This article will make you lose your lunch. The idea is that sex with children is more taboo today than it was in Roman Polanski’s era — thanks to victims’ rights groups and a family values revival. The evidence? Well, Polanski himself, and this one Woody Allen movie.
The article approaches a good point — that rape victims were treated terribly, and that the culture was disturbingly permissive of a “boys will be boys” attitude when it comes to sexual assault. But it takes almost a wistful tone, as if we’ve lost something culturally and artistically. It also suggests that the conservative upswing in the Reagan years was responsible for the cultural shift away from victim-blaming; in fact, conservatives blocked every effort that feminists made to promote rape shield laws, prevent sexual assault and hold perpetrators accountable.
Feminist successes aside, raping adolescent girls wasn’t acceptable even in the 1970s. Perhaps even more disturbing, though, is the fact that it isn’t wholly unacceptable today — just look at the conversations about Roman Polanski.
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