“I think the floodgates have opened for white women,” Union 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 now.”
Union’s comments come as she wraps a monthlong book tour, where she met countless readers for whom her tour served as a safe space to talk about their own assaults. She would cry “like [she was] at a funeral” every night in her hotel room at what these women (and some men) had been through.
Union contends that the exposing and defenestration of Harvey Weinstein would have played out differently if those with allegations against the mega-producer had not been “Hollywood royalty.” She went on, “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?”
Of her own rape, Union says she was the “perfect victim,” as the incident happened at work, was caught on camera, and she was able to promptly report her rapist to the police. This favorable set of circumstances for a wholly awful situation is a sad rarity in the realm of sexual violence.
Union goes on to say women who have the privilege of a platform to confront these kind of injustices also have a responsibility to elevate the voices of those who don’t share that privilege. “When we have the microphone,” she asks, “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?”