When Even Feminists Don’t Get It

I saw this over at Feministe, and I gasped:

“My personal thoughts are let the guy go,” said Peg Yorkin, founder of the Feminist Majority Foundation. “It’s bad a person was raped. But that was so many years ago. The guy has been through so much in his life. It’s crazy to arrest him now. Let it go. The government could spend its money on other things.”

I went over to the Feminist Majority Foundation to see if there’d be any kind of clarifying statement.


Feminist-icon rape apologists.


53 thoughts on “When Even Feminists Don’t Get It

  1. y’know, if he’d just manned up and taken his sentence, he’d’ve been out of prison years ago.

    or if he’d never been caught in the first place, the statute of limitations’d be up by now.

    but there is no statute of limitations on being a fugitive from justice. so, even if nothing else, he at very least needs to face the music for that.

  2. Even feminists can have personal thoughts that are not intended to represent the institution with which they are most associated. While I can’t pretend to figure out where she’s coming from, I don’t think FMF has the duty to clarify anything — that’s Peg’s personal (and to me, puzzling) position.

  3. Yeah, but I think it would be nice if FMF came out with a clear institutional statement that made it clear that her personal opinion is not the opinion of the FMF.

  4. I, too, have been thru a lot in life. Not as bad as RP. But maybe bad enough to have folks look the other way if I knocked off a liqour store.

    We need to make one of those cardboard slider gadgets like the one the gave me at Weight Watchers all those years ago to calculate PointsTM. It would let us know exactly how much one person’s Life Adversity would allow them to get away with.

    The official Karmic Relativity Adjustment PointsTM formula is as follows:

    Where A1 equals Adversity; P1 equals Power; C equals Coolness;S equals Shock Value; V equals Victim; T equals Time. The outcome is to yield a figure representing the combined Relative Awfulness (A2) and Public Disapprobation (P2).

  5. “It’s bad a person was raped.”

    Oh, well then. So much for Justice wearing a blindfold and all that. Let’s only prosecute those whose victims are “bad people” and by all means I completely, 100% trust the judgment of the rabble to decide who is “bad” and who is “good.”

    Cripes, if we don’t get some civics taught in our schools again the Republic is going to go down the drain even faster than I’d thought.

  6. I don’t remember many people wanting to excuse Catholic priests. Yorkin probably believes “no means no,” getting an adult woman drunk to take advantage of her is bad or rape, etc. yet wants to excuse this. Some feminists have pretty stiff definitions of husband/wife rape.

    I’ve read all sorts of excuses for Polanski including maybe he didn’t know how old the girl was. Having a 13 year old daughter, I can vouch that one can easily tell the age range even if they’re physically mature. Just talk to them for 5 minutes or less.

    The defense of this man is unbelievable.

  7. Nomen said “y’know, if he’d just manned up and taken his sentence, he’d’ve been out of prison years ago.”

    I suddenly respect Martha Stewart a whole lot more. She just said to hell with it and got her prison sentence over with.

  8. Is this where I say that we wouldn’t be having this conversation (complete with skull-thumpingly stupid rationales such as “penis on skin does no inherent damage”) if Polanski had confessed to drugging and ass-fucking a 13-year-old boy contrary to the latter’s repeated demands?

    OK. Guess so. In that event, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. Rather, Woody Allen would be preparing his “friend of the convicted” brief at Polanski’s parole hearing.

  9. There’s a great documentary available through Netflix called “Girl 29.” It’s about what happened to a young woman of 17 who was a studio dancer. She was raped at a convention of MGM salesmen and theater owners back in 1937, had the temerity to actually accuse the man and the studio, and was raped all over again by MGM, the LA district attorney’s office, her lawyer, and even her own mother, who took a payoff from the studio. Sixty-five years later, she talks about the incident in this film. Her whole life and her daughter’s life too were deeply influenced by what happened to her at the age of seventeen. She never healed. Maybe the documentary helped her. One can only hope so. But anyone who can dismiss a rape–“it’s bad a person was raped. But”–just doesn’t know the half of it.

  10. Whoops! Sorry! It’s called “Girl 27”–her number on the call sheet for what she and the other dancers presumed was a number to be filmed but turned out to be a party at which all the young women were “escorts” for the evening for this bunch of rowdy, drunken convention-goers.

  11. Pingback: SayUncle » They’re not feminists-feminists

  12. Ooopsie. Just realized I misread the quote, from “it’s bad a person was raped” to “a bad person was raped.”

    Sorry. I need to stop multi-tasking because quite obviously I suck at it.

  13. Yep. That was quite his taste at the time. I remember one memoir–I think it was Julia Phillips’ You’ll Never Eat Lunch In This Town Again–talking about how Polanski’s pederasty was an open secret. There have always been accounts of his casting couch for teenage girls. It’s also been an open secret that the scene in the novel of The Godfather where Tom Hagen sees a teenager and her mother first in Woltz’ office and then again leaving Woltz with smeared makeup and wobbly legs was based on Polanski.

    (I used to be quite addicted to stories on the inner workings of Hollywood. Especially directors. )

  14. “I’ve read all sorts of excuses for Polanski including maybe he didn’t know how old the girl was”

    That one doesn’t fly. He admitted under oath that he knew at the time he raped her that she was 13.

  15. Rick – I have a daughter who is now 13. Although she’s 5′ 8″ there’s no mistaking she or her same age friends are well underage.

  16. I don’t know if I can bear to click on it. Please tell me it’s not the rhetorical equivalent of “Don’t worry your pretty little heads about it.”

  17. “The Feminist Majority Foundation joins our sister feminist organizations in working to ensure rape is prosecuted as the heinous crime that it is, especially against girls. The Feminist Majority Foundation is a leader in the fight to end all forms of violence against women and is demanding the expeditious processing of all back-logged rape kits in the possession of law enforcement authorities so that perpetrators can be brought to justice. The Feminist Majority Foundation believes Roman Polanski should be extradited to the United States to face the consequences of his conviction for raping a 13-year old girl in 1977. No one is above the law. The chair of our board, Peg Yorkin, was quoted in the Los Angeles Times yesterday providing her personal opinion on the matter of Polanski’s arrest, but wants to make clear she condemns rape. Her statement on Polanski’s arrest, however, does not reflect the position of the Feminist Majority Foundation.”

  18. yes polanski is a rapist, but for who’s benefit is all this “burn the witch” mentality for? the victim has gone on record that she wants the case dropped. Is she a sick freak too? WE always hear about how the victim is nver taken into account, well, take the victim into account. Its not your opinion that matters in this

  19. @Andrew It’s to make the point, as clearly as we can, that the forcible rape of a 13 year old girl is not tolerated in this country. This is not a case of statuatory rape, she was not in anyway willing, he drugged her and rapped her vaginaly and anally, in spite of her repeated statements of no, stop, please don’t or words to that effect. Then he jumped bail and fled the country. The courts do not serve the victim in this case, they serve Justice. And well they should, heaven forbid if they listened to small children who don’t want Daddy or Uncle Phil sent away to the place where bad people go. I noted that another well know Pedophile has signed the petition to supress the extradition of Polanski, Woody Allen, who’s affair with his then underage adopted Daughter let to the breakup of his marriage with Mia Farrow.

  20. @old sarge, fair enough, of course non-consensual, underage or no, sex is wrong, but this isn’t a “small child who doesn’t want daddy or uncle phil to go to a bad place,” this is a 45 yr old woman that doesn’t want her family dragged through the media circus that so many screaming morons crave.
    I’m not even saying he should be let go, what i’m saying is all this constant repetitive morally idignant bleating does to serve is the media that will be fully justified, when the time comes, to stalk the woman and her family and her CHILDREN, because so many of the “righteous” people demand to know her views, what happens when she starts making the fact that she wants him out of her life in every fashion, including daily news updates? we start calling her a pedophile loving deviant? or do we perhaps acknowledge that even being right doesn’t give us the right to act like douchebags.

  21. and again i ask, for whose benefit is this point of not tolerating rape being made? who is going around thinking its fine and tolerable in your country? except, i imagine, rapists.

  22. Andrew, where in this blog post or in the linked article so you see any stalking, or incipient stalking, or even proto-stalking, of the victim? Because, ya know, in reference to the question of personal responsibility in our culture, concern-trolling about awful media circuses is pretty irrelevant.

  23. She wasn’t 45 when it happened, Andrew. She was a little girl who didn’t want the horny director (with what has for years been rumoured to be terrible hygeine) to go to a special place.

    Polanski shouldn’t use his money and cache to get to wait out all the years of her life when she made a telegenically compelling victim only to tgen have her age work in his favour.

    This isn’t witch burning. It is pedophiliac rapist punishing. Witch burning consists of two things:

    1. Unfounded accusations
    2. Hysterical overpunishment

    1. Polanski pled guilty. There is much evidence in addition to both the victim’s and perpetrator’s accounts of the crime.

    2. He has never served the standard punishment, which isn’t execution or cruel torture but time in prison.

    Unless you are willing to consider all criminal trials witch hunts and thereby publicize your delusions you need to realise that this has no resemblance to any type of kangaroo court procedure.

  24. I keep coming back, too, to what an ass Polanski is precisely because he still has the power to hold this victim hostage. If he somehow gets out of the old plea bargain, there will be a new trial and she will have to testify against him.

    Is there anything even remotely surprising about her not wanting to testify against this monster, even now?

    If they can’t make the plea bargain stick, I think they should not worry about retrying him on the rape and just throw the book at him for fleeing.

  25. @nm – aunt B – coble

    I’m just going to rant so allow me to not bother addressing the (valid) points made by you individually. Pick and choose the ones you deem relevant as rebuttal to your arguments as there is bound to be overlap.

    I don’t care about polanski’s opinion of you or me. I’m not defending the guy nor would i want to be associated with the any side that would. He’s a rapist. A baddie. The witch hunt is in reference to the actors that choose to defend what they percieve as an affront to their artistic endeavours. We can choose to disagree with them, I am inclined to, but iam also capable of accepting that they (the ever elusive famous) are in the position to see things in ways we don’t, in as much that their art was used against them.

    You’re quite right she wasn’t 45 when she was raped, she was however 45 when she asked that the charges be dropped, last week in fact. Because she understands what you all (and i understand why you’d want to) fail to accept, which is…

    Polanski is NOT going to do ANY serious time. The Los Angeles prosecutors insistence that Polanski must return to the United States before they will allow DISMISSAL of the case. Not sending him to jail, just putting him (justifiably) and Mrs Geimer (not so much justifiably) through the media wringer. Mrs Geimer knows this, she sees that all she has ahead of her is the media circus, Paparazzi for christs sake! she was raped and the only solace she gets to have is being hounded by jerks looking for a good photo, and you know they’re going to love a shot of the kids, Joe public is going to lap that shit up. She’s gone on record that this will be nothing more than a “cruel joke being played on me”. Because after all she’s had to go through to put this event behind her, to bring herself to forgive to whatever extent she can as a human being, she now has to be reminded of it all over again, and have all those feelings she’s tried decades to come to terms with thrown back at her again, only this time she has the benefit of seeing her children have to deal with them too.
    and why? Because “this is america” and we’re here “to make the point, as clearly as we can, that the forcible rape of a 13 year old girl is not tolerated in this country.” even at the cost of the victim.

    after all “its a case of morals.”

    sleep well america

  26. Andrew, I don’t say this lightly, but you are DEFENDING POLANSKI.

    Who cares if he doesn’t do serious time? He should serve some time. He raped a girl.

    And, please, sucking up to artists, as somehow being different and greater and better able to see truths than the rest of us?


    Just stop commenting here. You’re not going to change anyone’s mind and you’re embarrassing yourself in public. Your friends must be delighted to know that you’re arguing that it would be better for the victim if we continued to let her rapist go free.

    I’m sure you’ll be embarrassed about it, too, when you actually think through what you’re saying.

  27. Andrew, if you were actually distressed and not concern trolling, you wouldn’t be complaining on feminist blogs about how the nasty feminists (who haven’t even mentioned the victim’s name) are pillorying her. You would, instead, be complaining to Perez Hilton and the other gossip blogs — you know, the ones who participate in the media circus. Or writing letters to news outlets who dwell on the victim instead of on the rapist. But you would not be here or trying to hold feminism guilty of someone else’s sins.

  28. u don’t say it lightly, you do however say it arrogantly and without a shred of common sense or apparently regard for anything i’ve said.
    I’m defending polanski, why? because i don’t agree with you? please..
    Send the fucker to jail, let him rot. except he won’t because of whatever reason you want to attribute..(because he’s famous, because money talks,..)

    and absolutely, i pray to every imaginary holy deity there is that there are famous people on a tinycatpants talk. Maybe they’ll tell a weinstein all about me and i can finally get that screenplay bought.

    that’s sarcasm, for the uninitiated

    and regardless, i don’t agree with them over this, the petition is wrong as far as i’m concerned. What I was saying about them is disagreeing with people gives an opportunity to convince them otherwise, rationally, not by losing temper and calling them *insert expletive here*
    It’s petty to you or I that celebrities would do anything other than shrug their shoulders and say “fuck him.” but they’re not doing it because they all secretely habour a desire to rape 13yr olds (ok, i can’t speak for woody allen, but at least let me assume natalie portman is not a pedophile. please). They’re doing it for whatever reason, because they think its right and I think there are more productive and mature ways of reasoning with people i disagree with than the insulting and raw hatred I see spewing out of a lot of people’s mouths over these people that are not defending a rapist, but decrying the way in which he was arrested.
    Their argument is that this has the potential to set scary precedents that will affect us. The kind that is usually accompanied with the line “if you got nothing to hide, you got nothing to worry about”
    but i really don’t want to get bogged down in what to most is going to sound like insane paranoia.

    Any point I have to make about dropping the case refers not to polanski but to the victim. The victim that has been begging you to drop it not for Polanski, but for herself and her children, but you say no. and for what? so he can be brought back to america just so that the case can be officially dismissed!?

    and you say who cares if he doesn’t do serious time?!?!?! WTF! him doing time should be the primary cause of arresting him. Not so they can deport him back to america just so the case can be dismissed and you can all throw your hats in the air because the bad guy has finally been caught. Its smokes and mirrors. You’ll still be cheering while they shuffle the pervert quietly out the back door of the court house.

    and its not me that thinks it would be better for the victim if we continued to let her rapist go free… its the victim. The only one in this whole procedure you deem to be irrelevant. But I’m the one who should be embarressed?

  29. Andrew, please go complain to the folks who are spewing raw hatred and stop bothering people who are into rational argument and making what you yourself admit are valid points, unless you’re going to address the valid points instead of ostentatiously ignoring them. You’re like the person who lost a quarter on the next block but are looking for it here because the light’s better.

  30. Andrew, the charges are not going to be dismissed. That’s a fantasy you’ve concocted to excuse your defense of a rapist.

    Because you continue to argue that we should not hold a rapist accountable because it’s better for his victim.

    I would ask you to consider to whom you’re speaking. The chances are quite high that you’re speaking to someone familiar with that tactic. The enormous pressure brought on victims to NOT participate in the prosecution of their abusers is a very common one.

    It doesn’t fly. The victim is being publicly blackmailed–stop participating or it will be very bad for you–and your response is that we should just let her cave?

    Then hardly any rapists would ever be prosecuted.

    Think about it.

  31. @nm –

    thanks for assuming my mindset, its refreshing and saves me the bother of having to do it for myself.

    interesting, i’ve never thought of concern as a example of trolling but the internet is a bastion of the new so I’m grateful for the lesson..

    In fact, not mentioning the victim, was one of the reasons i thought to comment on this blog. I found it strange that rather than being catered towards looking for equality by ensuring the ones getting screwed over are protected, the equality was instead being looked for by making sure ALL parties suffered.

    It just seemed a silly, hateful way of doing things.

    and for god’s sake why would i WANT to talk to the media circus. They’re the ones that listen to the wailing masses. and by that time, its too late. If/when it does fully kick off in media land, it’ll only be because of the wolves baying for blood of the guilty and innocent alike. equality. gotta love it.

    (baying for blood … *rolls eyes* see how melodramatic this is making me)

  32. Andrew, go defend an escaped rapist somewhere else. Seriously. Now you’re pulling out the “silly” argument? Did you think men and women were just invented yesterday or can you really not see what a patronizing asshole you’re being?

  33. Can I just point out to all of you who disagree with me on this issue that the same legal philosophy which we use to encourage Polanski’s prosecution in spite of the victim’s wishes is the exact same legal philosophy we death penalty advocates use? That whole “it’s not vengeance but punishment” thing?

    So if you choose to argue DP, please stick to “I don’t think we as a society should use this type of punishment”. That’s a position I take into serious consideration. But the anti-DP arguments about vengeance fall on deaf ears for this exact reason.

  34. Andrew, you personally lost me when you mentioned that artists see thing on a different plain.

    You sound like every other selfimportant wannabe indie screenwriter dipsterhipshit working in a corporate mailroom and jacking off about how much people will admire you when they see your true art just the way you admire whichever ganja and b o scented sxsw darling you love envy hate this week.

    People who idealize famous people have little sense about the true nature of humanity and therefore produce a dismally shallow art.

    I should know. I live in Nashville. Home of the folks who hope to be discovered in karaoke bars and press demo tapes on sick industry honchos in the hospital.

    Adulation is not art.

  35. Andrew, I would assume you’d want to talk to the media circus because it’s their behavior that you are claiming concerns you so much. The victim must be protected from the media circus? Then tell the media circus. Complaining to feminists as if we are responsible for the media circus is concern trolling. Since you say you don’t know what that is, click on the link and read definitions 2 and 3. They describe what you are doing here.

  36. @ aunt B

    My reasoning for believing the case will be dismissed…


    “…Los Angeles prosecutors’ insistence that Polanski must return to the United States before dismissal of the case could be considered”

    that it would even be considered implies that for a celebrity, its a damn near certainty.

    not to mention the unfortunate settlement that was paid and accepted.


    you people are really hateful you know that? dismissal a fantasy of mine?
    That you would see me as someone that would fantasise about a rapist getting free sickens me aunt B and your ignorance and blind refusal to see the world in any other way than the way you choose to see it, is saddening.
    You people don’t want to discuss you just want to spit vitriol.
    The only thing of substance i can take away this sad situation is the sadly humourous notion that you would attempt to declare yourself a feminist at all.

  37. @nm –

    fair enough, its a good phrase and one i had never heard of before. It truely wasn’t a act i was utilising however. I really do think polanski is going to get away with it.

    aunt b, Its not rape apology, its misanthropy, rich dicks do what they like. You’re not going to change it by kicking off and showing spite, you’re going to stoke the fires. how do you think the trashy media that exploits these situations decide whether there’s a market for them, By looking at the hatred. Hate sells. I just wanted us to calm down on the righteous indignation.

    Didn’t mean any offence. But you guys seem to enjoy your moral outrage a bit too much

  38. Andrew, Andrew, Andrew. You are, indeed, a concern troll of the highest sort and not all that familiar with how things work here in the U.S. apparently.

    The civil suit has nothing to do with the criminal suit. Never mind that he also failed to pay up on that for decades.

    As for who is refusing to see the world in any different way, Andrew, that is you.

    In fact, you so refuse to see the world in any different way that, even after you’ve been asked to leave here repeatedly, even after it’s been pointed out that your position is tantamount to supporting a rapist and ensuring the difficulty of further prosecutions, you’re so sure that you’re right and that we’re wrong that you keep coming back to make a bigger and bigger ass of yourself.

    You can’t win this argument. You’re wrong. No matter how loudly and angrily you’re wrong, you’re never going to be right.

    So, just give it a rest. Seriously, when you have people from across the political spectrum telling you you’re wrong, you should consider it. Liberal and conservative Americans agree on nothing these days and we all agree you’re being a douche.

    Ha, which is kind of funny, when you think about it.

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