Suzanne Harrington


Time really is up for these predators

Rose McGowan, presented as everything from a difficult woman to an unhinged harpy, has burned through such shaming, shouting her anger from the rooftops, writes Suzanne Harrington

Time really is up for these predators

“…as if I should be so thrilled that he donated his solid-motherfucking-gold semen that is clearly better than all the other semen in the world, and he gave it up for little ol ’ me? It’s time men realised their semen isn’t all that.”

This is a quote from Brave, the memoir of actress Rose McGowan. She is quite furious with men and their semen. McGowan is best known not for her glittering A-list career — her film work peaked in 1996, when she starred in Scream —but as Harvey Weinstein’s chief accuser.

She says he raped her in a hotel room in 1997; he then paid her $100,000 to keep it out of court, and after that her career tanked, trashed by her alleged rapist: she’s difficult, she’s bad news, she’s troublesome. Don’t hire her.

McGowan is slightly less enraged with Quentin Tarantino, to whom she is referring in her solid gold semen comments.

She writes how he liked to tell her — in front of others — how much he enjoyed watching in private a scene from one of her earlier movies in which she paints her toenails.

Tarantino is famously a foot fetishist. Did he think she would feel flattered? Since the New York Times outed Weinstein last October, 122 high profile men have been accused of sexual assault and sexual harassment; it is a tsunami of angry women who have had enough (and angry men too, as Kevin Spacey’s career has since discovered).

What’s interesting is how this anger is spreading steadily outwards from the gilded confines of the entertainment industry to the hell of post-earthquake Haiti, via the boy’s changing rooms of Manchester City FC. Predatory adult men targeting women and girls, men and boys, are being outed, as the rage of their targets goes viral.

As one by one their targets have had enough, and are no longer scared, cowed, bribed, shamed, intimidated, or pressured into shutting up and protecting the predators.

Time’s up, from the fundraising dinners in London where wealthy men wear black tie and hired women wear very little, to the swimsuit sexism that clings to the motor and gambling industries like semen to a White House intern’s blue Gap dress.

Rose McGowan, presented as everything from a difficult woman to an unhinged harpy, has burned through such shaming, shouting her anger from the rooftops.

Calling victims of sexual predators names to keep them quiet is no longer working; the shame barrier has been breached.

As football youth coach Barry Bennell is found guilty of multiple sex crimes against minors, as Hollywood reels from being slapped in the face by its own misogyny, and as Oxfam goes under investigation for protecting its own image more than those it exists to protect life is currently sounding like a Bob Dylan song. A changin’ — and not before time

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