Laverne Cox believes that “men aren’t really clear about” consent — from her own personal experience.
In a new interview for The Katie Couric Podcast, the actress revealed that she recently had to face someone with whom she had a negative experience.
“I got to confront a man that I’d had a sexual encounter with that the encounter was consensual but then something happened that wasn’t consensual. And I was able to recently confront him about that,” she said. “And what was interesting to me in the confrontation is that he had no idea that his behavior was predatory, that he didn’t have consent.”
Cox, 45, added, “And I think so often the idea of consent is something that men aren’t really clear about. And I’m very clear that what happened was not consensual and was not okay and I was able to assure that to him. But that’s a different kind of conversation, what does consent look like?”
The Orange Is the New Black star explained that consent needs to be better understood by all people.
“We have to be really careful about the messages we’re sending to our young people of all genders about what consent is,” she said. “And so those kinds of conversations, men should be having with themselves, with each other, and then, ultimately, with women, and then listening more. And then we all have to be engaged in changing the culture.”
Although bold women are currently in the spotlight, Cox believes there is plenty of room for men to join the #MeToo movement.
“For far too often we’ve listened to men and not listened to women. We’re at a point now where women are finally being believed and heard and we have to continue that,” she shared. “That doesn’t mean, because I love men, that doesn’t mean we hate men. That doesn’t mean was to sort of demonize men. But we have to foreground the voices and experiences of women.”
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The actress, who recently became Cosmopolitan‘s first-ever openly transgender cover model, also pointed that men are victims of sexual assault, noting the allegations made by Anthony Rapp and Terry Cruz.
“It’s a conversation that we all need to have. But then there’s something about power and accountability,” she said. “For so long it was just okay to do this stuff. And Time’s Up.”