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Rose McGowan: 'They Really F–ed With the Wrong Person'

Rose McGowan: 'They Really F–ed With the Wrong Person'
From TIME - December 6, 2017

Rose McGowan doesnt care if you like her or not. TIME recognized McGowan for by naming her one of the Silence Breakers, TIMEs Person of the Year, for speaking out about sexual assault and harassment. She has used her platform to shine a light on violence against women and give survivors, as she says, permission to be angrylikability be damned.

McGowan said earlier this year that producer Harvey Weinstein raped her in a hotel room when she was a young actor. (Weinstein has denied all allegations of non-consensual sex.) Since, the New Yorker has reported that Weinstein hired ex-Mossad spies at the firm Black Cube to spy on McGowan and make sure she wasnt going to speak out against him. After McGowan and dozens of other actors came forward with stories of harassment and assault against Weinstein, he was forced to step down from his company.

McGowan spoke to TIME about her own experiences and how sexism in Hollywood shapes what we see on our screens and internalize about gender relations.

The conversation were having in culture right now is about #MeToo, but its also about a larger battlelike the Womens March and the fight for womens rights. Youve really connected those things.

Its completely tied together. Womens rights are womens rights. One of the things that woke me up was equal pay. I started thinking about it: Who is the leader of women? Take me to your leader. And there were no leaders. There are some in different factions, but I didnt find a cohesive group. Thats whats so great about the Womens March and the convention coming together. Its this feeling of unity. What I do with my work is, I give women permission to be angry. Because thats our right. Because its an emotion. Because its been taken away from us. Because weve been silenced. Im not interested in their cultural norms. Im not interested in worrying in if I make people uncomfortable. Im interested in stopping women and children dyingthats what Im interested in. Especially via rape culture.

When you were first getting into acting, what was your perception of the industry? Did you see it as sexist?

Everyone thinks its just Hollywood. Its not Hollywoodits the world. Because its the number one propaganda machine for the world. Im trying to cut the propaganda arm off. Im trying to make people see what theyre watching, how theyre being given a mirror to look in thats not the mirror they should be looking into. Weve seen, with all the men falling and the many more to come, that these are the ones behind the scenes giving you the images of what youre supposed to be, do and think. And we can all agree that theyre not the ones who should have access.

Watch: Why the Silence Breakers Are the 2017 Person of the Year

What does that do to people watching the content made by these men?

People need to understand that the content made for them is made up by a very narrow perspective. I know these guys. The dudes in yellow Lamborghinis, right? The ones everybody makes fun of. So why, if were making fun of them, do we allow them to have access to our minds real estate? Im trying to fight a greater worldwide force. My focus isnt Hollywood; my focus is using Hollywood as an example. Because what happens here does happen everywhere. Its just a really concentrated and tense version here.

As far as equality goes, thats a word thats always really bothered me. Especially in Hollywood when people say, I want a seat at the table. I dont want a seat at your table. I dont find myself in any way equal to you. I think Im superior. I think most of us are.

Youve spoken out about your attacker many times in many different ways over a long period of time.

Ive been speaking out about this man for twenty years. This monster specifically. I dont like naming his name. Everybody knows it. I think some people get the faces and the names they deserve. But this process for me has been getting people ready to listen. I look at it as if I was human trafficked. But for a lot of money, for years, internationally. If you can have an agent, a manager, a lawyer or the monster negotiate how long your breasts can be seen for, and then they profit off it, is that not it?

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