Posts Tagged 'polanski'

Against Polanski Relativism

There’s already ample posting about this all over every blog, but I have to chime in. I posted the following in response to this post at the Shakespearean Rag (written by a friend of mine), who addresses what he thinks is the insufficiently empathetic response of writers to Polanski’s crime, flight, and eventual arrest. Not that it is excusable, but more effort should be made to understand the psychology involved.


The psychology is ‘I want something I can’t have, will take.’ That’s what rape is, paedophillic or otherwise. It’s illegal, he confessed, he’s had thirty-five years of not paying for his crime, there’s no call for moral relativism or compassion at this point. If we, as a society, can’t be horrified by this, if there are respected writers and thinkers saying it’s understandable, that gives tacit permission for it to happen again.

Rape is already grossly under-reported and under-punished (if you’ll permit the term); it’s not the rapists who require empathy, from writers or anyone else, it’s the people who have been raped and have to live in a world where there’s actually a discussion about whether or not a rapist deserves to be brought to justice.