Through pop culture and politics, 2018 has driven younger generations to get involved in movements to change society. As a result, changes were brought about that will last through the new year.
The #MeToo movement went into full effect after being started in late 2017. Women started coming forward about how famous men such as Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, and others allegedly sexually assaulted them. In late January, women held the second annual Women’s March as a nationwide protest for sexual assault.
On February 14, 17 were killed at Stoneman Douglas High School, in a school shooting in Parkland, Florida. The shooter was suspected to be Nikolas Cruz, a 19 year old and former student. The shooting sparked controversy across the country, with many demanding better gun control laws. March for our Lives was one of the many protests held in Washington D.C, and had celebrity appearances such as: Ariana Grande, Demi Lovato, Jennifer Hudson, Miley Cyrus, and others. Additionally, the protest had speakers as young as eleven, who expressed their opinions on gun control, and rallied people into action. In addition to March for our Lives, many schools held protests, including Mt. Hebron, which had a walkout.
Donald Glover “This is America”:
In wake of the gun-control protests, Donald Glover, also known as Childish Gambino, released his hit music video “This is America,” in early May. The music video contains themes of race, gun violence, especially gun violence in public places. The video became a quick sensation, racked up 12.4 million views on its first day, and currently has over 400 million views.
Black Panther was originally conceived as a comic by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1966 to appeal to their African American readers and in February, wasa turned into a film by Marvel. The film, which has a primarily black cast, received high praise from the public and was one of the hottest topics of conversation. Before the movie was released, the teaser trailer received 89 million views in 24 hours.
Saudi Arabia Allows Women to Drive:
Saudi Arabia made the decision to let women drive, originally decided in 2017, was enacted in mid 2018. The law provides more job opportunities, further boosting the economy. Allowing women to drive was a high request for years, and is a huge win for the women in Saudi Arabia. The law was not put into effect sooner as the country is highly religious, and ruled by an absolute monarchy. In the Shariah law, the law which rules the country, it is said that women should not drive.
As expected annually, the Oscars of 2018 showed the changing landscape in film. The nominees were films that included themes of LGBTQ+, disabilities, race, and diversity. In fact, many movies with these themes won in multiple categories. The Shape of Water, Get Out, Call Me By Your Name, and others took home awards.
Trump meets Kim:
Donald Trump met with the leader of North Korea in a summit meeting. Months before the event took place, the two leaders threatened each other with nuclear weapons. After the meeting, a joint statement was released, saying that the United States and South Korea would no longer feud. However, tension still remains.
United States Attacks Syria:
In a missle attack against Syria, 6 casualties occured. The strikes were carried out by the United States, France, and the United Kingdom in early April. Donald Trump explained the purpose was to dwindle their chemical weapons. According to Jim Mattis, the US Defense Secretary, the missiles were calculated to have the least civilian casualties.
The engagement between Harry, Prince of Wales, and Meghan Markle was announced in late 2017. The wedding occured on May 19, 2018 at St. George’s Chapel, and had many celebrity attendees. Notable guests included: Oprah Winfrey, James Corden, Serena Williams, and many others.
“I really don’t care, do u?” Jacket:
Melania Trump, on a trip to visit migrant children at the Texas-Mexico border, wore a jacket that said “I really don’t care, do u?” Trump boarded the plane to Texas in Maryland, but upon her arrival in Texas she had changed her attire. However, Trump made a point to put the jacket back on when returning to Maryland, where the temperature was a cool 81 degrees. Trump’s outfit choice stirred extra controversy when it was revealed the jacket was from the store ZARA, a store offering cheaper clothes when Trump typically wears designer items.
Colin Kaepernick’s Nike Ad
Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, was featured in Nike’s 30th Anniversary of their “Just Do It” campaign. Kaepernick was the first person to take a knee to protest racial prejudice during the National Anthem. The act of taking a knee has caused a lot of controversy, with some people thinking it is disrespectful and boycotting the company. As a result, the Nike campaign resulted in similar backlash, with some people burning their Nike clothes to protest. The negative press ended up giving Nike $6 billion in sales, which has led to a 5% increase over the past year.