Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Open Letter To Whoopi Goldberg

Dear Whoopi,

Yesterday, in your position as co-host of The View you quantified Roman Polanski's crime as "not rape-rape."

I'll be honest. I don't care if Polanski's legal team was able to plead his charge down from rape to sex with a minor. A 43 year old man giving drugs and liquor to a 13 year old girl and having sex with her is RAPE, regardless of any plea bargains. I defy you to read the actual transcripts of the trial and call it anything less. In fact, I defy you to read those transcripts and not feel sick at the severity of his crime.

For you to call it "not rape-rape" implies there are degrees to the act of forcing another to have sex. That's like saying "Well, it wasn't murder-murder" when someone chooses to take the life of another. The end result is still one person dead by another person's hand. The same concept applies to rape. The end result is one person violated by another.

Setting aside the unbelievable response of the French ministry (Calling the arrest of a child abuser a travesty of justice? Go get yourself some priorities.), the sad but unsurprising Hollywood petition for Polanski's release being circulated by Woody Allen (Is anyone shocked Allen refuses to see anything wrong with Polanski's behavior?), and the technicalities of a Supreme Court judge considering overturning the lawyer's plan to count a mere 45 days of being held for psychiatric evaluation as consequence enough for violating a child, the real issue I have here is your coining a new term "rape-rape."

How many years have women fought to have rape seen as the heinous crime it is? It used to be rape only counted if you were a woman with a spotless life and enough money or influence to make the charges stick. It used to be children accusing adults of rape weren't believed or protected. It used to be date rape wasn't something the law took seriously. It used to be true that a woman who'd been raped was then judged on her choice of outfit, her alcohol consumption, her lifestyle, or what side of the tracks she came from in case the lawyers could spin it to say, in effect, "she asked for it."

Sometimes all of the above are still true but we've fought to change that. To stand up for ourselves. To protect our children. To say that if anyone, anyone, chooses to force themselves upon another, they deserve the full consequences of the law.

There is no such thing as "rape-rape" and not rape. There is only a predator forcing himself upon his prey. You shame the women of this country by suggesting anything different. How many teenage girls saw you call Polanski's despicable act "not rape-rape" and decided to keep quiet about their own situation because they might not be taken seriously? How many girls heard your words and formed opinions about what boundaries they could and could not draw for themselves with men?

Your words, indeed, your attitude are unconscionable. You have a daughter. I seriously doubt if a 43 year old man got her high and drunk and had sex with her you'd be parsing it out to see if it was really "rape-rape." I bet you'd hunt him down with every intention of seeking justice for your daughter.

Why would you deny it for someone else? Because the predator happens to be a talented, respected Hollywood director? I can't imagine any other reason. If the exact same situation happened only the perpetrator was Joe the Garbage Man, you'd be calling for his head on a platter. Wouldn't you? Or are you so out of touch with reality that you really think there is ever a situation where a middle-aged man should be allowed to have sex with a teenager?

As for your benevolent understanding of Polanski's decision to flee before his sentencing because the Supreme Court judge (who'd decided the lawyers' finagling to commute his sentence to the paltry 45 days served under psychiatric evaluation didn't constitute justice and was considering overturning the lower court's decision) might give him "100 years," I ask you this: Would 45 days be enough justice for your daughter?

In case you're searching for an answer, I'll give it to you: NO.

Polanski, armed with his expensive legal team, needed to face the music. If he was unhappy with the judge throwing out his lawyers' arrangement, he could file for a mistrial or an appeal. He could have worked within the legal system. He chose not to. He fled justice and I accord him no sympathy for that.

I am deeply disappointed that another woman could ever excuse his behavior or fail to see the seriousness of rape. Every rape. Every time. No matter what. With only 6% of rapists ever serving jail time for their crime, our country has a long way to go in stepping up to the plate to protect its citizens. Your words put weight on the wrong side of the scale.

Shame on you, Whoopi. Turn in your estrogen card. You don't deserve to carry it anymore.


C.J. Redwine


  1. I used to like Whoopi Goldburg. But...this just...gawd. You're absolutely right. She should be ashamed of herself. Forcing someone to do something against their will--regardless of age or life style--is wrong. The fact that it was a 13 year old girl only adds to that man's taint.

    That Whoopi--that anyone at all--can defend him in any way poisons them in a way that can't be taken back.

  2. It's pathetic. And dangerous. As you say, rape is rape. And this crime was especially heinous. Man up, Roman. You did the unspeakable crime, now it's your turn to do the much-earned time.

    And Whoopi, seriously? I hope you'll be taking those words back in a big way in the days to come.

  3. Wow. There's just no excuse for that, Whoopi. I hope the women of America rise up in protest over this. I know I've got no use for a woman who would ever excuse rape. I won't be tuning in to The View or any other show you are ever on again.

    And it's past time for Polanski to face the consequence he more than deserves. Stop hiding behind the skirts of France and step forward to take your place as just another pedophile, Roman. Behind your director's suit, that's all you really are.

  4. This is fantastic...good job CJ!

  5. I'm appalled that Whoopi would take his side! How in the world is it not rape? There are no "levels". This was a crime committed - against a child no less - and he deserves to be held accountable.

  6. Nicely said. I, for one, won't be watching the View again if she's still on it. Nothing excuses Polanski. Not even the celebrities flocking to his side.


  7. I don't watch "The View", and had not heard this. What happened to feminism in this country? Whoopi should be ashamed of herself. Why would any woman with half a brain defend that pig? I have two daughters, and I remember being 13 myself. 13!!! Inexcusable to say that having sex with a girl that young is not rape rape. What is it? Quasi rape? One more reason to come to the conclusion, these celebrities do not live by the same moral code as the rest of us. Great post, so well written. You sure got me fired up.

  8. Between this stupidity and Barbara blaming Paula Dean for childhood obesity I think the View is on a downward spiral. *rolls eyes* Yeesh.


  9. Have I ever told you I hate The View?
    Anyhoo, being a minor, I am actually offended by her comment. Not only does the concept of rape scare me out of my wits, but not being supported by someone, especially someone with influence, scares me even more, because somebody screwed up raising this buffoon. I can't imagine the kind of horror this girl has gone through.

  10. I thought it fitting Woody Allen was running to Polansky's defense.
    So if it's "not rape-rape" then is it "rape-rape-rape"?

    Here's the clip if anyone wants to vomit:
    Whoopi's dumbass comment on The View

  11. Well written. Very, very well written. Can't even describe how pissed I am at the stupidity of what she said... Bloody hell. I can't even believe this could pass through another woman's mouth.

  12. AngDot -

    I promise you, with every fiber of my being, should (God forbid!) such an awful thing happen to you, I will not only believe you, I'll hunt down the monster responsible and they'll be identifying his body by dental records.

    If they can find it.

  13. Well said CJ!!! Could not have put it better myself. Whoopi should take a long hard look in the mirror. What if it had been her daughter?

  14. Preach it, sister! And now you know why I don't watch anything with Whoopi anymore, and why I don't watch Roman Polanski movies. If it keeps on like this, I won't be watching any TV or movies and I'll just...write! Hey, that's not a bad idea!

    It sickens me to think of the years women have spent to have the crime of rape taken seriously only to have another woman lessen that crime by assigning degrees to it. She should turn in her woman card, because she doesn't deserve to be called one. Perhaps she would feel differently were SHE the one saying it was rape and someone else said it wasn't rape-rape. I don't think it happening even to her own daughter would make much of a blip on her screen--not if it were someone "big & important" like Polanski. You knwo what "they" say: It's all fun and games until it happens to you.

  15. My compliments to C.J. Redwine on your excellent open letter to Whoopi Goldberg. You covered all the bases. I hope she sees it and publicly recants her ill-thought comments.

  16. My cynical side wonders how much worse, or better, it would be if the child in question had been male.

  17. I fully expect you to be invited onto THE VIEW panel. Now THAT would make for some good TV. Whoopi needs to OWN this and I sincerely hope your blog gets into her hands somehow, someway. PS I'm proud of you for remaining calm and not using swear words. =)

  18. I applaud this CJ. You've said exactly what I think, only better and with eloquent passion.

    Thank you!

  19. Amen, sister! I used to like Whoopi Goldberg, but NOT ANYMORE!

    Shame on her! Shame on all those who excuse that pervert's behavior, thereby condoning RAPE!

  20. You said it! How is drugging a 13 year old, forcing her to have sex AND then sodomizing her not 'rape'? And running away for 30 years to avoid conviction? If that is not a clear sign that even the man himself thinks he is guilty I don't know what is.

    You ought to be ashamed of yourself, Whoopi. You are bringing the womens rights movement back decades that that attitude. Rape is rape - there are no degrees to it.

  21. It seems like those most inclined to vilify polanski are the women who nobody wanted to sleep with when they were 13.

  22. Well said. This is just a disgusting situation. And everything you wrote is exactly how many other people feel. Thanks for putting it in words so eloquently.

  23. Thank you for saying it so eloquently.

  24. AMEN! Well said.

    The fact that any human can justify what he did just pisses me off. Disgusting, disheartening and just plain stupid.

  25. Thank you for writing this! It was excellent. I'm so disgusted that there's even a debate. A 13-yr-old is still a baby. They can't drive. They get homework, and they comb their hair 12 times every 5 minutes. They are in need of care. How would naysayers feel if they were the mom of a 13 yr old who was given drugs and raped? Thanks for a good post. So important for people to know that this is a crime. 13.

  26. Whoopi should resign from the View over this. Or Barbara should fire her. Normally, I expect talk show hosts to make stupid comments, but when you pointed out that other teenage girls would have seen that and kept quiet about their own rapes, I realized the statement needs to be made, and an apology won't cut it this time.

  27. You said it so much nicer than I would've. Well done.

  28. Thank you for posting this wonderful letter. I don't watch the View and will now not watch Whoopi Goldberg. I am saddened and very disappointed at all those who think that there is anything right about Polanski and his act, or that he deserves any leniency.

  29. Well said, CJ.

    And one comment to your poster, "Diane"--huh?

    I WAS one of those 13-year-olds that older men wanted to sleep with (but thank God, had a mother who would have cut off their private parts if they had tried), and I will still vilify Roman Polasskiss. I can't even imagine someone defending him by saying this is a case of jealous envy.



  30. Whoopi has lost the right to say add anything to any discussion ever again. She has proved what a complete idiot she truly is.

    Great response!

  31. I know it's been said, but seriously, the girl was 13!! And she was probably drunk & stoned out of her mind. Is that why it wasn't rape-rape? Because a VERY YOUNG drunk, high girl didn't have the wits about her to say "no" to a powerful and influential older man? Oh, well in that case... sure, let him off.

  32. I heard about the view and what Whoopi said so I tuned in today to see if she'd apologize. I am shocked that she hasn't. That she has had time to learn about what happened and then admit she was wrong didn't have the facts, etc. I am sick that she really thinks it is not rape.

  33. I'm thoroughly disgusted by the entire thing. Roman Polanski should be in jail, and Woody Allen should fall back in the slime pit he crawled out of. There is absolutely NO WAY to justify sodomizing a 13 year old girl. Polanski is a rapist and a coward, and Whoopi should be ashamed of herself for standing up for him.

  34. Okay, I have been in the dark closet of editing and have somehow missed this *wonderful* piece of action. CJ, this was very well said and Whoopi absolutely disgusts me. I agree with everyone (with the exclusion, it appears, of Diane).

  35. And Mom would help. ._. You two would make a devastating team. Thank you, though. I'm just generally paranoid. (You've gotten a LOT of comments on this post.)

  36. This blog post should've been edited, and then deleted. It was nothing more than an ill-advised rant. Worst of all, it incited other commenters to rant and make ill-advised judgments.

    I understand that the issue of rape is a very emotional one. But it is also a very personal one and should not be made the subject of a public rant.

    Not with over 40 comments condemning a woman who had a right to her opinion, a right guaranteed by the constitution.

    And no, I don't know Whoopie personally, but I do know this, to publicly tear down another person for their opinion is an egregious act in and of itself.

    This rant could have, and should have been much, much shorter. I didn't bother to count the number of times the heinous word 'rape' was used, but it was far far more than I cared to read. And the last comment was quite the kick in the ass. Completely unnecessary and offensive to me as a woman.

    So, whatever good was in the post, and there were some excellent points made, was all erased in that last line.

    Next time, dear author, think before you post. There was nothing in there that led me to believe Whoopie was in the wrong and you, the author were not.

  37. I popped back by to look at the query workshop and noticed more comments here. Wow, it's a very emotional and popular topic right now.

    And as much as I don't want to, I feel I need to respond as another poster to WitLiz -

    So, only Whoopi is entitled to her opinion? CJ (the author) and the rest of us are not? Just as she made her opinion known on national television, these opinions were here on the internet for the viewing of those who chose to read and comment.

    Just as she has her constitutionally protected right to freedom of speech - so do we. As do you. Your rant was no different than the one you proclaim to be wrong.

    Speaking for myself, I reviewed both the allegations against Polanski and listened to the video of Whoopi prior to posting a comment, as I am sure others have. Please do not assume simply because someone has agreed with an opinion that they are ill-advised.

    And as a footnote, you used rape twice in just your comment and you swore - which CJ did not do.

  38. Um, WhitLiz... you said the following:

    to publicly tear down another person for their opinion is an egregious act in and of itself.

    May I point out you just did exactly that? Irony?

    Also, you missed the point of the post. C.J. presented not only her opinion, but linked up both video of Whoopi's words, a rape statistics site, and the actual transcripts of the trial. She not only did her research, she invited us to do ours as well. And her point was that quantifying rape as sometimes being real rape and sometimes not is unacceptable. Especially from a public forum.

    I just find it interesting that you so passionately disagreed with C.J. and yet condemned her for doing the very same thing.

    And C.J., thanks for articulating this. It was researched, thoughtful, and I appreciated it.

  39. CJ: Thank you so much for taking the time to post this needed letter. I was furious when I first heard about Roman Polanski fleeing to France after raping a child. Then I heard Whoopi's commentary and was beyond appalled. A lot of what you said, I said...only you sounded a lot less like a Marine.

    My comment to Whoopi: If this had been George W. Bush and not someone who is a Hollywood darling, you would have been out for blood.

    Diane - Were you one of the moron producers on the Ricky Lake Show?

    WitLiz - You are almost worse than Whoopi, at least she has the excuse of gaining sheltered opinions from living in Hollywood. For you to tell someone she can't discuss rape because it's too personal? It's because of people like you that child molestation and rape continues to go unreported and certainly unpunished. Every woman on the planet should raise her voice in agreement with CJ, because only then will we be strong enough to stop these heinous crimes. Perhaps you were just doing this to cause drama and stir up traffic to your own blog. Maybe you opted for the lobotomy instead of critical thinking. How dare you try to stifle a voice against rape? You don't know what that little girl went through. You don't know what any of us have gone through. Next time you think it's a good idea to express yourself this way, call me. I'll beat the sense into you without charge.

    Angdot - Make that a 3 women hunting party, and I have no problem with torture.

  40. WitLiz -

    I suppose we also shouldn't talk out loud about mental illness, spousal abuse, child abuse, alcoholism, drug use or any of the other insidious "personal" issues out there that affect not only the one person but everyone they come in contact with.

    Fail for you to rant at CJ about Whoopi's right to an opinion because CJ had the guts to deliver her own opinion.


  41. I don't usually respond to any negative/ranting comments on my blog but I'm going to make an exception this time because I feel too strongly about this to stay silent.

    For WitLiz:

    1. You have the right to disagree with me and I don't begrudge you that in the least.

    2. Saying this was an "ill-advised rant" and next time I "should think before I post" implies that by doing my research, actually reading through court documents, and extrapolating data for myself, I made a grievous mistake whereas Whoopi saying she "didn't think it was rape-rape" even though she fully admitted she hadn't done the research was her right to exercise free speech. I stand by the research I did (all of which is linked in the article so that every reader can form their own educated opinions).

    3. As for the topic of rape being too personal to be discussed in a public forum, I flat out disagree. Rape, child abuse, and the denigration of women breed in secret. The more light we shine on it, the more facts we know, the more openly we speak, the more consequences we demand, the more empowerment to victims we give, the better chance we have of protecting ourselves and our children.

    If you want to read a blog that won't offend your senses by openly condemning rape, I suggest going elsewhere because you won't ever find that here.

  42. Ok, although I would love to leave an extremely wordy comment praising your open letter, I will have to pass. I don't think I can do the topic any more justice than you already have... well said my friend. As far as some of the comments... my lord, does anyone read what they type before they post?.. most were right on the money, but I don't even know where to begin with the rantings of the uneducated blogger, you know who I'm talking about. The commentator who tries so hard to come across intelligently, yet fails miserably. Here are some words for you : It is better to keep your mouth closed and thought a fool, then to open it and remove all doubt.
    CJ, you rock!!!

  43. WitLiz Today-

    Your words are the very reason that millions of women keep their "dirty little secret" to themselves. Women who can't stand to think of it, to cope with it, or to even begin to understand it.

    Your words and thoughts are the reasons moms shun their daughters who have been molested by their fathers, uncles, cousins, and so forth.

    You say that rape is a personal matter that it is not to be discussed in public. It is already public. The moment another human violates the most private parts of another, they've already held it out to the world and mocked it.

    Your words are nothing more than your inability to process the depth of what rape is. If you can't process it, understand it, and stand against it then your mouth should be kept out of the public and within the four walls of your home.

    Your smoke screen about Whoopi being tore down and having the right to speak what she likes is just that, a smokescreen. If you don't like the subject of rape then don't read nor talk about it.

  44. Diane - your comment doesn't even make sense.

    WitLiz - you're correct in stating that Whoopi has a right to her opinion, but far too many times celebs tend to voice their opinions without information, thereby giving an ill-informed opinion, which does no one any justice. CJ did her research, linked every bit of it in her open letter to Ms. Goldberg, and stated her opinion in a clear and concise manner, that which she has a right to do just as much as Whoopi does. This was not a rant. I'm the one who tends to rant about things in full offensive language, not CJ. You condemned CJ for stating her opinion on the subject of an issue that you feel should remain personal and kept quiet. Obviously, you've led the perfect life and have never been exposed to such horrific deeds. Good for you. I'm happy for you, truly. You may not know what it's like to have a boy who's older than you tell you it's going to be okay when you're not even 10 yet. You may not know what it's like to tell your boyfriend No! several times, only to have him still advance on you. You may not know what it's like to be roofied and wake up the next day wondering what in the hell happened. There are no degrees to RAPE. It is what it is, regardless of how or where it happened, or who did it.

    And you say that CJ's last statement offended you as a woman? Well, it sure as hell didn't offend me, and I've been a woman for a long damn time!

    My apologies for the swearing, CJ.

  45. I'm still astounded. More so of the people coming out of the wood work coming to Whoopi's defense. Great post. Thanks.

  46. I, for one, am very thankful for those who "rant and rave" in defense of our children being exploited and abused!!

    Keep on ranting!! I am right there with you!!

    By the way, I miss you, CJ! Hope to see you soon.

  47. this has angered me to the point I want to visit the view and just stand up in the middle of the show and go on a rampage with whoopi any ways what kind of name is whoopie I have always thought that was a cushion that made loud fartng noises oh nevermind her name fits


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