Rose McGowan is not afraid to voice her opinion and stand up for sexual assault victims and, for that, we’re grateful. However, it may not be the best idea to get into a screaming match with a transgender woman at a Union Square Barnes & Noble on a Thursday night after being rightfully criticized for comments she made on RuPaul’s What’s the Tee? podcast last July.
On that podcast, she had this to say: “They assume because they felt like a woman on the inside. That’s not developing as a woman. 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 complaining about, yeah, welcome to the world.”
These comments became the source of contention as McGowan appeared at the bookstore to promote her new memoir Brave. During audience questions, the woman confronted her about her past comments, saying: “I have a suggestion. Talk about what you said on RuPaul. 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—”
At this point, McGowan cut her off. “Hold on. So am I,” she responded. “We are the same. My point was, we are the same.” The other woman was not here for it, and shot back with “Trans women are in men’s prisons. And what have you done for them?” McGowan then retorted by asking, “What have you done for women?”
The audience member was eventually escorted by Barnes & Noble security personnel as she chanted “White cis feminism," which McGowan decided to label as "so boring." You’d think that, at that point, it would end, but McGowan was just getting started and went on what some have called a “passionate tirade,” which…alright.
“Don’t label me, sister,” she reportedly said. “Don’t put your labels on me. Don’t you fucking 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. You will not put labels on me or anybody. Step the fuck back. What I do for the fucking world and you should be fucking grateful. Shut the fuck up. Get off my back. What have you done? I know what I’ve done, Goddammit.”
She continued: “I’m not crying; I’m fucking mad with the lies. I’m mad that you put shit on me because I have a fucking vagina and I’m white or I’m black or I’m yellow or I’m purple. Fuck off. All of us want to say it. I just do.” Then, yes, she yelled some more, saying: “And you can label this thing as a breakdown. That, motherfuckers, is a breakdown. Maybe not for me, but for you. I might have information you want. I might know shit that you don’t. So fucking shut up. Please systemically. For once. In the world. You know what I’m talking about. Just tell the God damned truth. Stop boxing everybody into shit. I didn’t agree to your cis fucking world. Ok? Fuck off.”
And she continued once again: “Trans women are women and what I’ve been trying to say is that it’s the same. The stats are not that dissimilar. When you break it down, it is a much smaller population. There’s not a network here devoted to your fucking death. There’s not advertisers advertising tampons with a camera lovingly going up a girl’s body as she’s being lovingly raped and strangled. Piss off. And until you can collect that fucking check, back up. My name is Rose McGowan and I am obviously fucking brave.”
Perhaps the next time she’s on her book tour (which is just getting started), instead of going on a rant about how brave she is and how trans women are women and how she’s not from this planet, she could take a few minutes to listen to valid criticism and have a dialogue rather than telling a trans woman to "sit down" and, as the woman is being dragged out by security, calling her valid complaints about white cisgender feminism "so boring."