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Ellen Pompeo is kicking off 2018 by kicking down some doors

Let me be the first to admit that, the world being what it is, white allies make me wary more often than not and I’d rather celebrate the achievements of women of color. We have enough of white feminists as is.

Being a fan of the early seasons of Grey’s Anatomy, however, Ellen Pompeo holds a special little place in my heart. This is partly why her being a boss-ass bitch warms the cockles of my tiny cold heart. But, more importantly, Ellen does not believe in holding back apparently. She started the year dragging Woody Allen through the gutter and is well aware that once she gets going, nobody is going to be shutting her up. Ellen is here to preach and fools can sit down and listen.

[bctt tweet=”Ask for things like a white man would, like you deserve them.” username=”wearethetempest”]

Of course, I’m not saying she’s perfect. I mean, she might slip up and say something problematic next so I need to cover my bases. This week, though, this white lady is doing pretty well. She’s in the news for not only becoming the highest paid actress on prime-time drama (gasp!), but also openly discussing her paychecks and the pay gap at ABC (egad!) with The Hollywood Reporter. Her stance on the issue brought back one of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received: ask for things like a white man would, like you deserve them.

My favorite part of her interview is that it is not really preachy; this woman has let people hold her back for most of her career and has only now started biting back. Now that she is, she’s dragging down ABC studios, production studios in general, and even her (until recently) co-star Patrick Dempsey. And she’s saying the right things while she does, things like: “It’s my show; I’m the number one” and “OK, maybe I do deserve a piece of this” and “But there should be more of us women in power”.

She’s not perfect; she’s just another example of a woman stepping up and demanding what she deserves.

[bctt tweet=”Now that she is, she’s dragging down ABC studios, production studios in general, and even her co-star Patrick Dempsey.” username=”wearethetempest”]

In the current social climate, where people are quick to shut a woman when she dares to speak for her rights, this is a refreshing take. To see a woman finally – after headlining a series that her character shares a name with for more than a decade – begin demanding to for her rightfully superior place in the production is not just heartening. It’s encouraging. It says: Enough of this bullshit pay gap! If you can afford to dig your heels and refuse to accept a penny less than what you have earned, don’t hold yourself back.

Advice from Shonda Rhimes has motivated Ellen Pompeo, and now it’s motivating me: “Decide what you think you’re worth and then ask for what you think you’re worth. Nobody’s just going to give it to you.”

By Anum Waseem

Grad student majoring in English literature, known in certain circles for taking impromptu naps and starting fights about feminism in class. She believes in the power of critical discourse, diversity in representation, the perfect cup of chai, a good red lipstick, and Mr. Darcy’s hand flex (2005).