On Saturday, January 20th, hundreds of thousands of people gathered to celebrate women and advocate for women’s rights at the 2018 Women’s March. In the time between this year’s march and last year’s, we’ve learned much more about the harassment and assault that many women face in spaces that should be safe for them. We now speak openly about Harvey Weinstein and countless other men in Hollywood who abused their power and made women uncomfortable and afraid.
And though the #MeToo movement went mainstream in the fall of 2017, we’re still in the thick of it in 2018, meaning the Women’s March came at a particularly important time for Hollywood. Many famous women spoke about their personal experiences at the Los Angeles Women’s March rally, including Scarlett Johansson, Sophia Bush, and Natalie Portman.
One of the most poignant speeches of the day came from Viola Davis. Davis took to the stage to deliver an empowering message that spoke to the higher rate of sexual assault that women of color face. She started off with a reference to activist Malcolm X, mentioning that she was going to “make it plain,” and continued to explain that women of color are more likely to be victims of sex trafficking and assault. Davis then highlighted the ways that centuries of governmental oppression, including Jim Crow, have gotten us to the situation we’re in now.
Mentioning Martin Luther King, Jr., Davis argued for change, even when it’s difficult.
To the crowd of 700,000, she said, “No one and nothing can be great unless it costs you something.”
The crux of Viola Davis’ speech was the idea that #MeToo still has work to do in creating an inclusive conversation.
Watch Viola Davis deliver her full speech from the 2018 Women’s March.
It’s worth watching all nine minutes of her powerful speech.
Thank you, Viola, for speaking up.