THE BLOG
12/02/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Rape is a Feminist Issue

So here we are on day three of Polanskigate on my blog.  Have to say
that the amount of comments I've gotten on the site over the last
couple of days has been incredible, however I wish as many people would
comment on an interview with a woman director (like the one I just did
with Sally Potter) or other issues that I write about regularly.

But no, this has been the big kahuna.  It seems that now that I have
spoken up and levied deserved criticism on Hollywood and feminist
organizations for not speaking up, the perception is that I have
instantaneously abandoned my feminist roots and have joined the dark
side.

That couldn't be farther from the truth.

Because you know what?  Rape is a feminist issue.  If it wasn't for
feminists rape would still be know as "life" for so many women across
the country and the world.

So just to clarify.  I am a feminist.  I don't buy into the bullshit
that I have to vote for a woman because she is a woman.  I would never,
ever vote for Sarah Palin.  Because you see --  I am a feminist.  I
believe in equal rights for all.  I believe in a woman's right to
determine what happens to her body.  I believe that we need to see more
women's visions in film because it will expose us to a vast amount of
important stories that are missing and will improve the cultural
dialgoue.

I know that my fellow feminists are out there with my back because I
have heard from them on Facebook and twitter.  Feminists everywhere are
aghast about the fact that we have lost sight that this man raped a
13-year-old girl.  Feminist everywhere stand up against rape because it
is endemic in our society.

So to just remind people why we are all livid about this:

  • 1 in 6 women will be sexually assaulted in her lifetime.
  • In 2007, there were 248,300 victims of sexual assault.
  • Every 2 minutes, someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted.
  • Approximately 73% of rape victims know their assailants.
  • Only 6% of rapists will ever spend a day in jail.
  • 44% of victims are under age 18.

Statistics from RAINN

So even though this has been a disturbing topic to focus on for the
last couple of days, and who knows if I will suffer for speaking out as
I did in the LA Times
this morning, at least it has afforded us an important conversation
about how pervasive rape is in our culture and that it can happen to
anybody at anytime.

Originally posted on Women & Hollywood

See earlier pieces: Does Being an Artists Trump Being a Rapist?

The Silence is Deafening