sexual harassment

The #MeToo Moment at the Grammys

The 2018 Grammys did, in fact, have its #MeToo moment. In the wake of the “Time’s Up” movement’s inception at this year’s Golden Globes, there was a lot of speculation about how the music industry’s Recording Academy would choose to draw awareness to the issue of sexual assault and harassment, if at all, during the annual awards ceremony.
From the outset, it was inspiring to see a number of celebrities wearing a white rose. A group of female industry executives formed a group called “Voices of Entertainment” last week and sent an open letter to attendees encouraging them to wear a white rose in support of the #MeToo movement. “We choose the white rose because historically it stands for hope, peace, sympathy and resistance,” the letter read. And it wasn’t just women who decided to wear them. The preponderance of men wearing white roses to the ceremony exemplified the way men can support and sustain women. It’s especially helpful in environments where women are outnumbered, relatively powerless, and fear retribution for speaking up for themselves.
Was it a perfect night for women? No. Critics were quick to point out that of the 84 total awards presented, only 11 went to women. In a category that seemed primed to have a female winner with four of the five nominees being women, the award for Best Solo Pop Performance ultimately went to the lone male nominee (who didn’t even bother to show up for the ceremony). The Academy was also criticized for allowing all of the male nominees for Album of the Year to perform while Lorde, the one female nominee, was not given that same opportunity.
In spite of the evening’s shortcomings, several presenters and performers took the opportunity to bring the message of #MeToo to the Grammy stage. Lady Gaga began her performance of her hit “Million Reasons” by simply whispering, “Time’s up,” into her microphone. There was no second-guessing Pink’s message as she sang “There’s not enough rope to tie me down, there’s not enough tape to shut this mouth.”
Perhaps the most notable moment of the night took place when singer Janelle Monáe came to the stage to introduce a performance by Kesha. “Tonight, I am proud to stand in solidarity as not just an artist, but a young woman, with my fellow sisters in this room who make up the music industry — artists, writers, assistants, publicists, CEOs, producers, engineers, and women from all sectors of the business. We are also daughters, wives, mothers, sisters, and human beings. To those who would dare try and silence us, we offer you two words: Time’s Up. We say Time’s Up for pay inequality. Time’s Up for discrimination. Time’s Up for harassment of any kind. And Time’s Up for the abuse of power, because, you see, it’s not just going on in Hollywood. It’s not just going on in Washington. It’s right here in our industry as well. And just as we have the power to shape culture, we also have the power to undo the culture that does not serve us well. So, let’s work together, women and men, as a united music industry committed to creating more safe work environments, equal pay, and access for all women.”
As if Monáe’s speech wasn’t powerful enough, Kesha, who has been embroiled in a legal battle with a male producer over allegations of sexual abuse, performed her song “Praying,” which was written in response to her experiences of assault. It was an emotional performance that gave us a glimpse into her personal pain but also encapsulated a moment of “hope, peace, sympathy and resistance” as she sang surrounded by a chorus of women dressed in all-white as a symbol of solidarity.
What has been communicated through the songs and speeches of the Golden Globes and the Grammys is not a list of solutions but a chorus of reminders that there is work to be done in our society to address harassment and inequality on behalf of women everywhere. The ceremonies are over, but the work goes on.

A 16 Year Old Firefighters Journey to Self Confidence

Author and Firefighter

Ali Warren


When Ali Warren discovered firefighting, she thought she had found her life’s work. But other firefighters had different ideas. She had to gain self-confidence to overcome the prejudice against the one thing she could not change, being a girl. Ali told her classic story of empowerment in her book, Where Hope Lives.

Empowering Women to Help People

Ali’s passion is to help people. Firefighting is the perfect outlet for helping people when they need it most. But while she was seeing people and children after horrendous accidents, learning how to cut apart a car and perform CPR, she was also learning a life lesson about how cruel people can be to their co-workers.
In this interview Ali tells Dr. Nancy that she relied on three things:

  • First, she had been raised to know and have confidence in her beliefs about who and what she was. That solid foundation allowed her to stand up to things that didn’t fit her values.
  • Second, she had the love and support of her family. They believed in something bigger and were in her court, cheering her on every day.
  • Third was her journaling. From a young age, she had written her life experiences. By the end of her ordeal, she had 31 journals, which had become more than a record, they were her salvation and her means to understand the reasons behind the obstacles that threatened her career.

Empowering Story is Helping Students.

Memoir by Ali WarrenAli’s story has turned into lesson plans to help high school students. When a Pennsylvania literacy coach asked her students to ready it, they not only read the first book in their lives, they asked to study its messages through the next semester. It has now become a professional series of lesson plans to help teenagers learn how to deal with difficulties in their lives: their homes and environments. Ali confronted issues that no one of any age should have to deal with and in doing so, she showed others how to face and conquer their own struggles.

Motivational Story a Good Book for Women

When people first told Ali she couldn’t be a firefighter, she wondered, “Can I choose this? Can I just say I want to be a firefighter and be one?” It was a long road, but the best of her motivational quotes for women is that we are all enough. In fact there is only one of each of us and it is our duty not to waste it. Share your talent and be happy with yourself. It is your greatest gift and when you realize it, you really can make a difference I the world.
Listen to this interview for more wisdom and be sure to read her book to find out Where Hope Lives and share its motivational message.

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