The Top 10 Feminist Moments From the 2018 Golden Globes

It started when celebrities showed up in all black, some of them with non-profit executives and organizers at their sides instead of a celebrity date. Men and women alike with great clout in the entertainment industry walked the red carpet at last night’s Golden Globes with a feminist mission, wearing pins in solidarity with the newly-launched Time’s Up campaign and discussing the #MeToo moment in what are typically fashion-oriented interviews. But the “feminist takeover” of the awards show didn’t end there—it lasted all night, with topics like sexual harassment and media representation taking center stage throughout the ceremony.

These were our favorite feminist moments from last night’s Golden Globes. What were yours? Tell us in the comments!

#10: Seth Meyers Cedes the Floor To Women

When Meyers was named as the host for the Golden Globes 75th anniversary back in November, many thought it was a misstep not to have tapped a female host, especially given the landmark year for women in Hollywood. Meyers acknowledged—and honored—those criticisms in his opening monologue, inviting women in the audience to participate in “Jokes Seth Can’t Tell,” a regular staple of the comedian’s Late Night show. Amy Poehler’s clapback about mansplaining (around the 10:14 mark) is a particular highlight.

#9: Debra Messing and Eva Longoria Call out E! for Wage Discrimination…On E!

During her live interview with Giuliana Rancic, Messing told an E! correspondent: “I was so shocked to hear that E! doesn’t believe in paying their female co-host the same as their male co-host. I miss Catt Sadler, so we stand with her. And that’s something that can change tomorrow.” In a separate live interview on the network, Eva Longoria told interviewer Ryan Seacrest that “we support gender equity and equal pay, and we hope that E! follows that lead with Catt as well. We stand with you, Catt.”

#8: Frances McDormand Praises the Hollywood Foreign Press for Doing What America Couldn’t

“Thank you to the Hollywood Foreign Press,” Frances McDormand, the star of Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, told the audience while accepting the Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in Motion Picture (Drama). “I’m still not quite sure who they are when I run into them, but I love seeing their faces. And, let’s face it, they managed to elect a female president. I’m just saying.” Earlier, she told her fellow nominees: “All you ladies in this category, bar, tequila’s on me!”

#7: Elizabeth Moss Honors Margaret Atwood

Following her win for Best Actress in a Television Drama for her role in The Handmaid’s Tale, Moss quoted Margaret Atwood, whose 1984 novel inspired the Hulu television series. “We were the people who were not in the papers. We lived in the blank white spaces at the edge of print. It gave us more freedom. We lived in the gaps between the stories,” Moss quoted. She then offered the author a message of her own: “Margaret Atwood, this is for you and all of the women who came before you and after you, who were brave enough to speak out against intolerance and injustice and to fight for equality and freedom in this world. We no longer live in the blank white spaces at the edge of print. We no longer live in the gaps between the stories. We are the story in print. And we are writing the story ourselves.”

#6: Barbara Streisand Says “Time’s Up” On Ignoring Female Directors

In her remarks before presenting the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture (Drama), the final award of the night, Streisand—the only woman to ever receive a Golden Globe award for best director—called out the sexism of the category’s nominees over the years. “Backstage I heard they said something about my—I was the only woman to get, did I hear it right? Yes, the only woman to get the best director award,” Streisand told the crowd. “And, you know, that was 1984—that was 34 years ago. Folks, Time’s Up!”

Streisand went on to stress why women needed to be represented in the category. “We need more women directors and more women to be nominated for best director,” she insisted. “There are so many films out there that are so good directed by women. Anyway, I’m very proud to stand in a room with people who speak out against gender inequality, sexual harassment, and the pettiness that has poisoned our politics. And I’m proud that our industry faced with uncomfortable truths has vowed to change the way we do business. Truth is powerful, and in a really good film, we recognize the truth about ourselves, about others, and it’s so powerful that it can even change people’s minds, touch people’s hearts, and ultimately even change society itself.”

#5: Laura Dern and Reese Witherspoon Pledged to Break the Silence

“Many of us were taught not to tattle,” actor Laura Dern declared as she scooped up the Globe for Best Supporting Actress (Drama) for her role in Big Little Lies as a successful businesswoman whose little girl who is being bullied and harassed at school. “It was a culture of silencing and that was normalized. I urge all of us to not only support survivors and bystanders who are brave enough to tell their truth, but to promote restorative justice. May we also, please, protect and employ them. May we teach our children that speaking out without the fear of retribution is our culture’s new North Star.”

Reese Witherspoon, accepting the Golden Globe for Best Limited Series for the same show, pledged to make that commitment herself. “This show is so much about the life we present to the world that could be very different from the life we live behind closed doors,” she told the crowd, “so I want to thank everyone who broke their silence this year and spoke up about abuse and harassment. You are so brave. And hopefully shows like this—more will be made. So people out there who are feeling silenced by harassment, discrimination, abuse: time is up. We see you, we hear you, and we will tell your stories.”

4) Nicole Kidman Honored Her Mother’s Fight for Women’s Equality

Taking home the award for Best Actress in a Mini-Series or TV movie for her role as a lawyer turned stay at home mother who is physically and psychologically abused by her husband, Kidman paid tribute to her mother’s work with the women’s rights movement in Australia. “My mama was an advocate for the women’s movement when I was growing up,” she said, “and because of her, I’m standing here. My achievements are her achievements. Antonia Kidman, my sister, and I say thank you, Janelle Kidman, for what you fought for so hard. This character that I played represents something that is the center of our conversation right now: abuse. I do believe, and I hope, we can elicit change through the stories we tell and the way we tell them. Let’s keep the conversation alive.”

#3: Natalie Portman Also Called Out Sexism in the Best Director Category—As She Presented the Golden Globe for Best Director

Sometimes, you need to take things there. After a night honoring women—and, in some cases, the films they directed—Natalie Portman didn’t mince words when she was called to introduced the nominees for Best Director, a field populated this year (and many others) solely by men. Breaking script, Portman ended her introduction with a twist on the typical salutation: “And now,” she declared, “the all-male nominees for Best Director.”

#2: Activists Walked The Red Carpet

This year, the Golden Globes turned the Red Carpet into a space to amplify voices and activism. In addition to the black-out, with female stars, along with a number of male attendees, donning black ensembles for the evening in solidarity, actors also brought activists and organizers as their “dates” for the evening to lend them a massive platform for their work.

Actors Meryl Streep, Amy Poehler Michele Williams, Emma Watson, Emma Stone,  Susan Sarandon, Shailene Woodley and Laura Dern used their platforms to highlight some of the women leading the fight against sexual harassment and equality on a range of issues. Their guests—Ai-jen Poo, Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance; Saru Jayaraman, who advocates for workplace justice for restaurant workers; Tarana Burke, founder of the #MeToo movement; Marai Larasi, Executive Director of the U.K. based black feminist group Imkaan; Billie Jean King, tennis star and LGBT rights activist; Rosa Clemente, an independent journalist and activist who focuses on issues centering black and Latinx communities; Calina Lawrence, an artist, activist and member of Suquamish Tribe who uses her work to highlight themes of racial injustice in the indigenous community; and Monica Ramirez, co-founder and president of the National Farmworkers Women’s Alliance—took to the red carpet to spotlight some of the issues and causes central to the Time’s Up platform.

#1: Oprah.

If you haven’t already seen Winfrey’s acceptance speech for her Cecile B. DeMille Award for Lifetime Achievement, you’re missing out. Winfrey’s show-stealing remarks, invoking the story of Recy Taylor, assured the room—and millions watching—that women were going to keep rising, and that change was going to come. “I want all the girls watching here, now, to know that a new day is on the horizon,” Oprah declared, “and 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, 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.”

Read Winfrey’s remarks in full, below:

“Thank you, Reese. In 1964, I was a little girl sitting on the linoleum floor of my mother’s house in Milwaukee watching Anne Bancroft present the Oscar for best actor at the 36th Academy Awards. She opened the envelope and said five words that literally made history:” The winner is Sidney Poitier.” Up to the stage came the most elegant man I ever remembered. His tie was white, his skin was black—and he was being celebrated. I’d never seen a black man being celebrated like that. I tried many, many times to explain what a moment like that means to a little girl, a kid watching from the cheap seats as my mom came through the door bone tired from cleaning other people’s houses. But all I can do is quote and say that the explanation in Sidney’s performance in Lilies of the Field: “Amen, amen, amen, amen.”

In 1982, Sidney received the Cecil B. DeMille award right here at the Golden Globes and it is not lost on me that at this moment, there are some little girls watching as I become the first black woman to be given this same award. It is an honor—it is an honor and it is a privilege to share the evening with all of them and also with the incredible men and women who have inspired me, who challenged me, who sustained me and made my journey to this stage possible. Dennis Swanson who took a chance on me for A.M. Chicago. Saw me on the show and said to Steven Spielberg, she’s Sophia in ‘The Color Purple.’ Gayle who’s been a friend and Stedman who’s been my rock.

I want to thank the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. We know the press is under siege these days. We also know it’s the insatiable dedication to uncovering the absolute truth that keeps us from turning a blind eye to corruption and to injustice. To—to tyrants and victims, and secrets and lies. I want to say that I value the press more than ever before as we try to navigate these complicated times, which brings me to this: what I know for sure is that speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have. And I’m especially proud and inspired by all the women who have felt strong enough and empowered enough to speak up and share their personal stories. Each of us in this room are celebrated because of the stories that we tell, and this year we became the story.

But it’s not just a story affecting the entertainment industry. It’s one that transcends any culture, geography, race, religion, politics, or workplace. So I want tonight to express gratitude to all the women who have endured years of abuse and assault because they, like my mother, had children to feed and bills to pay and dreams to pursue. They’re the women whose names we’ll never know. They are domestic workers and farm workers. They are working in factories and they work in restaurants and they’re in academia, engineering, medicine, and science. They’re part of the world of tech and politics and business. They’re our athletes in the Olympics and they’re our soldiers in the military.

And there’s someone else, Recy Taylor, a name I know and I think you should know, too. In 1944, Recy Taylor was a young wife and mother walking home from a church service she’d attended in Abbeville, Alabama, when she was abducted by six armed white men, raped, and left blindfolded by the side of the road coming home from church. They threatened to kill her if she ever told anyone, but her story was reported to the NAACP where a young worker by the name of Rosa Parks became the lead investigator on her case and together they sought justice. But justice wasn’t an option in the era of Jim Crow. The men who tried to destroy her were never persecuted. Recy Taylor died ten days ago, just shy of her 98th birthday. She lived as we all have lived, too many years in a culture broken by brutally powerful men. For too long, women have not been heard or believed if they dare speak the truth to the power of those men. But their time is up. Their time is up.

Their time is up. And I just hope—I just hope that Recy Taylor died knowing that her truth, like the truth of so many other women who were tormented in those years, and even now tormented, goes marching on. It was somewhere in Rosa Parks’ heart almost 11 years later, when she made the decision to stay seated on that bus in Montgomery, and it’s here with every woman who chooses to say, “Me too.” And every man—every man who chooses to listen.

In my career, what I’ve always tried my best to do, whether on television or through film, is to say something about how men and women really behave. To say how we experience shame, how we love and how we rage, how we fail, how we retreat, persevere, and how we overcome. I’ve interviewed and portrayed people who’ve withstood some of the ugliest things life can throw at you, but the one quality all of them seem to share is an ability to maintain hope for a brighter morning, even during our darkest nights. So I want all the girls watching here, now, to know that a new day is on the horizon! And 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, 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.”

ms-headshotLauren Young is an Editorial Associate at Ms. She has a Master’s Degree in European and Russian Studies from Yale University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Government and Russian Civilization from Smith College. Follow her on @thatlaurenyoung.

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