With the outpouring of sexual assault allegations against powerful men and Time’s Person of the Year dedication to “the Silence Breakers,” it feels like the world is finally listening to survivors — and it's incredible.. But in a recent interview with The New York Times, Gabrielle Union pointed out something really important about #MeToo and whose stories being heard.
“I think the floodgates have opened for white women,” she said. “I don’t think it’s a coincidence whose pain has been taken seriously. Whose pain we have showed historically and continued to show. Whose pain is tolerable and whose pain is intolerable, and whose pain needs to be addressed right now.”
The Being Mary Jane and Bring It On actress recently finished a book tour for her bestselling collection of essays, We’re Going To Need More Wine. In the book, Union discusses her upbringing, experiences with race, gender, and Hollywood, and coping with the aftermath of being raped at age 19. She referred to herself as a “perfect victim,” since the rape happened in her workplace and was caught on surveillance, and emphasized the importance of speaking up for those who aren’t heard as loudly.
“When we have the microphone, how often do we pass it back to the people who are experiencing a different challenge, but who are equally worthy as having the microphone?” she asked. Of the women who first exposed Harvey Weinstein as a serial predator, she wondered, “If those people hadn’t been Hollywood royalty. If they hadn’t been people who have had access to parts and roles and true inclusion in Hollywood, would we have believed?"
Top photo via BET / Being Mary Jane
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Lydia Wang is a writer, a Pisces, and one of BUST's digital editors. Find her on Twitter or say hi: firstname.lastname@example.org.