"I know it wasn't rape-rape. It was something else but I don't believe it was rape-rape. He went to jail and and when they let him out he was like "You know what this guy's going to give me a hundred years in jail I'm not staying, so that's why he left."
I've avoided the Roman Polanski arrest, because it seems so cut-and-dried, and other have covered it and covered it better than I could ever hope to. I rolled my eyes at the "He's such a great artiste" arguments that erupted from the anti-arrest side, and nodded along to the "What part of 'he raped a 13 year old' do you not understand?" crowd.
But this? This just makes me squint and look at my computer sideways. And, it makes me experience the strange vertigo-like sensation I get when I'm especially angry. My cheeks don't feel pins-and needlesy, though, and that is because this particular argument isn't incredibly shocking. It has, after all, been made before. By people in comments sections, in the "it was consensual" defense, and in the "she had sex before" defense. This defense has been made for many, many other accused rapists, and accused child rapists, in the past. Like R. Kelly.
These are, invariably, incredibly bad defenses, especially when the victim in question is under the age of consent. Because in that situation, it doesn't matter if the 13 year old high as a kite and three sheets to the wind didn't say no. S/he can't actually say, "Yes", and have that be the defense in court. Because sleeping with a 13 year old when you're 3 decades older than her, even when she isn't drugged up, is enough to make it "rape-rape". Because that is the exact definition of statutory rape. Add in the drugs, the alcohol, and the fact that the victim was scared, and it is all "rape-rape". Maybe Whoopi doesn't know this, but having sex with someone you've plied with drugs and alcohol counts as rape-rape no matter their age.
Otherwise, what we're dealing with here is the belief that some rapes don't count as much. If the victim had sex before? Not rape-rape! If the victim isn't bloody and bruised, showing she put up a fight? Not rape-rape! If the victim took off all of her clothing in front of the rapist? Not rape-rape! If the victim didn't say 'no', and often, even if she were below the age of consent? Not rape-rape! And that? Is bullshit. Because statutory rape is really rape. Because drugging someone in order to facilitate a sexual act does really count as rape. Because coerced sex, sex where the victim is too scared to voice dissent, is really rape.
The mythical 'real' rape victim, the person who never had sex before, who never walked the streets alone, who was home before dark, who carried mace to the store, who never dressed 'provocatively' and only wore white, cotton granny panties, and who was sitting at home knitting socks for the poor when s/he was violently assaulted, doesn't negate all of the rapes experienced by those who didn't always follow the rules - the ones who have had sex before, the ones who have walked alone, the ones who have been drunk around the other gender (or even the same gender). Those rapes are rape-rapes. Those rapes count as real rapes too.
Shame on Whoopi for suggesting otherwise.