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Rose McGowan helped launch the #MeToo movement against sexual assault and harassment after being one of the first women to accuse movie mogul Harvey Weinstein of rape. But now that the movement is swiftly revolutionizing the way we talk about these issues, the activist and author has a few concerns.
McGowan recently told Know Your Value founder Mika Brzezinski that she is worried people might expect results from the #MeToo movement overnight. The way to combat that, she said, is to encourage patience and keep urging more women to share their stories.
“This is the first time since the dawn of the caveman era that women are actually being believed, and it might take hundreds of us before we’re believed,” she said.
McGowan added that she hopes that everyone remembers that it has only been four months since #MeToo burst into the national conversation and that we have so much farther to go. She compared the campaign to the civil rights movement, which had roots that went back to the 19th century, peaked in the 1950s and '60s, and still remains influential today in public discussions of the Black Lives Matter movement.
The 44-year-old, who starred in the television show “Charmed” in addition to a number of movies like “Scream” and “Jawbreaker,” decided to speak out against Weinstein after 20 years of silence and despite a non-disclosure agreement she had once signed.
In her new memoir “Brave,” McGowan details her encounter with Weinstein. She also speaks out against the Hollywood establishment, arguing that there was a machinery in place that allowed men in powerful positions, like Weinstein, to get away with sexual assault.
So why did she decide to break her silence?
Because of women like the young millennial McGowan passed on her way to NBC’s studios who screamed “I’m a #MeToo. Go Rose, go!” McGowan continues to fight for such young women, and all women. “I do it for them,” she said. “I do it for us.”
McGowan said one of her tipping points came when legislation for equal pay was struck down in 2014 on the Senate floor. “I expected everybody to freak out,” she said. “And nobody freaked out, nobody did anything.”
“We’re the only industrialized country with no constitutional protection for women, yet we pay the same in taxes,” she added.
Brezinzski, who has been leading the charge on the issue of equal pay, explained her own efforts to close the wage gap. “The day that my pay was restructured to be equal, my voice was deeper, richer, stronger. I connected with everybody on a clearer level. My confidence went from 0 to 10,” she recounted. “It matters.”
“I can’t wait for all of us to have that,” McGowan responded. “I want all of our voices to get deeper, stronger and louder.”
To reach that point, McGowan said it will take a collective effort—and some bravery. “I know you can change the world just by being brave,” she said.