Natalie Portman Just Broke Down 8 Ways You Can Get Involved With Time’s Up
It’s been nearly a year since the Time’s Up movement began in Hollywood, to put an end to the gender pay gap and other forms of discrimination centered there, and co-founder Natalie Portman is doing all she can to make sure it doesn’t lose steam any time soon.
The Oscar winner was honored at Variety’s Power of Women Awards Friday at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, for her humanitarian efforts with the organization, and before collecting the Etienne Aigner handbag that was given to each honoree, she urged everyone to continue to be a part of the change. “At Time's Up we want all people — men, women, and those who identify as neither and both — to lead the charge to make hiring more fair, make wages more equitable, and the workplace environment safe and dignified for all,” she said. “We now have Time's Up chapters in tech, in finance, in advertising, in journalism, in medicine, and we have sister organizations among restaurant workers, domestic workers, and farm workers who organized far before we did. We are thousands of women across multiple industries internationally joining together to make the same demands of the world.”
And for anyone who has been skating by not knowing how to help make that happen — she went on to spell out exactly what to do.
First, and perhaps most obviously, she said to reach into your pockets. “Money,” she said with a laugh. “You can give or you can raise money for the legal defense fund.”
Even if you don’t have the financial means though, there are still more ways to participate. The Jackie star had seven more guidelines to share. Second, she said, join forces with the women around you. “Gather,” she continued. “Meet with other women and see what changes you want to make. Through Time's Up, or on your own, gathering has been the central principle of what we do and has created every action we have taken.”
Third on her list: “listen,” she continued, emphasizing the importance of reaching out to women from all walks of life, especially those who are different from you. “If any group you're in has people who only look like you, change that group.”
“Fourth, demand,” she went on, urging attendees to pay attention to what’s going on in their workplaces, and require in any way possible that changes be made to make it more equitable. “You have the power to negotiate for equal pay or grant equal pay or popularize equal pay in our culture. Be embarrassed if everyone in your workplace looks like you. Pay attention to physical ability, age, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, and make sure you've got all kinds of experiences represented.”
“Fifth, gossip well,” she continued. “Stop the rhetoric that a woman is crazy or difficult. If a man says to you that a woman is crazy or difficult, ask him, ‘What bad thing did you do to her?’” This one, you might guess, was met with uproarious applause. “That's a code word — he is trying to discredit her reputation. Also, make efforts to hire people who had their reputations smeared in retaliation.”
“Sixth, don't be shy,” she went on, emphasizing the importance of calling out men who are abusing their power. “Don't shy away from consequences for those who abuse their power. Those who abuse power are not going to have a change of behavior out of the goodness of their hearts. They're motivated by self-interest and they will only change their behavior if they have to worry they will lose what they care about.”
Seventh, she told everyone — but especially the media makers in the room — to “tell a new story.” She added, “What if we took a year off from violence against women? What if for one year, everyone in this room does everything in their power to make sure that all the entertainment produced from this room doesn't depict a rape or murder of a woman, and the projects that you write, produce, direct, act, package, market do not harm women this year? Let's see how that goes.”
Lastly, she said, “spread your fire.” She added, “use your fire to light other women's torches and make more light and more heat for all of us. If every powerful woman pledges to hire three women in jobs this year that women don't usually get... Just pick three jobs that you get to choose, and light a women's torch.”
In other words, strike a match — and see what it sets off.