Raping children is wrong

That’s one of those examples we might use when we need an example of a really obvious moral truth, right? Apparently, however, we should be careful to add “unless you’re a famous director”.

Kate Harding sets things out beautifully.

Roman Polanski raped a child. Let’s just start right there, because that’s the detail that tends to get neglected when we start discussing whether it was fair for the bail-jumping director to be arrested at age 76, after 32 years in “exile” (which in this case means owning multiple homes in Europe, continuing to work as a director, marrying and fathering two children, even winning an Oscar, but never — poor baby — being able to return to the U.S.). 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.

Drugging and raping a child, then leaving the country before you can be sentenced for it, is behavior our society should not tolerate, no matter how famous, wealthy or well-connected you are

Can we do that? Can we take a moment to think about all that, and about the fact that Polanski pled guilty to unlawful sex with a minor, before we start talking about what a victim he is? Because that would be great, and not nearly enough people seem to be doing it.

Reader Cait points us to these particularly egregious examples of the widespread child-rapist-defending going on. One about how the girl “seduced’ him. The other a petition for his release.

Check out this party platform!

From the UK’s Liberal Democrats:

* Providing twenty hours of free, good quality childcare per week, for all children from 18 months to when they start school
* Requiring companies to publish data on the pay scales within their organisations and conduct pay audits

* Introducing a ‘name blanking’ policy so that job applicants apply with National Insurance numbers

* Modules on body image, health and well-being, and media literacy to be taught in schools

* Tackle body image pressure by requiring advertisers to label all adverts, disclosing the extent of digital retouching of images of people

American readers may well be assuming that OF COURSE any party called the ‘Liberal Democrats’ must so far left as to be irrelevant, but that would be wrong. The political spectrum is different here in ways that make comparison tricky, but (a) The Lib Dems have traditionally been viewed as the middle-of-the-road alternative to Labour and the Conservatives (though I think this isn’t quite right); and (b) They are a serious third party, and one that controls much of local government in the UK. (Thanks, Andrew!)

Case dismissed: no justice for Janice Langbehn

Janice Langbehn’s life partner, Lisa Pond, was hurried to hospital with a brain aneurysm during a family cruise with their three children in 2007. Janice and her children were denied access to Lisa’s deathbed, even though there was no medical reason to prevent it. They waited for hours and only got to see Lisa after she had just died. Janice did provide the hospital with the medical power of attorney document.

From the report:

[…] the hospital refused to accept information from Janice about her partner’s medical history. Janice was informed that she was in an antigay city and state, and she could expect to receive no information or acknowledgment as Lisa’s partner or family. A doctor finally spoke with Janice telling her that there was no chance of recovery.

Janice filed a lawsuit against the hospital, but the court dismissed that, yesterday.

The court ruled that the hospital has neither an obligation to allow their patients’ visitors nor any obligation whatsoever to provide their patients’ families, healthcare surrogates, or visitors with access to patients in their trauma unit.