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01 October 2009 @ 04:28 pm
Roman Polanski  
I've been quiet on this, because I really don't know that I can comment with any degree of calm. Sometimes, the way society treats celebrity as being above the law, or even the simple moral values of right and wrong, is flat out sickening.

The fact that other celebrities, including female celebrities, are supporting him? Makes me want to shake them, makes me frankly want to boycott everything they do, and just flat out makes me sick.

There is no "kind of" rape, just like there's no "kind of" pregnant. Either it's rape, or it's not, and this was, period. And it wasn't only rape, which would have been bad enough on its own, but she was a child, and he raped and sodomized her. I don't care if he's the most amazing artistic genius since Beethoven. Serial killers often have genius level IQs, too. Does that mean we should excuse them of their crimes?

It happened 30 years ago. Oh, gee, I guess since it happened so long ago, we should just pretend it didn't happen at all! (Note the sarcasm!)

I was molested a long time ago, too. But the passage of years doesn't make it any less horrific. I still remember the shame, the belief that it was somehow my fault for far too long, even as a child. I remember sitting in a room and talking to my parents after they began to suspect something, and feeling like somehow, I was in trouble, I was the one in the wrong, even as carefully as my mother approached it.

We never saw my grandfather on my father's side after that. We'd hear, every once in awhile, about where he was or what he was doing. My father used to say that he hoped he never saw his father again, because he wasn't sure he could stop himself from killing him. I don't know to this day how my mother forgave my father, for hiding his own family history from her in the first years of their marriage. She'd had no idea, you see, that my father grew up being routinely beaten and abused, horribly, physically, mentally. Or that his sisters were also abused sexually.

I've heard about a lot of abuse cases in the years since. None comes close to the horror that my father and his siblings grew up with.

I don't blame my Dad for not telling my Mom at first. I can't imagine what it must have been like to grow up like that. I can't imagine what affect eighteen+ years of constant abuse must have had, and I can only admire him for breaking the cycle and refusing to be an abusive SOB like his father. When it came out what my grandfather had been up to with me, I don't know what was said. I just know we never saw him again. When we finally got word the old bastard had died years later, none of us mourned.

My grandfather didn't "kind of" molest me. He did. Period.

When I was 25, one of my best friends, a woman I'd shared an apartment with for three years, someone I'd been bridesmaid to at her wedding (twice!), came forward and told everyone about how her father raped her. It started when she was 4 years old. She told her mother back then, and her mother told her to stop telling lies. (I seem to recall her slapping her, as well, but I don't know for sure.) After that, she didn't tell anyone at all, until one night more than twenty years later when she freaked out on her then-husband, broke down, and ended up telling him. It was he who came over to tell me and my roommate at the time, another good friend of this woman's. We sat there and listened to him tell us how "someone" had molested and raped her repeatedly, for years, and somehow, neither of us were surprised. We looked at each other, and my roommate said very calmly, "It was her father, wasn't it?"

We knew. We, who had also been molested, somehow down in our souls, we recognized another victim. I remember thinking back to her wedding, to how her father had to hug each of us bridesmaids, and the horrible, icky feeling it gave me. Some part of me recognized what he was, even then.

We stood by her through the trial, as she finally came forward at her husband's repeated urgings, and pressed charges against her father. Yes, he'd raped her twenty years ago. But he'd also continued to do so, all the way up into her adult life. All the way up to her being married, and even after.

She still had a younger sister at home, you see, and had convinced herself that if she gave him what he wanted, he wouldn't touch her sister. She was wrong. I don't have any proof of that, since her sister refused to come forward throughout the trial, but there is no doubt in my mind, and it breaks my heart to think about it.

It doesn't matter how long ago something that horrific happened. It doesn't matter, if it had stopped when she was six, or eight, like my situation, instead of continuing into her twenties. He still deserved to be punished. Whatever else he was - pauper, prince, priest, celebrity - he was also a rapist. A molester, a rapist, and a predator.

The judge in the case gave him the maximum sentence possible. The lion's share of the abuse took place in another state years ago, and so could not be considered for the trial, and the judge expressed his personal regret and disgust that he couldn't take that history into account in sentencing.

Polanski is no different. No one "accidentally" drugs, rapes, and sodomizes a 13 year-old-girl. Running away to another country for 30 years doesn't change what he did. And it shouldn't make any difference in his punishment, unless the difference means adding time to his sentence for fleeing justice.
Current Mood: angryangry
Chez: armchair reviewchrysalitron on October 1st, 2009 11:42 pm (UTC)
I agree with you 100% on this. To me, there is no matter of when it happened. IT HAPPENED. You can't even pretend this is something consensual, even if you wanted to (she was 13!) when you look at the evidence of drugs, etc. He's a sick SOB and he deserves to go away for what he did. So it's been 30 years? Yeah....BECAUSE HE RAN. As far as I'm concerned, whatever the charge is, if you run for it, you shouldn't be excused from it simply because time passes. Especially in a case as awful as this.

He might make great movies, he might be some kind of creative genius. I really don't care. Being talented does not make you exempt from the law....at least it SHOULDN'T.
rhienelleth: abby blue hands - astral_angelrhienelleth on October 2nd, 2009 04:57 pm (UTC)
Excusing Polanski just sends the message that if you're wealthy enough, popular enough, or powerful enough, you, too, can run and/or buy your way to freedom, no matter the crime.

It's inexcusable.
celli on October 2nd, 2009 12:58 am (UTC)
rhienelleth: zoe/wash - shayrenarhienelleth on October 2nd, 2009 04:58 pm (UTC)
{{HUGS}} back. :)
xlanaxlana on October 2nd, 2009 01:43 am (UTC)
first of all *hugs*

secondly, hear hear. exactly everything you said. he is a rapist, a child rapist, as well as a coward and should be held accountable for his actions.

lastly, *hugshugshugs*
rhienelleth: zoe/wash - shayrenarhienelleth on October 2nd, 2009 04:58 pm (UTC)
Thanks. :)
wisteriawisteria on October 2nd, 2009 05:46 am (UTC)
I totally agree with you. I don't know if you read the very pointed salon.com article, but I think you would appreciate her take.

I have been disgusted by how some people have come to his defense.... Google Whoopie Goldberg 'It wasn't rape rape' for a prime example.

I like Whoopie...but my esteem for her took a Massive Hit after this comment.

I ache for your friend...and I ache for you. I'm so proud of her for finally breaking her silence.

Hugs, Deb
rhienellethrhienelleth on October 2nd, 2009 04:59 pm (UTC)
I can't believe that those words came from a woman's mouth. I just lost so much respect for her. Gee, Whoopie, what qualifies as real rape?
Fatemafatema on October 2nd, 2009 06:37 am (UTC)
Totally agree with you on this. I only recently learned about this via the f-list and the shock I'm experiencing of people actually calling it NOT rape and coming to this man's defense is just unbelievable. I seriously can't believe how people are trying to justify this. There is no justification. Rape is rape is rape. No matter when it happens. And a rapist deserves to be put in prison for a long time.

*HUGS* to you and your friend.
rhienelleth: aang - kelpchenrhienelleth on October 2nd, 2009 05:03 pm (UTC)
I've thought a lot about people's attempt to justify this, and I can only think, those people are completely ignorant of what it's like to be a victim. It's so removed from their reality, that they have no connection to what that girl has suffered because of what he did to her. Sure, it happened 30 years ago. But it affects her to this day, I would stake everything I own on it. I barely remember what happened to me, and it still affected my self perception into adulthood. I've come a long way, but I have no doubt it still does.
annete: Common Senseanneten on October 2nd, 2009 04:30 pm (UTC)
Very well stated. I also am outraged about the whole "it wasn't RAPE rape" mentality and discussions about a pardon, and I am alternately disgusted (talking to you, Whoopi "it wasn't RAPE rape" Goldberg) and disappointed (Scorcese, Lynch, etc) by people who come done on that side of the argument. I am also saddened that people who are on the other side (like Kevin Smith) are seemingly being ignored by the media.

And I just want to say that you have my hugs and admiration for your emotional strength. In your place, I don't know if I could have such a frank discussion. Your voice, as a victim and a survivor, is incredibly powerful in sharing how much your past still affect your present.

I would love to post a link to this entry on my FB and Twitter, but I won't if you don't want me to (and I understand completely if you don't). Regardless of either, I just want to say - well done. And more hugs.
rhienellethrhienelleth on October 2nd, 2009 04:49 pm (UTC)
I don't mind. This is something I thought about a lot before posting it. In fact, I've gone back and added a little more about my own history. I can only imagine that ignorance is the reason behind so many people supporting Polanski, and the only way to dispel ignorance is with truth and the frank sharing of our own experiences as victims.

I joined the Rebel Alliance ironically: sarah stern big gunmorwen_peredhil on October 2nd, 2009 05:52 pm (UTC)
I've been feeling stressed out and gross ever since this latest Roman Polanski thing started because of something a grown man (not a blood relative) tried to do to me when I was only a year older than that poor girl was. He didn't succeed and never tried again, but I had to see him every day for the next four years because he lived in my house.

I can't believe people are defending RP, especially women, although there's no excuse for men doing it either. Makes me sick to my stomach. Literally.

Edited at 2009-10-02 05:55 pm (UTC)
rhienellethrhienelleth on October 2nd, 2009 06:13 pm (UTC)
Yes, ITA.

Even the attempt of it affects you deeply enough, years later, to feel this way. I just don't understand why there is even an argument about Polanski - how anyone can defend him at all! and as you said, much less women.

I suspect Whoopi's comment about rape-rape will follow her for some years to come.
indie: Arrested Development Lucille OMFGindiefic on October 2nd, 2009 06:22 pm (UTC)
Thank you for sharing your experiences. *hugs*

And I agree with everything you said about Polanski. It makes me sick to see people defending him.
purple_shoes on October 2nd, 2009 07:26 pm (UTC)
Thank you for this. I agree 100%, and it makes me so angry and so sad that, for some reason, there seems to still be different levels of rape. There isn't. It isn't okay because she was wearing a short skirt, it isn't okay because she was drugged or drunk or couldn't "technically" say no, it's not okay because she was flirting, and it damn well isn't okay "just because" is happened 20 years ago. It's NEVER okay.

I'm still dealing with my own rape, still dealing with all the issues and anger and self-hatred that come with it. I still blame myself, because of stupid things like this, and the media's obsession with acting like there are certain times when forcing someone to have sex with you is "okay." Rape comes in a million different forms, and it is ALWAYS still rape. End of story.

I feel for you and your friend - with what happened to me, I can't even imagine going through that for so long, or having it done by someone I was supposed to have trusted and loved. I feel like I'm not even justified in my anger, knowing women who have gone through so much worse, but even with that I can't fathom anyone actually trying to justify rape in any way, shape, or form. It breaks my heart enough that people do this - to see anyone, especially people I once appreciated and respected, defending it?

Thank you again for posting this, for sharing your stories. For being one of the voices who can continually remind us that rape is NEVER "okay."
The Proverbial Bull in a China Shop...: Kara and Sam hugsabaceanbabe on October 2nd, 2009 09:21 pm (UTC)
*hugs you tight*
Patron Saint of Pessimism: Dogs: Solo poutingwoodrunner on October 2nd, 2009 10:36 pm (UTC)
Late to this, but yes, yes, and big giant hugs.

I am so pissed with the celebrities who brush it off, of people who want to pardon him, of people vouching for him. I want to punch them all.