On November 28th, 2017, Lifetime Members gathered for the Annual Direction Dinner to determine the focus of our awareness efforts and grantmaking in 2018.
It’s not surprising that we zeroed in on sexual harassment.
A very real movement has been gaining much needed momentum: women standing together to declare an end to tolerance of any form of sexual harassment and media that continues to perpetuate a rape culture.
Coming off of the election of Donald Trump to the highest office in the country, and the pattern of comments and actions that have objectified the female body, many women from all political backgrounds have reached the end of their willingness to allow the continued trivialization of sexual abuse and harassment.
It was in that heated climate that the Harvey Weinstein accusations broke, leading to a cascade of women in Hollywood and other industries, as well as millions of everyday women and girls on social media, bravely stepping out from the dark to share their stories, illustrating the stark reality of an overwhelming culture of sexual harassment, abuse and assault.
The objectification culture that continues to place women in a subservient position to be looked at and used for sexual gratification is an issue for all women, regardless of political beliefs, and we believe we can and must take a stand together to eliminate sexual harassment tolerance for the girls who will inherit the future.
The Giving Circle wants to acknowledge the Me Too Movement, founded more than a decade ago by Tarana Burke, which provided the backbone #metoo – a thread that pulled all of the stories together across more than 85 countries with more than 2 Million tweets.
As Burke states so well in a recent PBS interview:
“…the reality is that those people operate within systems that allow them to flourish. When we look at patriarchy, when we look at capitalism, these are systems that are in place that allow men like Harvey Weinstein, or Bill Cosby, and even R. Kelly to exist, because people are more invested in those systems than they are in human dignity.”
Former grant recipient Beauty Redefined is an excellent source of positive messages and insightful support to help eliminate objectification, starting with our own personal beliefs when we look in the mirror.