Kristen Should Have Known Better

Recently actress Kristin Stewart of Twilight fame compared being hounded by the paparazzi to being raped.  While I will give her that the paparazzi regularly violates celebrities, it is NOT the same as being raped.

What I find more disturbing is Kristen’s stance as an advocate against sexual violence since her role as a rape victim in the movie, Speak.  You would think with her exposure to activist groups and victims of sexual assault she would realize her statements were unbelievably inappropriate.

Katherine Hull, a spokesperson on behalf of Rape and Incest National Network (R.A.I.N.N.) agrees, telling FOX411.com that “Kristen Stewart’s comments are regrettable. Portraying a rape survivor in the film ‘Speak’ should have led her to use a more appropriate metaphor to describe the intrusive nature of the paparazzi.  Rape is more than an intrusion, it’s a violent crime, that causes serious long term mental health effects for victims.”

Similarly, Margaret Lazarus, the executive director of RapeIs.org, who has written extensively about violence against women, thinks Stewart may need to reevaluate her word choice the next time she sounds off to the press.

“Rape is a violation in which one has no choice.  A star seeking publicity has choices,” Lazarus told Fox411.com. “Although rape involves loss of privacy, loss of privacy does not constitute rape. Let’s use a little logical thinking here.”

Neil Irwin, Executive Director of the Men Can Stop Rape Organization, said that “Kristen Stewart equating her experience of the paparazzi with rape is like comparing a needle to a knife. While there is a connection – both involve a loss of control – we at Men Can Stop Rape know from hearing the stories of sexual assault survivors that the degree of hurt caused by rape is greater.  Out of respect for these survivors, we would suggest using a more appropriate word, like ‘violation.’”

Don’t get me wrong, I think the paparazzi are deplorable. Kirsten has certainly had to deal with being intruded upon by their cameras and questions, and she has my sympathy.  Still, Kirsten, should have picked her words more wisely.

At least she has quickly addressed her faux pas with PEOPLE:

“I really made an enormous mistake – clearly and obviously,” Stewart, currently in Korea to promote the new installment of the Twilight series Eclipse, tells PEOPLE exclusively. “And I’m really sorry about my choice of words.”

Stewart, 20, is not known as one to mince words. “I’ve made stupid remarks before, and I’ve always reasoned: ‘Whatever. They can think what they want,’ ” she says.

But in this instance, the Los Angeles-born actress feels compelled to address the situation. ” ‘Violated’ definitely would have been a better way of expressing the thought,” she notes.

In fact, the issue of violence against women is one that has been close to Stewart since playing a victim of rape in the 2004 film Speak. She has done public service announcements for theadvocacy group RAINN and for SOC.

The irony of the situation in which Stewart now finds herself is not lost on the actress. “People thinking that I’m insensitive about this subject rips my guts out. I made a big mistake.”

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~ by After Silence on June 4, 2010.

One Response to “Kristen Should Have Known Better”

  1. This is a great reminder that actors are just that, actors. Other people write their thoughts and words and the actors repeat them in front of a camera. Their exposure to any given issue during preparation for a movie role is not the same as living through that issue, and it never can be. There is no amount of preparation in the world that can make her understand what abuse victims experience. 20 year old actors, for all their success on screen, are still just kids. They can’t even buy a drink in a bar.

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