Friday, February 23, 2018

My Review of Brave by Rose McGowan

First the book description:

"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

A revealing memoir and empowering manifesto – A voice for generations

Rose McGowan was born in one cult and came of age in another, more visible cult: Hollywood.

In a strange world where she was continually on display, stardom soon became a personal nightmare of constant exposure and sexualization. Rose escaped into the world of her mind, something she had done as a child, and into high-profile relationships. Every detail of her personal life became public, and the realities of an inherently sexist industry emerged with every script, role, public appearance, and magazine cover. The Hollywood machine packaged her as a sexualized bombshell, hijacking her image and identity and marketing them for profit.

Hollywood expected Rose to be silent and cooperative and to stay the path. Instead, she rebelled and asserted her true identity and voice. She reemerged unscripted, courageous, victorious, angry, smart, fierce, unapologetic, controversial, and real as f*ck.

BRAVE is her raw, honest, and poignant memoir/manifesto—a no-holds-barred, pull-no-punches account of the rise of a millennial icon, fearless activist, and unstoppable force for change who is determined to expose the truth about the entertainment industry, dismantle the concept of fame, shine a light on a multibillion-dollar business built on systemic misogyny, and empower people everywhere to wake up and be BRAVE .

My Review:
How do you review a memoir about being a sexual abuse survivor?

I’ll start by saying the book was well written. My only complaint about the actual writing is that Rose shares her first experience (of many) of sexual assault in the very last chapter. I wish she had placed it at the beginning of the book instead.

As for Rose herself she is a fascinating person. I was not aware that she is European and not American. She does an excellent job of nailing sexist attitudes in Hollywood and how it shapes culture about how women are viewed. The beauty and diet industry is basically created by Hollywood. Even how we view each other in relationships is created by Hollywood. But I don't quite hate men as much as Rose seems to. I understand why she does after the life she has had, but I can't imagine having so much anger inside of me.

However I have issues with Rose's personality. First of all, she thinks very highly of herself. I’ve never met someone who is an abuse victim that seems to think she’s smarter, more talented, and generally better than every person she encounters but Rose is a snob and a half. She also seems to think she was a sexual icon equal to the likes of Marilyn Monroe. Where I come from she was considered a B-list actress and not quite the sex symbol she seems to think she was.

Most of the book was about her life before going vocal about Weinstein who she calls the Monster. This was actually only a small part of the book as most of it was how Rose got to the point of meeting Weinstein. I really liked those parts. She explains why she continued with acting even though she seemed to hate it. Her life growing up in a cult and coming to America was fascinating.

However Rose is not as self aware as she thinks. She talks about having depression but never talks about her biggest issue which is PTSD. I had really hoped the book would be more about how to recover from abuse but Rose barely talks about it. I also had hoped Rose would talk more about her decision to come out about Weinstein after all these years. Rose seems to completely ignore the fact that she took a settlement from him so she would stay silent. Why did she do that? If it was explained then I must have missed it. Because of these things I only gave the book Photobucket

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