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She’s Gotta Have it: What, Exactly, is “Rape Rape”?

I’m still on IR trying to get this chapter draft to semi-embarrassing level.  (Which, frankly, would be a pleasant surprise to my committee since, you know, I rarely have anything to show them–and when I do it’s some incoherent mess about black people and geography. Yes, I mortify the race with every word I type.) So, I have to give you video you’ve probably already seen.

Ms. Goldberg, I kind of love you.  (Again, I blame my mother for this.  Hmm.  Whitney, Whoopi, there’s a pattern here.)  I love the fact that I can see a black woman like you in movies and on television daily.  I’ve seen Corrina, Corrina, like 80 times.  (It’s true.  I quote the movie regularly.)  Your rise and longevity are pretty amazing when you think about it.  I also think you’re pretty queer, and that’s cool.  And whether or not I agree with you, I respect the fact that you seem to pretty much say what you want.  But I need you to stop defending rich, icky white dudes.

Seriously, Whoopi, what the hell is “rape rape”?  Is that like saying “f’real f’real”?  I didn’t know there were levels, degrees of rape, that the word could become an adjective, until I heard your commentary.  (Please notify the folks over at OED of the change.)  All of a sudden I’m in 4th grade English class.  Date rape?  What’s that?  Your basic, Lifetime movie rape–i.e. positive form?  Roofies in the frat house rape?  And “rape rape”?  Is that like adding an “-(i)er”?  If drugging a thirteen-year-old girl and raping her isn’t “rape rape,” I don’t think I have the stomach to hear your version of the superlative, “-(i)est” rape.  Methinks you might paint the worst (exception to the superlative rule!) picture of sexual violation ever.

Ms. Goldberg, you support your argument by saying they had sex Polanski raped her before.  You know what?   I ate raw food once.   Someone I know convinced me to eat it.  For three days afterward I was reminded that smashing on kale and “ravioli” is a really bad idea, and that I should probably just stick to the crap I eat regularly.  Do you think I’d voluntarily ingest raw food again?  Hell no.  Do you think said person has the right to drug me and force feed me chard while I’m in a stupor? Well, given your argument, I guess it wouldn’t be a “force feed force feed.”  I hate technicalities.

To add, you attempt to buttress your claim by saying that in other countries teenagers have sex with and even marry adults all the time.  How absurdly un-American of you.  Since when has the United States cared about the customs of those other, thoroughly less awesome countries, and used them as a way to (re)figure how to operate?  You know what happens in other countries?  Free health care.  How about we replicate that instead?  While I’m at it, what kind of place do we live in where there’s a difference between rape and “having sex with a minor”?   Euphemisms are thoroughly overrated.

I love you.  I really do.  But Whoopi, it hurts my heart when Sherri Shepherd makes sense to me; I have to check my sanity.  And introspection is not why I watch daytime television.  If I wanted to be compelled into revelatory thought that would result in a life change, I would’ve watched Oprah this morning.

You know what else?  There are some jams on Chocolate Factory.  But that would be a piss-poor [pun intended] reason for me to defend R. Kelly if he had been found guilty of similar charges and decided he’d rather travel Europe than go to jail, figuring they can just FedEx him his Grammy.  (Ms. Goldberg, as a kid, did you ever try to run from a spanking?  FYI, it never turns out well for the soon-to-be punished.)  And I definitely wouldn’t sign a petition on his behalf–not that Kels could read it.  I expect that kind of behavior from Woody Allen, not you.  Admittedly, that assumption was pre-”rape rape,” though.

One (or several) more question(s): Why did this discussion inevitably, expectantly devolve into inquiries about the presumed failure of this then-girl’s mother?  Why do we continue to be so judgmental of other women, requiring a perfection that we ourselves can neither envisage nor attain? Why is there a presumption that an absent mother–or the failure of motherhood–is somehow always at fault when women and young girls are violated, in danger?  Why is this whole issue not squarely the result of men behaving not just badly, but criminally?  If you all are going to go there, why not ask of Roman Polanski’s mother?

Just can’t help but want to transfer the burden to shoulders that are presumably less broad, I suppose.  Let it be anybody’s fault, I guess–even her’s.  But not his.