Amid a week’s worth of harrowing sexual abuse allegations surrounding disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, actress Gabrielle Union offered some insights in a powerful Twitter thread.
Union began her string of tweets on Sunday by reiterating the notion that women should never be blamed for being assaulted or harassed — nor for staying silent. “Sexual violence & harassment can happen to anyone at any time anywhere,” she began. “Ppl remain silent 4 many different very personal reasons. Judgment, victim shaming/blaming, loss of job/$, fear of violence, retaliation.”
Union then shifted her focus to arguments over how women should dress and appear in front of men, which intensified after Donna Karan initially suggested women might be “asking for it” and Mayim Bialik wrote a controversial op-ed in the New York Times that indicated being “average-looking” helped her avoid the predatory behavior of men in Hollywood like Weinstein. Addressing that view, Union recounted a painful experience in order to discredit it. “I got raped at work at a Payless shoe store,” she tweeted. “I had on a long tunic & leggings so miss me w/ ‘dress modestly’ s—.”
Finally, some time later, Union hit back at detractors on social media by retweeting a reaction from the Black Girl Nerds Twitter account: “These men in [Gabrielle Union’s] mentions right now trying to justify rape is absolutely disgusting.”
Last year, in a powerful piece for the Los Angeles Times, Union revealed that she was sexually assaulted at gunpoint more than two decades ago. The Being Mary Jane actress wrote the piece in response to the rape allegations against Nate Parker that had resurfaced. Union was a costar in the breakout film he directed and starred in, The Birth of a Nation.