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Rose McGowan delivers fiery speech at inaugural Women's Convention: 'It’s time to rise'

In her first public address since helping blow the Harvey Weinstein exposé wide open and igniting the exposure of several more prominent Hollywood figures accused of sexual misconduct and abuse, Rose McGowan addressed a crowd of "Me Toos," reclaimed her time and roared. 

"My name is Rose McGowan, and I am brave — and I am you."

The filmmaker, actress and activist kicked off the inaugural Women's Convention in Detroit on Friday with a stirring and personal speech two weeks after accusing Weinstein of rape in a series of tweets.

She began by thanking her "fabulous, strong, powerful" #RoseArmy of supporters. 

"I have been silenced for 20 years. I have been slut-shamed. I have been harassed," she said. "I have been maligned. And you know what? I’m just like you. Because what happened to me behind the scenes happens to all of us in this society. And that cannot stand, and it will not stand.

"We are free. We are strong. We are one massive, collective voice — that is what #RoseArmy is about," she continued. "No more will we be shunted to the side. No more will we be hurt. It's time to be whole. It's time to rise. It's time to be brave."

Rose McGowan speaks at the Women's Convention in Detroit on Friday. (Paul Sancya / Associated Press)
Rose McGowan speaks at the Women's Convention in Detroit on Friday. (Paul Sancya / Associated Press)

McGowan didn't utter Weinstein's name once. She didn't need to. Acknowledging that seeing "the monster's face" plastered across media reports in the past few weeks has been difficult for her, she called for resilience and unity in a widening cultural movement that reaches beyond Hollywood's power structure.

"In the face of unspeakable actions from one monster, we look away to another — the head monster of all, right now — and they are the same. And they must die. It is time. The paradigm must be subverted," she said.

Encouraging the continued exposure of abusers within and outside of the entertainment industry, McGowan also called for more diverse representation behind the camera.

"Hollywood may seem like it's an isolated thing, but it is not. It is the messaging system for your mind," she said. "It is the mirror that you're given to look into. This is what you are as a woman. This is what you are as a man. This is what you are as a boy, girl, gay, straight, transgender, but it's all told through 96% males in the Directors Guild of America." 

The DGA's membership is currently 76.6% male, yet a 2015 study by the DGA found that only 6.4% of all feature film directors were women. And a USC Annenberg study of 900 top-grossing films over the past decade found that women directed a paltry 4.1%.

McGowan capped her speech at the first annual Women's Convention, coordinated by the organizers of the Women's March and held this weekend at Detroit's Cobo Center, by raising her fist in the air: "My name is Rose McGowan, and I am brave  and I am you."

For the record, Oct. 28, 11:48 am: A previous version of this post said that current membership of the Directors Guild of America was 85% male and that women comprised less than 7% of the DGA in 2013 and 2014. According to the most recent statistics from the DGA, the guild's membership is 76.6% male. Also, the 2013 - 2014 number was an accounting of the number of women who directed feature films, not the total membership. 

Read The Times' full coverage of the Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment scandal.

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