Saturday, September 22, 2007

Thelma and Louise

Judith Warner writes:
I watched "Thelma and Louise" again this week.

Boy, how times have changed.

Remember, in 1991, how topical the movie seemed? How revolutionary, how thrilling, how cathartic?

It didn’t seem any of those things to me the other night, when I attended a screening of the film guest-hosted by Senator Susan Collins and Representative Jane Harman.

It simply seemed depressing, oppressive and hopeless. It seemed like a relic from the past, a buried memory. It was dark. It was disturbing. It was -- it dawned on me, driving home and still sniveling over the sight of that blue Thunderbird plummeting into the void — a movie that could not be made today.

Thank goodness. ...

That year [1991], the William Kennedy Smith rape case went to trial, belittling and publicly humiliating the victim; Anita Hill confronted Clarence Thomas and emerged besmirched while he reigned victorious; and Roe v. Wade seemed destined for extinction.

Date rape is no longer a contentious concept; it's a known reality. Rape victims are no longer so thoughtlessly named and shamed by the media as was William Kennedy Smith’s accuser. Rape itself is down – its incidence having dropped 75 percent since the early 1990s, according to the Department of Justice.
Thelma and Louise is about two women who go on a road trip, murder a man after a bar dispute, flee the police, and commit suicide.

I am appalled that Warner refers to Smith's accuser as a "rape victim", and the NY Times editors allow this. Smith was acquitted of all charges in a jury trial; he is not a rapist and she is not a rape victim. I didn't think that the accuser's story was very plausible. The column looks libelous to me.

No comments: