Saturday, October 3, 2009

An Important and Timely Read

I have been getting more and more angry this last week.

A friend just sent me a link to a blog article that really touches on a lot of what's bugging me. Let me set the stage first:

There has been a bit of a quadruple whammy for me in the press lately, and it has me churning about several themes: The way victims of child sexual abuse feel about how people treat their abusers, and especially when the abuser is high profile, and how the victims act when they see people supporting their abusers. I'm not going to go into any detail about that right now. But rest assured it's critically important, both to the well being of the victims, and the prosecution of the offenders. And it's very complex. And I can't deal with it right now.

Here are some things that set me off:

1. The trial of Elizabeth Smart's abductor is in the news this week. Elizabeth is 21 now and stronger and more mature than me, and probably you too. I truly hope that she is as strong inside as she is outwardly, because she's really kicking some serious ass in her testimony at the trial. If she's not that strong inside, I hope lots of people are telling her that she's kicking some serious ass, because it will help her greatly to hear that.

2. Mackenzie Philips' big sensational revelation about her incestuous relationship. I'm not going to get into the details too much. I don't know what to make of it, probably only because she's a star, and has used her situation in the past to get press. After reading this CNN article, though I wholeheartedly believe what she's saying, and clearly has been thinking about some of the same things that I've been thinking about.

She says:
"There's very little in this world that is taboo today, but this subject is still, like, shove it under the carpet, sweep it away, protect the abuser, deny the reality. ... You're just on your own," the former child star said.

3. There's this jackass that President Obama criminally appointed as "Safe Schools Czar:" Kevin Jennings.

I posted a bit on him yesterday, but there's actually a whole lot more that I DIDN'T post. This guy is a severe problem, not just for individuals, but for society as a whole. This creep, and people like him are simple perpetuating the problem through their actions and inaction.

4. Then there's this guy: Roman Polanski. He opens up a can of worms for me. His supporters open up a can of worms for me, his victim even opens up a can of worms for me. I'm not going to go into any of THAT right now either.

The point of this post is to direct you to go read another blog. There is an OUTSTANDING post about Roman Polanski, detailing EXACTLY many of the things that I have been thinking about in the last week, since his arrest. Here are some excerpts from this really great article, and I'd ask you to PLEASE go read it.

Robert Goolrick writes:
It appears that Roman Polanski, the film-directing admitted child rapist, has become something of a martyr to some of the smartest and most creative people in the world. People from Pedro Almodovar to Jack Lang, the former Minister of Culture in France, are attempting to portray Polanski as a man pursued by cruel and relentless demons, as though he were a victim of the Salem witch trials.

Their mitigating circumstance? He is a great Artist of the cinema. And it makes me want to vomit.

Define Artist. Not so easy to do. Now define pedophiliac child rapist. Pretty simple. If Polanski had been, say, a bus driver in Cleveland who had fed Quaaludes and Champagne to a thirteen-year-old girl and then raped and sodomized her, I doubt Jack Lang would be so quick to tell the rest of us about the privileges that come with driving a bus.

Now please, go over to that blog and read the article. There are two pages, don't miss the second page.


  1. I can understand your being upset DS. There is a lot in the news this week to stir things up.

    I was not 100% familiar with what Roman Polanski did, but I too have been reading up on this case.

    To hear his Hollywood supporters such as "Woody Allen" say oh he's fine, let us not forget Allen married his adopted daughter while she was dressed in Catholic school garb and still wearing a back-pack!

    If prosecutors would just apply the law fairly regardless of status in the community or money or politics maybe the victims would come out ahead once in while.

    It just seems the laws are adjusted to the person who they are applying them to. Ayres free on bail, lowered, raised, lowered........

    There is even a lot of forgiveness for David Letterman. CNN was rambling on last night "oh well he did the right thing from our perspective he came clean and broke his own creepy story."

    So if he breaks the news to us that he was about to be extorted for affairs with staffers while he has a five year old son and wife, he even did the right thing in CNN's eyes.

    Wow, ethics on a sliding scale......sliding even further into the sinkhole.

    Are we always supposed to forgive? Seems like they want us to. Time passes, so forgive.

    I am even disappointed in Sharon Tate's sister. She thinks Polanski should not be prosecuted. She never found forgiveness for Manson.
    She said if her sister had not been a victim she would have a forty year old nephew. Yet she doesn't seem to have any empathy for the thirteen year old who was drugged and raped by Polanski.


  2. Unfortunately, it's often not just a matter of the law being applied fairly either...

    The jury has to understand the workings of the mind of an adult who was sexually abused as a child, even before they can begin to understand the facts and understand the nature of the testimony of the victims.

    To the "normal" person, that testimony will often sound unreliable, unbelievable. How is a juror to distinguish the difference between someone who is lying about abuse, and someone who can't bring themselves to express what happened to them in a manner that "normal" people will think sounds truthful? All of that has to be resolved before you can even take into account the fact that "fair" has more to do with money and fame than it does with justice.

    I don't know how many times I've heard a victim say "It was no big deal..." I don't know how many times I've said it to myself... At what point, while you're repeatedly telling yourself that "IT WAS NO BIG DEAL" do you stop and say: wait a minute... If it was no big deal, why do I think about it so frequently? Stupid question right... should be obvious. But it's not. Not for someone who was sexually abused as a child.

    Trust works differently than in normal people.

    BLAME works differently than in normal people.

    GUILT works differently than in normal people.

    Well, you could write a whole thesis on that... In fact, plenty of people have..

    On Letterman: All of us have evil in our hearts, all of us commit evil acts. and all of us have to ask forgiveness from those we love. It's probably not OK to do that in public, in a mostly joking manner. It would be better to hear quietly that he took some time off to be with his family and work out some failed trusts with them. I think the public would react well to that, even though it's not as sensational as the network would like. If he had done that, I might have tuned in when he came back.

    Yes. We are always supposed to forgive.

    Forgiveness has nothing to do with the law, or just punishment for crimes committed. Nor does it have anything to do with acting in a manner which protects us from bad people even if they have been "forgiven."

    And one has to ask forgiveness before they can be forgiven.

  3. DS
    You are on the right path.

    I am proud of you.

    Michael G. Stogner

  4. Why is the age of consent 12 in vatican city?
    There is an equal age of consent set at 12 years of age in Art. 331 (1 . When there is a relationship of dependence (like teacher/student, etc.) the age of consent is 15 years in Art. 331 (2)[24]

    Didn't you know Roman Polanski was in a "Vatican state of artistic grace after the Tate murder?"

    Of course, the age of consent is quite low internationally by countries - lots of 13, 14....

    I couldn't find the AC according to Hollywood standards or Whoopie's standards; we surely know that their are a lot of low standards in U. S. families molesting thei oen or the neighbors children and friends....! That is really the family secrets and where the real focus of attention ought to be generated!

    We do not have enough prisons for the family secret violators.

  5. Jack:

    Although it’s difficult to follow some of what you’re saying -- it isn’t concretely clear from your comment whether or not you support Age of Consent (AC) of 15 years in the case of a relationship of dependence, or 13, 14 in other countries, I THINK perhaps we’re in agreement on most of what you’re saying… including the part about there apparently not being enough room in prison for these perpetrators – which is where they all should be.

    I would disagree with you, however that the “real focus of attention” should be focused on “family secret” violators. We should of course, focus on all of those who sexually abuse children.

    It is also clear that you know this to be true: You spell out “relationship of dependence, families, neighbors, children, and friends.” These descriptions are all consistent with what usually seems to be true of child molesters: they are most frequently someone known to the victim.

    Of course ayres himself matches perfectly with the description you give: he was in a “relationship of dependence” with his victims. (And he was of course known to his victims and their parents, as is consistent with what is usually the case with child molesters.

    I do find it odd that you continue to pick a single individual to exclude from the very criteria that you yourself have so aptly defined.

  6. I wrote three articles over at T & T about this case. The facts of the case are sickening and far from forgivable or even being "a misunderstanding."

    Even if Samantha was a bit of a femme fatale at the age of 13, sodomizing a teenage girl under any circumstances is not right. I hope that if this whole case is re-opened she chooses to participate, even though she says the civil remedy was enough for her.

    I suspect if you asked any of Ayres' survivors if a civil remedy would make things cool, I doubt a single one would agree. And for that, I applaud each and every one of you for not caving in.

    it's the right thing to do, and I do hope eventually Samantha sees it. Doesn't matter who the perp is, doesn't matter how wealthy or brilliant of tortured, touching a child, raping a child, is disgusting, and the perp need to pay for the crime, not piss and moan and ask for understanding.

  7. I got this comment in email from Robert Goolrick (The author of the article referenced in this post)

    Robert Goolrick said:

    Thanks so much for directing people to my piece about Polanski. Child molesters are filled with excuses. His, the fact that he is to be forgiven because he is an artist, is perhaps the most horrible and unforgivable one ever.

    My father was drunk. I find that easier to accept.

    I tried to write about my own experience and its aftermath in my memoir, THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT. People think of child rape as an occurrence, not as a never-ending trauma that leaves the victim gasping for breath for decades.

    There is also an excellent two-part film, called "The Boys of St. Vincent," directed by John Smith, made for Canadian television, but never shown, due to intervention by the Catholic Church. It is the single most powerful exploration of the subject of child abuse I have ever seen. It was of enormous help to me in understanding what had happened, and why things turned out the way they did.