Speaking Up On It: Women Creating Change in 2018

A recap of women making waves in 2018.

2018 is drawing to a close and I think it’s safe to say— what a year. A sentiment I feel is probably reciprocated by most people all across the globe. But there’s a particular poignancy about 2018 which will live on through the upcoming years when it comes to talking about women. Something has changed, something has stirred in the water. Women from all walks of life, are banding together and speaking up with both passion and conviction to take a stand against, not only their own personal injustices, but injustices all women may have to face simply by being a woman. So let’s take a look back on this year and celebrate the lighting of the torch and how far, together, we’ve carried it.

At the end of 2017, prominent women in the entertainment industry started to speak up about their experiences of sexual assault at the hands of one of the most powerful men in the film industry, Harvey Weinstein. This spearheaded the viral surfacing of the #MeToo movement, which actually was founded in 2006 on Myspace but this year gained notoriety by demonstrating to the world the sheer amount of sexual assault, rape, and violence women are constantly subjected to. The remarkable reaction of the #MeToo movement was followed by actresses at the 2018 Golden Globe awards wearing all black, to honor and stand in solidarity those who have come forward with their stories. The legendary queen herself, Meryl Streep described the reason to Harper’s Bazaar behind the symbolic wearing of black as, “We want to fix that [power imbalance] and we feel emboldened in a thick black line dividing then from now.” I don’t know about you, but that gave me major chills.

This year we have also seen life changing movements in law when it comes to women’s rights with Ireland winning the vote to repeal its eighth amendment banning abortion, making way for its legalization. A referendum called into place by the hard work and perseverance of many organizations, charities, and protesters. And France making cat-calling illegal–which has set an amazing precedent for other countries to follow (because that shit is annoying, disrespectful, and intimidating on so many levels).

Oh and let’s not forget the forever iconic moment where Serena Williams called out the sexist double standards of her penalization at the US Open final for reacting to ‘cheating’ allegations the way any of her male counterparts would have, but being punished more harshly for it while still treating opponent Naomi Osaka with the love and respect she deserved. Yes, queen— that is how it’s done. Some people referred to Serena’s actions as ‘spoiled’, an adjective that would have never been used to refer to a man—just saying.

These ripples of change in 2018 are the results of women who have spoken up, spoken loudly, and spoken together; and all very fittingly on the 100 year anniversary of the suffragette movement that secured women’s right to vote in the UK. And yes, although there are a lot things we have to address when it still comes to tackling sexism and equality; this year feels like it has created a spirit of unity and ferocity in women’s voices that can no longer be ignored.

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