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Rose McGowan Opens The Women's Convention: 'I'm Just Like You'

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Rose McGowan Opens The Women's Convention: 'I'm Just Like You'

Scarlet letters belong to the perpetrators of sexual assault, not the victims, actress and activist Rose McGowan said Friday at the Women’s Convention in Detroit, in her first public remarks since accusing Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein of rape.

Neither Weinstein nor President Donald Trump were named by McGowan, but she seemingly referenced both using a different noun.

“In the face of unspeakable actions from one monster, we look away to another,” she said. “The head monster of all right now. And they are the same. And they must die. It is time. The paradigm must be subverted. It is time.”

McGowan said she’s been silenced for 20 years.

“I have been slut-shamed, I have been harassed, I been maligned. And you know what? I’m just like you. Because what happened to me behind the scenes happens to all of us in this society, and that cannot stand and it will not stand.”

Actress and activist Rose McGowan made her first public remarks Friday at the Women's Convention in Detroit after accusing Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein of rape. Photo by Dustin Blitchok.

Women Activists Converge In Detroit

McGowan was introduced by Tarana Burke, who began the “Me Too” movement 10 years ago — a phrase that’s become a hashtag used to show solidarity among women who are victims of sexual assault.

“We come as a united community of survivors ready to topple the systems that allow sexual violence to flourish,” Burke said.

An outgrowth of the global Women’s March Jan. 21, the convention features speakers such as U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters — who coined the convention’s slogan “reclaiming our time” in an exchange with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin — and activists Rosa Clemente, Tamika Mallory and Linda Sansour. The Women’s Convention is expected to draw thousands to Detroit’s Cobo Center through Sunday.

Clemente, an activist who spoke urgently about a continuing lack of electricity and potable water in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, took direct aim at Trump.

“The 45th person to run this empire is a white supremacist predator-in-chief megalomaniac,” she said.

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders was initially scheduled to speak Friday, but backed out and visited hurricane-torn Puerto Rico instead after backlash tied to his challenge to Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary and the prospect of the Women’s Convention being kicked off by a man.

Mallory, the co-president of the Women’s March board, addressed the Clinton-Sanders divide Friday while calling for unity and for the women’s movement to stand with other groups seeking justice and equality.

“If your feminism is about the difference between Hillary and Bernie, it doesn’t represent me,” Mallory said.

McGowan: ‘It’s Time To Clean House’

The New York Times reported Oct. 5 that Weinstein, 65, reached a $100,000 settlement with McGowan, 44, after “an episode in a hotel room during the Sundance Film Festival” in 1997.

In an Oct. 12 tweet to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, McGowan said: “I told the head of your studio that HW raped me. Over & over I said it. He said it hadn’t been proven. I said I was the proof.” She confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter the same day that “HW” referred to Weinstein.

Since the initial New York Times story was published, 58 women have come forward to accuse Weinstein of sexual misconduct as of Friday, according to USA Today. He was fired by the company bearing his name Oct. 8.

While Hollywood might seem isolated, it is not, McGowan said Friday.

“It is the messaging system for your mind. It is the mirror that you’re given to look into,” the “Charmed” actress said. “This is what you are as a woman. This is what you are as a man. This is what you are as a boy, girl, gay, straight, transgender — but it’s all told through 96 percent males in the Director’s Guild of America.”

The statistic is unchanged since 1946, “so we are given one view,” McGowan said.

“And I know the men behind that view. And they should not be in your mind. And they should not be in mine. It’s time to clean house.”

Related Links: 

Twitter Unlocks Rose McGowan's Account, Tries To Explain Itself

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Attendees raise their fists at the Women's Convention in Detroit Friday, Oct. 27. Photo by Dustin Blitchok.

 

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