Don’t Think She’s Just His Little Wife: 10 Times Gabrielle Union Had To Check The Patriarchy
I think Beyoncé said it best, “I took some time to live my life but don’t think I’m just his little wife.” The sentiment is true for every woman. But the idea of identifying a woman by her man seems even more egregious when said woman has publicly achieved and accomplished independently of her husband. We might expect something like this to happen in the 1950’s. But here we are in 2018 and using a man to validate a woman is still a thing.
When Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union donated $200,000 to a recent gun control rally, March For Our Lives, WSVN tweeted about their act of kindness writing:
Union immediately responded to the slight.
Union wasn’t the only one. There were a host of other people who took the news organization to task for their mistake. If you notice, you can still view the original tweet. When asked why they haven’t deleted it, WSVN explained:
No word on whether or not Gabreile accepted the apology but Dwyane Wade did, when they reached out to him as well.
Interestingly enough, this isn’t the first time Union has had to clapback when it comes to her husband, having a brain and mind of her own or checking misogyny and patriarchy in general.
When someone suggested all she does is tag along behind her husband.
Checking the referees.
When Union complained about the referees botching calls during a game, people started assuming that Dwyane was tweeting from her account.
Refusing to answer for Dwyane
After we learned that Dwyane Wade had a child on the way, instead of asking him about it, paparazzi swarmed on Union in the airport, asking her about her husband’s actions. She didn’t clapback with words but her silence and refusal to dignify the query with an answer spoke volumes.
When she told us it’s ok for women to be sexual.
When someone tried to shame her for role as Mary Jane Paul.
Checking 50 Cent in all of his shenanigans promoting “Power.”
When fellow actress Mayim Bialik said that she dressed modestly as way to protect herself from sexual assault, Union was quick to step in to remind her that attire has nothing to do with sexual assault.
“Sexual violence & harassment can happen to anyone at anytime anywhere,. Ppl remain silent 4 many different very personal reasons. Judgment, victim shaming/blaming, loss of job/$, fear of violence, retaliation. Folks are also very open and obvious about what kind of victim should be prioritized & believed. To think otherwise is to be willfully dim…In Hollywood meetings in homes, hotel lobbies/restaurants/suites, private isolated office space is the norm. NO ONE ‘ASKED FOR IT!! Sexual or physical violence, harassment, demeaning language is NOT the price one should pay for seeking or maintaining employment. Period. Reminder. I got raped at work at a Payless shoe store. I had on a long tunic & leggings so miss me w/ “dress modestly” shit. Though I was raped by a stranger who raped me at gunpoint after robbing the store, I was still asked by a female “friend” what I had worn. Look around, u can EASILY see whose pain is “real/valid” & must be addressed & whose pain is tolerable, unimportant & systematically ignored.”
When people took her bloating to mean that she was pregnant
When she had to check BET for playing with her money.
In 2016, Union sued BET for $3 million. The lawsuit claimed that the network violated the terms of her contract when they called for her to shoot 20 episodes back to back for season 4 and 5. They also weren’t going to give her the raise she’s supposed to get with each season. When ET asked her about the lawsuit and the reason for it, she said, “My mortgage. My mortgage alone.” Then getting more serious, she said, “If you stand up for nothing, you’ll fall for everything. I put in the same hours as most men if not more and I deserve to get paid the same,” she said. “Equal pay, equal work and that’s how it should be. If you stand up for nothing, you’ll fall for everything.”