On February 3, as Rose McGowan was promoting her memoir “Brave” at a Barnes and Noble in New York, transactivist Andi Dier heckled her from the crowd, demanding to know what McGowan has ever done for the trans movement. The video has since gone viral with many on the liberal end of the political spectrum accusing McGowan of transphobia, taking the perspective of Dier rather than McGowan, a rape survivor who has risked her safety, career and mental health in order to speak out. McGowan has also been accused of racism and appropriating the Me Too movement founded by Tarana Burke.
However, what I’d like to address are the claims of sexual abuse against Dier that have been documented online since around 2012. There is a wealth of damning evidence against Dier found on blogs across social media to corroborate the claims. The evidence portrays, in Dier’s own words, a person who is mentally unstable and preys on young girls. If true, this would mean that McGowan, a rape survivor, was effectively censored by a sexual predator. The remainder of her book tour for Harper Collins has been cancelled following the altercation at Barnes and Noble.
On Saturday McGowan tweeted: “I am cancelling upcoming public appearances because I have given enough. I have given beauty, in return I was VERBALLY ASSAULTED for two full minutes, Barnes & Noble, by a actor paid to verbally assault a woman who has been terrorised by your system. And no ONE in that room did anything. And everyone from my publicists, to assistants, managers and every person sitting in their chairs frozen by their weakness, a weakness called COMPLICITY. The truth is you all failed me. Again. And again. And again.”
Regardless of criticisms leveled against McGowan, it would behoove the left and anyone who claims to align with feminist politics to condemn Dier’s actions and the resulting censorship of a woman speaking out against sexual abuse. The reactions to this situation on social media have reflected what McGowan calls a “cult of complicity”, which is an apt description of the liberal knee-jerk reaction to defend Dier’s right to womanhood, police pronouns, and tarnish McGowan with accusations of transphobia. Her crimes: daring to center women in feminism, and defending herself against verbal attacks during her book promotion.
Over the past few days, multiple sexual assault allegations against Dier have surfaced, mainly through Twitter, some of which date back to 2012.
Concerns over misgendering have been vocalized, in addition to branding McGowan a transphobe and a ‘terf’ who “deserves to choke”— despite the fact that she referred to Dier as “sister”. Even the Women’s March joined in to support Andi Dier in spite of the women speaking out about how they had been abused as children.
This is troubling for a few reasons, but mainly because it shifts focus from the issue at hand: Dier has admitted, several times, on an AskFM blog (which has since been deactivated) to preying on girls as young as thirteen. Dier has claimed that statutory rape ought not to be illegal and that sexual interactions with minors do not qualify as rape.
When trans activists and their supporters show more concern over pronouns and language than the verbal and physical abuse women endure from members of their community, they are complicit and actively participate in the oppression and silencing of women.
For the record, Dier has intentionally ‘misgendered’ lesbians and told a transman, Joshua Aaron, to commit suicide: “You are an ugly girl and that is why you are trying to be a man. You should kill yourself, everyone knows you are better off dead even your friends know it.” Nor is this the only incident where Dier has attempted to bully someone into suicide.
You may have noticed I have tried to avoid using pronouns for Dier at all. The reason for this is that I simply cannot stand to call Dier a woman; yet I know if I commit the crime of misgendering (for which accusations of Nazism and bigotry and literal violence follow), I will be accused of falsifying all of the extensive evidence that Dier is a danger to children. It makes me wonder: is there ever a situation where a woman is allowed to refuse to validate a biological male? Have we really come to a point when feminism is so fractured that we are more concerned with validating the self-perceptions of a predatory biological man than we are with the abuse of children? Aren’t women insulted by the thought that an abuser, using a male sex organ, remains entitled to be considered one of us and is a proponent for access to all that entails?
Look, you probably aren’t going to like this last thought crime of mine, but here it goes:
When women say men will abuse the ability to identify as female in order to harm women or children — when they say they fear predatory men in spaces where young girls or women are in a state of undress — why are they told repeatedly that this is an impossibility, even when we are confronted with a situation like this one?
If the trans community wants to reassure women that they won’t do us harm, they need to:
- publicly denounce Dier and all others within the community who are sexual abusers, swiftly, and without exception;
- be more understanding of women’s experiences and respect our right to feel anger, rather than labeling us the enemy when we assert boundaries;
- rally with us in support of our reproductive rights instead of telling us that dialogue about our bodies offends them;
- show more concern over the abuse of women and girls than the semantics of proper pronouns;
- oppose biological male sexual offenders’ placement into women’s prisons;
- stop bullying & killing lesbians.
“As someone, a trans person, who has been personally suicide baited by Andi, I’m getting annoyed seeing this. I’ve been blocked and my posts deleted numerous times trying to prove to skeptics that Andi is an abuser and sexual predator.”