Kate Harding: "Roman Polanski raped a child. Let's just start right there, because that's the detail that tends to get neglected when we start discussing whether it was fair for the bail-jumping director to be arrested at age 76, after 32 years in "exile" (which in this case means owning multiple homes in Europe, continuing to work as a director, marrying and fathering two children, even winning an Oscar, but never -- poor baby -- being able to return to the U.S.). Let's keep in mind that Roman Polanski gave a 13-year-old girl a Quaalude and champagne, then raped her, before we start discussing whether the victim looked older than her 13 years, or that she now says she'd rather not see him prosecuted because she can't stand the media attention. Before we discuss how awesome his movies are or what the now-deceased judge did wrong at his trial, let's take a moment to recall that according to the victim's grand jury testimony, Roman Polanski instructed her to get into a jacuzzi naked, refused to take her home when she begged to go, began kissing her even though she said no and asked him to stop; performed cunnilingus on her as she said no and asked him to stop; put his penis in her vagina as she said no and asked him to stop; asked if he could penetrate her anally, to which she replied, "No," then went ahead and did it anyway, until he had an orgasm."
Read more here. And here.
And my husband's post here, with bonus rape apologism in the comments.
Yesterday, I was looking at this case like I usually look at this stuff: from the perspective of a rape crisis counselor, knowing that I'll be called on to discuss the finer legal and social points of this case in a professional manner.
Today I am drowning in the rape apologism. In hearing "she didn't look 13" and "hasn't he suffered enough" and all of that, all of it.
And today I am not looking at this in a professional manner. Today I am overwhelmed by rape culture so much more than I tend to be. My armor is good. But it's broken today.
Because I am looking at this, feeling this, from the perspective of someone who was molested and raped as a child. Someone who has friends who were raped; most applicable to this, friends who were raped as children.
And make no fucking mistake. Much joy as I have in my life now, as happy and emotionally healthy as I am now - that sort of thing does massive damage. There are those of us - who one survivor of my acquaintance calls "children of the secret" - who are okay now, really. There are those who are permanently broken.
It is the worst violation that you can live through.
And I see the apologism on the part of Hollywood and internet assholes.
And I see how little I mean. How little my beloveds mean. I see that if someone just makes "good enough" movies, lots of people think that drugging and raping a child is totally forgivable. As Adam points out, they call it "one little mistake".
A thing that drives people to suicide.
One little mistake.
Using your position of power to get a 13-year-old girl in your house, get her drunk, drug her, rape her in every orifice as she cries and says no and please stop.
Today I am seeing how many people think that's perfectly okay. And. That. Hurts.
And I am shaking and I have tears.
And people don't believe there's such a thing as rape culture.
I'm usually up for a discussion on stuff like this, but today, I am really, really not. I am going to Diesel to get hugs. I'm leaving comments open because I'm sure a lot of people have a lot to say. If you disagree with me that Polanski should be in prison for the crime that even he admitted he committed, I really don't want to hear from you. Not wearing my BARCC hat right now, and I warn you now, I feel no responsibility to engage with you in a dispassionate debate, I will just flame you the hell into next Thursday.
EDIT UPON GETTING HOME: And I am not cool with the prison rape comments. I don't want anyone to get raped. Clear?