Op-ed: Rose McGowan on the Need for More Gay Male Feminists

Op-ed: Rose McGowan on the Need for More Gay Male Feminists

I was on Bret Easton Ellis's podcast the other day discussing sexism and misogyny. I made a dumb generalization, and for that I apologize. For everything else I said, no, I will not.

Where does it say that because of a man's sexual orientation, I don't get to point out a character defect that some of them may have? When equal pay for women was voted down by every male Republican, there was no LGBT outcry. I wondered why that was. After all, lesbians are women — this affects them too, right?

Misogyny infuriates me and it endangers me as a human. It also endangers the LGBT community. Empathy for the plight of women isn't making it better. Your voice will.

Could I have articulated my frustration in a better fashion? Undoubtedly. For that I apologize, but I stand by my overall point. The rights that have been earned by the community are simple civil rights.

What I want is for gay rights activists to help other disenfranchised groups. These activists are experts while so many other groups flounder. It's time to share the wealth and knowledge. And I will correct myself and my off-the-cuff comment — gay men certainly aren't more misogynistic than heteros, but I've met some who have come damn close. In some ways, it's more damaging, because it's coming from men that have faced so much hate.

Do I think the LGBT community needs to address and combat the misogyny in its midst? Absolutely. I've lived and breathed gay rights for as long as I can remember. I've seen so much change, and now I want more. Women, myself included, have given blood, sweat, and tears to the gay rights movement. I'm asking for help in return. Casual and accepted misogyny no longer works for me, and it shouldn't work for you.

Here's a small example of being the change you want to see: I was with a gay man the other night who was talking about the sexually liberated Blanche Devereaux of The Golden Girls. He was going on about what a slut she was. I asked why he'd say that so thoughtlessly. If I'm not supposed to say (and I don't) "that's so gay," surely this man can start thinking about why it's acceptable to slut-shame. He thanked me for opening his eyes. This is how we do this, one on one. Catch it when it's happening, and challenge it.

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By the way, if you want to know what I was doing at the Beverly Hills Hotel, just look at the picture. I sent it to the Sultan of Brunei. I'm fairly sure I won't be getting a response.

And as for those who question my allegiance to the gay community and try to paint me as a gay-hater, I have a big eye roll reserved just for you. I'm a human, I mess up, but I mess up with love and good intentions. I feel like I'm a fight with my family.

Now let's go do the right thing, myself included.

ROSE McGOWAN is an actress and director. Follow her on Twitter @rosemcgowan