Jillian C. York

Jillian C. York is a writer and activist.

Anne Applebaum, Child Rape Apologist

A few months ago, I was harshly criticized for my criticism of Anne Applebaum’s so-called journalism.  In Round 1, she made all sorts of absurd statements about Morocco.

Round 2?  Applebaum calls the arrest of Roman Polanski “outrageous,” states that he doesn’t deserve jail time because he has “paid for the crime in many, many ways: In notoriety, in lawyers’ fees, in professional stigma.”  Applebaum then turns rape apologist, blaming Polanski’s actions on his mother’s death at the hands of Nazis in Auschwitz, his father’s suffering in Mauthausen, his own survival of the Krakow ghetto, and his wife’s murder by the Manson Family.  All horrible things of course, but many go through worse and don’t turn to child rape.  For that matter, Charles Manson went through worse, and I don’t see Anne Applebaum apologizing for his actions.  Oh, poor Charles Manson, his own mother sold him to a childless waitress, let’s forgive him for murder, because his life was just so hard.

Seriously, Applebaum, are we doing this?

6 Comments

  1. She makes the straw-man that if he wasn’t famous, then no one would care. First, how awful our society if that was really true. Second, what if it was her child that had been raped?

  2. Well, and if Polanski wasn’t famous, he wouldn’t have all of these powerful people defending him. And if he wasn’t a wealthy, famous White guy, he wouldn’t have been offered the plea deal he got and wouldn’t have been able to live comfortably in Europe, making movies. OH THE HORROR! Won’t someone think of the White D00dz???

  3. Umm..I don’t think he raped the girl, if I read correctly. If I’m not mistaken wasn’t the act consensual?

  4. You know, that’s what I had thought too. I had always argued that it wasn’t a big deal because, although it was illegal (statutory laws set the age of consent in California to 16), it wasn’t forced.

    And then I read her testimony. This was rape. She said no, more than once.
    http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/polanskicover1.html

  5. When we talk about statutory rape laws we have to remember that its not only about “consent’ and “force”, but also about power. There are huge power differentials between adults and children. Even if a child “consents” and is not “forced” to have sex with an adult we have to consider in what kind of power relationship that “consent” was given. Many children who are sexually abused are not “forced”. Does this mean they “consent”?

    Just some thoughts on this complicated issue. Thanks Jillian, for starting this important conversation.

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