Friday, October 2, 2009

Let's Not Forget: Polanski is a Rapist.

You've probably already been inundated with news about the Roman Polanski case. You probably already have an opinion about the situation. Still, I urge you to read this thoughtful and brave post on Feministe regarding Polanski and rape.

From "Getting Over It":

What does rape do to you? Afterward? It changed me; there is before and after. Before, a child, playing with Barbies, looking sideways at boys, wondering. After, confusion. Depression. A litany of fuck-ups and fuck-its, whatevers, mistakes, trusting no one, least of all myself. Before, sex was mysterious; after, miasma. I was tarred as a Lolita. I was called jail bait.

Rape is not the only assault. Around rape is a large segment of the population that questions the victim, a culture that looks down on victims for allowing themselves to be victimized, or keep them victimized, questions about the victim’s credibility, questions about the legacy of rape and how bad it is, because how bad is rape really? Rape, because various levels and forms of sexual assault are systemic and pervasive across all societies, exists alongside one’s experiences of unwanted touching, wanted touching, sexual objectification, sexual desire, sexual harassment, incest, love, leering eyes, cat calls, roaming hands, consent, confusion, tits, vagina, rectum, penis, mouth, rape and not-rape, all of it loaded, all of it veering at rape’s ugly legacy, co-mingling, the legacy that tells us to be more careful, to dress more conservatively, to BE BETTER AT BEING VULNERABLE, or BE MORE POWERFUL, or BE MORE FEARFUL, or GET OVER IT ALREADY. Rape leaks into healthy, consensual experiences. It lingers. It pervades.

Why are Polanski's supporters ignoring his crime? And thank you, Chris Rock, for stating what so many celebrities have seemed to forgotten: "It's rape!"

This petition, that so many in Hollywood are so eager to sign, sickens me.  An excerpt:

The arrest of Roman Polanski in a neutral country, where he assumed he could travel without hindrance, undermines this tradition: it opens the way for actions of which no-one can know the effects.

Roman Polanski is a French citizen, a renown and international artist now facing extradition. This extradition, if it takes place, will be heavy in consequences and will take away his freedom.
'Take away his freedom' and 'be heavy in consequences,' huh? Sounds kind of like what drugging and raping a child does.

As Steve Lopez at the LA Times writes, "His crime was graphic, manipulative and heinous, and he got a pass. It's unbelievable, really, that his soft-headed apologists are rooting for him to get another one."

1 comment:

  1. P.S. Anne Applebaum, you make me want to vomit.