Kristen Stewart‘s apology for her “being paparazzi’ed is like being raped” remark in a new British Elle interview is, for me, a matter of some disappointment.

By caving in to pressure and throwing herself upon the mercy of the court Stewart has indicated that for all her slouchy rebel posing in public, she’s no Sean Penn where it counts — i.e., in the backbone.

Instead of explaining to the idiots out there that the term “rape” doesn’t strictly refer to sexual violation — that it means being “invaded and occupied and suffering a kind of brutal violation or wounding or theft, be it physical or emotional,” as I explained last Wednesday — she did exactly what her publicist told her to do and kowtowed to the simple-minded.

“I really made an enormous mistake — clearly and obviously,” Stewart told People two days ago. “And I’m really sorry about my choice of words. ‘Violated’ definitely would have been a better way of expressing the thought [than rape].”

In other words, if you’re a certified, card-carrying moron the word “violated” can allude to sexual assault or being brutalized by paparazzi, but the word “rape” cannot and must not refer to anything other than the former. Hooray for Stewart and her publicist for doing their part to approve and ratify American stupidity.

Somebody get in touch with Roberto Paglia and explain that his “Best of Sicily” article called “The Rape of Palermo” constitutes a woefully insensitive use of the term, and that he needs to take out ads in newspapers and on websites worldwide and apologize to all the women who’ve been offended.