Posted this afternoon on the Feminist Majority Foundation’s blog in response to the shitstorm over Peg Yorkin’s pro-Polanski statement in the L. A. Times (comments on the FMF’s blog are enabled–I hope you’ll use them).
Statement by Eleanor Smeal, President, Feminist Majority Foundation, On the Arrest of Roman Polanski:
The Feminist Majority Foundation joins our sister feminist organizations in working to ensure rape is prosecuted as the heinous crime that it is, especially against girls. The Feminist Majority Foundation is a leader in the fight to end all forms of violence against women and is demanding the expeditious processing of all back-logged rape kits in the possession of law enforcement authorities so that perpetrators can be brought to justice. The Feminist Majority Foundation believes Roman Polanski should be extradited to the United States to face the consequences of his conviction for raping a 13-year old girl in 1977. No one is above the law. The chair of our board, Peg Yorkin, was quoted in the Los Angeles Times yesterday providing her personal opinion on the matter of Polanski’s arrest, but wants to make clear she condemns rape. Her statement on Polanski’s arrest, however, does not reflect the position of the Feminist Majority Foundation.
In my opinion, this does not go far enough. Peg Yorkin herself must issue a complete retraction and personal apology. More than one commenter here and elsewhere has said she should resign as chair altogether, and I agree. Anyone with the “personal opinion” that society–and law enforcement–should just “let it go” when an adult drugs and rapes a 13-year old has no place in the kind of organization Eleanor Smeal is describing.