I’m going to start off this review by saying I have turned the comments off. Everything I am about to say regarding Rose Mcgowan’s book, BRAVE, is incredibly personal and given the immensely triggering content, consider this also a trigger warning for abuse (mental, physical, and sexual), eating disorders, self-harm, and general upsetting nastiness.
So here we go.
I literally just finished reading this book not ten minutes ago on my way to my day job, and let me tell you how much I just want to cry somewhere until I can’t produce tears anymore.
Rose McGowan isn’t someone I’m very familiar with. I know of her work, but can’t say I’ve really seen her in anything. Scream upset me the first time I tried to watch it and haven’t tried again since, but that’s the closest I’ve come to really seeing Rose McGowan in a production. That being said, her life story hits me hard. This is a woman raised as a child into one of the biggest pedophilia-ridden cults in the world who managed to get out with her family only to pushed onto the streets, into drugs, and brainwashed by an industry who never truly cared about what happened to her. And let’s be real here, they still don’t, because if the people meant to protect her truly cared now the Monster would be rotting in prison where he belongs.
Her life has been on that would have killed the majority of people and I commend her for her strength and her bravery to live through hardships I cannot even imagine.
On top of that, this is a very intense look at the underbelly of the entertainment industry and how little vulnerable people are cared for. A lot of what happened to Rose had been covered up but she was still very open about what happened to her yet no one who knew the nonsense the Monster got up to did a single thing about it. No one told her how dangerous a man he is. No one even tried to protect her. And this lack of support happened again and again and again. It makes me sick, being someone who – in college – identified as female and was very open about being willing to do just about anything to get into the film industry. I spent years of my time and thousands of dollars learning all I could about making movies, wanting so desperately to be a part of the industry I admired to my core. Reading of all the bullshit that went on and is still very much going on breaks my heart and fills me with sense of having wasted my time.
I honestly don’t know what else to say about this journalistic recount of the horrors a woman can face at the hands of men. I stand with Rose McGowan and hope I can one day have the strength she does. I hope I can grow into someone who can protect young girls and women from the things Rose suffered. I hope I can be someone who can make a fucking difference.
BRAVE is heavy. Heavier than anything I have ever read in my life. But it is important. If you want to be in the industry, read this book. Why? Because you need to be aware of the worst case scenarios that happen more often than not. Because you need to be aware of behaviour that should never be allowed to happen. Male filmmakers now more than ever need to prove that they are abusive, manipulative monsters and continue to prove it for the entirety of their careers. End of discussion. Women have been abused and taken advantage of in this industry for far too long and it needs to stop.
I’m still upset that she was lashed out at so harshly she cancelled her book tour, because I was greatly looking forward to hearing her speak here in Toronto.
Congratulations on this book, Rose. Thank you for your candor and your strength. Thank you for everything.
Author: Rose McGowan
Published: January 30th, 2018
Publisher: Harper One
Synopsis: “My life, as you will read, has taken me from one cult to another. BRAVE is the story of how I fought my way out of these cults and reclaimed my life. I want to help you do the same.” -Rose McGowan