This $13 Million Initiative Aims To Take #MeToo Beyond Just A Hashtag

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Those who watched Dave Chappelle's new Netflix specials will remember the part where he talks about the #metoo movement. Between joking that the phrase itself has become somewhat unusable to him, and going on to say that allegations against Louis C.K "made him laugh," Chappelle brings up one good point – we must try the system as opposed to just inciting fear in those affected by its flaws.

According to the comedian, until we find ways to include men in solutions against sexual harassment as well as disrupt the system that incentivizes their actions, success will be very unlikely.

Wanting to make sure Chappelle's grim forecast doesn't come true, 300 prominent women from the entertainment industry – including Shonda Rhimes, Ashley Judd, Eva Longoria, Rashida Jones and others – have joined forces behind a colossal anti-sexual harassment project called TIME'S UP

Before you start calling bluff, it's worth noticing the initiative guarantees actual legal help to women who may have fallen victims of the "systemic inequality and injustice in the workplace" through a $14 million legal defense fund made possible by donations from donors like Meryl Streep, Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, Taylor Swift, Oprah Winfrey, Emma Stone and others.

TIME'S UP also includes efforts to push for legislation that will penalize companies that tolerate ongoing harassment, and that will discourage the use of the nondisclosure agreements that have helped to silence victims of abuse.

Most significantly, though, it doesn't just focus on women in Hollywood – the initiative is meant to provide just as much help to blue-collar workers in the service industry, farm and factory workers. 

These aspects of the TIME'S UP initiative – besides its more trivial counterparts like the "request that women walking the red carpet at the Golden Globes speak out and raise awareness by wearing black" – make it a force to be reckoned with and a good example of how internet activism can lead to tangible results.

With TIME'S UP, it seems like #metoo could go beyond just a hashtag and a campaign that puts emphasis on individual, often privileged experiences, and become a systemized political movement.

You can learn more about the movement by visiting timesupnow.com and be sure to read the letter of solidarity that was signed by all of TIME'S UP's 300 supporters.

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