I totally agree with you. And with that forgotten 90swoman Jewel. I saw the Polanski documentary on HBO last year and thought it was appalling how it insinuated that because Polanski has had terrible things happen to him, because the victim’s mother was a pushy stage mom, and because the girl herself had probably had sex before, that drugging her and raping her just wasn’t that big of a deal. Gross stuff.
I like what you have to say about Great Artists getting away with things the rest of us wouldn’t be allowed to. To take this to a weird place: It makes me think of one of my favorite 60s feminists, Valerie Solanas. Solanas is mostly known for shooting Andy Warhol–partly thanks to the awesomely 90s movie “I Shot Andy Warhol,” starring Lili Taylor, who was really great. According to various accounts, Warhol was a jerk to Solanas in a whole variety of patriarchal ways (yes, that’s right, I used the phrase “patriarchal ways”). Whether or not you sympathize with her, it’s interesting to note that she was totally demonized, put in jail and later in a mental institution. Most people don’t remember that she was an amazing writer: SCUM Manifesto is one of my favorite books of all time—hilarious, smart, totally prescient. Meanwhile, Norman Mailer, who called her “the Robespierre of feminism” for the attack, is remembered as a genius, not a sicko—even though he stabbed and nearly killed his wife. Louis Althusser, remembered as a genius—though he strangled his wife to death. Not to mention all the other 60s radicals that were bombing and shooting things. None of this is an exact parallel, of course. All I’m saying is: Men of genius seem to have a way wider margin for heinous crimes than women do.–Kara