Anti-Sexual Harassment Group Time’s Up Developing App for Women to Address Male Microagressions in Workplace

Tina Tchen
Monica Schipper/Getty Images for The New York Women's Foundation

Coming soon to a workplace near you is a mobile app that will allow women to address male microagressions in the office. The British arm of Hollywood’s Time’s Up movement is reportedly developing an app that will educate women on workplace microaggressions and give them the resources to take action. Microaggressions are small social wrongs and slights that are perceived as overt acts of hostility by victim groups.

Time’s Up U.K. chair Heather Rabbatts told Variety that once the entertainment industry “resets” following the coronavirus pandemic, it won’t go back to the old way of doing things. “We want to build it in a way that speaks to our values and aspirations,” she said, which include a greater focus on intersectionality — the left-wing academic theory that people exist on “intersections” of oppression based on characteristics such as gender and race.

The mobile app will be one way to achieve that goal, she said. The app will reportedly educate women on what microaggressions are, and will also provide resources for support. While the app is expected to be used within the film and TV industries at first, it will also apply to industries beyond those, Variety reported.

“If you have a culture where microaggression is apparent, then that contributes to a culture of silence and being complicit when there is harassment and bullying going on,” Rabbatts told the trade publication. “If you don’t tackle microaggression, then you can’t tackle harassment and bullying.”

Time’s Up was founded in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal and the subsequent sexual assault and harassment scandals that have taken down powerful men throughout Hollywood and the mainstream media.
The organization’s main U.S. operation is headed by Tina Tchen, a former Obama associate who worked as an assistant to the former president and later as chief of staff to Michelle Obama. The group is backed by a slew of Hollywood stars and Obama associates including former Obama senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, mega TV producer Shonda Rhimes, CNN personality Ana Navarro, as well as actresses Eva Longoria and Ashley Judd.

Tina Tchen is calling for the removal of President Trump from office. “Time’s Up joins the chorus of bipartisan voices demanding Congress reconvene to work to do what needs to be done: remove President Trump from office immediately,” she tweeted.

Time’s Up recently came under criticism for its spending habits after public tax documents showed that the group spent lavishly on executive salaries but relatively little on its stated goal of fighting sexual harassment in the workplace.

Last year, the group declined to help Tara Reade, the former congressional staffer who accused Joe Biden of sexually assaulting her three decades ago.

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