The elephant in the room is those 53% of white women who voted for Trump. With their votes, the majority of American white women declared their indifference to sexism and racism, loyalty to their skin non-color trump-ing any other concern. I’m well aware that Rose McGowan was not one of them, but her ability to compare her plight as a very privileged white woman to any woman of color means that she shares with them a sense of grievance and entitlement that blinds her to the reality most women live in.
While I’m disgusted and appalled by the revelations emerging about Harvey Weinstein, I can’t help but think of friends I have in rural India, where a woman who leaves the house alone is seen as someone “asking for it” and is vulnerable to being gang raped by every male in her community, a crime that will not only go unpunished 99.9% of the time but will frequently end up being a life sentence for the victim, who could be forced to marry one of her rapists unless she’s killed by her own family out of shame. I’m sorry, but it seems obscene to me to apply the same term, rape, to both what happens to these women in India and what happens to a rich American white woman who willingly enters a closed hotel room (not an office, which you might think would be a tipoff) with a married man just so they can have a career that makes them rich and famous. Millions of women are raped every day by their own husbands, locked like a virtual prisoner into a lifetime of daily abuse, but I’m supposed to shed tears for Gwyneth Paltrow, who got her Oscar and her millions almost twenty years ago but waited until now to tell us how horrible the man who helped her get those things treated her. Perhaps if she had spoken up in 1999, when she was at the peak of her fame and success, she could have prevented all those other women from getting groped by him — but no, like McGowan and everyone else, she took the hush money. 99.9% of rape victims aren’t offered hush money and they don’t have 800-thread count sheets to cry into in their palatial houses in Laurel Canyon.
As a man, it breaks my heart to see women beat one another up due to problems caused by my gender, but then it’s always puzzled me that we expect an entire gender to agree on anything, even if they have a common enemy in toxic masculinity. The real problem is that both men and women enable a culture that rewards domineering, bullying behavior. That’s the problem we have to solve, and we’re not going to do it by pretending that all victims are created equal.