The issues raised in the #metoo and #timesup campaigns are not actually about men and women. They are about misuse of power. The reality is that most of the power in the world still lies in the hands of men. Rich, white, older men specifically. Few men, in fact, compared to the number of men in the world. So, there is no need to be defensive.
When people become defensive about raising these issues they shut down the conversation. It is a necessary conversation. Men have held the physical, economic, political and social power for so long. Excluded have been people of different gender, class, race, age, religion and sexuality.
The stereotype of the rich, older man of status and the younger sexy woman have abounded. These are external forms of power. Each seeks the power in the other they feel is lacking within themselves. Speaking your truth is one of the highest forms of inner power. It is not reliant on any other form of power. By speaking up these women are expressing their power. Not being powerless.
In truth, there are men who have spoken up about their experiences as younger men in Hollywood. Men suffer from this power structure too. Men of different class, race, age, religion and sexuality. There are people who have enabled and enforced these structures. Women speaking up about their experiences does not deny these structures. In fact, it opens the door for a conversation to be had about them and many other issues.
Last night, at the Golden Globes, The Rock – Dwayne Johnson stood the whole time Oprah was speaking. He epitomises external power on many levels and is still able to support women. That is internal power. The ability to be with what is and be secure in who you are in the world.
Oprah’s speech was amazing and it touched many people. She was not saying men are bad and women are good. We all know that is not true. She was saying Times Up.
Times Up for there to be an inequality of power in the world. Times Up for the misuse of physical, monetary, political and social power. Times Up for the misuse of sexual power as well. Men or women.
Hollywood leads the way unconsciously in many respects. The messages go into our subconscious through story. The story is changing in Hollywood and in the world. I saw many differences last night. There was diversity of race, age and gender and stars being respectful of the support crew. Times Up.
Instead of being defensive, defend the right to equality and respect. Equality of power in gender, class, race, age, religion and sexuality.
The only true power is internal but it requires expression in the external to elicit change. Speaking up enables that to happen. If it’s not about you then it’s not about you. There’s nothing to defend. If it is, man or woman, it is time for change and we are not going back. Only forward, to a new seismic shift in power structures in the world.
May the needs of the many be paramount as we enter a new paradigm of inclusion. Times Up for everyone. Even though something doesn’t have to feel good to be true. That feels like a good thing. It’s a ‘new dawn, a new day, a new life’ a new world and it’s feeling good! (Feeling Good – Nina Simone)