“Speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have," said Oprah Winfrey at the 2018 Golden Globes awards ceremony on Jan. 7 where she received the Cecil B. DeMille Award and delivered a powerful, moving speech about looking forward to a “new day on the horizon” where no woman ever has to say, “me, too” again.
In honor of the many “truth speakers” that came out and accused high-ranking powerful men of sexual abuse and misconduct, the attendees — men and women — wore black.
I am proud to be a woman in an era where we are feeling more confident in standing up for ourselves, speaking out and going for our dreams. I do find it ironic that Hollywood is taking credit for standing up against sexual exploitation of women, when in actuality, they have been glamorizing it for decades. The pressure for women to look, act and behave a certain way for attention was born and bred in Hollywood. All one has to do is turn on the TV or take a trip to the movies to see how prevalent sex and violence are on the silver screen.
Giving a standing ovation for the war cry, “the time’s up!” is one thing, but then cut to commercial break where the trailer for the “Fifty Shades Darker” film is on repeat, and you’ve got a perfect example of Hollywood hypocrites saying one thing but promoting another. The day they stop making films about romanticizing these things is the day I’ll believe they are truly “looking forward.”
Nevertheless, Oprah’s speech made a big statement in hopefully propelling us forward to that new day sooner rather than later. Oprah Winfrey has a way of being honest and eloquent in a way that is inspiring. In fact, she is so dynamic in front of a crowd that many people are now encouraging her to run for U.S. president in 2020. NBC even tweeted “nothing but respect for OUR future President” which goes right along with New York Post's John Podhoretz, who wrote a column last fall in which he called her “the Democrats' best hope for 2020,” to which Winfrey responded with a tweet saying, “thanks for your VOTE of confidence!”
While talking to Bloomberg's David Rubenstein in March, Winfrey seemed to think that a run for president is not out of the realm of possibility.
When Rubenstein pointed out, “it’s clear you don’t need government experience to be elected president of the United States,” Winfrey responded with, “That’s what I thought. I thought, ‘Oh, gee, I don’t have the experience, I don’t know enough.’ And now I’m thinking, ‘Oh.’”
I respect and admire Oprah Winfrey and am incredibly happy for her recent achievement and all that it represents. It’s a wonderful and well-deserved accomplishment for such an impactful, talented woman. I applaud her for standing strong against sexual abuse of women and for encouraging girls everywhere to dream big and always, no matter what, “speak our truth.”
But I strongly believe, now more than ever, that it takes much more to be the president of the United States than big money with a big name. New York Times contributor Thomas Chatterton Williams elaborates on this point in his op-ed titled, “Oprah, Don’t Do It”:4 comments on this story
“The idea that the presidency should become just another prize for celebrities — even the ones with whose politics we imagine we agree — is dangerous in the extreme. If the first year of the Trump administration has made anything clear, it’s that experience, knowledge, education, and political wisdom matter tremendously. The presidency is not a reality show, or for that matter, a talk show.”
Oprah Winfrey is great at what she does — bringing people together and creating an atmosphere of understanding. “In my career, what I’ve always tried to do whether in television or film, is to say something about how men and women really behave… to say how we experience shame, how we love, how we rage, how we fail, how we retreat, persevere, and how we overcome,” she said during her speech at the Golden Globe awards.
I believe she should continue to do exactly that.