Image via Getty.
Image via Getty.

Musically, and in interviews.

During The Hollywood Reporter’s Actress Roundtable questions regarding the current sexual misconduct accusation deluge arose. Of course. Mary J. Blige seems to be looking at the onslaught as a positive thing, saying she feels happy that people can finally speak the truth about their experiences:

“I’m happy that they’re free, because they had to hold on to a secret that they might have seen shrinks for years and years and years.”

“I believe that things will change because this is making other women say, ‘Me too, me too, me too.’ That’s why it just keeps happening every day. It will change things, because people don’t want to be in bondage anymore.”

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And she also implies there are things she isn’t ready to say yet, though they’ve been influencing her whole life:

“I’ve been through so much as child and a teenager. I wore baggier jeans, Timberlands, and hat turned backwards so I wouldn’t be so revealing,” Blige said. “It took me a very long time to even wear makeup and tight clothes, because I’ve been through so much, and what I’ve been through has been a secret. Those secrets I still have to deal with. So, I’m happy that these women are hopefully free, because it hurts. I’m just happy that the people are being exposed.”

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Blige goes on to draw a connection to her character in the film Mudbound to the women in her family who lived in the South, and how they managed gender dynamics. Blige says they had a “silent power” and people were aware of this power because of the “way their men treated them and because of how everybody treated them.” She says she drew on those memories to be her character Florence, and was astounded to see herself on screen as someone else:

“That was cool,” the actress continued, “because I see Mary J. Blige in everything I do. I’m so glad we got rid of her.”

You can read the thoughts on harassment shared by the five other actresses here.

Contributing Writer, writing my first book for the Dial Press called The Lonely Hunter, follow me on Twitter @alutkin

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DISCUSSION

I so relate to the wearing baggier clothes. When I was a little girl I only liked to wear dresses, especially ones that I could twirl in. As I got older I favored baggy jeans and sweatshirts. Even now I struggle to wear an “attention-getting” outfit that I love (though I feel proud now that I can do so occasionally and defend myself against gross men). A few years ago I told my husband that sometimes I feel like I have PTSD and I can’t pinpoint a specific traumatic event, but just the cumulative effect of being a young girl is traumatic. Does anyone else feel this way? Countless old men (and even lesbian women) leering at you (starting when you’re twelve and continuing through your twenties), making inappropriate comments. A middle school field hockey coach touching you in the wrong place during stretches. A fat old man grabbing your friend and putting her on his lap and you had to yank her out of his grip. Catcallers, street harassers, men who get scary when you turn them down. Other things that, like Mary J, I just can’t bring myself to type and acknolwledge...it’s all awful. Sorry for the ramble, I don’t know where this is going, but her words just resonated a lot with me.