I NEVER have a chance to see all of the movies or television shows that are up for awards, but I love watching television during awards season. The Golden Globes, the Grammys, and the granddaddy of them all: the Oscars. While some may be interested to see which designer everyone is wearing, my attention tends to be on what the “it” cause will be this year. The blue ribbon, the yellow bracelet, or as is the case this year, wearing black to stand with the #MeToo movement.
The #MeToo movement has gained powerful momentum in recent months with celebrities joining their voices and lending their visibility and collective strength in support of those who have been marginalized and victimized by abuse. The power of the collective outpouring has resulted in high level resignations and made it possible for everyday individuals who had long felt too vulnerable and unable to speak out, to voice their experiences and finally start to see some support and some justice.
I am glad that so many people have chosen to raise awareness of this issue and say enough is enough. Staying silent is not OK. Celebrities and people in positions of power are proudly using their pulpit to take a stand and say that this is wrong and must be corrected.
The bravery and insistence of celebrity voices in the #MeToo campaign has opened up opportunities for those who may not have that same power, and feel less protected and more vulnerable, to take a stand as well. I am impressed, extremely grateful, and a strong supporter of those who were willing to be the trailblazers. They created opportunities for the masses who have been living with these injustices to step out of the woodwork. Together we are unstoppable and the #MeToo campaign cannot be ignored. I hope that every community across our country will wake up, do the difficult work of implementing meaningful change, and hopefully, people’s lives will be better for it.
Judaism teaches us that we are commanded to perform acts of loving kindness (Gemilut Chasadim). Not because of the reward, but because of the impact we can have on others. We are commanded to extend a hand to those who have fallen. We are commanded to give and support one another. We are commanded to take care of our environment and treat our world and each other with respect. Judaism teaches us to give to those who are in need. And, we are called upon to stand with those who are marginalized.
As we enjoy this season of award shows, let’s cheer the celebrities that choose to use their power, position, and influence for good. With our attention, our support, our encouragement, and (yes!) our shares on social media, together, we might see real change come about on an issue.
Jason Moss is the Executive Director of the Jewish Federation of the Greater San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.