I'm having a hard time dealing with the Assange rape accusations. My dad is one of those progressive liberals that thinks Assange is the new hero of the people. I also support what Assange has done in terms of his actual political work. But in my mind that doesn't interfere with the possibility that he is a rapist. I'm not going to get into whether I think he is guilty or not, frankly I don't really care. What seems more important to me is that the allegations against him are given the weight and severity that rape allegations deserve and that the case play out as it would if he weren't who he is. That is, if he's guilty I hope he's convicted and if he's innocent I hope he's acquitted, and I hope that all of that happens without the influence of who he is tainting the case.
But I'm pretty grossed out by some things that have been said about the situation. This whole sex by surprise myth has been going on for too long in the media. This whole "Oh, it's just a condom misunderstanding situation; that's not rape!" "Oh, she knew him; that's not rape!" thing is really freaking me out.
Here's what Assange says:
"Women have been extremely helpful and generous and put up with me. But… You know, in a sense of assisting me with my work, caring for me, loving me and so on. That is what I am used to. So this particular episode in Sweden came as a great shock." -Julian Assange
Ew! Doesn't that reek of privilege?
And here's what Naomi Wolf said in a Democracy Now debate:
Naomi Wolf: All I’m saying is I think that this—again, never in 23 years of supporting rape victims—rape victims, people who had no ambiguity, who didn’t throw parties for their rapist four days later, who didn’t continue to host—I mean, women who have been raped, in my experience, don’t want to be around their rapist. They don’t host them in their home. They can barely go home if there’s been an assault in their home.
Honestly, I'm appalled and surprised that Naomi Wolf would actually say this as part of an argument. This makes no sense for so many reasons.
What about the women who were raped by their husbands before women had the legal right to refuse to have sex with their husbands? What about other women who are raped by their partners? What about the 70-80% of women who are raped by someone they know? Does Naomi Wolf seriously think that because Assange's accuser didn't behave in some specific way after the alleged rape, that it must not have been rape? That's so ridiculous. I can't even handle it it's so ridiculous. It does not matter how a woman acts at any point before or after being raped. That does not mean she wasn't raped. I'm so taken aback by how regressive and offensive Naomi Wolf is being. What's next? She was wearing a short skirt so she must have wanted it?
I'm glad to see people discussing rape in the media and I'm glad to see it being discussed among friends. I've discussed it with my dad. But I've been really frustrated by mostly everyone's reactions or opinions on the subject.