Gabrielle Union On #MeToo: "I Think The Floodgates Opened For White Women"

gabrielle union, sexual assault, metoo
Nuccio DiNuzzo / Chicago Tribune

Gabrielle Union: Sexual assault victim and actress discusses #MeToo, the lack of women of color in the movement, and her new book "We're Going to Need More Wine."

Gabrielle Union On #MeToo: "I Think The Floodgates Opened For White Women"

Gabrielle Union might be known for playing Isis on the comedy classic Bring It On, but she's done a lot since. For over the past 20 years, Union has been an advocate of sexual-assault victims and has recently been on a monthlong book tour listening to hundreds of women (and men) about their horrific accounts of abuse as well as talking about her own, since Union, too, is a sexual assault survivor. In an interview with The New York Times, Union revealed her thoughts on the #MeToo movement and how the voices of women of color are noticeably unheard within the movement compared to the voices of white women.

Gioncarlo Valentine/The New York Times

Gabrielle Union's Sexual Assault

In "We're Going to Need More Wine," Union opens up about her own rape when she was 19 at gunpoint. The man who raped her was later caught sentenced to 33 years in prison.

"After I was raped, I didn't leave my house for a whole year unless I had to go to court or to therapy," Union wrote. "Twenty-four years later, fear still influences everything I do."

Union's book tour has given survivors a "pop-up safe space to express their pain."

Black ❀ #AllBlackEverythang

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Gabrielle Union's #MeToo Movement

Clearly, Union has been publically talking about her own #MeToo movement long before the Harvey Weinstein scandal and months ahead of Time's Person of the Year, which was given to "The Silence Breakers" of sexual harassment and assault this year. Union strongly believes that the voices of women of color haven't been heard quite as loudly as others.

"I think the floodgates have opened for white women," Union told the Times. "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 now."

Union then posed an important question.

"If those people hadn't been Hollywood royalty," Union asked. "If they hadn't been approachable. If they hadn't been people who have had access to parts and roles and true inclusion in Hollywood, would we have believed?"

The truth? We're not so sure, and that reveals a very real problem within the fabric of today's society.


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