Clive Hamilton has written a commendable piece about the way artistic men who commit sexual crimes are considered above the law and deserving of special treatment. I’ve been thinking a lot about this since a piece in The Australian last week defending Roman Polanski who was just so clever and such a wonderful person and how tawdry it was that he should be subjected to the law. What I found especially troubling was the depiction of Polanski’s assault of a girl as ‘sexual intercourse with a minor’, with no mention of the fact that he drugged and raped her (vaginally and anally). ‘Sexual intercourse with a minor’ disguises what really happened to the girl, who was only 13 at the time.
Sydney Morning Herald, January 11, 2010
Also worth reading on the same issue is Gail Dines “Hollywood rape: why Polanski is getting a free ride”.
And Jenny Diski in the London Review of Books, offers thoughtful and personal commentary.
And this is a must read – Wendy Murphy takes on Whoopi Goldberg over her statement that Polanski’s behaviour wasn’t “Rape rape”.
To explore the whole issue in more depth see ‘The Gaze that Dare Not Speak Its Name: Bill Henson and Child Sexual Abuse Moral Panics’, by Dr Abigail Bray, in Getting Real: Challenging the Sexualisation of Girls.