Week 4; January 27th-February 2nd Blog Entry #1 (Done by R).

The Exceptions 

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The priorities of our modern day society have shifted and now instead of teaching not to rape, women are being taught how to not be raped. Rape is being justified and rapists are being defended. Rape victims are constantly being scrutinized for irrelevant facts such as their previous sexual history, what they were wearing or anything else that makes them seem like they ‘deserved’ it. Rape is not something anyone deserves and under absolutely no circumstances is it anywhere near to being remotely understandable. Roman Polanski plead guilty to drugging and raping Samantha Geimer, a young girl at the age of 13 years old. If he had been any other regular human being there is no way this story would have received so much attention and controversy. The facts are simple. He raped her and in our world, rapists are punished. Yet in the eyes of our star-struck society, Polanski is not a normal person, he is talented and extraordinary, so because of that he is above the law. Hollywood actors and actresses backed this horrendous man, trying to justify that a mere 42 days in jail was enough, that he had served his time, and now he can return to being a celebrated Hollywood icon. In no way is rape justifiable. These famous icons have a huge effect on young people around the world, and hearing them justify rape is so incredibly damaging to our society. “He made a little mistake 30 years ago,” and “it wasn’t rape-rape,” were some of the appalling excuses made to defend this man by famous icons. Why is Polonski given special treatment while other inhumane rapists are left to rot in jail? He deserves this punishment just as much as the rest, yet because these ‘powerful’ people support his horrific actions based on his talent, he is above the law- an exception. These famous icons need to realize the effect they have on the world and on us ‘normal’ people. They need to understand it is not justifiable for a man to rape a 13-year-old girl and certainly not acceptable to be excused because of his status and ‘genius’ work.

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Unlike Polonski who admitted to his crime, the famous Woody Allen denies the allegations against him to this day. He was charged with molesting his adopted daughter at the age of 7 years old and because of his status and persistence that it was a lie, the allegations were swept under the carpet. He is now free to live a privileged life while Dylan Farrow, his victim, has to live her life with the constant reminder that the fatherly-figure she grew up with and who abused her, got away with it. When Woody Allen was given the honor of receiving a Golden Globe, his son Ronan Farrow tweeted, “Missed the Woody Allen tribute – did they put the part where a woman publicly confirmed he molested her at age 7 before or after Annie Hall?” This disgusting behavior should not be tolerated under any circumstances. Not only did this man molest his adopted daughter, but his wife found naked pictures of their other adopted child when she was 18 years of age. Allen used his fatherly and white dominance over his adopted Asian child and I have no doubt in my mind that affair started before she was of legal age, so not only is that incest but it is abuse.

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Intersectionality comes into play in this topic because in modern day, people in regular society, with normal jobs and lives are seen to be in a completely different class with less rites and a quieter voice than these celebrities. They are so idolized, celebrated and loved, that even when one emerges as a criminal, excuses are made and people attempt to justify their crime. They are separated from us and are made to seem more superior because their talents have become popular and known around the world. Yet they are on the exact same level as everyone else in this world. Laws that apply to regular people apply to them and under no circumstances can these ‘genius’s’ crimes be justified. Celebrities need to become more aware of and not be so ignorant about these different issues because their voices are heard and they have the power to influence so many people. There is no defense for rapists and molesters. Someone who would willingly inflict that kind of pain upon another person and basically ruin a life deserves absolutely no form of defending whatsoever. There should be no difference between a regular criminal and a genius that has committed a crime. They are under the same law and should be treated that way, with no exception. 

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Sources:

 Awards.hell. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Jan. 2014. <http://awards.hell.ca/roman-polanskis-arrest-makes-everyone-go-insane-029841.php&gt;.

 The Daily Mail. Associated Newspapers, n.d. Web. 30 Jan. 2014. <http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2442225/Woody-Allen-scandal-Son-Ronan-Frank-Sinatras-daughter-Dylans-sexual-abuse-claim.html&gt;.

 SheWired. 2014 Here Media, n.d. Web. 30 Jan. 2014. <http://www.shewired.com/opinion/2014/01/17/op-ed-when-hollywood-excuses-famous-men-who-rape&gt;.

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4 Comments

  1. Week 4; January 27th-February 2nd Blog Comment/Response #1 (Done by S).

    I agree!!! I totally agree with your stand that rape is not acceptable under any circumstances. I would like to think that the source of my passion in agreeing with you and my choice to stand with you on this issue is not because I am female but because I am a human being who sees value in the lives of others. We are a world of broken people; a place where messages of right and wrong have somehow become very twisted and distorted. How else could we possibly explain how/why a celebrity can get away with rape just because of who they are, how much they make or how important they are deemed to be by members of society who look upon them as some sort of demi-gods. While I would agree that decisions are not always black and white and shades of grey can be a good thing, there are times/situations where black and white is the only way to look at an event or the actions of others. Rape is rape…there are no shades of grey, victims don’t usually say that they were raped just a little so why are there shades of grey when it comes to punishing the perpetrator? The answer to that lies in power and prestige. Those who have it use it to protect themselves and in these stories you have shared rapists use it to escape personal responsibility and ownership for their actions allowing themselves to stay firmly rooted in their own lies that protect themselves from public disgrace. By maintaining a façade of innocence they insulate themselves against their crime protecting their name, reputation, status, career and finances. I feel great sorrow for the victims; facing the horrors of their memories is hard enough but having their experiences devalued and dismissed by those in society who would rather choose sides with those who hold power, prestige, affluence, and a Hollywood pedigree is quite literally sickening.

    -S.

  2. I am a strong believer in the judicial system. While the facts appear as though Woody Allen committed a crime, “a judge found the evidence of molestation inconclusive and Allen has always denied the charge”. it is very possible Allen may have committed this crime, but casting a blanket indictment on him is unfair. I am by no means defending Allen, simply, I am defending his right to the judicial process.

    I agree with you in regards to celebrities not being above the law. In no world should someone be permitted to commit crime because of their status, wealth, or connections. However, my view is fundamentally different. I believe that regardless of the crime someone committed they are entitled to legal representation—”Innocent until proven guilty” is a mantra we as humans need to abide by in order to have a just and functioning legal system.

    Lastly, I could not agree more that rape is being viewed in terms of how to not get raped rather than how to help the types of people who do rape. This problem needs to be addressed, and this blog does a great job in shedding light to an issue that is so often swept under the rug.

    – M

  3. They way society views rape is most definitely changing. It’s true, we – women in particular – are being taught how to not get rapped by wearing polished, appropriate clothing, not staying out too late, and engaging the buddy system at all times. While these lessons are genuine for one’s safety, I agree that the focus should be on discouraging rape by people of all shape, gender, and colour. But as you note, that isn’t how things are working. Your title perfectly captures how Woody Allen and Roman Polanski, amongst other Hollywood stars, are exceptions to the rules. Not only does rape continue, but our shameful reality contains people working to justify how celebrities’ crimes aren’t as damaging and real as the average human being because of their innate skills and talents. It is certainly absurd. Society constantly tries to pride itself on being promoters of equality and justice, yet the idea of equality amongst classes remains obsolete.

    – J.

  4. Even trying to make a case of rape being okay would be ridiculous because of how obviously wrong it is. This blog does a great job of getting right to the point and pointing out the fact that rape is wrong and that there needs to be a greater focus on stopping rapists rather than blaming victims. I could not agree with you more that the social status and achievements of the rapists should be no factor when it comes to determining their punishment/ jail time. Reading the section about “rape-rape” and the fact that the rape occurred thirty years ago was infuriating because it completely downplays the impact and pain that rape causes. That only means that that girl has been living for thirty years knowing she was raped and her rapist only got a slap on the wrist. This blog makes a strong point about how twisted rape is and how their needs to larger emphasis on NOT RAPING rather than not being raped.
    L

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