Unlike that fucking idiot, Lena Dunham, who only supported the Me Too movement until one of her male friends was accused of sexual assault, Rose McGowan is standing by her beliefs, even if it means losing some friends.
As I discussed last week, Asia Argento, one of the first women to speak out against Harvey Weinstein, has been accused of paying Jimmy Bennett to keep his mouth shut about the fact that they had sex when he was 17 and she was 38 (18 being the age of consent in the states, so, you know, statutory rape).
Rose and Asia had become incredibly close friends over the past year, given that they’d both spoken out about their abuse at the hands of Harvey Weinstein, and I’m sure it was incredibly hard for Rose when she heard the accusations against Asia, given that Asia was her ally, friend, and fellow survivor. The whole thing has been really conflicting for everyone.
While I find parts of Rose’s feminism problematic because I think it lacks full inclusion, I applaud her reaction to the accusations against Asia.
Before I discuss Rose’s statement, I will say that text messages between Asia and Rose’s current boyfriend, Rain, basically confirm that yes, Asia had sex with Jimmy while he was legally underage, and, more importantly, he’d apparently been sexually obsessed with her and sending her nudes since he was about 12. Fucked up, right?
Given all this, Rose said the following:
Asia mentioned in these texts that she didn’t take any action on those images. No reporting to authorities, to the parents, or blocking Jimmy’s social media. Not even a simple message ‘Don’t send me these images. They are inappropriate.’ There were a few other details revealed as well that I am not at liberty to mention in this statement as investigators do their job…Asia, you were my friend. I loved you. You’ve spent and risked a lot to stand with the MeToo movement. I really hope you find your way through this process to rehabilitation and betterment. Anyone can be better. I hope you can be, too. Do the right thing. Be honest. Be fair. Let justice stay its course. Be the person you wish Harvey could have been.
I think Rose is setting a great example of how–not just celebrities–but all of us, should handle those gross situations where we find out that someone we know and care for has engaged in this harmful behavior. She is making no excuses for Asia, nor is she justifying Asia’s actions or trying to blame anyone else. There are no denials here. Just a person heartbroken that her friend did something shitty, but hopeful that they can take real responsibility for their actions and work towards bettering themselves.
This whole MeToo rape survivor turned potential predator who had a 100% inappropriate relationship with a minor thing is tough to navigate. Obviously it puts a dark cloud over the MeToo movement, but it shouldn’t. Asia Argento victimizing someone else does not diminish her own victimization–nor does it justify it.
Sexual abuse and misconduct, power dynamics, harassment, and consent are things we, as a society, are only just beginning to properly discuss and understand. Right now, I think if Asia Argento wants to stand by her commitment to the MeToo movement and respect what it’s trying to do, she has to own up to another kind of MeToo: I’ve also engaged in sexual misconduct and I’m going to take full responsibility for it, because it’s the right thing to do.
Balls in your court, Asia.