STATE HOUSE – Many female members of the House of
Representatives donned black for session Tuesday in solidarity with the Time’s
Up movement and to make a united statement against sexual harassment.
The action was organized by Rep. Marcia Ranglin-Vassell
(D-Dist. 5, Providence) Monday, the day after many attendees at the Golden
Globes also donned black for the same reasons. Time’s Up is a movement launched
last week by 300 women in the entertainment industry to fight systemic sexual
harassment in Hollywood and in blue-collar industries nationwide.
Representative Ranglin-Vassell said the members plan to
continue wearing black on Tuesdays at least through February to maintain the
focus on addressing sexual harassment, an issue that gained traction worldwide
this fall as news of sexual harassment by power brokers in the entertainment
industry emboldened women from all walks of life to share their stories of
sexual harassment. She said she hopes for even greater participation in the
future, since this week’s action was hastily arranged by word-of-mouth among
the female representatives.
“As leaders, we owe it to our constituents to be outspoken
advocates for the changes that need to be made in our society,” said
Representative Ranglin-Vassell. “As women, we owe it to ourselves, our families
and the women who came before us and will come in the future to say, ‘No more.
We will not accept disrespect or mistreatment of women anywhere.’”
Said Rep. Kathleen Fogarty (D-Dist.35, South Kingstown),” We
wear black to support the Time’s Up movement. As leaders, we support sexual
harassment prevention. We want to see the end of pay disparity between men and
women. We reject discrimination in all fields of work.”
Rep. Katharine S. Kazarian (D-Dist. 63, East Providence)
added, “I wore black to show solidarity to those women and men who have been
victims of sexual harassment and/or sexual assault in the workplace. The first
step in solving a problem is acknowledging that there is an issue. We need to
bring awareness to this problem so that we can work together to ensure that no
person ever has to say ‘me too’ again.”