Rose McGowan has gotten a lot of attention in the past few days for some comments she made on the Bret Easton Ellis Podcast about the LGBT*Q community. Her comments sparked a lot of outrage online and within the community (including my own) while raising awareness about some issues - although maybe that was unintentional.
On the podcast McGowan, who has been controversial in the past, claimed that gay men are "as misogynistic as straight men, if not more so. I have an indictment of the gay community right now, I’m actually really upset with them.”
This charged comment stems from what McGowan sees as a disregarding of women's issues. The basis of her rant being that the LGBT*Q community doesn't fight for women's rights. Her comments continued:
"You wanna talk about the fact that I have heard nobody in the gay community, no gay males, standing up for women on any level?
There is Sharia law active in Saudi Arabia, there’s a woman who’s about to be stoned – I have not heard Cleve Jones discuss her, and nor will he...
I think it’s what happens to you as a group when you are starting to get most of what you fought for? What do you do now?
What I would hope they would do is extend a hand to women...
Women, by-and-large, have very much helped the gay community get to where they are today...
And I have seen not a single peep from these people, who supposedly represent lesbians as well… when the equal pay act was shut down by Republicans in the Senate, not a single man mentioned that."
I see now people who have basically fought for the right to stand on top of a float wearing an orange speedo and take molly."Basically a whole lot of anger coming out. And I think it's pretty easy to see why many would be upset about this. To say no gay males are standing up for women on any level? Outrageous! To say that we have only worked as hard as we have to stand on floats in speedos? It's astonishing. She has and does claim to be a strong supporter of the LGBT*Q community (having stated she was raised by 3 trans women) and yet she belittles the community and movement so easily. Its hard to see where the support is.
She did at least get a few things right. There is misogyny in the LGBT*Q community. We are not free from the grasp of patriarchy. Some of our culture is highly influenced by patriarchy. Look at Grindr for all of 10 minutes and you'll see a flood of people who are desperate to conform to the stereotypical 'masculine' gender (not that wanting to be masculine is bad). Look at the way gay men view their bodies. They always need to be perfectly sculpted, promoting unrealistic expectations. But there is more to us than that. We are a diverse group of people and to try to pain us with one brush is as bad as that which she criticizes.
She is also right that the gay rights movement has has strong allies in the women's movement. It does often times get under appreciated the connectedness of the two. But she takes things too far.
Cleve Jones is and AIDS activist. That means that his main focus will in fact be on AIDS. You're right, Rose, that you probably won't hear him commenting on Sharia law in Saudi Arabia. Why? Because that's not where his work lies. Could he make comments? Sure, but everyone has priorities. Activists working on the marriage campaign aren't at the same time making comments about sex trafficking in Europe (another big feminist issue). And that's ok! We can't all be behind every hot-button issue and be talking about them all the time. It doesn't mean we don't care and it doesn't mean that we aren't advocates for women.
Rose has released her own reaction to the controversy. She apologized for making such a generalization which is nice to see at least sh can acknowledge a mistake but she made the same generalizations and still expressed the same misinformation. She repeated that there was no outrage on behalf of women when equal pay was voted down by Republicans. She again implied that LGBT*Q activists aren't doing their share and getting involved in the women's movement.
We are interconnected, women and the LGBT*Q community. Claiming the LGBT*Q community doesn't do anything for women is just, well ignorant. I am blessed to know many activists from all around the US and many of them are passionate about women's rights. Many of them have spoken out about issues. Many of them have previously worked on women's rights issues. I've worked with planned parenthood. We are out there. We are putting up the good fight, not only for ourselves but for others as well