Gabrielle Union Pens Powerful Op-Ed About Sexual Violence

Photo: MediaPunch/REX/Shutterstock.
Gabrielle Union is now placing herself front-and-center in the conversation around Nate Parker's 1999 rape charge. Union, who stars in Parker's directorial debut and Oscar-hopeful The Birth Of A Nation, wrote an op-ed which ran in The Los Angeles Times detailing her thoughts on sexual assault and the reemerged allegations against Parker.

In the essay, Union begins by retelling the story of her own sexual assault, when she was raped 24 years ago while working at a shoe store. From there, she unravels the narrative that unfortunately impacts many women around the world. A narrative that involves men taking advantage of women, and silencing them with their power. Something that Parker himself was accused of, tried of, and then acquitted of as a student at Penn State. The most heartbreaking detail surrounding that story comes later when it was revealed that the woman who accused Parker, and his friend and co-writer of Birth of a Nation, Jean Celestin, of sexual assault had killed herself in 2012.

The 43-year-old actress seems to be especially torn because her character in Parker's movie is raped, and literally has no speaking lines. She writes, "As important and ground-breaking as this film is, I cannot take these allegations lightly. On that night, 17-odd years ago, did Nate have his date’s consent? It’s very possible he thought he did. Yet by his own admission he did not have verbal affirmation; and even if she never said “no,” silence certainly does not equal “yes.”

She continues, stating one of the most important pieces of information that any male or female engaging in sexual intercourse NEEDS to understand, "Although it’s often difficult to read and understand body language, the fact that some individuals interpret the absence of a “no” as a “yes” is problematic at least, criminal at worst. That’s why education on this issue is so vital."

Her words are beautiful and powerful, but she seems to still stand with the film and is not entirely distancing herself from the project. Union's main takeaway is that she does not know what really happened that night 17 years ago, even after she read the entire 700-page transcription from the case, but that it's an opportunity "to inform and educate so that these situations cease to occur on college campuses, in dorm rooms, in fraternities, in apartments or anywhere else young people get together to socialize."
Related Video:

More from News

Update: The Los Angeles City Attorney's Office charged the two male protesters that stormed the stage during Ryan Lochte's performance during Dancing With ...
Chrissy Teigen confirms that her life is just too too cute
The actor will not be attending a screening of the film Voyage of Time this evening. Though he narrates the documentary film, Pitt says he will not be ...
You could spend all day critiquing the media for the lack of compelling content created by and starring women. But why not put the kind of female-centric...
Two weeks ago, Nick Gordon was found responsible for the 2015 death of one-time girlfriend Bobbi Kristina Brown in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by her ...
Just when we thought we couldn't handle any more Hollywood romances ending, Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber broke up. "Over the past few months we've ...
Viola Davis wants people to rethink what it means to be a survivor of sexual assault. In a speech benefitting the Rape Foundation, the How to Get Away ...
We've been waiting for this news ever since President Obama announced that the White House would host South by South Lawn. The official lineup is here, ...
Dusty Rose Levine 9/21/16 A photo posted by Adam Levine (@adamlevine) on Sep 23, 2016 at 9:40pm PDT Adam Levine and Behati Prinsloo Levine have ...
Update: Marion Cotillard's longtime partner, Guillaume Canet, has also weighed in on the Pitt-Jolie divorce rumors. In a post on Instagram, he wrote a long...
Fact: When a woman turns 30, she can do whatever the fuck she wants. To be sure, a woman can do just about anything just about anytime she wants. The ...
Last month, Star Wars star Daisy Ridley abruptly quit Instagram. The internet assumed that online bullying spurred her departure, because, well, the ...
Kylie Jenner has been summoned for questioning in a lawsuit against Tyga, TMZ reports. Before October 6, Jenner will appear for examination in a case ...
Pharrell Williams, the man responsible for "Happy," the song that would not go away, is expecting another child with his wife, Helen Lasichanh, E! Online...