Stewart's thoughts are understandable. As much as we like to just excuse overanxious paparazzi and screaming fans as the price of fame and move on, it can't be easy to be hounded and followed, your personal space invaded by a horde of eager strangers. However, her comparing it all to rape has gotten Stewart in some hot water, with a number of rape counselors and organizations hoping she'll reevaluate her word choice. Some, like Katherine Hull of R.A.I.N.N., have expressed their hope that Stewart will use "a more appropriate metaphor to describe the intrusive nature of the paparazzi," while others are taking a harsher approach. Margaret Lazarus of Rapels.org toes a very dangerous line, telling FOX: "Rape is a violation in which one has no choice. A star seeking publicity has choices. Although rape involves loss of privacy, loss of privacy does not constitute rape. Let's use a little logical thinking here."
I think we can all agree that "rape" is not a word that should be thrown around as blithely as it is. This is not a problem solely resting on Kristen Stewart's shoulders, but on a culture that uses the word to describe any annoying or dangerous invasion, regardless of the severity. If we think logically, as Lazarus requests, media hounding and fame would find a much better metaphor in "stalking" or "violation."
But again, thinking logically, let's not place the blame solely on Stewart for her fame. There are choices when it comes to being an actor, yes, but much less choice when it comes to celebrity, and making that distinction comes really frakking close to blaming rape victims because of what they wear or how they behave. We're not talking about Paris Hilton using and "seeking" the media to keep up her celebrity and public exposure. We're talking about an actor who took on an indie movie tossed off by many a-studio before it became a worldwide phenomenon. She's living up to her contract and suffering through the consequences of a film's publicity, not her own.
Agree? Disagree? Weigh in below.