“The word”rape”has been disappeared from the English language”

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That’s the title of this interesting post at Historiann. Below are the first two paragraphs:

At least in the coverage of Roman Polanski’s arrest it has!   I keep hearing about how he was arrested in Switzerland this weekend on a 32-year old charge of”having sex with”a then-13 year old girl.   (This New York Times story will stand as representative of the chicken$hit coverage.)   Funny–he was actually charged with rape in 1977 (aggravated with the use of drugs and alcohol to incapacitate the girl), but pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of statutory rape.

Here’s something even more inexcusable:   the Denver Post ran a Los Angeles Times story that featured a photo with a caption of the victim in which she is described as the girl who”accused Polanski when  she was 13.” (The Denver Post’s headline in their print and online editions this morning is”Polanski held in 1977 rape case,”however, so”rape”is OK in a headline presumably because it’s shorter than saying”sex case”or”having sex with 13-year old accuser.”)

And as Historiann points out, Kate Harding has written a fantastic column about Polanski. Here is an excerpt from her post:

Let’s keep in mind that Roman Polanski gave a 13-year-old girl a Quaalude and champagne, then raped her, before we start discussing whether the victim looked older than her 13 years, or that she now says she’d rather not see him prosecuted because she can’t stand the media attention. Before we discuss how awesome his movies are or what the now-deceased judge did wrong at his trial, let’s take a moment to recall that according to the victim’s grand jury testimony, Roman Polanski instructed her to get into a jacuzzi naked, refused to take her home when she begged to go, began kissing her even though she said no and asked him to stop; performed cunnilingus on her as she said no and asked him to stop; put his penis in her vagina as she said no and asked him to stop; asked if he could penetrate her anally, to which she replied, “No,” then went ahead and did it anyway, until he had an orgasm.

–Ann Bartow

This entry was posted in Acts of Violence, Coerced Sex, Feminism and Law, Sociolinguistics. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to “The word”rape”has been disappeared from the English language”

  1. Pingback: Polanski-related link roundup « The Feminist Texican

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