Brynn Craffey

Why Polanski, After All These Years?

Filed By Brynn Craffey | September 28, 2009 9:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Media, Politics, Politics
Tags: international, justice system, Roman Polanski, roman polanski, sex crimes

George Bush remains free and charged with no crimes, despite lying the American people into an illegal war and occupation that has so far cost taxpayers $700 billion (by the time you read this) and resulted in the deaths of nearly 4,500 American soldiers, as well as an estimated 800,000 to 1.3 million dead Iraqi civilians, 4.5 million Iraqi war refugees, and left Iraq shattered and possibly ungovernable for decades.

Bush remains free despite crimes of negligence and incompetence in relation to 9/11 and Katrina that left thousands of Americans dead; despite demonstrable election fraud in Florida and Ohio; despite instituting illegal detention, and ordering torture, murder, and disappearances in Afghanistan and Iraq; despite authorizing illegal spying on Americans without warrants; and so on.

Dick Cheney remains free and charged with no crimes despite perhaps even more culpability than Bush in Iraq's illegal invasion, as well as neglect and incompetence in relation to 9/11. He also betrayed the identity of an American CIA agent; presided over conflicts-of-interest and profited enormously from war profiteering in Iraq and Afghanistan; and masterminded and instituted the illegal and utterly depraved program of detention, torture, and disappearances after 9/11--a policy he still strongly defends.

Wall Street profiteers not only remain free and charged with no crimes, but continue to reap insanely huge salaries, obscene bonuses, and lavish perks, despite defrauding taxpayers of nearly $13 trillion (at last count) and bringing the world's economy to the brink of a disaster we may still not avoid, in the process causing the losses of hundreds of thousands of American jobs and millions of homes.

I could go on, but you get the idea. Warrants have never been issued for these crimes--and probably never will be. Yet this morning, it was reported that acclaimed film director Roman Polanski, 76, has been arrested in Zurich, Switzerland, on an arrest warrant issued in 1977, when he was 44 years old. In the warrant, he was charged with offering drugs to and engaging in sex with a 13-year-old girl.

Polanski, well known to Americans for "Rosemary's Baby," "Chinatown," and "The Pianist," was charged with luring Samantha Gailey (now Geimer) to a photo shoot at the Mulholland area home of actor, Jack Nicholson, in Los Angeles. Once there, according to Wikipedia:

"We did photos with me drinking champagne," Geimer says. "Toward the end it got a little scary, and I realized he had other intentions and I knew I was not where I should be. I just didn't quite know how to get myself out of there." Geimer testified that Polanski performed various sexual acts on her, after giving her a combination of champagne and quaaludes. In the 2003 interview, Geimer says she resisted. "I said no several times, and then, well, gave up on that."

Rape and the sexual exploitation of a child by an adult are serious crimes and Polanski should have been prosecuted and punished. At the time, the Jewish director--who barely survived World War-II Poland (his mother was killed in Auschwitz) and whose pregnant wife, Sharon Tate, was murdered in 1969 by Charles Manson and his "family,"--agreed to a plea bargain in which he plead guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor. According to the terms of the agreement, he reported to Chino State Prison for psychiatric evaluation, and was released after 42 days. Before further proceedings, he fled to Europe, where he remained, avoiding travel until now to any country with an extradition treaty with the U.S.

During the intervening years, serious questions have been raised regarding the behavior of the trial judge, now deceased, and attempts have been made to have the charges dismissed. These failed, in part due to demands that Polanski return to California to finalize the terms, and his refusal to do so.

Geimer has publicly forgiven Polanski. Wikipedia quotes her as saying,

"Straight up, what he did to me was wrong. But I wish he would return to America so the whole ordeal can be put to rest for both of us." Furthermore, "I'm sure if he could go back, he wouldn't do it again. He made a terrible mistake but he's paid for it".

Also,

Geimer stated in an interview that she wishes Polanski would be forgiven, "I think he's sorry, I think he knows it was wrong. I don't think he's a danger to society. I don't think he needs to be locked up forever and no one has ever come out ever - besides me - and accused him of anything. It was 30 years ago now. It's an unpleasant memory ... (but) I can live with it."

This story illustrates conservative Americans' obsession with sex, and their double standards toward crimes committed by liberals versus by their own.

Have Ted Haggard and David Vitter been legally prosecuted for their crimes involving drugs and prostitution? Has Mark Sanford been forced to resign his office for vanishing-without-leaving-contact-information to fly down to South America on taxpayer expense to sleep with his mistress while serving as governor of South Carolina? What about married Nevada Republican Family-Values Senator John Ensign, who paid nearly $100,000 in hush money to his mistress' family?

Why is Congress seeking to remove funding to ACORN after unproven and uncharged allegations of fraud, while continuing to lavishly fund and ignore actual criminal indictments of fraud, murder, sexual misconduct, prostitution, and criminal negligence against Blackwater, Haliburton, and other military contractors? (Thank you, Rachel Maddow, for doggedly covering this story!)

To sum up my feelings, serving and possibly extraditing a 76-year-old, gifted artist on a 32-year-old warrant for a sex-crime in which no one lost their life and the injured party has publicly called for clemency, while at the same time obfuscating and doing everything you can to avoid criminally prosecuting high-placed, wealthy, conservative criminals whose offenses resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands, the theft of trillions of taxpayers' dollars (sorely needed to rebuild our own country), and that rival in callousness the most heinous in history, is not only a colossal waste of money, but a gross miscarriage of justice.

I am outraged.


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I can't help wondering whether there would be so much outcry if Polanski wasn't a gifted and famous film director, but, say, a teacher or a train driver or a gardener. I can't help wondering whether we'd be saying, "Finally - this child rapist has been brought into the justice system!", and saying that no-one should be allowed to evade justice.

I share your outrage at the ways in which rich corporations and banks and governments evade justice. I share your sense that we are more interested in retribution for sex offences than others, and that our desire for vengeance rather than justice is corrosive. I also don't know anything about the allegations concerning the original trial, and though I've never heard of Polanski saying he was innocent, I can't say I've really followed the case, so he might. I do feel that Polanski's experiences in WWII and the horrifying murder of his wife, and the circumstances surrounding that, must surely have had some deep and detrimental effects on his psyche.

I'm not about vengeance or vindictiveness; I believe in equality under the law; I believe in restorative justice and humane ways of preventing and dealing with crime; I believe that Polanski's victim is a woman whose fortitude and compassion are inspirational.

I can't shake the concern that Polanski's not being supported because of questions about the original trial, or concerns for his mental health, or because the 13-year old he raped has grown up into an admirable woman, but because he is "different" and "special" - somehow more inherently valuable because of his talent and fame. And that sits uncomfortably with me.

Brynn Craffey Brynn Craffey | September 28, 2009 11:40 AM

K, you make excellent points!

Polanski has never said he was innocent. He claimed at the time that he thought the girl was older, although I'm not sure that means he thought she was old enough to consent.

My feelings about the case are definitely colored by all the points you mention--his talent, his life history, the work he has given to the world.

The most important factor for me is that Geimer has asked for the case to be ended and Polanski to be free. If she were still looking for it to be pursued, I think the other factors might be mitigating as to sentencing, but I would defer to her.

And, like you said, the double-standard with other crimes is infuriating.

Wow. I can't believe I am reading this. He raped (vaginally and anally) a 13 year old girl. After drugging her. Why exactly are you outraged he has finally been arested? The crimes you mentioned at the start of this essay should be prosecuted but they have nothing to do with putting a rapist pedophile away (a pedophile who has repeatedly engaged in sexual/romantic relationships with minors).

This piece is straight up rape apologist bull shit.

Brynn Craffey Brynn Craffey | September 28, 2009 12:11 PM

Iyapo, have you actually read anything about this case? Or are you just reacting emotionally, and assuming you know what happened?

I honestly don't think there is anything I could say that would convince you to regard what happened between Polanski and Geimer in a more complex way, but parts of the trial transcript can be found online, if you care to read them.

Brynn Craffey Brynn Craffey | September 28, 2009 12:36 PM

("Trial transcript" is incorrect, as there was no trial. It should read, "transcript of Geimer's testimony to the grand jury.")

Polanski had a relationship with Kinsky when she was in her mid teens, after this fiasco. Someone had not learned very much, other than what jurisditions were safe

Brian,
I fail to see what is so complex about a man in his fourties "having sex" with a 13 year old that he admitted to drugging (clue: a 13 year-old cannot provide meaningful consent to an adult hense it being rape). He also admitted to having sex with her but wanted to argue that it was consensual (which it could not have been given her age).

Also, yes I was reacting emotionally to this issue which has little to do with whether my critique is valid, and is a classic silencing tecnique used toward women.

Also, Polanski went on to have a "relationship" with a 15 year-old film star, which Maura mentioned above.

Here are two articles that address this issue more articulately than I can:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2009/sep/28/roman-polanski-rape-arrest-switzerland
http://pandagon.net/index.php/site/comments/good_news1/

As an aside: I work in the field of sexual assault so my reactions to this are quite strong.

I wholeheartedly agree with lyapo.

All of these references to the awful, horrific things Polanski has gone through in his life, whether couched as a contextualizing back story or as explicit excuses serve the same purpose - to try to explain the extraordinary circumstances so as to make Polanski's actions acceptable.

NONE of the terrible things Polanski has experienced make his rape of a 13 year old girl okay. NONE of them. He raped a child, and admitted to doing so. This isn't even a question of his testimony vs her's - he plead guilty.
Non-consensual sexual intercourse is not "sex" it's rape, and I think it's incredibly offensive, and an act of rape-apologism to refer to it any other way.

Testify, Jo!

Ugh. I'm not surprised that so many people are so forgiving of an admitted child rapist, but it is truly sad to see this kind of post on this website.

Brynn Craffey Brynn Craffey | September 29, 2009 1:47 PM

NONE of the terrible things Polanski has experienced make his rape of a 13 year old girl okay.

Exactly where did I say it made it ok?

I brought up the circumstances of Polanski's life to make the point that he experienced an incredible amount of horror and trauma at an early age. HE WAS 12 AT THE END OF WWII. It is entirely possible that he was sexually abused as a child himself, as he survived the violence and chaos of WWII Poland without the protection of his parents, who were in concentration camps. It is absolutely certain that, as a child, he witnessed unspeakable violence against others. A child could not have survived the war in Poland without doing so.

Then 20 years later, he lost the woman he described as the love of his life, and the child they conceived together, to the Manson murders. Just reading about those murders gives me nightmares. Imagine if they had happened to someone you loved, in your home, and you just happened to have not been present at the time.

Twice in one lifetime, Polanski's life was utterly upended by violence and horror. I myself have survived personal tragedy and violence at an early age. It forever changes you. It affects your world view, it robs you of a childhood, it affects your judgment. It is, quite simply, life-altering. Does it excuse committing a crime? No. Does it speak to possibly mitigating circumstances, a lack of judgment, an inability to correctly access a young woman's real age? Possibly.

One last thing, then I'm done with this topic. The awareness about consent, rape, and, "No means no," was entirely lacking in the 1960's. I know, I was alive then. Just look at movies. Jokes were rampant into the 1970s about women saying "No," when they actually meant, "Yes." Am I defending this ignorance? No!! But it was widespread. If you read the testimony, you see that Geimer gave Polanski mixed messages during the entire encounter.

This case has a historic context and is complicated. Ignore that, and you are quite simply being simplistic and not fair.

All this material about the 70's means is that women were in significantly more danger for rape then we are now. Not that she was giving mixed signals.

And quite frankly, mitigating circumstances are attempts to excuse a crime. Or to downplay it. And if his tragedies really changed him in such a way that he regarded, saying no, pulling away, telling him to get away, trying to put one's clothing back on, and trying to walk to other parts of house to get away from him as consent, then he's likely a sick serial rapist who needed to and still needs to be taken out of society, as those are the primary methods of saying, "hey, I don't want this"

So prolly not the best of defenses, if you're trying to claim his trauma turned him into a pathological rapist. Cuz pathological rapists tend to be repeat offenders.

Which would necessitate a high security mental ward.

lyapo,

You call Polanski "a pedophile who has repeatedly engaged in sexual/romantic relationships with minors" - on what grounds? The laws around pedophilia and sex offenders are murky and problematic as it is; laying on extra claims doesn't help any.

I'm with Brynn on this - Geimer, as an adult, wants it over; they settled even before her statement. What more do we want? There's also some indication of politicking between the Swiss and the U.S governments:

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/09/27/entertainment/main5344504.shtml

many studies have been done documenting the damage to young people's identities from child rape and sexual abuse.

i feel intense sympathy for children who have been molested or raped by authority figures.
as a person who was raised catholic, i feel shame that "my" church covered up for some of these manipulitive sociopaths for so very long.

and i have sympathy for this young woman.
for upperclass priviliged "gifted" white abusers
not so much

Brynn Craffey Brynn Craffey | September 29, 2009 12:38 AM

Iyapo, the fact you got my name wrong gives credence to my question regarding how much close attention you've given to the actual facts of this case, rather than projecting onto it what you know from working in the "field of sexual assault."

And Javier, "upperclass priviliged "gifted" white abusers"?

Last time I checked, Polanski was a Jewish survivor of WWII Poland, whose father barely made it out alive from the Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp, and whose mother was killed in Auschwitz. Please think again about "privileged" and "white."

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | September 29, 2009 11:19 AM

Brynn,

This is the best example I have seen of starting with a conclusion. It took you five paragraphs of rant to finally get to your "but why him and not all these other guys."

This posting is really about all the Bush Administration crooks, military and Wall Street types you seek to see prosecuted. Hey, I wanted Nixon prosecuted, but what did I get?

Based upon logic like what you have expressed in your posting and comments I would expect that you would also desire to have time limits on hunting for concentration camp guards you reference above.

So, the victim wants him forgiven? A man under charges, who knew he took advantage of someone defenseless, flees the country to avoid prosecution. Ms. Geimer does not have the authority or right to forgive him for that. As to the real point of your posting, there is no appetite to prefer charges against all those baaad people. There will be some charged, and there will be some found guilty as there should be, but count your blessings that you live in a country with the rule of law.

If it had been a Wall Street banker who had fled persecution you would be first in line to insist that we spare no expense to hang out this pig capitalist to dry.

Robert put it best.

The situation was not complex between "Polanski" and Geimer. He drugged her and repeatedly did things to her that she specifically said no to.

I don't know where you're from, but where I'm from, when someone says no and you do it anyways, you are completely and totally a rapist.

And quite honestly, even if she had been 21 or 40, the fact is, she said no. /It would still be rape/. There's no complexity here and trying to attribute complexity to what happened is rape apologism plainly and simply. Making art, beautiful amazing art, is grand. It does not give one a get out of jail free card for rape.

If I cured cancer right now, and then went and lit a bunch of babies on fire and roasted marshmallows over them, I would deserve to be in jail (or dead, if you're a fan of capital punishment), no matter how many lives I saved.

Polanski's actions are indisputably wrong. And he does not deserve more mercy than anyone else for it. You don't like the fact that Bush hasn't been charged? That's fair. He should be. But don't try to claim that a rapist should go free. Too many of them already do.

GallingGalla | October 1, 2009 12:27 PM

I am seconding, thirding, and fourthing this comment until the end of time.

Mr. Craffey, I cannot believe that you are using an argument of "well howcome we haven't arrested Bush and those executives yet?" as an excuse for rape apologism. What exactly does one have to do with the other? It would seem that you consider what Polanski did to his victim to be not a crime.

Like recursiveparadox has said, Roman Polanski Drugged And Raped A Thirteen Year Old Girl. That, Mr. Craffey, is a *fact*.

I have lost the last shred of respect for you.

Nice. I imagine it was fun writing this post. Coming up with little "red meat" items, and writing them with such clean certainty.
I like the section(s) where you directly compare the drugged rape of a 13 year old girl, to the Nation's financial and world political policies, and then to consensual adult affairs. Nice touch even starting an article about a child rapist with the words "George Bush remains free...".
I particularly like the part where you talk about how Polanski has been repentant, worked very hard to redeem himself, and has been honorably attempting to behave as a noble man with honest character, by trying, decade after decade, to clear his name and pay his debt, and stand up with courage and humility.
Ooops. Oh, wait...

Brynn Craffey Brynn Craffey | September 29, 2009 1:18 PM

Robert, your entire argument starts and ends with personal criticism and otherwise is based entirely upon conjecture. Way to go.

And your statement, "Ms. Geimer does not have the authority or right to forgive him for that," makes it pointless to try to debate with you.

Regarding the other comments here--K's excluded, in that it reveals some deliberation--since I've written about this, I've come to realize that for most people (here and elsewhere on the Web), the Polanski case is a sort of Rorschach Test. People use it as a starting point to make rash, emotional, simplistic statements about sexual abuse, crime and punishment, exploitation of children, etc. I used the case, too, to make (IMO)a nuanced point about the US justice system, and conservatives' attitudes about sex.

In the process, at least I made the effort first to actually read about the case, particularly the victim's testimony.

It is clear that not a single person who has stridently disagreed with my position so far has bothered to do the same. Nor have they have made a real effort to consider the case in a complex, nuanced way, but instead resorted to simplistic, emotional arguments and personal attacks.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | September 29, 2009 10:09 PM

Brynn,

There was no personal invective in my comments, just the observation of what I have read between both this posting and your many comments with your tag team buddies Blaze and Nair.

Your posting would have been more true to spirit and interesting if:

You had avoided the temptation for internet hits by posting under the tags "Polanski" and "sex crimes." You could have written about what was really on your mind. There is not much "conjecture" on my part about that.

You had not expected the reader to spend an hour, with 36 pages on a 32 year old crime, and then pouted when they did not.

You could have started your posting about Wall Street cronyism, bankers, government evildoers, and others by laying out your point of view in a clear and concise manner building to an conclusion rather than a (WHY ISN'T CONGRESS FUNDING ACORN subject???) mishmash of assorted goo just prior to your return to Polanski. Brynn I have used parallel reasoning in my arguments, but how many objects can flow in parallel before no one has an idea of what you are going after and Blaze sends you a copy of "Derailing for Dummies?"

It is also better to provide options for a solution once in a while rather than stating and restating how "ain't it awful" everything is which in reality it isn't.

Brynn, you are an intelligent man, you can do better than this. American rule of law (which if you are going to tag under "justice system" I get to talk about) is imperfect. It is also so much better than any alternative legal system. Do people get through the net? Yes. Did Polanski? Not really ever. He just avoided prosecution by staying in countries with no extradition treaty with the United States.

Now because I live in Thailand to be able to care full time for my partner does not mean that America and her future are any less important to me. I hope your father's health is on the mend.

Brynn Craffey Brynn Craffey | September 29, 2009 11:24 PM

Robert, drop the condescension. And if you don't have the conviction of your criticism, please don't make it. But don't make it, then say you're not.

Moreover, unless someone posts something new here other than a variation on, "You're a rape apologist because I say so, and I don't have to bother to read anything about the actual case because all crimes are the same, and, oh, I don't care what the victim says in this matter" I'm no longer going to bother to respond.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | September 30, 2009 4:37 AM

Brynn,

In my life being told I was intelligent, and could do better, was the best criticism/advice/challenge I could have ever received. Of course, how you take criticism is your affair, but in most areas I took it as a learning opportunity. An exception to this is in things which are closely personal, but this subject (whichever one it was) was not closely personal.

Robert,

You must have missed my post below where I beat Alex Blaze to the punch on connecting some of Brynn's comments to the appropriate sections of Derailing for Dummies. I won't claim I got all of them, but I think I got the main ones.

@Brynn:

You realize that in her testimony, that you keep on claiming we didn't read, she pointed out that she said no, multiple times?

I'm really not understanding how you're seeing complexity here. What logic have you used to establish complexity?

Here's my logic: She said no. He did not listen. That is rape. Giving up on saying no doesn't mean you suddenly want it. It often means you gave up on being heard, on the perpetrator showing any decency as a human being. Many rape victims dissociate mentally, which pulls them away from the trauma and often explains why they stop fighting back. She voiced fear of him in that same testimony (which furthers that idea that her giving up was out of fear), she pointed out that she told him to get away when he started kissing her. I mean seriously, come on.

You say, "look this is nuanced and complex situation" but up in your very own post you established no nuance or complexity in said situation whatsoever and the testimony makes it abundantly clear that he is entirely and completely guilty of forcing himself on her (which is rape). You even used it as a basis for showing that the conservative right only goes after rape when liberals do it.

The sheer level of inconsistencies involved in your account are a problem. That is why I'm seeing you as a rape apologist right now. Because you aren't presenting logic here. It's all smokescreen fallacy in justification so far in a very clear cut case of forceful rape of a minor. I see that as suspicious. Wouldn't you?

Now, granted, you made some other good points, especially about American War Criminals like Bush. So why let those points get forgotten in the face of what looks to be blatant rape apologist rhetoric? It just doesn't make sense to me.

That's not a simplistic, emotional argument or a personal attack. That is me showing concern with holes in your logic that suggest to me that you are engaging in rape apologism. And that's not good. That is very worrisome.

Brynn Craffey Brynn Craffey | September 29, 2009 8:21 PM

Wow, recursiveparadox, and you accuse me of holes in my logic?

Yes, it seems you actually may have taken the time to read the testimony. But from it, you have gleaned only the few details that support your hypothesis.

Not once, in my post or otherwise, have I said that what Polanski did was not wrong. But the details in the testimony reveal that the encounter between Geimer and Polanski was complex and nuanced, especially if Polanski believed Geimer to be old enough to consent.

I am only going to through this once, because I feel like it allows people to engage in hyperbole without actually going to the source of the information, the testimony. But here you go:

According to her own sworn testimony, Polanski never used force to make Geimer do anything, including take the drugs nor drink the champagne; she willingly accompanied him alone on two separate occasions; she not only drank her own glass of champagne, she continued to drink from his; she roamed the house alone, going into the kitchen to eat at her own initiative; she remained conscious and aware throughout, although she said her ingestion of drugs and alcohol made her dizzy; she had numerous chances to request help from other adults, including her mother on the phone while at Nicholson's home, yet she did not even tell mother she was uncomfortable or anything was wrong and,when her mom offered to come get her, she said "No," to her; it was Polanski who suggested she call her mother, to let her know she was ok but would be late; even though she was 13, she had had sexual intercourse twice previously, according to her own admission; when questioned about the details of what had happened, she was able to talk about sex in a sophisticated way; she admitted to having taken drugs previously, including quaaludes; she was, in fact, so familiar with the drugs that she was able to identify the pill to Polanski before he did; she continued, over and over, to follow Polanski's verbal instructions--even from a distance; she removed her dress without any instruction from him, in another room, and approached the hot tub wearing only panties; she then removed those panties at his verbal instruction, and got into the hot tub, where he photographed her, in his clothes, from outside the tub; he told her he was going to join her, at which time he left to go remove his clothes in another room, she did not leave the tub; he returned, naked and got in, she did not object; he went to the far end, away from her, and requested that she join him there; she refused several times, but then willingly joined him in the deep end; she left the tub, he did not try to stop her, and there was a towel ready for her use, which she used to wrap her body in; he dove into the pool, and verbally asked her to join him; she refused, then joined him; she entered the house, where he joined her. From this point on, she continually told him "No," but did not attempt to leave as he went from kissing, to cunnilingus, to vaginal sex, to anal sex. They continued to talk throughout, with him asking her questions about her period--yes, she had reached puberty--in addition to other conversation. In the middle of intercourse, the adult woman in the home knocked on the door to the bedroom, giving Geimer the perfect opportunity to appeal for help; she did not, despite the fact that Polanski got up, went to the door, and spoke with the woman. He then returned to the couch, resumed, and climaxed.

What Polanski did constitutes rape, the age of consent alone determines that. But if, as he said, he believed her to be old enough to consent--and she did look older than she was--her behavior was, at the very least, giving mixed signals. This was the 60's: ideas about consent, for example, checking in constantly with your partner, were nonexistent. The myth that women say no when they mean yes was rampant; as were jokes about it, and scenes in movies that would be called rape now, but were considered consensual sex then.

If you read these details and tell me that you still believe he could not have reasonably believed her to be old enough to legally consent, and that he could not have honestly believed she was participating willingly, I'm sorry. I think you've made up your mind and no amount of evidence will change it.

Finally, her mother. What mother would let her 13-year-old daughter go on a photo shoot alone with a Hollywood director? And twice?! As a mother, I can tell you I would not, without a shadow of a doubt. This does lead one to question if her mother was knowingly looking to eventually profit from the encounter.

Lucy summed it up best about your derailing techniques, red herrings and other fallacies.

But just because I feel obligated to, I'm going to address your claims:

"Not once, in my post or otherwise, have I said that what Polanski did was not wrong. But the details in the testimony reveal that the encounter between Geimer and Polanski was complex and nuanced, especially if Polanski believed Geimer to be old enough to consent."

False. There was no complexity. She was clearly afraid, intimidated and not experienced enough to figure out a way out of that situation. Notice how she said multiple times that she wanted to go home? She even made up excuses to escape. Like having Asthma.

And quite frankly, it is a red herring about her age. She said /no/ and tried to get away. That means that even if she was old enough, she still didn't consent.

Your attempts to attribute complexity to it in very classic methods of rape dismissal (built out of not knowing the psychological things in play) is a means of saying that what he did was less wrong and making it seem as though it wasn't "truly rape". Or the "it wasn't rape-rape" defense. You don't have to say, "it isn't rape" to still attempt to imply it. More classic rape apologism.

"According to her own sworn testimony, Polanski never used force to make Geimer do anything, including take the drugs nor drink the champagne..."

One does not need to use force when intimidation exists (and btw using one's greater strength to move someone back towards you, even gently, when they try to walk away and put their underwear back on IS force) and if you read closely in the testimony, she was quite clearly intimidated and afraid.

She also only tracked the danger she was facing when she was intensely drunk, remember when she mentioned going to get food because she felt endangered?

A very large portion of what you just said here is slut shaming (the idea that a girl who is aware of sex or has sex can't be raped), which is categorically untrue. Just because one has had sex before (or drugs) does not mean they automatically consent to any sex someone puts forward to them.

Very textbook rape apologism. You're basically parroting conservative arguments used to deny rape convictions in the Deep South, I hope you realize that.

Also, she isn't terribly experienced on sex as you think she is. She thought "cunnilingus" was called "cuddliness". Having only a basic idea of how sex works is pretty standard for a 13 year old who hears this stuff in school.

You also display no knowledge whatsoever of the concept of dissociation, which pulls people away from traumatic events. It means that a person will respond in a out of it, zombified fashion and will normally cease fighting back (and even in this state, which she describes the symptoms to pretty well like not hearing what he's saying even though he's right there, she still said no to him). It's a lot like shell shock, which happens to soldiers who see mentally scarring things in war.

But hey, war's cool right, because they totally didn't freak out visibly right? Just got really quiet and zoned out. Clearly war doesn't scar anyone and soldiers totally are cool with it.

"The myth that women say no when they mean yes was rampant; as were jokes about it, and scenes in movies that would be called rape now, but were considered consensual sex then."

And a myth it is. And that makes not checking for it still rape. Ignorance of what constitutes rape IS NEVER an excuse for committing it. That's more rape apologism btw.

"If you read these details and tell me that you still believe he could not have reasonably believed her to be old enough to legally consent, and that he could not have honestly believed she was participating willingly, I'm sorry. I think you've made up your mind and no amount of evidence will change it."

She said no several times. Tried to /walk away/ from him, even while drunk, to put back on her clothing. She was 13. He was substantially bigger and taller then her. She realized she was in danger when she was already drunk and not able to fight back adequately. She still said no even then and showed textbook psychological dissociation. She then proceeded to cry in the car.

If you read these details and still believe that this was excusable, knowing what you now know about dissociation from trauma, rape victim intimidation, fear, a lack of experience for what to do when one is afraid of someone else (normal for most 13 year olds) then you are a rape apologist and categorically wrong.

Also her mother has absolutely nothing to do with this. Her mother could be a horrible person and have set babies on fire and it doesn't change the fact that Roman Polanski raped a girl. A girl who was 13, drunk and regularly making it clear she wanted to go home, didn't want to be touched and was trying to get away in the end. More red herrings. More apologism.

I'm quite frankly horrified that a parent could engage in rape apologism. You have children. That child could have been your own. And I guarantee, that if the horrific unspeakable ever happened to one of your children and the rapist was famous, people will use the same arguments you just used to justify and excuse that rape.

Really, it blows my mind that you refuse to see this.

I agree. Americans totally care more about putting sex criminals in prison than they do war criminals. It's silly, but this is the country that couldn't develop a clear response to a VP that authorized torture but impeached Clinton for a blow job. If only there was evidence sex was somehow involved in developing the torture regime, there could be some sort of trial in that case.

But I don't really see how letting Polanski off the hook for rape really helps the situation. With all the talk of what a great artist he was, all I can imagine is how the victim must have felt with all the accolades he was winning over the years after he got away with raping her and the complete disregard that shows her, as if she's just crazy to see him the way she did. She eventually said she forgives him, but I guess she gave up on justice.

I just had a conversation with Alberto's roommate about this, and he said that it's common knowledge that she was getting fucked all the time by all the stars she could find and that, contrary to what she said, she wanted it and then she wanted to get famous by accusing him of rape afterwards. I'm not saying that's what you're saying, Brynn, but I'm kinda just a little shell-shocked by that and thought I'd throw it out while we're on the topic.

Anyway, I'm thinking if only John Yoo but not David Addington were prosecuted for his torture memos, it would still be a win for justice. And if only the guy who rapes a teenager is imprisoned (or given probation, since that was a possibility at the time too) and not the other criminals mentioned, it's still a net positive. This isn't just a sex crime, it's a violent crime.

Oh well. Just my 2 cents, not that it matters since I'm obviously not deciding anything in this case.

Brynn Craffey Brynn Craffey | September 29, 2009 6:38 PM

Alex, I don't think you've read the testimony?

Also, the way you discuss the conversation with Alberto's roommate is disrepectful and inflammatory.

I'm trying to bring a level of rational and respectful discourse to this explosive topic. In the process, I'm getting excoriated by those who think I'm a rape apologist.

From now on, I'm not going to respond to any comments unless it is clear from the content that they have read Geimer's grand-jury testimony. If you don't care enough about the topic to spend the short time that requires, I'm not going to bother with you.

If there are parts of her testimony that are required to understand your position here, then maybe you should have quoted it in the post. I'm reading through it now. It might take you a "short time" to read the 36 pages, but some of us would like to know what you're referring to specifically.

My heart breaks reading that, and I'll just say that I don't think you're a "rape apologist." I don't really get where you're coming from, especially since you're saying to read the transcript that only reinforces the idea that there's a victim who needs justice in this situation. Here's just a part as I'm reading it:

I was ready to cry. I was kind of - I was going, "No. Come on. Stop it." But I was afraid.

And the way I discussed the conversation with that guy is about how it went down. It shows that there are folks outside the US that don't have really evolved positions on these issues either.

No one's forcing you to respond to comments, but maybe if you pointed out what it is in those 36 pages that's important it would be easier to have this discussion. Because all that testimony is doing is breaking my heart for this woman.

Brynn Craffey Brynn Craffey | September 29, 2009 8:27 PM

Alex, I just did. See above.

The Bilerico site continues to be a fucking embarrassment to the LGBT community.

I'd like to point out that Brynn isn't disputing Polanski's role in any of this. But comments so far are making it seem like he's claimed that Polanski is innocent. Calling Brynn a rape apologist is a pretty low step, and it shoots down any credibility your argument might have. How is that any different from the right-wing attacks on war protestors as unpatriotic traitors?

And that brings me to another point: There IS a connection to be made between war criminals and sex criminals. The extent to which we neglect to prevent/punish the one reflects our zeal to punish/humiliate/kill the other, and that says a lot about the power inequality that we foster. How a society defends one kind of extreme violence as "collateral damage," and allows its perpetrators to elude justice under the fog of chivalry/war/patriotism/ex-presidency is reflective of its willingness to let another kind of criminal (because,yes, no one is saying crimes were not committed) rot forever and, frankly allow for mob rule.

I think the point of Brynn's piece has already been revealed in this comments section. Put plainly, how and why do we rail in such deeply emotional ways against one kind of crime but not another? Where was all this anger and disgust when we saw war crimes being committed? What kinds of rhetorical and media veils were we allowed to hide behind when war was announced?

Psychically speaking, is our willingness to excoriate not just Polanski but even people like Brynn (who aren't defending RP, but asking for a look at our discourse) indicative of our unwillingness to be angry about the crimes a nation has inflicted? Is this our way of avoiding the horrors of war and, instead, focus on the supposed "capture" (nothing Wild West there) of one man -- for a thirty-year incident that may well be decided in his favour, given all the technical botch-ups and the fact that the parties clearly came to some kind of agreement? That's not to draw a cheap analogy between the two kinds of crimes - and I don't Brynn made one - but to ask, what really gets us stirred up more easily, and why?

I suspect these are rhetorical questions. Like Brynn, I've been shocked at the level of berating engaged by some, not all, here. I don't know if we're really ready to have these difficult conversations. And calling Brynn a "rape apologist" takes us nowhere near that vital step.

I dunno what blog post you were reading Yasmin, or what comments, but he did refer to the child rape as a "complex" and "nuanced" situation. When you know, it isn't. It is in fact quite simple.

And he said several times to read the testimony claiming that I and others didn't understand what was going on, when I have read it (it is intensely triggering, I might add, for me as a victim of rape) and do understand what is going on. Not only did this girl say no, multiple times, while drunk and drugged, and expressed fear for him, but she even tried to get away from him and put her underwear back on /and he came back, made her sit down and continued to rape her/. The end of the ordeal had her crying in the car. Yeah. Doesn't seem very complex to me.

Now, if he wants to draw comparisons between war crimes (which often do include sexual assault, unsurprisingly) and rape and the attitudes placed upon them, that's great. He should have put things in this structure: "we went after Polanski, well what about people who are just as awful? War Criminals like Bush, for instance."

He didn't do that though. He came across (moreso in the comments) as though Polanski ought to be spared. You know, a child rapist ought to be spared justice. A child rapist who, when confronted with the word "no", refused to listen and engaged in multiple unwanted sexual acts with her over and over, and when she tried to walk away from him, /grabbed hold of her/ and brought her back over for further rape. A child rapist who got a scared thirteen year old girl drunk, drugged and then raped her not once, but several times. You find it enraging that war criminals go free? So do I. I find it enraging that /rapists/ go free (and they regularly /do/ go free) and you should too.

As for calling him a rape apologist, no, I'm only stating what impression I am receiving.

Specifically: "That is me showing concern with holes in your logic that suggest to me that you are engaging in rape apologism."

I deeply hope that it is a mistaken impression, that he feels that what Polanski did was horrific, wrong and worth as much effort in bringing him to justice as should be applied to bringing Bush to justice (which by the way I wholeheartedly agree that Bush should be brought to justice).

But the more he tells me to read that intensely triggering testimony (even after I have done so and Alex has done so and agreed with me on how awful this is for the girl who went through that) as though I'm wrong about this being clear cut child rape, the more I suspect rape apologism.

So please, someone explain to me what's going on here. Because I'd really like to believe that Brynn is not a rape apologist. That he did not read through that testimony, every page of it, read and comprehend what that girl went through and not feel himself shiver in disgust and horror. And he's already made it clear he doesn't want to respond to me. So maybe someone else can explain how the things I read in that testimony make this "complex" and "nuanced".

Here's why Brynn is being called a rape apologist:

To sum up my feelings, serving and possibly extraditing a 76-year-old, gifted artist on a 32-year-old warrant for a sex-crime in which no one lost their life and the injured party has publicly called for clemency, ... is not only a colossal waste of money, but a gross miscarriage of justice.

If you free it of the derail of "zOMG, this is totally not as important as these other much more important issues!" what you are left with is the simple argument that a confessed rapist should not be held to justice. That's classic rape apologism.

I also liked how Brynn claims only conservatives are concerned about this case:

This story illustrates conservative Americans' obsession with sex, and their double standards toward crimes committed by liberals versus by their own.

These women are not conservatives.

But what I've most enjoyed has been Brynn's derailing/silencing techniques seen in the comments like "[A]are you just reacting emotionally[?]", multiple instances of how it's a complex situation given the Holocaust survival, Sharon Tate's murder, etc and that's not being considered and how no one disagreeing with him has "made a real effort to consider the case in a complex, nuanced way", those disagreeing with him have "resorted to simplistic, emotional arguments", and how he's "trying to bring a level of rational and respectful discourse to this explosive topic.".

Oh, I see now he's replied to recursiveparadox and has hit the classic rape-apologist high points of "She looked old enough!" and blaming the victim (who was unable to consent to sex with an adult, remember) for giving mixed signals. The only thing missing is slandering the victim for being an easy slut (which Polanski's lawyers did already). Seriously, the law is well established on these not being a valid defence for raping a child. (As a blogger at "I Blame the Mother", I couldn't help but be drawn to the mother-blaming, too. Nice touch, that.)

If there were any questions about Brynn being a rape apologist, the 8:21 reply to recursiveparadox should have laid them to rest.

Here's why Brynn is being called a rape apologist:

To sum up my feelings, serving and possibly extraditing a 76-year-old, gifted artist on a 32-year-old warrant for a sex-crime in which no one lost their life and the injured party has publicly called for clemency, ... is not only a colossal waste of money, but a gross miscarriage of justice.

If you free it of the derail of "zOMG, this is totally not as important as these other much more important issues!" what you are left with is the simple argument that a confessed rapist should not be held to justice. That's rape apologism.

I also liked how Brynn claims only conservatives are concerned about this case:

This story illustrates conservative Americans' obsession with sex, and their double standards toward crimes committed by liberals versus by their own.

These women are not conservatives.

But what I've most enjoyed has been Brynn's derailing/silencing techniques seen in the comments like "[A]are you just reacting emotionally[?]", multiple instances of how it's a complex situation given the Holocaust survival, Sharon Tate's murder, etc and that's not being considered and how no one disagreeing with him has "made a real effort to consider the case in a complex, nuanced way", those disagreeing with him have "resorted to simplistic, emotional arguments", and how he's "trying to bring a level of rational and respectful discourse to this explosive topic.".

Oh, I see now he's replied to recursiveparadox and has hit the classic rape-apologist high points of "She looked old enough!" and blaming the victim (who was unable to consent to sex with an adult, remember) for giving mixed signals. The only thing missing is slandering the victim for being an easy slut (which Polanski's lawyers did already). Seriously, the law is well established on these not being a valid defence for raping a child. (As a blogger at "I Blame the Mother", I couldn't help but be drawn to the mother-blaming, too. Nice touch, that.)

If there were any questions about Brynn being a rape apologist, the 8:21 reply to recursiveparadox should have laid them to rest.

[Note: I also accidentally posted this without signing in first. If the mods could delete the duplicate held message that would be nice.]

first,
i myself have not personally "attacked" in any way.

also, this subject is extremely inflamatory
as a general rule, you posted it,you should expect to get into a shouting match here,
no point in getting wound up. besides, it's Bilerico, that's the rule,lol


ok-
BC:"HE(polanski) WAS 12 AT THE END OF WWII. It is entirely possible that he was sexually abused as a child himself, as he survived the violence and chaos of WWII Poland without the protection of his parents, who were in concentration camps."

*the psychiatric community no longer believes
in the "pedophiles are made" scenario.
read up on it online, it is a discounted theory today.(read up, the info is there.
don't ask me for links, this is easy to google.)and it really is horribly unfair to
molestation survivors to see them as potential "predators", also....doctors don't feel that way at this time,
but i'm not saying you're doing that.
but also,there is no "polanski was molested"
testimony, anyway...

BC:"If you read the testimony, you see that Geimer gave Polanski mixed messages during
the entire encounter. "

* irrelevant.
the law classes children under the age of consent
as NON-CONSENTUAL.period.
they are considered unable to consent to MANY things, and this is really child psychology 101....
they also don't drive, drink, work or vote, because they are rightly considered too immature to make well informed choices on complex matters and this is ALSO well documented*

BC:"And Javier,
"upperclass priviliged "gifted" white abusers"?
Last time I checked, Polanski was a Jewish survivor of WWII Poland,
whose father barely made it out alive from the Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp,
and whose mother was killed in Auschwitz. Please think again about "privileged" and
"white." "

*um,JEWISH people are considered WHITE people.
no offence, but???
polanski himself is PRIViliGED.
his family, sadly, is NOT.

if polanski's family very sadly died in a concentration camp,
THEY are the victims.
(he is a technically a survivor.)

losing a family is terribly traumatic.
it is still,however, less bad then being
KILLED horribly,oneself, by sadists, (i will contend!)

my friend's grama was in a camp.
my friend doesn't consider it HER own tragedy.
she rightly sees it as her GRAMA'S.
her grama is the VICTIM.
she would not "appropriate" that experiance.

same again with Sharon Tate.SHE is the victim
of a horrific crime.he is not the "victim"
he is a family member.it is very terrible. but not the same as dying while pregnant
by multiple violent knife stabbings.
jesus,mary and joseph!
(there IS a differance.)
besides, HE isn't saying the sharon tate murders made him do it, so why bring that up?it's not a "motive" for pedophilia.
and he DOES have other admitted sexual encounters with youths...

my point is,let's not take away actual
VICTIMS pain and suffering.
like the child, who was RAPED....
especially to make lesser "points"
less important then the main subject(rape)*

BC:"I used the case, too, to make (IMO)a nuanced point about the US justice system,
and conservatives' attitudes about sex. "

*but rape is not sex. it is rape.
and,who cares whether "conservatives" are hypocrites about this? we know that they are about EVERYTHING, no suprise.
unless that is your main point, but seems like it's not.so i'm not sure how that part is relevant to the case we are all discussing.*


BC:"even though she was 13, she had had sexual intercourse twice previously,
according to her own admission; when questioned about the details of what had happened,
she was able to talk about sex in a sophisticated way;"


*13 is still underage. the law was created
to protect children: in the past there WERE no
consent laws, or laws about child work....
also, drugging removes the concept of consent,
anyway, you do realize?
also, non virgins can be raped,remember?*

BC:" especially if Polanski believed Geimer to be old enough to consent. "

*i believe 'ignorance of the law is not an excuse' is the courts' rule of thumb....*


BC:"In the middle of intercourse,
the adult woman in the home knocked on the door to the bedroom, giving Geimer the perfect opportunity to appeal for help; she did not,
despite the fact that Polanski got up, went to the door, and spoke with the woman.
He then returned to the couch, resumed, and climaxed.

What Polanski did constitutes rape, the age of consent alone determines that. But if,
as he said, he believed her to be old enough to consent--and she did look older than
she was--her behavior was, at the very least, giving mixed signals. "

*again, irrelevant.
age of consent law.
(are you disputing age of consent, may i ask?...)
and,mixed signals:
not the point.no is"no".

also,during rape or molestation,
a fear or feeling of being unable to
"leave" or escape can happen to victims,
or paralysis, especially if one is drunk or drugged...
this is also documented...
this happens to kidnapped kids too, remember the bill o'reilly fiasco re THAT comment of his last year....

arousal,if a male child "climaxes"
from oral sex in a molestation,
this is also NOT "consent".or considered consent.
and this is pretty well documented stuff, too.
you could study up yourself,on this, while you are asking the rest of us to read up on the court case...*

alex blaze:I just had a conversation with Alberto's roommate about this,
and he said that it's common knowledge that she was getting fucked all the time by all
the stars she could find and that, contrary to what she said, she wanted it and then
she wanted to get famous by accusing him of rape afterwards."

*not saying YOU are saying this alex blaze...
but what does anyone's roomate know re this,
and is that not hearsay?

and again, she was only 13 years old.
plus, rape can happen to anyone, even
those that people call "sluts" (which is a pretty fucked up thing to call anyone, by the way,
some people are such fucking asshats...)

so,
you don't have to answer anything
i have said,brynn,just think about it,
that's all i would ask. and please don't "snark" me re this, i haven't snarked you...

also,re above comment by yasmin,
well,rape often IS a war crime...
...i personally feel that it's
healthy that society wants to try to protect kids, the opposite would be and is pretty unthinkable...
lastly, as FTM's,(brynn)
we need to understand women's takes on this issue from a woman's (non- ftm) point of view, and be open minded and listen,
i really think....

people are seeing rape as more important then other points,here. thay DO have the right to that opinion.

j

here is a posting on "femiste"
from a woman who survived rape at a young age.
i would think it has a place in this discussion:

http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2009/09/29/getting-over-it/

Why does the author keep talking about the 60s? This happened in 1977.

Posts like this are an example of liberals/radicals/progressives trying too hard to "complicate" and "examine" issues instead of using common sense.

Well, hey now, this isn't really just a progressive thing.

Rape apologism (attempting to assign complexity or excuses and rationalization to something in an attempt to make it seem as though it isn't rape) is endemic in all social movements. Progressive, conservative, liberal, right wing, socialism, capitalism, etc.

The only movements that have rape apologism reduced in them are feminism and womanism. But even they have rape apologists who apply similar arguments across the board (like against transgender folks and against cis men who have been raped)

Don't just blame it on being a progressive. Brynn's textbook apologist behavior is dismayingly common everywhere.

Brynn Craffey Brynn Craffey | September 30, 2009 1:59 PM

You're right: it was in 1977. I don't believe attitudes regarding consent were much more evolved.

As for the second part of your comment, contrary to your rhetorical set-up, common sense and complexity are not mutually exclusive. God forbid we consider issues in their complexity: we might realize that life isn't black or white, male or female, good or evil. We didn't have that problem in this country under GW, did we? And look where that got us.

To Javier and others,

Yes, actually, there is a lot of discussion and dissent around the notion of age-of-consent laws. That's a whole other discussion but, in brief, let's just remember that sodomy was, until recently, illegal. Defining something as illegal doesn't require us all to roll over and play dead and not be critical of the law. If you want to discuss the issue of consent and rape laws, you need to do more than engage in these cheap emotional devices.

It's become quite evident (see Lucy's lovely little note to Robert) that most critics here are no longer engaging with the issues but simply hoping to score cheap rhetorical points.

Frankly, some of the comments here have even gone past the point of basic lucidity.

Given my own experience with this topic elsewhere, I don't think there's a rational discussion to be had. There's barely one to be had in civil real-life company. There's none to be had in an internet discussion where commenters, often hiding behind one-name monikers that don't require them to rein in their bloodthirsty rhetoric, are acting more like the contestants on one of those wrestling shows on television.

Frankly, a lot of this has to do with the sex hysteria that's so prevalent in the U.S today, a hysteria which precludes rational discussion and which posits that sex crimes are a) divorced from any other context and b) they matter more than any other crimes. That is not, repeat NOT (because I see the eager light shining in the eyes of those ready to pounce and call me a rape apologist as well) to say that sex crimes don't matter. But it is to say that the U.S, given its own particular history, where it has not known what unrelenting war, devastation, and the daily burden of living in bloodshed and hunger can be like, is currently incapable of understanding why someone might think to question our zealot-like obsession with bringing Polanski down.

It's quite evident that very few here really care about Geimer or about discussing the issue of laws and crimes in any substantive way - the only interest seems to be: let's all rant and froth at the mouth and declare Brynn a rape apologist. Really? Can you get any lower than that?

Bilerico can sometimes be the site of some substantive and interesting commentary by those who respond to posts. This, sadly, is not one of those occasions.

I applaud Brynn for his bravery in raising some difficult questions.

Brynn Craffey Brynn Craffey | September 30, 2009 4:26 PM

Thank you, Yasmin. I really appreciate your sanity and support throughout this discussion. Especially when I know that you're fully aware it's only going to place you in the line of fire.

Yasmin,

My "cute note to Robert"? Oh, you mean where I pointed out that I had already pointed out just how Brynn was derailing and trying to silence people who disagreed with him? That's not "scoring cheap rhetorical points", that's identifying how someone is attempting to *not* engage other people disagreeing with his rape apologism and instead making it about the person who made the comment. Much like you did in your comment, actually.

Mainly, I just have to wonder if you've even been reading what the people criticising Brynn have been saying when you talk about "cheap emotional devices". You mean like how recursiveparadox has been pointing out just how this girl repeatedly expressed her lack of consent both verbally and by her actions? The kind of "cheap emotional device" of actually referring to the facts of the case? Actually, I suspect you're instead referring to the naming of Brynn's rape apologism as such. Naming rape apologism isn't a cheap emotional device, it's needed so that people become aware of how rapes are excused and rapists are enabled.

Honestly, what kind of "rational discussion" about a man who raped a girl are you after? Apparently the kind that takes the focus off the fact that he raped her. You want to have a discussion on age-of-consent laws, it seems, or how sex crimes aren't the worst crimes, or explore the question of whether the US should have been pursuing a fugitive from justice all this time, or basically anything that takes the focus off of what happened. You want to use the rape of a young girl as a springboard for philosophical discussions of other issues. To quote you, "Really? Can you get any lower than that?"

I'm not sure what your crack about not caring for the victim means. I care about the fact that she was raped. I care that her courage in testifying against her confessed rapist be honoured by punishing him according to the law. I care enough to not bandy her name around casually since she didn't ask to be raped by a famous man and deserves what little privacy I can give her. I care about the victim enough to call out people who suggest she was somehow complicit in her own rape, who suggest that she didn't do enough to stop it and therefore is at fault for it, who suggest that her repeated "No"s were "mixed signals", and so on. I care about the victim enough to name those people as rape apologists.

I say that calling out rape apologism is substantive and interesting commentary. It's substantive because it gets to the essence of how rape is excused in this society. It's interesting because it focuses attention on how rapists are enabled by people who would never think of raping someone. Just because you don't like the fact that we think it's important to do this, to make it clear that rape apologism is not acceptable, does not make our comments unsubstantive or boring.

You seem to think calling Brynn a rape apologist is a low blow. It would be if Brynn were not actually doing it. But, sadly, he has been. I pointed out Brynn's rape apologism, in part because I hoped he would realise what he was doing and stop doing it (and maybe even apologise for doing so). Failing that, it is important to have done so because people need to know rape apologism is not acceptable behaviour, that excusing a crime and a criminal does not contribute to society but detracts from it.

Yasmin, I find it dismaying that you weren't willing to actually read or comprehend my comments.

I have done nothing more than state facts. She said no. She tried to escape. This was force rape. Brynn has acted in denial of this, attempting to create doubt as to whether it was rape at all.

That is rape apologism. Another fact.

I have not once showed support for AoC laws (and my views on whether age of consent is broken as a system aren't really relevant to what I have said here). What he did here was force rape. Her age is completely and utterly irrelevant to the fact that he did /force rape./ Repeat after me: /Force./ /Rape./

Bringing up age of consent laws or what age he thought she was to me is a red herring fallacy, completely and totally.

You want to discuss AoC laws being broken? You want to discuss how sex crimes are handled but war crimes aren't? You want to discuss how political differences affect how people are pursued. Fine, that's great. Just don't use rape apologism to do so. Don't try to excuse Polanski's actions and douse the facts in fallacious rationalizations and what ifs. What he did was wrong. What he did was traumatizing. What he did was unacceptable, no matter whether she was 13 or 46.

In fact, I'd hazard a guess that if she was 46, he wouldn't have gotten prosecuted at all. Because really, when white famous men rape women, very little happens justice wise. The fact that she was 13 generated enough outrage that anyone gave a shit. We can talk about that too.

And while we're discussing things like how legality is handled, did you noticed how Polanski used his class privilege to flee his sentence? Or how he uses his celebrity privilege to gain support from the surprisingly conservative, insular and cronyism practicing Hollywood?

You wanna talk about how people protected Bush from justice on his crimes? Have you noticed the number of rape apologists in Hollywood trying to protect Polanski and those who tried to protect back before he fled? Bros before hos is the modus operandi of /both/ Hollywood and The Conservative Right.

It is intensely hypocritical to complain about one and not the other. Just letting you know.

to yasmin (and brynn? is this your opinion too)

"javier and others,....If you want to discuss the issue of consent and rape laws,
you need to do more than engage in these cheap emotional devices."


first of all, i personally bend over backwards to be polite and civil in online
discussion.and purely rhetorically, i don't see where the things i have said to you
(brynn) are "cheap devices"

they may contain emotion, however.
it is also silencing of the women commenting here to say that,
and that is their contention, so it needs to be addressed,
apperantly not civilly, i guess.and that is not attack

i HAVE NOT attacked you,(brynn or yasmin) and i resent the implication.

yes,a person who was raped matters to me.
it's not for you to say. and you honestly don't know here who was be a rape survivor,
as we commenting, know nothing in that regard as to you(both)


i have no "sex hysteria".i do try to respect the feelings of other people
in regards to their OWN sexuality, not MY "interpretation" of it.
i see that as respect. that IS what women and other people ask for, as you know.
(attack?...)

personally i have no "zelot like obsession " with roman polanski.
that has never been my point, or seemingly the points of ANY of the people commenting here,in my opinion.
they seem to be reacting in varies degrees to the rape related aspect of this discussion.
i still contend that WOMEN have a right to their opinions on this.
yasmin, i'm sure you would agree?
again, not attack?


also,there is sometimes an accusation of sexism re/ ftm's,
and as alex's post today addresses, in the male gay community.
that also needs to be addressed.obviously not here...

women ask to be "listened to"in their opinions.
i believe in doing that, none the least because i was born female.
and, as an ftm also (like brynn), a marginilized person,
it means ALOT to me to be"represented" (as T) on blogs like this, by ftm's.
sorry, but that is a valid feeling.
dismiss it if you will.
so,all of my comments have been civil and in good faith.
and not attacking another ftm.


this IS supposed to be a community blog.
and a safe place.people want to feel supported, and rape survivors are entitled
to that safety.

that is my opinion. i am also entitled to it. it's not a "cheap emotional device"


and i would ask:
why not read the post on feministe?
the woman who wrote it moved me deeply in her feelings of helplessness,
and being "changed" by the experience.
that IS the face of rape, and yes, it is emotional. how can it NOT be?
it is not divorced from feeling!

so,brynn,
if you're pissed off at me,i guess there is nothing i can do.
i will say sorry if you are offended by something you feel i have said
as in dissing you.but i'm not seeing it anywhere....i have tried to be polite.

not everyone is in "pile on" mode, and upset people(others) have rights to be heard.

again, in good faith, not "cheap devices",
-javier

ps not everyone 'T' wants their last name published online, yasmin, as you know.
and not every woman does, either.....

Brynn Craffey Brynn Craffey | October 1, 2009 1:31 AM

Ok, this is my final statement on this topic. I’m not even sure anyone is around to read it, but if someone is still lingering, here it is.

Before I say it though, I want to preface it with this: contrary to what most people seem to think here, I am not a cold, unfeeling jerk who could give a sh*t about women, children, their rights, or rape. Nor am I immune to feeling aggrieved when people accuse me of being a “rape apologist.” Not only have I spent most of my adult years advocating and in some instances fighting directly for women’s and children’s rights, but I publicly identify as a feminist in an era when that word has become pejorative. I have given deep, intense thought to the topics of rape, consent, child abuse, and related issues for years, and to this case incessantly since I first heard the news on Sunday morning. Unlike many people pontificating here and elsewhere, I have taken the time to research it—extensively, it seems, by modern, internet standards.

Here is my final statement:

Only two people really know what happened between Roman Polanski and Samantha Geimer some 32 years ago. Out of the hundreds of thousands of people worldwide weighing in on this case, only they know if this was: 1) a clear-cut, heartless case of child rape; 2) an instance in which a man thought the person he seduced was young, but old enough to morally, if not legally, consent; or, 3) a complicated, confusing encounter containing various muddled, sometimes contradictory elements, intentions, and motivations.

That Geimer was victimized is beyond a doubt. Even if she participated willingly, due to her mother’s manipulation, the lure of wealth and celebrity, or other motivations, she was much too young to fully appreciate the consequences of her actions. That’s not to say she may not have acted—perhaps unknowingly, given her youth—in ways that led Polanski to believe she was both willing and old enough to be seduced.

What is open to question is whether Geimer’s primary victimizer was Polanski, or her mother. If the latter, it would certainly not be the first time a parent deliberately coached their child on how to behave and what to say afterwards, then callously pushed her into an exploitative situation with a Hollywood celebrity hoping it would result in a sexual encounter from which she could profit—financially or in other ways.

Only Polanski and Geimer really know the truth. And both want the case dropped. Whether you agree with them or not, anyone professing to care about victim’s rights, children, and true justice, should respect their expressed wishes, and not, like the LA District Attorney’s Office, continue pursuing this case for god knows what reasons.

"Unlike many people pontificating here and elsewhere, I have taken the time to research it—extensively, it seems, by modern, internet standards."

I love how you get so upset by assumptions made about you and then make a colossal assumption about us. Quite frankly, I do not consider you a cold, unfeeling jerk who cares nothing for women, children or issues of consent.

I consider you a rape apologist. Anyone can be a rape apologist. Perfectly empathetic, feminist minded individuals can be rape apologists. All it takes is someone important to you being accused. That's it. Human beings invariably go first with those we know, respect, care for and admire before others. I've done the same thing you've done, when one of my closest friends was accused of rape. I rationalized like you did, I excused like you did, I used all the textbook denials, derails and fallacies that you did. Because it sucks to think that a friend or admired person is a rapist. That's a huge breach of trust and a huge breach of how you view someone. It's painful.

But it also irrational. And when I was called on it, I (eventually) stopped pulling the rape apologism. That friend of mine wasn't convicted, wasn't even charged. But my rationalizations really don't change what happened. Nor do yours.

On your final statement:

The only people who know what happened are the people involved, sure. And one of them presented a testimony, under oath, in a court of law, that Polanski did not dispute.

1) Applies based on the material in that testimony
2) is irrelevant because that testimony established that /she. Did. Not. Want. Sex/
3) Is wrong because the testimony is abundantly clear. The man is not stupid. She said no and attempted to walk away. I don't know about you, but if someone tells me no and then tries to get away from me, that's a pretty damn good sign that she doesn't want it.

"That’s not to say she may not have acted—perhaps unknowingly, given her youth—in ways that led Polanski to believe she was both willing and old enough to be seduced."

She didn't though. Her testimony, undisputed by Polanski, established that all she did was be there and follow directions. Photography with nudity isn't terribly unusual in Hollywood, especially back in the 70's. In no way does posing for nude photographs mean you want to have sex with someone.

Also she said no, refused to come down to him until he pushed, kept on trying to go to other parts of the house, pulled away, and even tried to walk away and get dressed. What kind of man assumes that saying no, walking away, trying to escape, trying to get dressed, asking him to stop, telling him to get away is seduction?

Especially when a drunk person does this, when alcohol makes it harder to fight back, harder to exert physical force, harder to articulate words or realize what's going on?

So no. Absolutely not. She did not act in a way that was seen as seductive and implying consent. Btw, this is more classic rape apologism ("she couldn't have been raped! She was asking for it with her clothing/mannerisms/lack of fighting back hard/being there/being a woman/not stabbing him/etc")

The fact that you think the only open question here, in the face of all of this evidence otherwise, is whether the real victimizer was her mother is really just the most disgusting thing you've said in the entire line of these comments.

This was a clear cut case of rape. Surprisingly uncomplicated really because there's a lot of cases of rape where the victim doesn't say no, just tenses up and shuts down completely. Which you know, are still rape.

I can say this right now: If his name was Roscoe V Harper (as a non celebrity example) and he made no movies and was just a regular guy with a murdered wife and a holocaust survivor to boot, you would not be defending him. You would either be indifferent to him being brought to justice or would support it entirely.

You defend him because he is Polanski. Because to you, he is above this. You are practicing what you preach against with Bush and his cronies. And that makes you worse than a rape apologist.

She wants the case dropped so the media attention on her disappears. The fact that you /used her name/ and /used/ her as a springboard to discuss Bush shows how disingenuous you really are about your "concern" for her.

You just want the case dropped because you don't want Polanski to come to justice. It really is as simple as that.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | October 2, 2009 8:18 AM

Despite his protestations to the contrary I think Brynn was really about getting on the stick and inditing all the bad actors on Wall Street, Bush, Cheney, CIA, Blackwater etc.

Fleeing a country to avoid prosecution is Polanski's offense. If it were easy to prosecute all those who deserve it during the Bush years it would be done, but it is not and probably will not be done. I am still surprised Bush did not issue a blanket presidential amnesty on his way to Obama's inauguration.

Brynn Craffey Brynn Craffey | October 2, 2009 1:02 PM

She wants the case dropped so the media attention on her disappears.

Once again, you and the other many people who have expressed the sentiment that she is only asking that it be dropped so publicity will go away, reveal how little you really know about this case and how much you are extrapolating from other cases to conclusions about this one.

If it is all media attention that she wants to go away, why only last year did sheattend the premier and after party of Marina Zenovich's HBO documentary that defends Polanski? If you go to that link, you will see a photo of Geimer, standing in front of publicity for the film.

In the accompanying article, she is quoted:

"What happened that night, it's hard to believe, but it paled in comparison to what happened to me in the next year of my life," she said last year, when she appeared in a documentary about problems with the case.

In the end, she was relieved when Polanski fled because reporters stopped calling.

"He did something really gross to me, but it was the media that ruined my life," she told People in 1997.

She wants the case dropped. How many times does she have to say it before people, pretending to have her interests at heart, quit second-guessing her and respect her request?

Funny how the quote you placed states the same thing I did, that she wants the media attention gone because it was just as, if not more damaging, not that what he did was complex and nuanced or okay (in fact, it's fairly common for the media attention to be just as traumatic as the actual rape. This has never meant that the rape wasn't traumatic, horrible and inexcusable, only that the media was horrible enough to match it). Funny how the reason she cited herself that the media attention hurt was the fact that it made her relive her trauma, something Polanski running out of the country made occur. Funny how you keep on trying to claim that we don't truly understand this case, but every source you present, every transcript or item you post simply proves to an even greater degree that it is you who doesn't truly understand this case.

Actually none of that is funny. It's all saddening and horrible.

And quite frankly, her attending the premiere may have been entirely to make sure she wasn't being slandered in the documentary. I'm frankly amazed that you somehow think something so easily explained is such a smoking gun. If the person who raped me left the country and some ass made a movie about that person's case? I'd go too, in order to check and make sure I wasn't being slandered and blamed. Probably would be an exercise in futility, as I doubt I would be able to afford a lawsuit (as I doubt she'd be able to as well) but at least I'd know what I was up against.

Or hell, maybe she had hope that someone would get it right and stop engaging in rape apologism. Maybe she went to the premiere hoping that people would stop dismissing what she went through and claiming he's the victim, the man who drugged and force raped her and then fled the country because "oh boo hoo, I might get a high sentence for force raping and drugging a girl!" Maybe she hoped that film wasn't going to do what you did in this post and victim blame, slut shame, attack her mother and forget the primary issue of all: The Fact That Roman Polanski Drugged and Force Raped a Thirteen Year Old Girl.

But hey, keep on grasping at straws to try to dismiss any attempt to even criticize your child raping hero. Keep on making assumptions that you claim we're making. Keep on engaging in hypocrisy and self delusion.

Cuz your hero can't be a rapist. That would just ruin your day. And we can't have that, now can we? Man, I just hate it when those darn rape victims dare to bring charges against such brilliant artists. And people dare criticize or *gasp* want justice done to those poor brilliant child raping artists. It's such a shame that we can't just let a child rapist go because his art is just so good. Even with possible evidence that he's raped more young women and children in Hollywood. Even with that chilling and horrifying quote of his that Javier put up. Even with the fact that too many rapists escape justice, too many aren't even prosecuted, because the only sex crimes anyone cares about are sex crimes against children. If she had been 19, this rape would have disappeared into the Ether. Because no one cares about force rape. Not even progressives.

Shame on me for thinking force rape and fleeing justice is wrong. Clearly I'm just uncultured.

"... presented a testimony, under oath, in a court of law, that Polanski DID NOT dispute"

(i guess)my only question here is, if polanski
is NOT disputing it,why are you?


sorry brynn, but with all respect, she (above) asks a fair question.
javier

and as you know, if you advocate for women :


•1 in 6 women will be sexually assaulted in her lifetime.
•In 2007, there were 248,300 victims of sexual assault.
•Every 2 minutes, someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted.
•Approximately 73% of rape victims know their assailants.
•Only 6% of rapists will ever spend a day in jail.
•44% of victims are under age 18.
Statistics from RAINN

and that statistic DOES NOT include males, and male children.

ewww,i just read this online:

Polanski in his own words in 1979

"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 need that bleach shower now...)

Regan DuCasse | October 5, 2009 1:26 PM

A crime of this seriousness cannot be absolved from the forgiveness of the victim.
It's in the hands of the state to determine if or when he's done his time accordingly.
And he hasn't.
He's eluded justice and 41 days psych evaluation pending sentencing is hardly enough for raping a 13 year old girl.
He knew he was wrong by trying to make her promise not to tell anyone and keep it 'their secret'.
He pled guilty.

After all these decades of waiting, she didn't have much choice for her own peace of mind.
He was a MUCH older man, in a position of influence and that position shouldn't be entitling him to commit the crime OR escape justice for it.

These Hollywood elites coming to his defense wouldn't be doing so for sexually exploitive priests who committed their crimes under authority of their positions.
Sex crimes against minors should never be dismissed simply because of the passage of time since the crime.

A friend of mine just told me his sister had been raped when she was 13 and she's suffered terrible problems in the decades since.

Justice DELAYED, is justice DENIED.
Time for Polanski to own up and pay up for his crime.

"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!"
Roman Polanski