For the record: I loved the movie, TESS. I defended Roman Polanksi to a fundamentalist friend back during my Trinity days. I was 18 years old, just 5 years from 13. Considering the arrested development most seem to have in the fundamentalist world, it's no wonder I didn't quite grasp the seriousness of the crime. Today, I'm 48. Still admire TESS, especially the final scenes set at Stonehenge.
I no longer defend the integrity of Polanski, however.
The last two or three years of blogging about the Bob Gray case had something to do with it.
Here is an excellent article centering on Polanski weaving a personal myth. Substitute the name 'Polanksi' with your favorite (or non-favorite) pastor who has been accused of child molestation, and tell me this doesn't fit:
Megan Carpenter's Roman Polanski, And The Making Of A Legend.
The Rapist is still the disgusting, knife-wielding alley-dweller, the man who can only get "sex" one way, the criminal, the man from whom children and women would shy away. Maybe, in the corners of our collective consciousness, we can believe that The Rapist the lewd guy at the party, the perv, the one who doesn't want to have to put the effort into seduction, the one rejected one too many times to try his hand at obtaining consent. These archetypes, seared into our conscious, ignore one thing: rape isn't about sex, at least insofar as most (normal) people understand sex.
Who would want to perform sexual acts on a crying, protesting, resisting woman? One rendered unconscious or semi-conscious? It's grotesque to think about what rape is: a crying, fearful, unresponsive, protesting woman in pain, or one that simply lies there, unconscious, and must be moved like a rag doll to achieve her rapist's ends. It's not sex as much as its an assault, a penetration with a painful but non-deadly weapon. And people don't want to think about Polanski in that way, for their own reasons--but that doesn't mean it's not exactly what he did to his victim.