Rose McGowan is known for being the first person to come out with allegations of sexual assault against Harvey Weinstein. She has done a few things for women across the nation, such as creating an environment where silence about sexual assault and harassment is not tolerated. However, on her book tour, she has done what is considered a questionable action.
At a Barnes and Nobel, promoting her new book, a trans activist confronted McGowan about her comments about trans women on RuPaul’s podcast, and how her brand of feminism is exclusionary to trans women. On RuPaul’s podcast, McGowan had said that trans women cannot understand growing up biologically female, going on to say that, “That’s not growing as a woman, that’s not living in this world as a woman and a lot of the stuff I hear trans [women] complaining about, yeah, welcome to the world.”
The attendee who spoke out about McGowans divisive comments had said that “Trans women are dying and you said that we, as trans women, are not like regular women. We get raped more often. We go through domestic violence more often. There was a trans woman killed here a few blocks [away]. I have been followed home.”
To this McGowan interrupted and said, “Hold on. So am I. We are the same. My point was, we are the same. There’s an entire show called ID Channel, a network, dedicated to women getting abused, murdered, sexualized, violated, and you’re a part of that, too, sister. It’s the same.“
The attendee raised the point that “[McGowan does] nothing for [trans women]. Trans women are in men’s prisons. And what have you done for them?” They had also called McGowan a “white cis feminist,” meaning her feminism is exclusionary to people of color and trans folk. To this, McGowan began to shout.
McGowan shouts “Don’t label me, sister. Don’t put your labels on me. Don’t you ******* do that. Do not put your labels on me. I don’t come from your planet. Leave me alone. I do not subscribe to your rules. I do not subscribe to your language.” McGowan then continues to say the attendee should be grateful for what McGowan does.
Aside from the fact that the amount of anger McGowan’s voice has, when she is shouting at the attendee, even when she has been removed, is frankly scary. What really highlights McGowan’s view of trans women comes when she says, “I don’t come from your planet.” This is an ideology that has been present with McGowan before. When she says, “I don’t come from your planet,” she is really saying that since she was born with the anatomy tied to being a “woman” that means the attendee was not really a woman since she wasn’t born with the anatomy McGowan has.
This is a common belief about trans people saying that you can only be a woman if you have a vagina, and you can only be a man if you have a penis. These ideologies only perpetuate that gender is directly connected to genitalia, which has been scientifically disproven, and that in order to be a woman or a man, one has to be exactly like the vision that the majority has of women and men.
Another shocking part from the video is when the other attendees did not reprimand McGowan for her transphobic outburst, but instead consoled her saying that the activist was in the wrong. They had all also clapped while McGowan screamed at the attendee.
Since the incident McGowan has cancelled all future appearances.
You can watch the actual video here: https://youtu.be/yuFepZ0hET4