Looking at Brave author Rose McGowan, I see a beautiful, but different woman to the actress I watched growing up. For a large part of my teens I idolised her for her quirky roles in Jawbreaker and Scream. Often cast as a sex kitten, someone to be considered promiscuous, there was always something different about her.
If you know her story, then you’re aware that she has always been Brave. She left her family and the cult she was raised in at 13 to live on the streets. But more importantly, she was the woman that refused to be subservient. She was integral in Miramax Mogul, Harvey Weinstein’s, fall from the top. Leading the way for thousands of women to stand up and with the help of her incredible following built the #MeToo movement.
Referring only to her abuser as the ‘monster’ she details the assault, that took place in 1997, in heartbreaking detail. Some may criticise her description of her monster as too in-depth. I believe it allows us to see a true side of the man that hundreds, if not thousands of people enabled, and what kept his victims silent for so long.
Sadly, it was only after the assault, that McGowan learnt of his reputation. Rather than showing support those around her became FRUSTRATED that Rose wouldn’t just play along and forget about what he did to her. Despite admitting nothing, he paid $100k for her silence, but her reputation was already ruined.
But just as Rose McGowan is more than her assault, this book is about more than her abuser. It’s about the toxic environment that enabled perverts. It’s about Tarantino, thinking it was acceptable to insinuate that he wanked over pictures of her feet like she was nothing but an object. Or how Perez Hilton reduced her to a ‘whore’ for hits on his gossip website.
But this book is not just about McGowan’s experience or the toxicity in Hollywood. It shows that this culture is an extreme echo of everyday life. How women and men have been let down. How it became acceptable to blame victims, to reduce women to nothing but sex objects, waiting for their next male to claim them. Allowing, appalling comments and rape jokes to be batted away like banter.
As along time fan and a person who can sadly say #MeToo, I thank Rose McGowan for her brave fight, her courage and for using her platform to try and change the world, rather then selling laxative diet teas like many other ‘role models’ today. Read Brave, if only to understand the courage of a woman willing to lose everything for what is right.
Brave is out now and available in paperback, audiobook and ebook.Love Lilla xx