Oprah Winfrey's impassioned call for equality marks the beginning of a new era
Picture sourced from E! Online
Oprah Winfrey's speech was not only one of the highlights of the 2018 Golden Globes - it basically stole the whole damn show. During the moments following her acceptance of the Cecil B. DeMille Award for 'outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment,’ Oprah bestowed upon the world a magnetising, utterly inspiring and ovation-inducing speech about the systemic inequality that remains rife in our society.
The entrepreneur, humanitarian, philanthropist, author and talk-show host (need I go on?) became the first African American woman to win the award, and my, did she bloody well deserve it. She used the famed Golden Globes platform to usher in a powerful bid for gender and racial equality, and to raise awareness for those who have been victims of sexual assault and harassment.
While the theme of the event, 'Time's Up', called upon celebrities to don black attire to show support and solidarity for victims of sexual assault, Oprah's stirring message celebrated and championed women and offered a glimpse of hope into a potential future where we will all be free from inequality and oppression. Her emotional and introspective nature even amassed calls for the media figurehead to be the next President. The compelling and expertly-delivered speech showcased the honesty and altruism that she is so well-known for. ‘‘What I know for sure,’’ she said during her speech, ‘‘is that speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we have.’’ This sentence is nothing if not absolutely correct. Speaking up in times of injustice, standing by what you believe in and remaining honest in all aspects of inequities is the most dynamic weapon we possess in order to quell and defeat harassment, oppression, injustice and inequality.
She heralded in the story of Recy Taylor, a 24-year-old African American woman who was raped by six white men in 1944. Taylor fought a strong battle, but as is with a lot of cases concerning African American women and all other women around the world, never received a speck of justice because none of those men were ever persecuted. With this invoked a great pathos, as she announced that Taylor had died 10 days ago. ‘‘She lived, as we have all lived, too many years in a culture broken by brutally powerful men,’’ she said, ‘‘For too long women have not been heard or believed if they dared to speak their truth to the power of those men. But their time is up.’’ The crowd swiftly jumped to their feet and out erupted a huge burst of applause and multiple standing ovations, as it was clear that Oprah was marking the beginning of a new era. What started as a personal reflection and effusion of honesty and emotion, soon became what many have labelled a call to arms, and one of the defining moments of the #MeToo movement.
"So I want all the girls watching here, now, to know that a new day is on the horizon," She said as she closed her speech, sublimely I may add. "When that new day finally dawns, it will be because of a lot of magnificent women, many of whom are right here in this room tonight, and some pretty phenomenal men are fighting hard to make sure that they become the leaders who take us to the time when nobody ever has to say 'Me Too' again." Through making this effluence of simple and unmarred conviction, she ignited a glimmer of hope and celebrated both the women and men who are fighting relentlessly to make change happen. She touted the fearlessness of women across the world, and in my eyes, became the perfect embodiment and essence of ‘solidarity’.
One thing I just wanted to add: where were all the calls for equality from men? Not only is their silence problematic, it just means striving for equality will be that much harder if us women are the only ones doing the work.
I must admit, there were a few tears and several sniffles. Never have I resonated so firmly with a celebrity’s message and never have I wanted to watch one single speech over and over again. I realise that at the end of the day, yes of course she is just a human being, but she is a human being using her huge platform to speak up for those who have persistently tried to speak up for themselves and have had their world’s shattered by those who have said that their voices do not matter or by those who have not believed them. I immovably stand by those who have ever felt this way. May the truth always reign supreme and I mean it when I say #MeToo.
The Glittery Goose x