This past weekend was an incredible moment for women everywhere. For the first time in four decades, the Women’s Convention resurfaced and was hosted in Detroit, Michigan. Many people spoke at the event, including Rose McGowan, the American actress, singer, model, and director, and one of the dozens of victims of Harvey Weinstein’s sexual assault charges. This was McGowan’s first public appearance since the allegations against Weinstein came out.
Since the inauguration of Donald Trump, a new wave of feminism has arrived. Women have been banding together, not only to ensure that the fight for equality continues, but also, to see that the progress of previous generations does not get taken away. The convention sparked interest after the Women’s March on Washington, D.C. in January. There were many empowering women who attended the convention, including Democratic Senators, women voters, local activists, and others. The women addressed current issues and their current impact on the nation.
McGowan had some words for Weinstein and other harassers: “I came to be a voice for all of us who’ve been told we are nothing. For all of us who have been looked down on. For all of us who have been grabbed by the motherf***ing p***y.”
As the fourth person to come forward about Weinstein, Rose McGowan encouraged women to no longer stay silent. She exclaimed that this is not only a Hollywood issue, but a woman’s issue that must be addressed and understood by everyone in the country.
She explains, “It is the messaging system for your mind. It is the mirror you are given to look into. This 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 Directors Guild of America. That statistic has not changed since 1946.” McGowan is addressing who dominates most organizations and the types of representations they choose for people that they are not.
McGowan continues, “I have been silenced for 20 years. I have been slut shamed, I’ve been harassed, I’ve been maligned. And you know what, I’m just like you.”
McGowan’s strength and bravery is notable for all women who are afraid to come forward because of what might happen to their careers or reputation. McGowan aligns herself and empathizes with women everywhere because she has had the same experiences, but since coming forward, she has found sharing her truth extremely empowering after all of this time of bottling it up inside. The more women who come forward, the more sexual harassment and assault will become an issue for all people. People don’t like to be shamed and embarrassed based on taboo behavior, and this is exactly what women are doing by providing their stories. Hopefully, men will recognize the consequences of sexual assault and not participate in this behavior, using the results of Harvey Weinstein’s actions – his termination from his own company and his wife leaving him within weeks of the allegations – to help them understand why sexual assault is so horrific and dire.
According to its site, the Women’s Convention anticipated to bring together all genders “for a weekend of workshops, strategy sessions, inspiring forums and intersectional movement building to continue the preparation going into the 2018 midterm elections.” This is exactly what the convention did with the contributions of Rose McGowan and many others who are using their voices to end inequality against women.
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