SXSW Moments: Addressing MeToo
The Forrest Four-Cast: June 20, 2019
Did you miss something at SXSW 2019? Want to relive the magic? Look to this space over the coming weeks for links to video and audio replays of some of the most incredible experiences from this year’s event.
While sexual harassment complaints have fallen from their peak in October 2017 — when Harvey Weinstein was charged — the MeToo movement continues to expose horrific stories of pervasive mistreatment of women (with Max Landis a recently outed alleged creep).
Numerous discussions around MeToo at SXSW 2019 looked at what has happened and what can be done.
The Global Voices of #MeToo
The #MeToo movement rocketed to prominence when women across industries and geographies shared stories of their abuse and discrimination. While much attention has been paid to the high-profile women who sparked the cultural reckoning, the most vulnerable women — on farms, and in fields, hotels, and homes — remain in the shadows. For decades, CARE® has led innovative programs that lift women’s voices, give women choices, and empower women workers to ignite transformational change. This panel of international leaders and activists addresses how to break down barriers that marginalize women around the world.
#MeToo, Now What?: Looking Beyond the Hashtag
Confronting the dynamics and challenges of film and television in the wake of the #MeToo movement, panelists have an honest dialogue focusing on underrepresented demographics, the deep complexity of discrimination extending far beyond a hashtag, and how film schools and introductory level programs should implement training to benefit equity in entertainment. They pull insights from their own experience as industry professionals and months of grassroots research in the field.
Our Own Worst Enemy: Why Women Keep Each Other Down
Empowerment for women in the workforce is in vogue. Hiring women, promoting women, paying women equally and stopping harassment is getting all the right kinds of press. Finally. But while we’re thrilled to celebrate the empowerment of women, we’re ignoring a prevalent practice that can be seen daily in many workplaces: women putting and keeping other women down. For women making a purposeful decision to encourage and support the women on their team, this panel discusses what empowerment looks like in practice.
From the rise of #MeToo to the current political climate, the past year has seen a pivotal shift for women in our culture. Margaret Johnson (AdAge’s Executive of the Year and CCO of Goodby Silverstein & Partners), Ukonwa Ojo (former CMO COVERGIRL), Nonny de la Peña (filmmaker and “Godmother of Virtual Reality”) and Lauren Greenfield (founder of Girl Culture Films) discuss the evolving female voice in culture and how Hollywood and advertisers are forging parity through equal representation.
How ’90s Bitchification led to #MeToo
90s nostalgia is everywhere. Revival sitcoms “Roseanne” and “Murphy Brown” were back on TV. The Spice Girls and the “Beverly Hills, 90210” cast are rumored to be reuniting. Films about Lorena Bobbitt, Tonya Harding, Anita Hill, and Marcia Clark have received acclaim. However, our 90s nostalgia may be 90s amnesia. We’re romanticizing an incredibly complex time, especially when it came to women. In her best-selling book, “90s Bitch: Media, Culture, and the Failed Promise of Gender Equality,” Allison Yarrow reexamines the stories that were told and sold about women during the decade — stories that shaped the Millennial generation and help explain the status of women in America today. 90s Bitchification was a precursor to #MeToo, harassment, and abuse in the social media age, and Yarrow’s session makes that connection, and discusses what we can do about it.
Radical Empathy: Sexual Assault Survivor Care
The #MeToo movement brought the problems of sexual harassment and assault to the eyes of the world like never before. These problems aren’t new, and they aren’t going away. Advocacy leaders are changing what the aftermath of sexual assault looks like by developing survivor-centered programs and providing trauma-informed care to communities impacted by sexual violence. This discussion focuses on what we’re learning through research and innovation about how to avoid burnout, maintain healthy boundaries, and manage secondary trauma.
Men’s Role in Gender Equality at Work
The burden of driving gender equality in the workplace cannot rest solely on the shoulders of women. Our systems of promotion and advancement are broken — women don’t need “fixing” — our workplace culture does. Men have an important role to play as allies in fixing those systems and there are simple steps men and companies can take to bring everyone along on the path to a more equal future. From equalization of parental leave to equal representation in the boardroom, male allies play an important role. This lively discussion between a male equality champion and a female leader reveals how the two genders can work together to change our systems and elevate women at work.
RX for Sexual Harrassment: Asking Leaders to Listen
Despite the recent attention on high-profile cases of sexual harassment, the issue is far from being resolved. Ingrained behaviors in many company cultures have prohibited women from getting into positions of leadership, and created an environment that many find intolerable. There needs to be a seismic shift in the way that sexual harassment is handled. In this panel discussion, HR and technology leaders discuss a four-step remedy: 1) creating an open network for authentic dialogue, so that people can safely share their views, 2) offering better education, 3) convincing leadership to own the issue, and 4) creating a culture of mutual respect, trust, and transparency, in which there is zero tolerance for harassment.
The Feminine Revolution: Ignite Your Power
A provocative discussion that confronts 21 feminine qualities that are perceived as weak and reframes them as powerful tools that are the basis for lasting relationships, creativity, leadership, and authenticity. Using their own personal journeys alongside historical research and analysis, Amy Stanton and Catherine Connors challenge societal misconceptions and make the case for a fresh look and a new approach to femininity, arguing why these traits are to be embraced rather than maligned. Listeners will be inspired to think differently and gain with practical tools to tap into their power, their femininity, sensitivity, intuition, and even their tendency to cry.
HR in the Post #MeToo World
The #MeToo movement spotlighted the mistreatment of women in the workplace and beyond. But what tangible steps have Human Resources departments taken to address this issue since the hashtag went viral? Do American women feel safe at work? Are HR departments doing enough to create healthy workplaces where all workers can thrive? In a new survey with The Female Quotient HR professionals and employees revealed how the workplace rules have changed, for better or worse, in the post #MeToo world.
Blood Speaks: Agency, Voice and Gender
Growing up in Calcutta, Poulomi Basu witnessed and experienced at home the use of violence and ritual as a force to control women. Now a storyteller, artist and activist, Basi’s session explores the way her journey and experience directly led to the development of the transmedia project “Blood Speaks,” which explores the use of traditions and culture to normalize violence against women. Through a combined use of traditional (photography) and emergent technologies (VR/interactive), the project reveals the agency, independence and voice of those often perceived to be poor and powerless. In the wake of the MeToo movement, such voices are a crucial, but often excluded, component of the global dialogue, and technology is the bridge to bring them together with equality.
More Memories from SXSW 2019
AI for Business
Public Interest AI
Change is Coming
It’s Time for Sports!
Saving the Ocean
Social Media Power
Telling New Media Stories
May the Fourth
Women in Tech
Thriving at Work
Making a Difference
Fighting Fake News
Do these audio recordings inspire you to get involved in a SXSW session next year? Enter your forward-thinking speaking proposal for March 2020 via the SXSW PanelPicker. Speaking proposals for next year’s event are accepted via this interface from July 1 through July 19.
Hugh Forrest serves as Chief Programming Officer at SXSW, the world’s most unique gathering of creative professionals. He also tries to write at least four paragraphs per day on Medium. These posts often cover tech-related trends; other times they focus on books, pop culture, sports and other current events.