Brave by Rose McGowan
I hope you are all finished Brave by Rose McGowan, but if you didn’t, don’t worry. We have a lot of things to talk about regarding her book, her career and her current activism. If you didn’t finish, I encourage you to read on and hopefully find some inspiration in her fight and maybe some motivation to help with her cause…in whatever capacity you see fit. Now let’s dig in.
I sit down to organize my thoughts on the book and an hour later I’m thinking “oh my gosh, I’m writing a book report, synopsis…its just too much”. There is so much to process in her story, that I am just going to have to pick the big moments…and it’s hard to choose. First off I should preface that I am a 90’s chick. I remember Rose McGowan and I really liked her bad ass attitude…she always got cast as the trouble maker and she was so pretty and she is still sooo pretty. I mean if I could rock a shaved head I would…for sure.
I was interested in her story not only for her activism and her fight against the sexual assault, but also because I had wondered about her and where she went. Where had she been for the last 20 years and what happened to her and Marilyn Manson, right? Her story is beyond anything I could have imagined and some of it was hard to read, not because she frequently trails off into a rant, which happens a lot in the book, but because I felt so bad for her. I felt bad for her and yet she rarely feels bad for herself. In some instances, she is a casualty of her own doing and in others a victim of circumstance. She didn’t choose to live in a crazy, abusive cult. Her parents put her there, however it seems that while a member of this crazy cult she develops her fight at a really young age. This cult is called the Children of God, a California based cult born out of the 60’s which eventually spread around the world and is known for child abuse and exploitation, incest, child marriage…oh my gosh it just goes on. There are other noteworthy former members such as River and Joaquin Phoenix’s family, which was a light bulb for me and explains some of their behavior/problems. She escapes at about the age of 10…I mean how do you come out of that and live a normal life. What is “normal” after living in a cult? What is it?
She comes to America, her dad is abusive and I would even call her mom abusive or at least neglectful and she runs around the west coast trying to find a place to call home. Fighting for herself at the age of 10-11 and living on the streets. She does a short stint at Hollywood High School and doesn’t really fit in. It is a little too 90210, so to make money she takes a role as an extra on a movie, Class of 1999. This movie is “B” to say the least, but if you watch the trailer, there are some actors that you will certainly recognize. At least I did.
Through some connections on this film she then gets a speaking role in Encino Man and anyone who was in high school in the 90’s knows this movie…Pauly shore, Brendan Frasier (who is also somewhat of a Hollywood casualty). Maybe you remember it? Rose’s part is super small. I scoured the internet to find it and its not really worth mentioning, but that was her “in” so to speak. Then comes Scream in 1996. I remember seeing it in the theater. It was awesome and Rose was awesome. I was haunted by her death via garage door for quite sometime and I think that was probably when I really started following her career. She does the Ben Affleck movie, Going All The Way and then she does Jawbreaker, which I want to mention real quick. She plays the lead in Jawbreaker and I loved it because it reminded me of Heathers and I loved that movie too, Winona Ryder was so bad ass. She is another Hollywood cautionary tale (however making a combat, I am cheering for Winona).
Circling back, it was the year Going All The Way is at the Sundance Film Festival along with 3 other films Rose had done, that she is sexually assaulted by Harvey Weinstein. I am sure all women can agree that was hard to read. I hate the fact that this happened to her and I hate the fact that this happens to women at all. I, like most of us, am coming to terms with the frequency that these things occur and I, probably like most women, can look back at some experiences where at the time we were confused or shocked by what occurred and then having some clarity realize holy shit…I was assaulted. People can say why didn’t you come forward? Why didn’t tell someone? It’s not the simple. It’ just not. Rose is a victim in the most very true sense. What happened to her and the consequences she endured because of this sick demonic pervert; the damage done to her career and that it is still haunting to her today is disgusting and just appalling. It really is.
She writes of her relationship with Marilyn Manson very sweetly and paints a really nice picture of him. I am not a Manson fan, never was, but I think her life with him was sweet. That is until she dumps him and he smears her like the insecure small man that he is. I bet that is also why he hides behind all the makeup and satanic craziness. He might be tall in stature, but he seems to hide very well. He was hurt OK, I suppose I can understand that, but she didn’t smear him in her book and I like that she takes the high road even though you can sense a little resentment.
Real quick on Robert Rodriguez, man can she pick’em. This guy, married, manipulator extraordinaire, control freak…I just picture him and Quentin Tarantino yucking it up like a couple of over inflated bags of air. Now, I saw that stupid noir film…what was it…Grindhouse, Planet Terror and Death Proof. I saw it because of Rose…and instantly wished I could have had the whatever…120 minutes back. So I loved Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill. I loved the artistry and the strong female leads. Those were really cool movies and when this Grindhouse double feature came out it had Rosario Dawson, Bruce Willis, Kurt Russell, I mean come one who wouldn’t want to check that out. It was too much. only a sick and twisted individual who hates woman would want to chop them up the way they do in these movies. I realize I glossed over all the gross and demeaning shit that Rose endured at that hands of these two, but you read the book, you know what I am leaving out and its not worth mentioning twice. These two are real ego maniacs. The movies weren’t that great fellas. They were like dark comic book snuff films painted on top of a campy film noir backdrop. Rose has a machine gun prosthetic leg for god’s sake, really?
Throughout the book I can’t help but feel as if Rose keeps apologizing and is going through some internal struggle with the woman she once was and the one she has now become. In 1998, post the Weinstein assault and during her relationship with Marylin Manson she did this interview with Roseanne Barr. I watched the interview and it was really interesting to see Rose as her younger self. You already see her activism brewing and hear her talk about societal struggles and the “Hollywood Machine” as she calls it. Roseanne sits across from her just in awe and she is leaning in listening very intently to everything Rose is saying. Rose talks about her life and the things she has gone through like…so what, who cares….that’s that…all while nervously stroking her face and her hair. You can feel that she he has up this wall, a protective wall. The “don’t let them see you cry wall”.
Now reading her book its like the wall is down. She is saying this is me for real now. This is what happened, no more hiding. I can relate to that in the sense…I think age makes us wiser and self-aware. You can see things now that you would never be able to see in your twenties because in your teens and 20’s you just don’t have that type of depth shit, maybe not even in your 30’s. This depth only comes with age and living through some tough stuff. You realize you aren’t invincible and you can sort of see that happening to Rose through out the book. The Rose now would not have let that shit slide. None of it.
Rose was the first one to bring to light Harvey Weinstein and she was integral in resurrecting the #MeToo movement, but this dark cloud just keeps following her. She has been terrorized for so long and she still lives in fear of public enemy one Weinstein. I was listening to the first single off her new album called Planet 9, that’s right, she sings too…so of her firt singles off the album is called Now You’re Here…and it starts off with here standing by a window and she says something about heading off to be arrested.
I didn’t know this story of her arrest so I looked it up and Ronan Farrow, who was the journalist who broke the Weinstein story and is also the son of Mia Farrow and Woody Allen…or possibly the son of Mia Farrow and Frank Sinatra, but I doubt we will ever know for sure…I’m going off on a Rose tangent aren’t I. So Ronan Farrow does an article about the incident in which Rose loses left her wallet on a plane and 5 hours later the airport calls her and says that they found her wallet with two small bags of cocaine inside. I am going to read from the article because the whole thing sounds extremely illegal search and seizure and I totally think she was set up, but I think we should come to our own conclusions, but here is Ronan’s Article.
The actress and activist Rose McGowan turned herself in to a magistrate’s office in Loudoun County, Virginia, on Tuesday, responding to a felony warrant on charges of drug possession. The charges stem from an incident that took place on the night of January 20th, when McGowan landed at Dulles International Airport, in Virginia, planning to attend the Women’s March in Washington, D.C., the next day. According to a police report, at 2:32 a.m. on January 21st, airport personnel called the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police Department. A staff member cleaning a plane had recovered McGowan’s wallet—containing, the staffer and his supervisor said, two small bags of white powder, which registered as cocaine in later tests.
Later that morning, an airport police detective, (Did you know that airporst have their own detectives?) Jerrod Hughes, called McGowan and asked her to come collect the wallet, not disclosing what had been found in it. McGowan told me in an interview on Sunday that the call had frightened her, because she was unsure if Hughes was a real officer.(Ha, I would be too, if someone called and said they were an airport detective, like really? (Hughes did not respond to a request for comment.) Several months earlier, McGowan had tweeted about being raped by a “studio head,” and had included details that seemed to point to the Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. (McGowan recently publicly confirmed that she had been referring to Weinstein. Through a spokesperson, he has denied all allegations of non consensual sex.) When McGowan decided to attend the Women’s March, she was nervous that she was being followed by private investigators hired by Weinstein, McGowan said. She decided not to go to the airport to meet the detective and to leave the city on a bus with other marchers. The following day, she said, she received an Instagram message from a user she did not know. “You left your wallet on your Saturday flight with your 2 bags of coke,” it said. (The account was deactivated shortly after, though McGowan retained screenshots of the message.)
On February 1, 2017, the Magistrate’s Office in Loudoun County, Virginia, issued a felony warrant for McGowan. McGowan told me that her fear and doubt caused her to hesitate to respond for months. “I was going to asap,” McGowan said of the decision to turn herself in, “but then things started to get really weird. I knew I was being followed and that I wasn’t safe. I even hired a private investigator to investigate whether the warrant was real.”
In September, before the existence of the warrant for McGowan was public, Weinstein held a meeting with his private investigators that was focused on the efforts to arrest McGowan, according to a source who was at the Weinstein Company at the time. Weinstein suggested leaking the information to the New York Post. A reporter from the Post, who declined to comment and asked not to be named in this story, followed up with McGowan shortly thereafter to inquire about the warrant. Fearing that the Post reporter would publish a story, McGowan tweeted that she was facing charges in Virginia. “I beat him to it,” she said.
McGowan and her attorney, Jim Hundley, argue that the drugs could have been planted, given the spans of time during which unknown individuals may have had access to the wallet. “Depending on when and where the wallet was lost, individuals other than Ms. McGowan had access to the wallet for somewhere between approximately 5 hours 40 minutes and more than 11 hours,” Hundley wrote in a memorandum to the Loudoun County Commonwealth’s Attorney Jim Plowman, asking that the charges be dismissed.
McGowan told me that she had brought a slim card wallet with her on her trip to Washington. During the flight, she did not take her wallet out of her bag, she told me. “I had it in the side pocket of my backpack, and I left it on my seat as I went to the bathroom,” she said. After disembarking, she was standing at baggage claim and decided to call a car using the service Lyft, she said, when she noticed that her wallet was gone. She filed a lost-luggage claim and tweeted at United Airlines, asking for help recovering the wallet.
McGowan conceded to me that she has used drugs in the past. “I own stock in a marijuana company, so that’s my jam,” she said. (McGowan’s medical-marijuana card was in the wallet when police recovered it.) At the time of the Women’s March, she said, she had no interest in cocaine. “Imagining I’m going into sisterly solidarity, I can think of nothing more opposed to that, energetically, that I would want in my body at that moment.” McGowan vowed to continue her advocacy for victims of sexual assault. Of the wave of high-profile men who have been accused of abuses, she said “More will fall.”
McGowan was released this afternoon, on a five-thousand-dollar personal-recognizance bond, and will be arraigned on Thursday morning, at which point she will likely be assigned a court date. “I will clearly plead not guilty,” she said.
So she does plead not guilty and her attorneys are insisting that Harvey Weinstein is behind the drug plant and there really isn’t any evidence that she ever possessed the drugs at all, since her wallet was out of her possession for over 5 hours. I mean really, It’s crazy! Who loses a wallet filled with drugs and then alerts the airline and puts a missing bag report on it…wouldn’t you just let it go. Who wants to claim a bag of drugs….anyone, anyone?
Then she starts her book signing tour and is verbally attacked by a heckler…she sort of loses it and I thought ouch, she is really into herself taking all the acclaim for the #MeToo movement and she’s sitting a little high on her horse, but I watched the footage and it’s pretty ridiculous. It’s like one victim, lashing out at another victim. Why?
So this trans women, Andy Dier comes to Roses book signing and in an interview with Them.Us admits she was there just to heckle Rose who apparently said something Dier didn’t like on RuPaul’s podcast called, “What the Tea”, which I am going to have to check out…I like me some RuPaul…She says something to the effect that Trans Women don’t really know what it is like to grow up as a women, just because they feel like women on the inside. She is saying this in context of young women being sex symbols, male gaze etc. She has also openly criticized Kaitlin Jenner for not really “knowing what it is like to be a woman”. Well, the next logical course of action is…Twitter war…All this stuff about Andy Dier being a sexual predator and pedophile start surfacing. Dier, who at the time of the allegations and there have been at least 5 allegations, was identifying as a man and would meet pre-teen girls or teenage girls at the mall or online and would give them pot or drinks and then seduce them…I guess. None of his victims told the police or pressed charges and they were all about 13-16 and he was 19-20 ish. I don’t know, the whole thing is bizarre, but After this run in with the Mr. Dier, Rose goes on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert and does an interview that is awkward with a capital “A”.
Shortly there after she canceled all her book tours and that might explain why when I went to buy the book and yes I still buy real books because I like to fold down the pages and give them to my friends. Anyway, it was already marked down 20% and it had only been out for a week or so. She didn’t promote it like she should have, but she was fearful and didn’t want the negativity and I can’t say I blame her.
I also want to mention an interview Rose did with ABC news where she called out the Times Up movement for being fake and I watched the Emmy’s and at the time was thinking yea, times up, this is great, and I saw her interview and I was surprised, but she makes a really good point. I am not one for conspiracy theories, but Times Up came at a very opportune time for Hollywood. I think she is on to something for sure with the CAA or Creative Artists Agency needing good PR so they concocted Times Up in order to save face. They did issue an apology for the role they played in Weinstein’s abuse, but they enabled years or torment for hundreds of women and I think that deserves more than just an apology, a twitter hashtag and some charity don’t you?
So what’s next. I mean this woman has been beaten down emotionally and physically and she keeps plugging away. She is a survivor. Like I mentioned earlier, I can see her wall is down…at the end of her music video for “Now You’re Here” the single off of her album Planet 9 she is at what appears to be a Women’s March or retreat and they are all holding hands and she lets it go, she cries and I feel like the Rose of yesteryear wouldn’t have let that show and it was beautiful. I appreciate her story, I appreciate her book for what it is, a story of overcoming unthinkable obstacles, a story of believing in yourself and standing up for yourself and I think that is a story we should all hear. When I was watching some of her past interviews and learning more about her personality I understood the book a little more, she goes off on these tangents and loses track of herself and while reading, it really annoyed me, but I think she just has too much going on upstairs…too much to say and too little time. The book could have been edited a little tighter, cut out a few chunks here and there. She is an alright story teller, but I think when you are telling a story so personal you just don’t want to leave anything out, and I can understand that.
Rose currently has her own limited series documentary on E Channel called Citizen Ruth…I recommend catching it if you are interested in her activism and what she is up to. She also recently released her album already mentioned called Planet 9. I would describe it as abstract and artsy, check it out, it’s not my cup of tea, but maybe it will speak to you. She also recently released her directorial debut in a short film called Dawn that received a lot of buzz and I watched it, it is beautifully done the imagery is stunning, the story is pretty dark as to be expected, but its good. I hope she does more. Keep on Rose, keep on.
So, I realized I skipped over all the Charmed stuff and I know that Charmed had a really good run and a big following so If you want to talk about Charmed I am sorry, but I didn’t watch it.
Now for next month’s book…It’s Omorosa Manigaults biography “White House Walk of Shame”. Just kidding! We are going to do something a little different. I love true crime and if you do too, I think we are going to like this months book. It’s I’ll Be Gone In the Dark by journalist Michelle McNamara. This is her story of her obsessive search for the Golden State Killer. P.S. I hate that the media gives serial killers nicknames…it just pisses me off. Anyway, enjoy this new selection and well dive in next month.
Reminder you can always start at the beginning with book one! Check out the Book Club podcast on Tiffany Haddish and The Last Black Unicorn.