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Assange

December 16, 2010
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This is just to say, as so many others have said, that whether Assange sexually assaulted some women is orthagonal to whether his actions at Wikileaks are important to the cause of liberty and the free movement of information; whether he should be accountable to the Swedish justice system is not determined by whether the United States has acted badly on the world stage, or even whether the timing and manner of his detention were political — which they surely were.

Further, shaming and blaming and repeating rape apologist tropes does not suddenly become a good idea just because someone who has otherwise done things that make him a hero to some folks is also accused of rape.  It’s still bad, and it’s still wrong, to invoke rape apologist language to defend him, whether the accused exposes important truths or makes really good movies. 

I have been silent only because I am presently overwhelmed with work, but now, when so many progressive men have shown that they’re only for ending rape when it’s popular, I wanted to make sure that everyone who might read this blog knows that I’m not on that side.  Rapists should be accountable for rape, even if they are important people in many ways.  Rape survivors ought not to be harassed, hunted and shamed for saying what happened to them, even if saying it causes problems for people who are doing important things.

16 Comments leave one →
  1. December 16, 2010 3:51 pm

    The other thing about this whole issue that bothers me is that the only time we EVER report rapes in the mainstream press in any way is when the accusations are levied against already famous or popular people. We still don’t take the accusations SERIOUSLY, but if a survivor needs to name her attacker, that’s one of the few times the media will actually pick it up, if only because it seems newsworthy because it’s someone famous.

  2. December 16, 2010 10:18 pm

    I don’t use $ 5 dollar words like “orthagonal”, but I have to say I’ve never been a fan of Assange. He always came across like an egotist and/or sociopath to me, and the fact that he didn’t care about the fate of that gay Army private first class who gave him the info nor of the Afghan informants who were outed on his site (and got tortured and killed because of that) spoke volumes to me about his character (or lack therof).

    Plus, diplomacy doesn’t work unless the ambassadors can communicate confidentially with their home governments (the same way Thomas as an attorney can communicate confidentially with his clients)- Assange disrupted that and didn’t care about the consequences.

    So I wasn’t part of the Julian Assange fan club even before the rape allegations.

    Since the charges were unsealed, I’ve become utterly disgusted with how many leftist and liberals rushed to Assange’s defense, despite the strong possibility that this guy is just another overprivileged man who thinks it’s OK for him to rape the women in his circle.

    As far as I’m concerned, I refuse to lift a finger in Assange’s defense and I’m disgusted and appalled at any progressive who can defend this creep.

    GREGORY A. BUTLER

    • FeministBastard permalink
      December 17, 2010 11:35 am

      Funny you should say that, ‘cos last time I read your comments here you were a rape apologist arguing how enforcing enthusiastic consent standard “would criminalize consensual sex where the man didn’t get the express permission of the woman at every point in the act”.
      It seems Assange is your textbook clueless fella.

      So did you reverse your views on EC, or you don’t blame the victims only because you already dislike the perpetrator?

      • December 17, 2010 1:28 pm

        No, I’ve always been against rape, and rapists.

        I also have some doubts about enthusiastic consent, at least as promulgated by Thomas and some others on this site. They promote the idea in a way that it’s really hard to hear.

        With that said, I’ve always been against rape – including acquaintance rapes like the ones that Assange allegedly did where there was initial consent but one of the parties changed her mind.

        GREGORY A. BUTLER

      • FeministBastard permalink
        December 17, 2010 4:17 pm

        Gregory, you say ‘most women [you] encounter are thoroughly TURNED OFF’ by you making sure they wanna fuck you, and that they all want you to “take advantage of them”.
        I don’t care whether you made it up or not* – it’s irrelevant. You don’t have the right to anyone else’s body and if you’re against preventing people from being raped, because the measure would make it tough for you (or other dudes) to get laid, it means you care more about getting laid then not raping someone. Which makes you a rape apologist.
        I’m not arguing with you, just explaining why I call you what you are. You’re welcome.

        * Belief that women want to be “taken advantage of” is what enables rapists to disregard the obvious signs of terror and resistance in their victims and then claim it was a “misunderstanding”, and that they’re (obviously) against rape.

      • FeministBastard permalink
        December 18, 2010 5:05 pm

        @ MOVIE, REVIEWED

        I just stumbled across your comments at another site. I do find several of your comments here disgusting and disingenuous, but now believe you are well-intentioned, and I apologize if I offended you by suggesting you are not.

      • December 18, 2010 5:09 pm

        Apology accepted, thank you!

        Gregory A. Butler

  3. FeministBastard permalink
    December 17, 2010 3:38 pm

    When you google the accusers’ names , first result you get is “Assange Accuser XXX YYY Photos!”
    Wow, just… wow.

    And still so many people call it suspicious when women hesitate a long time to report an assault.
    And with what I’ve seen and what I’ve heard from the survivors I know, at least here where I live… I can hardly think of a situation when I would advise a SA victim to report to police.

    I recently witnessed a man plotting and planning to rape my friend. It was gonna be another one of those “…then why did she drink booze with him” and “why did she move in with him if they were just buddies?”.
    He was trying to isolate her, while she was drunk, it was taking significant effort on his part and it alarmed her.
    Would I tell her to call the cops, had it happened? So the other housemates would tell them she drank a lot, flirted with everyone, kissed one of them, dressed provocatively and so all her friends would get a chance to tell her how dumb she was? In a country where policeMEN interview rape victims in a hospital corridor before allowing them to take the kit, which the doctor can still refuse ‘because she didn’t wash herself’ (sic).

    Should I do that? That, or just nothing at all?
    I’m against vigilantism, but less than I am against the status quo in which women are facing such a choice.
    Do you know this feeling, Thomas? Just asking…

    • December 17, 2010 5:03 pm

      You don’t have to be for vigilante violence to get in the way of that situation. Tell him you’re watching him and you’re onto his game. Tell her what he’s up to. Tell your friends what’s going on. Rapists operate because people turn away and pretend they don’t see.

      • FeministBastard permalink
        December 17, 2010 5:18 pm

        I said ‘if it happened’. And I really just meant to ask if you know this shitty feeling. There was no catch.
        And I know these things you say, you’re right. It’s just how I feel about this reality… I couldn’t help but think about the ‘what if’.

  4. FeministBastard permalink
    December 17, 2010 4:46 pm

    Did I say photos? They’re posting contact information of the victims…

    • Alex permalink
      December 25, 2010 8:24 pm

      Had I been drinking something, I would have spit it out. That’s revolting…

  5. MertvayaRuka permalink
    December 18, 2010 4:46 am

    In the grand scheme of things, Julian Assange is unimportant. Wikileaks and others will continue to function even if he spends the rest of his life in prison. So as far as I’m concerned, if he’s really treating women like this the only place he belongs is in prison and the US government exerting pressure to make it more likely to happen honestly doesn’t matter. Chalk it up to bad things happening to a bad person and continue supporting Bradley Manning and Wikileaks.

  6. FeministBastard permalink
    December 18, 2010 9:13 am

    Oh, maybe he’s a victim-blaming lying anti-feminist, but he surely isn’t a narcissist creep who doesn’t know what ‘no’ means!
    http://gawker.com/5714043/the-creepy-lovesick-emails-of-julian-assange
    …oh, wait.

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