The Iron Rose: In support of Rose McGowan

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One thing I’ve been noticing quite a bit lately: when a woman in Hollywood is insulted, ignored, abused or marginalized, feminist director and actress Rose McGowan is there.

When award-winning screenwriter Melissa Mathison was shamefully memorialized as Harrison Ford’s ex-wife, she was there.

When gossip columnists attacked what they perceived as Renee Zellwegger’s transforming appearance, she was there.

“You are an active endorser of what is tantamount to harassment and abuse of actresses and women,” she accused critic Owen Gleiberman. “It also reeks of status quo white-male privilege.”

“If you’re a woman in America there’s a 10 in 10 chance you’ve experienced it — whether you recognize it or not, whether you’re ready to admit it or not. It’s a culture that talks down to you,” Amber Tamblyn wrote in a guest article for Glamour. When Amber Tamblyn also bravely spoke out about her experience with sexual assault, Rose was there.

Now Rose McGowan has spoken out about her own tragic experience with sexual assault. And I’m here.

In a series of devastating Tweets released earlier this month, McGowan alleges that she was assaulted by a Hollywood studio head; also stating that her rapist distributed a film of hers, one that he purchased from her “ex,” and that she — and not her attacker — has been ostracized in the wake of the assault.

While many have come forward to support McGowan, others have attacked and denounced her as a bitch, as an attention seeker, as a left-wing radical, as a liar.

I have a word or two for those people.

For those of you who wonder why Rose is so angry, well just take a moment and imagine what it would be like to be violated, humiliated, objectified, and the entire course of your life altered. Don’t tell her to get over it, instead help her and other survivors over it by offering your love and support.

For those who say she is saying all of this to revive a flagging movie career, well — please take a moment to consider the absurdity of this notion. Could you honestly imagine an actress sitting back and thinking, “Mmmm, I bet if I falsely accuse a major studio bigwig of rape, then offers will just come pouring in from other studio bigwigs, desperate to work with me. Yeah, that’s a plan!”

For those who lament the loss of ‘the old Rose’; the long-haired, pouty mouthed glamour puss who wore revealing dresses and smiled a lot in interviews. She’s a human being, not your blow up doll. If her pain so inconveniences you, then do your part to help victims of sexual assault.

You see, it’s only by banding together to obliterate the blight of rape, molestation and sexual assault from our civilization that we can ensure the existence of joyful, carefree women — and many men for that matter — who won’t spend their lives burdened by the massive, life-changing trauma of assault.

So if you’ve had enough of hearing survivors vent about their sexual assaults, then volunteer at a rape crisis center. Start an abuse education program at a local school. Learn to recognize the signs of abuse and do something about it.

And in the case of high-profile entertainers, politicians, entertainment executives and athletes who are strongly suspected of being abusers-it is our duty to refrain from supporting them in any way, shape or form. Their careers are built on the backs of people who either have no idea as to how they conduct themselves, or who don’t care.

Stop buying tickets to their movies, concerts and events. Stop voting for them in elections. If you work in the industry, STOP WORKING WITH THEM. Stop looking the other way. These predators are hiding in plain sight, and will continue to do so until we say, “No, that’s enough. No more. It’s not OK.”

To all of the beautiful iron “Roses” who bloom forth to speak out on behalf of themselves and other survivors, I know I speak on behalf of a lot of people when I say that we believe you. We’ve got your back.

We’re here.

*****

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