2015 was quite a year for women and we can’t deny it. Let’s take a deeper look.
In the past year, Hollywood has proven some compelling evidence that action is not far behind. For decades, statistics surrounding females in Hollywood and pop culture have been decreasing. However, just this year, the ACLU filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). No, this wasn’t just passed aside either. The investigation of Hollywood’s hiring practices began last month.
There has been an unprecedented number of actors and directors that have spoken out about the inherent sexism in the industry. Jennifer Lawrence, Rose McGowan, Viola Davis, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Anna Kendrick, Kirsten Stewart, Meryl Streep and Sandra Bullock are just a few of those in Hollywood that have taken a stance. I am especially impressed with the number of men that have come forward as well. Mark Ruffalo called out Marvel for its lack of female characters on Avengers merchandise and Daniel Craig called out James Bond’s misogyny. We can’t forget about the HeForShe campaign by the United Nations, thanks to Ziauddin Yousafzai for leading the charge for fathers to stand up for the rights of their daughters.
2015 saw incredible examples of activism on social media including the hashtags, #EverydaySexism, #RapeCultureIsWhen, #ShoutYourAbortion, #RedMyLips, #ToTheGirls, and #FreetheNipple. They gave women the opportunity to share their personal stories of sexism, harassment and sexual assault. The social media platform is an inspiration to the next generation of women as they experience things themselves. One example is of technology being used to highlight gender inequity when Tim Hunt said women scientists have a negative impact on the workplace. The Internet reacted with images of proud female scientists who made it clear that this sexism will not be tolerated. Hopefully, some young girls were inspired to consider STEM careers.
We saw consumers hold corporations accountable for their actions. Peopple called out Bloomingdales for their holiday ad that appeared to endorse date rape and Bic for their Think Like A Man campaign. Customers are making it clear that they expect more from if they want their purchasing dollars. Target even announced that their store signage for children would be gender neutral. Some people were happy, some weren’t – but Target took a stance on the issue and gave customers the chance to voice their approval. I think this will continue to be a trend.
The quest for equality is far from over, but I believe that we should be proud with the progress that has been made this past year – and in 2016, we will see more.