Roman Polanski and WTF

If my subject heading doesn’t make it clear, this post and its link are potentially triggery.

So, I’m in Vail, and the Sirens conference is about to start, and I know I’m supposed to be writing a post about how beautiful it is here, but there’s only one thing I find myself able to blog about today, because of how deeply it pisses me off. It pisses me off so deeply that… *speechlessness* …I can barely type.

Since the news broke on Sunday of Roman Polanski’s arrest for a rape he committed 32 years ago, I have grown more and more stupefied by the public’s response. Yes, I agree it was a while ago. Yes, I agree it’s strange that they apprehended him now, after all this time. But it’s not strange because they shouldn’t have apprehended him. It’s strange because they should have apprehended him a long time ago.

The man made some fantastic movies and clearly he’s loved by many people. Newsflash: lots of people who do criminal, awful things also happen to be talented, charming, likable, lovable. In what galaxy does anything about Roman Polanski’s personal qualities remove his liability for raping someone? In what galaxy does the passage of time change what happened? The reason so much time has passed is because 32 years ago, after he pleaded guilty to rape, HE RAN AWAY, and no one followed. And to those who insist that he’s served his time because he’s suffered… the mind boggles. First, find me someone who hasn’t suffered, and after that, I invite you to notice that he hasn’t served any time. That’s the whole point.

Thank you to Kate Harding for this reminder that Roman Polanski raped a girl. She was 13 years old, below the age of consent, and by the way, SHE DIDN’T CONSENT. She repeatedly asked him to stop. He didn’t stop. And nothing changes that.

ETA 10/2 11:32am: I have been informed that Roman Polanski did serve some small time before he fled. I apologize for the misinformation. My point still holds. He did not serve hard time, and at the heart of my anger is how lightly everyone seems to be treating rape.