The “Love and Hip Hop” franchise is not known for empowering women. In fact, more often than not it represents Black women in questionable lights. In fact, the subject of today’s story recently made headlines after she claimed that the show’s producers were asking her to fight with Amara La Negra, another Black woman on the show.
But more recently, Jessie Woo, with the help of co-star Trina and #MeToo founder Tarana Burke shed light on the very serious, very prevalent issue of sexual assault and sexual violence.
Trina invited Jessie Woo to a panel in which Burke was speaking about the movement and its purpose. As Burke speaks, we watch as Woo becomes visibly more and more upset. When her sobs become audible, the women in the room give her a chance to speak about her story. After she shares, she asks a poignant question.
See what she had to say below.
“I was raped by someone in the music industry. My question is, that person is living an abundant life. Touring, working with artists I would love to work with. How do I live with that? How do you really feel free when you don’t see some type of punishment for that person? How do I not feel small anymore?”
In an earlier conversation with Trina, Woo told the story in more detail.
“There was one producer. Me and my friend had came out with him and he calls and he’s like, ‘Hey, we’re going to be having this pool party, why don’t you guys come?’ I didn’t really want to go but we go. And everybody was upstairs. And I’m like ‘I don’t know. I don’t really feel a good feeling about this.’ We go upstairs and we get into this room and it’s nothing but dudes and it’s only two of us. And I just remember going into that room and she left me in the room alone. She left in the room alone! I would never leave her in the room by herself.
If that’s what I have to do to sing, I don’t want to sing anymore. They took something from me. I don’t want nobody taking anything from me, no more. I just want to sing, you know?… I put myself there.”
Then in her confessional, she said, “As a rape victim, you feel like you’re powerless. You feel like you’re a loser. You feel so low. You feel like you don’t matter. And for a long time, I felt like that knowing that this person did this to me. Sharing my story, is not to share it to make anyone else feel like they’re a victim. It’s to make people out there know, you are a victor, you are a survivor.”