OK, I hear some say, even it wasn’t rape, it is still a child sex case, and Polanski is still a pedophile.
The answer to the “pedophile” part is obvious: if you don’t know what a word means, don’t use it. It’s as simple as that. A pedophile is someone who engages in sex with children, that is, prepubescent human beings; female object of pedophilia are those who do not yet menstruate. Polanski, even before his marriage to Emmanuelle (who, let me remind you, is 45 now), always chose physically mature partners, however young; there have never been children among them. His psychiatric report unambiguously states: “without psychiatric deviation”, “not a pedophile”. How people can insist on accusing of this someone who has been officially certified to the contrary is totally above me.
Ms.Gailey’s outstanding precociousness was already touched upon in the previous chapter, but let me remind you once again some crucial statements about her:
“The witness [Kalliniotes, the housekeeper] stated… she thought she was approximately 18 years old” – probation report, pages 12-13
“She appeared to be one of those kind of little chicks between – could be between any age up to 25… You know, she did not look like a 13-year-old little scared thing, you know. She seemed quite tall to me… she seemed pretty well developed girl. I would have not thought that she was 13.… I would say anywhere, you know, between 18, around that age, up, late teens she looked to me.” – Angelica Huston, quoted by probation report, page 13-14
“[The arresting officer, sergeant Vanatter] described the victim as looking between 16 and 18 years old” – probation report, page 20
“A well-developed young girl who looked older than her years, and regrettably was not unschooled in sexual matters”; “not an inexperienced and unsophisticated young girl” – Judge Rittenband quoted by The Spokesman-Review - Sep 20, 1977
And, of course, the fact that Polanski was officially declared not a pedophile by a few independent teams of psychiatrists means that from their professional point of view, the other side of the “intercourse” didn’t qualify as a child.
No, not a child by any means, in nobody’s eyes. What do we have then? A mature young lady exercised her free will by starting her sexual life earlier than it is deemed acceptable by most people today. Where’s Polanski’s fault in all that? She didn’t start with him. He never molested her. He came across her when she had already had experience and knew perfectly well what sex was about. No, he didn’t see her as a child – nobody did. He saw her as what she actually was, a young woman.
Now, let’s think. Why do the media constantly have to recur to such sleight-of-hands as calling him a rapist on the pretext that “statutory rape” is another name for “unlawful sex” in
? Such as repeatedly calling her a “child? Such as calling him a pedophile, which he is not by definition and evaluation? Such as showing, as an illustration to the “heinous deed”, a black-and-white picture taken a few months previously by another photographer, instead of a color snapshot taken at the same time, like the one I posted? The answer is obvious. The public should be hypnotized into blind disgust, on visceral level (there’s nothing as loathsome as a pedophile who rapes a child) and thus be rendered deaf to any voice of reason, unable to see facts, and unwilling to learn them. California
But the officials who worked on the case saw it for what it was already then.
Probation Report, page 23: “The offense occurred as an isolated instance of [page 24] transient poor judgment and loss of normal inhibitions in circumstances of intimacy and collaboration in creative work, and with some coincidental alcohol and drug intoxication. The provocative circumstances, permissiveness and knowledge of circumstances by mother, physical maturity and willingness and provocativeness of victim, and the lack of coercion by defendant and his solicitude concerning pregnancy, all contribute to the above impression… “
“An isolated instance of transient poor judgment” is what it was. He should have gone by her calendar age, not her looks and behavior. That’s all there is to it.
Now, some will say the instance was not isolated, since Polanski was known to have affairs with other young ladies who were below the age of consent: for example, Nastassya Kinski, who was, according to some sources, 16, and according to others, only 15 when they started a relationship.
But, my dear friends, this is the whole point of the thing. The age of consent, this sacred cow, is different in different countries. In
, where Polanski/Kinski romance took place, it was – and still is – 15. France
Want the whole picture? Here’s how it is today’s
15 (Nastassya Kinski’s alleged age) in
France, Sweden, Denmark, Czech Republic, Greece, Iceland, Monaco, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, . Slovenia
14 (which Ms.Gailey was only three weeks short of) in
Italy, Germany, Austria, Portugal, Hungary, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Liechtenstein, Montenegro, San Marino, . Serbia
13 (actual Ms.Gailey’s age) in
it is 13. Now, are we ready to condemn all Spaniards? To cry all of them are perverts and pedophiles? How about all the other countries listed above? Yes, they legally do it in Spain France full three years before their peers do it in the United States; and in , full five years before. Do we all have to admit, universally, that the Spain is the only country where people know what is right? United States
If you condemn Polanski on moral grounds, condemn the whole world. No, I am not trying to justify the “wrong” thing on the ground of it being done elsewhere. I am trying to get it through to you that what is labeled “wrong” in today’s
doesn’t have to be so, and the experience of other countries and/or times is a proof thereof. America
Are all Europeans perverts worthy of prison? Or, since, like Polanski, they may be outside the reach of the American Law, should they, too, be subjected to mudslinging, badmouthing, all kinds of baleful idiocy? How about some prominent people Americans are used to admiring? Charlie Chaplin? Jerry Lee Lewis? John Derek? Elvis himself? Why do not I hear any voices condemning them and many others who had underage partners or spouses? Let’s not forget our own ancestors, either – all of our great-grandfathers deemed 13 quite marriageable; marrying at 12 wasn’t anything out of the ordinary, either. History provides tons of examples everyone can check for himself, and I hope everyone remembers this one from classic literature: Juliet was 13, and her mother had given birth to her at that very age.
“Oh, but Romeo was not much older than Juliet!” I hear the voice. This is ageism, pure and simple: as if older people were not the same species as younger people. It is just plain wrong. There are people whom nature has already made ready to make sex, and there are those who have to wait till their organs are developed. That’s all there is to it, while any other difference is entirely a matter of discrimination against human rights. A man of 43 belongs to exactly the same species as a man of 17, with the only difference that the former normally has better experience and better understanding of women. There is no other mystery to age. Older men are just like younger boys, you know. Shedding a tear in theater when you watch Romeo and Juliet, while at the same time calling for skinning Polanski alive is disgusting hypocrisy. They both did the same thing to the girls of the same age.
The only thing that has changed since Shakespeare is that girls physically mature earlier, not later; and if in the United States the law insists on keeping them in diapers three, four, five years past the age at which the girls in Europe are considered capable of responsibility, it only shows a repressive attitude towards sex, and deep contempt for females. If someone thinks this policy is beneficial, let them look at the statistic of Teen Birth Rates: on the average, 6 times as high in the puritanical US as in the libertine
; all other European countries, with their “horrifying” age of consent, don’t come nowhere close to US, either. Only Italy Britain does (teen birth rate in GB is half as high), but the age of consent in Britain is one of the highest in Europe, and their attitude towards sexual education is approximately the same as in the States. One commentor of Novalis’s blog called the “sexually repressed - or in contrast shallow and pornographic, highly incestuous, rape, murder, war and gun obsessed”. Sadly, it sounds true, and the unnatural sex laws do everything to perpetuate this tragic state of things. United States
A common American argument is that girls below 18 are unable to give “informed consent”. I don’t think American girls remain ignorant so much longer than their peers in
Europe; but if it is true that they are unable to give informed consent till they are 18, it is a cause of great concern. How come a female who is physically ready to bear children is at the same time considered a child unable to think for herself? This policy of forcible infantilization reflects only contempt for woman, perpetuating her image as eternal victim to “predatory” males. Really, people – what do you find so horrible about sex that a physically mature young woman can’t do it?
In many other countries they understand that all girls mature differently, some earlier, some later, and wisely leave it up to their own judgment whether or not they will engage in sexual activities. Sex, mind you, is not demonized in most of Europe and other parts of the world – it is just what it is, sex, something important for normal development of both mind and body. They show respect for their females, letting them decide whether or not they are informed enough, not depriving them of the right to consent as soon as they are physically able to make love without any harm done to their organism.
Keeping all this in mind, let’s go back to Samantha Gailey. What many people fail to realize is that sleeping with men was her own choice, with no objections from her mother: even if it was, and is, illegal in the United States, or considered morally wrong by many, there’s no way, however, to blame Mr. Polanski for this. By no stretch of imagination can this be considered his fault. “It was embarrassing to be a virgin among my friends,” she says, which means she wasn’t unique. So? A physically mature young lady of her own accord engaged in an activity which wouldn’t be considered “heinous” in other places and times. An activity in which many girls below the exaggerated American age of consent are engaged right now as you’re reading this, which is natural provided physical maturity and mutual consent, but still punishable by American laws under the preposterous name of “statutory rape”.