Everyone’s Fault

Crossposted from Yes Means Yes Blog.

The Polanski arrest has everyone talking, and Lauren has again revisited her personal story, which can’t be easy.

Lauren’s a friend, and I’ll say publicly what I’ve said privately before. If a girl or a woman gets raped, that’s the rapist’s fault. If she doesn’t know who she can tell or if she can tell or whose side people will be on or if she’ll be blamed or if she can get the support she needs … then that’s everyone’s fault. The whole system, the whole country, the whole culture failed Lauren. And Samantha Geimer. And every other girl and woman both who have survived and who have not. We failed and we keep failing and that’s a shit sandwich that we all get a bite of.

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  • snowpiece

    Well put.
    Roman Polanski served 42 days in prison. This is 42 days more than anyone else in that county who was convicted of that crime during the previous year served. Let me be clear: Nobody in that jurisdiction in the previous year who was convicted of that crime was even sentenced to serve one day in jail.
    A public apology and 42 days in prison from their assailants is more than most sexual assault survivors today can hope for. Polanski was supposed to be showing up for a sentencing hearing following a plea agreement which was about to culminate in a final sentence of probation. I’m not angry with him because it’s been thirty years and getting up in arms about it now is too little too late for the survivor of his crime. On the contrary, the elaborate posturing “for the victim” uses and demeans her to make a political point.
    I am angry with a system that doesn’t sentence people who rape children to even one day without liberty. Today, what we can do something about is reforming the sentences for these crimes and reforming the process that prosecutes them. No good comes of trying to extradite Polanski. He is a distraction. Let’s use him for good instead of just calling him names from across the ocean.

  • Thomas

    I come to a very different conclusion. I think if we give Polanski a pass, even though he fled, even though he’s not sorry and he’s continued to use his position for access to underage girls, I think we continue to send the message that girls and women who are raped will not be supported.
    I don’t think Polanski is a distraction. I think he’s a symbol, and if we don’t show that rape should be punished, that sends a message that we don’t care.