does absolutely nothing to solve the problem. In fact, wearing literally any other colour would have potentially done more. Maybe pink, for example. Let’s see how many men show their support for #MeToo when you force them to wear pink or otherwise be brutally shamed for being a misogynist. Not only is making the colour black a scapegoat to give countless celebrities credit for doing the bare minimum, but the refusal of these actors, actresses, directors, producers, and writers to walk away from the money offered by known sexual aggressors like Harvey Weinstein and Woody Allen simply tells the rest of us that sexual harassment is bad, unless you have something to gain from the perpetrator. Then it’s fine.
Change may be on the horizon, but I assure you: the vanguard does not come in the form of tweets and pins. It will have to come with controversial statements and sacrifice, and until these celebrities use their platforms to do just that, their slacktivism is simply an insult to those who are doing the heavy lifting. I’m sorry dude, but you don’t get brownie points for doing the bare minimum – maybe try growing some for a change.
Featured image credit to ProgressivePodcastAustralia.