ETA: Celebs supporting Polanski’s extradition. You can sign the petition, too. Thanks, Charles!
France has wisely backpedaled from their recent remarks about Roman Polanski which suggested the U.S. should just excuse him because he’s so old, the crime is so far in the past, and he’s so talented, and he had a tragic childhood (the Holocaust), and he suffered through Charles Manson’s followers killing his wife, Sharon Tate, and their unborn baby.
These rationalizations are a slap in the face to every Holocaust survivor, every person who’s lost a loved one to violence, everyone who survived a tragic childhood, who has never raped anybody, and it offends me. But nothing the French said borders on the kind of simple, clear misogyny we’re hearing from Hollywood.
You’ve probably heard by now that Martin Scorsese (which kind of porn does he like, Mickle?), David Lynch, Harvey Weinstein, Whoopi Goldberg, Debra Winger, Woody Allen, a few dozen other misogynists are saying Roman Polanski should be released immediately, because “there’s rape, and then there’s rape” (from Debra Tate, Polanski’s sister-in-law) or, in Goldberg’s infamous turn of phrase, “it wasn’t rape-rape.” She offered clarification: she was just “trying to get the facts straight”, and those facts, she claimed, were that he had been arrested and charged with unlawful sexual intercourse, not rape.
This is, of course, an outright lie. He was arrested and charged with “rape by use of drugs, perversion, sodomy, lewd and lascivious act upon a child under 14” and his lawyers bargained it down to the lesser charge. The plea bargaining was largely meant to spare his young victim the stress of testifying in court.
And Debra Tate, on the Today show:
“There’s rape and then there’s rape,” she said. “It was determined that Roman did not forcibly have sex with this woman. It was a consensual matter. I am a victim’s advocate, and I know the difference.”
I’ll get back to Debra Tate’s bullshit in a minute.
If you’re wondering what planet Whoopi and Debra are orbiting, it’s simple: they and their Hollywood misogynist pals are all just coincidentally using a strategy that, I dunno, sounds like something Polanski’s lawyers might have cooked up. That is, they are pretending the plea Polanski entered before he fled (having consensual sex with someone too young to legally give consent) legally erased the allegations that he drugged a minor and performed sex acts on her while she protested repeatedly.
If Polanski had been sentenced, this would be true. We would have to say/write he was legally guilty only of statutory rape, and all the rest we would call “allegations”, or else we could be sued for defamation. Similarly, no matter how sure you are O.J. Simpson committed that double murder, you can’t call him a “murderer” publicly without exposing yourself to a lawsuit – because he went through trial and was found not guilty.
But Polanski chose not to face his sentence, didn’t he? He could’ve withdrawn his plea and demanded a jury trial if he didn’t like how things were going.When you flee justice, the clock stops. That’s why the statute of limitations – which is about three years in California, depending on the “seriousness” of the crime and other factors – hasn’t run out. Legally speaking, the plea is just something Polanski said under oath. Nothing has been legally “determined” – to use Tate’s oh so lawyery term – because the judge never officially accepted the plea. If he’s extradited, California could simply pick up where it left off and sentence him, or it could forget all that and start over with a whole new trial.
So, legally speaking, we are back to Geimer’s grand jury testimony (be aware, it’s painful and gruesome to read), which in summary claims that Polanski kept giving Geimer champagne to sip for the photos he was taking, and as she got drunk, he gave her a quaalude, and then proceeded to perform various sex acts upon her despite repeated protestations. We also have some forensic testimony that backs up aspects of her statements. And we have 32 years of Geimer never, ever backtracking on a word of her story. So there is no excuse, legal or otherwise, for pretending it’s been legally “determined” he’s guilty only of having seemingly consensual sex with someone too young to legally give consent. Anyone participating in that pretense is not only a rape apologist, but in moral terms, a sort of accomplice after the fact.
Now let’s get back to Tate’s flight of narcissistic fancy.
Let’s get some “facts straight”, shall we? Tate is a victim’s advocate for people who’ve lost loved ones to violence, like herself and Roman Polanski. She obviously hasn’t studied rape and obviously knows nothing about it and obviously couldn’t care less what damage her words inflict on victims who are considering whether or not to come forward and seek justice, or are trying to figure out how the hell to heal. She is a hypocrite who sees “victims” only amongst people she relates to – everyone else is an object in the Themsphere. Their feelings and sufferings are not real. Only her own, and those she relates to.
Tate also claims that Polanski’s psych profile found him not to be a pedophile. I don’t see how this helps his case. Pedophilia is a sickness, a compulsion. It’s unforgivable, but it’s also often a clear cycle – you find the pedophile you’re so angry with was a victim before s/he was an offender, and then you’re angry with the person who abused him or her, too. If that’s not Polanski’s problem, then he’s just a plain vanilla rapist who prefers a particular age range. Some rapists target elderly women. Some target young women. Either way, it’s just rape, plain and simple.
“If I had killed somebody, it wouldn’t have had so much appeal to the press, you see? But… f—ing, you see, and the young girls. Judges want to f— young girls. Juries want to f— young girls. Everyone wants to f— young girls!”
I’m sure you guys will pick out a lot of disturbing elements to this statement, but you know which one chills me to the bone? One of the most famous murders in American history is the murder of Sharon Tate by the Charles Manson “Family.” Had Polanski already forgotten his wife’s murder, just ten years later, when he says a murder would never have gotten as much publicity? Because no one else has. I know some of y’all were born in the 80s, and I’m betting you still knew some dude named Charles Manson was a psycho killer long before you knew some dude named Roman Polanski was an alleged rapist. Am I right?
Polanski is not the victim. He has been a victim at times, but so has Charles Manson. So was Hitler. When you willfully hurt someone, it doesn’t matter what unrelated miseries you have experienced. You are required by your society to overcome your demons or face the consequences.
And there is no such thing as rape-rape. But I kind of hope these Hollywood misogynists keep right on digging themselves in deeper with their bullshit. If they do, they will destroy their credibility as “liberals” once and for all, and I won’t ever need to write another article explaining how their bullshit faux liberalism really just masks a misogyny unparalleled in any of the “red states” they like to look down on.