On January 20, Constance Wu spoke to the gathered crowd of hundreds of thousands of the Los Angeles second annual Women’s March and addressed stereotypes and fetishizations she’s faced and now fights against.
“And recently I’ve heard a lot of men say that our movement makes them uncomfortable and paranoid,” Wu told the crowd. “And to that I say, this movement is not about catering our voices to accommodate your comfort.”
Ever since she came onto the scene as Jessica Huang in ABC’s Fresh Off the Boat, Constance Wu has used her powers for good. Like she told the New York Times in 2016, the role changed her shifted her focus “from self-interest to Asian-American interests.” That new focus included promoting the vote for Hillary Clinton in 2016, speaking up through social media, and becoming an active voice in the community and beyond.
Constance Wu is a star who’s using her platform and status to take action, a role model who’s doing the work others should emulate. It’s easy to sit back and only admire her, but if you really want to take her lead, look at three of the ways she takes part in the resistance and follow in your own way.
Her speech at the LA Women’s March: In this video from the LA Women’s March Facebook page, her speech begins around the 14 minute mark, and begins with “the first time I refused a man’s sexual advances.” She ends it like a boss with, “And I would just like to say, to the abusers who’ve called me a bitch, who have said ‘who do you think you are?’... I am Constance Wu.”
Promoting and being a voice for the Time’s Up organizations: Between her Twitter and Instagram, Wu makes sure the message of TIme’s Up and the #MeToo movement won’t be ignored or forgotten. Speaking of her social media...
Her Twitter and Instagram where you can actually follow her: She uses her platform with over 100 thousand followers on each account to advocate for women’s equality, the importance of voting, gun control, health care, and promote work from her community and friends. Plus her Instagram is full of bunnies.
I’ll follow Constance Wu anywhere as she takes her place becoming more involved and politically active. Even without a TV show or tons of Twitter followers, every fan can find a way to take after her example and make an impact. It can start with something as simple as beginning to read up on the current events and the history of movements to gain more confidence in your convictions. Listening to the larger conversations going on around big events— on social media, at school discussions, and articles written by reputable writers— provides nuance and perspectives to build stronger ground for you to stand on when taking a stand about causes you feel passionate about.
Then like Constance Wu, some next steps to take are figuring out how to advocate your beliefs in safe and open spaces. For some that means becoming more vocal in their communities at school or home, participating in online movements like #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter, calling your Congressional representatives, or doing the work at home and having difficult conversations with friends and family. Not everyone can give speeches to thousands of supporters in Los Angeles, but everyone can look around and start evaluating what impact they can make in their own circles. And, as Constance Wu would tell everyone, the most important way to contribute is to vote.
2018 is shaping up to be one of the most pivotal years both politically and socially, and it’s important that Asian American voices be a part of that change. That means using what powers we have—social media, our communities, our networks—to make sure we can advocate effectively for the causes that matter to us. Like Constance Wu.