Green Room

The Polanski case: It’s the consent, stupid

posted at 10:00 am on September 30, 2009 by

It’s really not difficult. The Polanski case comes down to one thing: Consent.

A 13-year-old girl cannot consent to having sex with a 44-year-old man. In fact, a 13-year-old girl is not old enough to consent to having sex with a 30-year-old, a 20-year-old, a 14-year-old, or even another 13-year-old. It doesn’t matter that Polanski plied the girl with alcohol and drugs. It doesn’t matter that he claims he didn’t know how old she was.

It’s the fact that a 13-year-old child cannot consent to having sex, for the obvious reason that the child is thirteen years old.

It’s reprehensible that Whoopi Goldberg said “not necessarily” to the question “Would I want my 14-year-old daughter having sex with somebody?” The answer should be a plain, simple: No. Absolutely not.

When Anne Applebaum says that the child asked permission to be photographed in the jacuzzi, she implies that that was asking permission for whatever happened next. What happened next was rape. It frankly wouldn’t matter if the child’s mother had been right there and given explicit permission for Polanski to have sex with her daughter—the fact that the child cannot consent still applies.

There is no defense of this case whatsoever. There is no, “Yes, he did a bad thing, BUT” leading into a long-winded treatise on how the poor man has suffered all these years by not being able to come back to America, and is forced to live a life of luxury in Europe.

My heart bleeds.

It’s the consent. A thirteen-year-old child cannot consent to sex. Period.

Cross-posted here.

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But Meryl, don’t you get it? These artists are just better than us and therefore deserve special treatment. I for one would buy a brand new rope to lynch some Hollywood pedophile who raped one of my children. Your average child rapist, well, I might just grab whatever was lying around.

I’d say that I’m surprised at people trying to defend the indefensible, but I’m not.

Physics Geek on September 30, 2009 at 10:28 AM

And now, for some clarity.

Meryl is exactly right – it’s the consent.

I’ll go a step further; it’s the forcible rape of a drugged child.

Short sentences, and clear language, make this easy.
Long trips into relativism, and flowery paens to his ‘art’ cloud the real issue.

As is often the case; when you’re looking for a stripped-down way of seeing an issue, look to the military.

The military gets it right

Read what the UCMJ says about this – it’s very clear, without a lot of subtextural nonsense.

massrighty on September 30, 2009 at 11:55 AM

And now, for some clarity.

Meryl is exactly right – it’s the consent.

I’ll go a step further; it’s the forcible rape of a drugged child.

Short sentences, and clear language, make this easy.
Long trips into relativism, and flowery paens to his ‘art’ cloud the real issue.

As is often the case; when you’re looking for a stripped-down way of seeing an issue, look to the military.

The military gets it right
Read what the UCMJ says about this – it’s very clear, without a lot of subtextural nonsense.

(sorry for the double post – link didn’t post the first time.)

massrighty on September 30, 2009 at 11:57 AM

I just do not understand how folks are just not getting it. It doesn’t even matter if this girl did consent, which she clearly did not as the transcripts show. Remember the “To Catch A Predator” series with NBC’s Chris Hansen? Those girls posed online as willing participants and even in some cases, it can be argued that they egged on the perps. It doesn’t matter. They all went to jail and are forever filed as sexual offenders because they broke the law. The law states a 13 year old cannot consent. Period. We are a nation of laws. He committed rape. Period. HE GOES TO JAIL.

Opposite Day on September 30, 2009 at 1:56 PM

Here is the victim’s full testimony at The Smoking Gun (link).

People should read this over and over till they internalize what “rape” is. Raping a child is exactly that.

David Blue on September 30, 2009 at 8:59 PM