The now month-long storm of women sharing stories of sexual harassment has been an earth-shattering and powerful beginning to what seems to become an increasingly important feminist movement. A movement which has already lead to significant justice and change (look at all the powerful men being fired and removed from their once-upon thrones on a daily basis). And as powerful and impactful as words are, and the #MeToo movement has solidly confirmed that’s true, there is sometimes something equally as poignant about the words not spoken.
This was what Uma Thurman showed us when she was asked by Access Hollywood about Harvey Weinstein and the many sexual assault allegations against him. Thurman has worked on seven Weinstein-produced movies, including Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill, and told Access Hollywood, “I don’t have a tidy sound bite for you, because I have learned… I am not a child, and I have learned that when I’ve spoken in anger, I usually regret the way I express myself.”
Throughout the interview, Thurman is impressively composed yet visibly trying to suppress anger. The video has gone viral in the past few days, and likely not because of Thurman’s silence itself, but because she illustrates a kind of silence most women have felt at some point or another: either if it’s after having been faced with a man who’s harassed or assaulted us, or if it’s in the aftermath of being shut down or shut up by a man during a business meeting.
The point is, we all know that angry silence – the impossible silence that comes from wanting to remain composed and professional, yet feeling like you might implode if doing so. It’s the kind of silence that, as Thurman very visibly experiences during this interview, feels like it’s about to boil over into a flood of angry words, instead of a concise and clear sentence that people will, in fact, end up believing.
“I’ve been waiting to feel less angry,” Thurman added in the interview with Access Hollywood, “and when I’m ready, I will say what I have to say.”
Well, Uma, we will wait with you, and when you are ready: we will be, too.
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