The Heated Conversation Between Amber Tamblyn & Rose McGowan Shows The Complexities Of The #MeToo Movement

Update: Meryl Streep responded to Rose McGowan's now-deleted tweet on Monday, saying in a statement to The Huffington Post that she would like women to come together "in defiance of the same implacable foe." She added that she did not know about the allegations of sexual misconduct against Harvey Weinstein when she worked with him.
Also on Monday, McGowan tweeted an apology for stating that the women who wear black to the Golden Globe Awards should select gowns from Marchesa, the high-end fashion line founded by Georgina Chapman, Harvey Weinstein's estranged wife who filed for divorce earlier this year.
"The Marchesa line was beneath me and I’m sorry for that," McGowan tweeted. "Seeing that picture of Alyssa Milano with GC has ignited something in me that I can’t quite articulate. There is no map for this road I’m on, I will fuck up. Peace be with you, go with Goddess."
Original story follows.
Photo: Griffin Lipson/BFA/REX/Shutterstock.
Photo: Vivien Killilea/Getty Images.
Last week, at a New York Times TimesTalk, actress and director Jodie Foster said that the #MeToo movement is "painful" but that "we need to go through this." And one of the more painful aspects is knowing that the voices in the movement are diverse, and that there will be disagreements and callouts.
One such heated conversation is playing out between Amber Tamblyn and Rose McGowan. Both actresses have been important voices in the #MeToo movement, with the latter being honored as a Silence Breaker by Time magazine. In a now-deleted tweet, McGowan recently admonished actress Meryl Streep and those who are choosing to wear black at the Golden Globes as a form of protest. "Actresses, like Meryl Streep, who happily worked for The Pig Monster, are wearing black @GoldenGlobes in a silent protest. YOUR SILENCE is THE problem. You’ll accept a fake award breathlessly & affect no real change. I despise your hypocrisy. Maybe you should all wear Marchesa," wrote McGowan. Marchesa is the evening and bridal gown designer house founded by Harvey Weinstein's estranged wife, Georgina Chapman.
Also over Twitter, Tamblyn fired back, writing that though McGowan is a friend, she does not support her "shaming or taunting the movements of other women who are trying to create change." Tamblyn defended the black dress protest movement, calling it "just the beginning," and further urged McGowan to "stand together in this fight."
Is there a right way to protest? Will black gowns at the Golden Globes really combat the culture of misogyny that allows sexual predators to flourish? Should we take all of our activist leaders at face value and not question their methods?
The answer to these questions, is, of course, no. A debate about how best to achieve a movement's goals is healthy and necessary — that's how ideas are shaped and implemented.
That said, it's crucial for us to keep our leaders accountable. The #MeToo movement is about protecting women, and we need to keep that in focus, because the chances of fraying alliances are very real. Through our anger, we can hit the wrong target. Activist Rachel McKibbens described this very situation, writing on Twitter that it is often the kinships between women that suffer as we lash out at each other in grief.
It's important for the movement to remain honest, inclusive, and united, because the backlash is coming. Lily Herman, for Strong Opinions, Loosely Held, points out that some senators are wringing their hands over Sen. Al Franken's resignation following allegations of sexual misconduct, as well as all the (mainly white) women who still supported Roy Moore following reports of child molestation and predation. It is possible to stay committed to building a more perfect culture, while making sure that everyone's voices are heard and believed.
Oh, and if you try to pit Tamblyn against McGowan, she will not mince words and come after you. Demonstrating that women supporting each other's stories and opinions is exactly what makes the #MeToo movement so important.
Refinery29 has reached out to Tamblyn and McGowan for comment.
If you have experienced sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please call the RAINN Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).
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