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How We Describe Women Who Report Sexual Assaults Now:

“I feel as if I’m in a surreal Swedish movie being threatened by bizarre trolls.”

- Mark Stephens, lawyer for Julian Assange, who has been charged with (a) refusing to stop having sex with a woman after she said no, and (b) being told that having sex with another lady was only consensual under certain terms, and then disregarding those terms and penetrating her anyway, under circumstances he had allegedly been informed she did not consent to.

Both of which are, kids?

I dunno. I just think that when you don’t try to get sympathy from the bepenised among us by describing it as “his lack of interest in using condoms,” it sounds real different, is all.

EDIT: From the Guardian, which is providing live updates, we have the following:

2.51pm: The two women concerned in the case regarded the used of a condom as a prerequiste for sex, the court heard, according to the legal affairs commentator Joshua Rozenberg, who was in the court.

Rozenberg told Sky News that charges were read out to Assange. In one of the cases Assange was alleged to have had sex with a woman who was asleep, the court heard, according to Rozenberg. The other case allegedly involved coercion, he said.

You guys, why are these women engaging in the (risky, socially consequential, unlikely-to-succeed) act of charging a socially prominent man with lots of supporters of sexual assault? They’re spies, right? Or they’re feminists who go around tricking men into having sex with them so they can make rape accusations? Whatever the case may be, it sounds like this is totally just about broken condoms, of all things! HOW BIZARRE!

56 Comments

  1. Yeah, this has been bugging me. I suppose it’s possible that the CIA is setting Assange up with EVIL LYIN’ WIMMIN in order to silence his Australian haircut. But considering the vast (vast, vast) history of women being intimidated out of speaking up about rape, I’m giving the accusers the benefit of the doubt. Generous of me, I know.

    Besides:

    (1) Wikileaks can continue doing its work even if Assange goes to jail for rape; and

    (2) As with Roman Polanski, it’s amusing to watch conservatives champion women’s sexual rights for the 15 minutes that it’s convenient for their agenda.

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 10:24 am | Permalink
  2. Turing wrote:

    As I was on my way to TBD today, I thought to myself “I certainly hope that Sady has some common sense to drop on folks and has done the leg-work for me so I can tell all of these stupid kids I argue with on the internet about how exactly rape is not okay and stuff.”

    And then BAM! I was even planning on writing you an e-mail. Thank you for digging up some straight up facts, since I have to deal with kids who say things like “Well, he just had sex with a girl without a condom and who hasn’t done that if you know what I mean!” And then they high-five each other and do internet kegstands and it makes my heart sad.

    I do have to agree with Prof. Coldheart, though, it never fails to fill me with mirth to see all of my long-standing conservative allies in the feminist struggle stand up once more for the rights of women around the globe. And by once more, I mean “For like the 5th time in the last decade.”

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 10:45 am | Permalink
  3. woodscolt wrote:

    Thank goodness for you and Jill at Feministe. I am SO SICK today of people who can’t see that

    1) Wikileaks is important and does good work

    2) Julian Assange may be a rapist

    and

    3) The pursuit by the authorities for the rape charges may be motivated as much by Wikileaks as by a desire to see justice done

    are not in any way contradictory positions and could all be simultaneously true.

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 11:18 am | Permalink
  4. fn-ka wrote:

    Yes! Thank you, thank you, thank you! I’ve been so desperate about this; it’s as if the whole world (and by that, I mean my friends in the internets) just thinks that this sweet innocent guy just wouldn’t ever rape.

    And anyway, if he did, which of course he couldn’t ever, it should at least be called something else, something less bothersome, whatimeanis.. you know how rape has such an displeasing ring to it and yeah, you know, he’s the modern day superhero or something so he really just couldn’t have done it.

    Finally somebody had something else, something sensible, to say about it.

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 11:24 am | Permalink
  5. DP wrote:

    HI!

    THIS IS AN EDITED COMMENT. HERE’S WHAT I DID WRONG THAT MADE IT GET ALL EDIT-Y:

    1) I PROVIDED A LINK TO MATERIAL THAT NAMED AN ACCUSER IN A SEXUAL ASSAULT CASE. WRONG! CLEARLY WRONG, AS PER COMMON AND TIGER BEATDOWN-SPECIFIC POLICY, STATED MANY TIMES, AS THESE WOMEN ARE FREQUENTLY TARGETS OF HARASSMENT AND EVEN VIOLENCE!

    2) I INSISTED THAT THIS MATERIAL WAS RELEVANT, CITING THE IDEA THAT SHE MAY HAVE BEEN JEALOUS (!!!) OF THE “OTHER” “WOMAN,” WHICH IS STEREOTYPICAL AND ALSO TOTALLY STUPID AND FUCKED-UP WHAT WITH THEIR FILING TOGETHER AND ALL, AND ALSO THAT THE MATERIAL DOCUMENTS A SPECIFIC SUGGESTION FOR DEALING WITH A PARTNER WHO CHEATS, WHICH IS (A) CONSIDER WHETHER IT’S WORTHWHILE TO RESPOND, (B) MAKE SURE IT IS PROPORTIONATE, & (C) MAYBE ARRANGE IT SO THAT THEIR PARTNER MEETS SOMEONE NEW. NOT “FILE A SEXUAL ASSAULT CLAIM, WHICH IS FREQUENTLY EXPENSIVE, ALWAYS TIME-CONSUMING, AND ALWAYS PUTS YOU PERSONALLY AT TREMENDOUS RISK PARTICULARLY WHEN THE ACCUSED IS A PUBLIC FIGURE WITH MASSIVE SUPPORT BEHIND HIM!”

    3) I ATTEMPTED TO PROVIDE A SERIES OF OTHER UNCONVINCING EXCUSES, WHICH HAVE BEEN OFFERED BY A SERIES OF OTHER MEDIA OUTLETS, AND WHICH HAVE NO PLACE HERE, SUCH AS: “HAVE YOU HEARD THAT WOMEN FILE FALSE RAPE CLAIMS SOMETIMES?” YES THEY ARE VERY RARE, AND, “MAYBE IT’S A RIGHT-WING CONSPIRACY” (AT LEAST ONE OF THE ACCUSERS IS VOCALLY LEFTIST).

    IF I ATTEMPT TO MAKE ANOTHER COMMENT THAT’S NOT AN APOLOGY — AND I DO MEAN AN APOLOGY, WITH NO EQUIVOCATION OR “EXPLAINING” ON MY PART — I’LL BE DELETED AGAIN AND ASKED NOT TO COMMENT ON THIS THREAD FURTHER.

    STAY TUNED!

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 11:25 am | Permalink
  6. Pandagon is on this also.

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 11:46 am | Permalink
  7. Vee wrote:

    As Woodscolt says, several things can be true at the same time here–Julian Assange may have committed sexual assault (and until there is evidence to the contrary, I’ll believe the women), Wikileaks can be important, and there can be weird things going on at the political level of this. The extradition order is almost certainly politically motivated, because no international warrant has ever been issued by Sweden for an accused in a rape case before. Rape, you see, is not generally counted as a serious enough crime for that here. I wish I could believe that this represented a change in policy, but, ah. Yeah. No.

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 12:02 pm | Permalink
  8. Thank you.

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 12:06 pm | Permalink
  9. Lucy wrote:

    @FN-KA: “And anyway, if he did, which of course he couldn’t ever, it should at least be called something else, something less bothersome, whatimeanis..”
    Right? Because as the internet always rushes to tell us, it is just SO BAD to be accused of rape* that we should never ever say that word out loud because we might ruin a man’s life over a crime against a woman, which, like, who cares about that, right? And nobody will defend these poor men, except for all the people on the internet who are doing just that.
    *It is bad to be accused of rape, unless you did it, which is often the case.

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 12:10 pm | Permalink
  10. rosmar wrote:

    I agree with the idea that we can simultaneously keep in mind that Wikileaks is doing important work and that Assange may be a rapist. But the idea that we should automatically believe women who say they were raped is really dangerous. It is dangerous to forget that accusations of rape have sometimes been used effectively by those empowered by systems of oppression. One of the most famous of these examples is the Scottsboro Nine case, which white supremacists and sexists successfully used to simultaneously support white supremacy and sexism.

    Assange may or may not be guilty. If he did what these two women say he did, then he is guilty.

    I personally find it difficult to keep all of these things in mind while also keeping in mind that the prison/criminal justice system itself is deeply implicated in rape and other forms of violence, sexual and otherwise.

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 12:33 pm | Permalink
  11. Aliaras wrote:

    Happy to see this on my Beatdown feed today, have been sticking my fingers in my ears and going LALALALALALALA NOT CLICKING at anything which is an article on this bullshit and not from a feminist blog, because Rape Apology is not in fact a good breakfast side to go with coffee and pastry.

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 12:33 pm | Permalink
  12. Sady wrote:

    @rosmar: Ah, yes, the Scottsboro Nine case. In which a well-known white Australian man with a history of radical activism and an enormous support network was accused of rape by a fellow activist, and also another woman in close succession, and… wait, what?

    You’re close to the line of trolling here. There are a few threads we police extra-vigilantly, and threads in which we talk about sexual assault cases in progress are top of that list. Due to the enormous consequences of prosecuting a rape case — for the victim/alleged victim, whether the case succeeds or not — we err on the side of believing and against the side of attributing shame or stigma to accusers. One step, you cross that line. So be careful.

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 12:47 pm | Permalink
  13. ozymandias wrote:

    Thank you very much for some good old-fashioned Tiger Beatdown sense.

    My question: I have the policy (I got it from Tiger Beatdown, actually) of Not Spending Money To Benefit Accused Rapists. No Roman Polanksi movies, no Modest Mouse CDs, etc. But I want to donate to help Wikileaks in its important work. What do I do?

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 12:52 pm | Permalink
  14. Lucy wrote:

    @Rosmar: Yes, oppressed people are often poorly served by the justice system. Which is why we should treat cases involving disparate power dynamics with special care. In this case, the social power lies with the accused, not the accuser, which renders your comment irrelevant.

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 1:03 pm | Permalink
  15. Elise wrote:

    My view on the entire things is this: Assange may be doing valuable work in Wikileaks (I like wikileaks) BUT he’s NOT the ENTIRE SITE. Taking him down, as his colleagues have noted REPEATEDLY WILL. NOT. STOP. WIKILEAKS. That’s the power of the internet.

    As to the validity of the accusations, well, false accusations of rape are EXTREMELY RARE. And I would also like to point out that prosecutors in any country have a limited time they can spend working on cases, so they generally only pursue cases they think are actually worth pursuing – aka ones they believe have factual basis, substantial factual support, AND are likely to result in a conviction. Since I don’t have the evidence and neither does anyone else I’ve heard talking about this case, then we have to believe the prosecutor is pursuing this case because Assange (a privileged, rich, white man) raped the victim. And, no, I won’t take Assange’s word that he didn’t rape the victim, because defendants are obliged to aid in their own defense and therefore NOT confirm the accusations against them unless they decide to plead guilty (which he won’t, because he’s rich and can afford a good defense lawyer).

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Permalink
  16. Anyhow, I’m not worried. If everything I’ve read this year about Sweden is true, then Lisbeth Salander will find the REAL rapists, torture-pr0n them to death, stare at her breasts in the mirror, then hack the Internets and release all the secret files. Then Julian Assange will spirit her away to his Australian estate, where they’ll have a weird but fulfilling affair.

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 1:45 pm | Permalink
  17. roesmoker wrote:

    Attn: Naomi Wolf – You’re not helping.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/naomi-wolf/interpol-the-worlds-datin_b_793033.html

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 2:12 pm | Permalink
  18. Chelsea wrote:

    [HI LADY, I KNOW YOU MEAN WELL, BUT THAT ARTICLE CONTAINS THE NAMES OF THE ALLEGED VICTIMS.]

    [OH, PS: SF GATE IS REPORTING THE NAMES OF THE ALLEGED VICTIMS! UGH.]

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 2:36 pm | Permalink
  19. Erin wrote:

    I’ll join the chorus of THANK YOUs to this post. I was so confused listening to the media coverage – of what had he been accused exactly?? Oh the euphamisms, the euphamisms. /it wasn’t until the end of the piece that I thought omfg he’s being accused of rape! And here we go, Polanski redux and we’re going to have to sit through another round of leftist rape-apologists. He couldn’t commit rape – he fights the man……. It makes me want to have a stroke. And even if the extradition order was politically motivated as some kind of punishment that doesn’t make him somehow innocent! But by all means let the public flogging of the victims – ooh i mean accusers – begin!

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 2:50 pm | Permalink
  20. Erin wrote:

    @Roesmoker — Holy hell. Naomi, what insightful feminist commentary. Awesome!

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 2:53 pm | Permalink
  21. EE wrote:

    [I AM A VICTIM OF CENSORSHIP. FIRST I WROTE THAT THIS POST MADE FEMINISTS SEEM LIKE "MAN-HATERS," AND THAT IT WAS OF COURSE THE CONSTANT DUTY OF FEMINISTS TO SEEM AT ALL TIMES AS IF THEY DIDN'T HATE ANY MEN EVER, AND IT WAS ONE COMMENT OF THE THREE COMMENTS ALL DAY THAT SADY JUST DIDN'T FEEL LIKE EDITING OR CONSTRUCTING A RESPONSE TO, SO SHE CLICKED "SPAM." THEN I SHOWED UP AGAIN AND DEMANDED THAT SADY SEND ME PERSONALLY A LINK TO "THE ARTICLES FROM WHENCE SHE HAD FORMED HER OPINIONS," BECAUSE LORD KNOWS THE MANY BLOG POSTS LINKED TO IN THIS VERY COMMENT SECTION AND/OR THE STUFF SADY LINKED TO WAS NOT ENOUGH, AND ALSO I AM ENTITLED TO EVERY STRANGER'S TIME. EVERY STRANGER'S TIME!

    THIS WAS ALSO THE COMMENT WHERE I COMPLAINED ABOUT "CENSORSHIP." BECAUSE WHEN SOMEONE CAN'T DEAL WITH YOU AND CLOSES A DOOR IN YOUR FACE, YOU JUST KEEP STANDING OUTSIDE THE DOOR YELLING, AND WHEN SOMEONE HANGS UP THE PHONE, YOU JUST KEEP CALLING, AND WHEN SOMEONE WALKS AWAY, YOU FOLLOW THEM, AND WHEN SOMEONE MARKS YOUR COMMENT "SPAM" IN A COMMENT THREAD THAT YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED WILL BE HEAVILY POLICED, YOU KEEP LEAVING COMMENTS. COMMENTS ABOUT "CENSORSHIP." OF WHICH I AM, AS YOU KNOW, A VICTIM.]

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 3:05 pm | Permalink
  22. Lucy wrote:

    @roesmoker: Wow, way to do absolutely no research whatsoever on a topic that’s got plenty of disinformation around it already. (her, not you, obvs.)

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 3:50 pm | Permalink
  23. Tabs wrote:

    As one commenter on NPR said:

    Art Aficionado (Art_Aficionado) wrote:

    Ironically, Mr. Assange’s plight seems to stem from having relations with a radical feminist who considers all men rapists. You gotta love that…

    London’s Daily Mail reports his point of contact is a radical feminist who once held a university post of “campus sexual equity officer.”

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 4:00 pm | Permalink
  24. Tabs wrote:

    This makes me sad.

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 4:01 pm | Permalink
  25. Spiffy McBang wrote:

    Sady editing comments is one of the more entertaining things I’ve seen in a while.

    Here’s a link that uses either pseudonyms or first names only (I can’t tell which): http://www.metro.co.uk/news/849648-wikileaks-julian-assange-to-be-detained-by-british-police

    The one circumstance is… odd. I’ve never had a condom break, so I don’t know how easy it is to tell if it happens. I do have female friends who have related such experiences and said they had no idea it broke until afterward. So, if that’s true here, then for any real charges to be filed it would be up to Assange to say, “Yeah, I knew it was busted, but I said fuck it.” Fair to say that won’t happen, so all he’ll get is that fine.

    What’s bullshit is that the idea you could get fined for having a condom break is the thing that’s getting everyone’s attention. Blogs are all like, “OMG a condom broke call the police!!1!1!” The situation with the other woman, where allegedly she said, “Condom?” and he said, “No, intercourse!” is constantly mentioned second, as if it’s less important and not the one that should make us all want to punch him in the face if it’s true.

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 4:26 pm | Permalink
  26. Johan wrote:

    “But the idea that we should automatically believe women who say they were raped is really dangerous.”

    Everyone deserves a fair trial before they’re judged, yes. But, you know what? That being dangerous stuff, that goes for automatically disregarding them as well. Or, say, judging people of making up rape accusations — which is, of course, a crime as well — without, well, that trial.

    Wait for the goddamn trial and evidence to be presented might be a good idea before deciding that someone is just making stuff up, eh? Shouldn’t be too difficult. And if people did that, I very much suspect this post wouldn’t ever have been written.

    //JJ

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 4:29 pm | Permalink
  27. smadin wrote:

    “But the idea that we should automatically believe [people who say they were mugged] is really dangerous.”

    “But the idea that we should automatically believe [people who say their cars were stolen] is really dangerous.”

    “But the idea that we should automatically believe [people who say they were physically assaulted] is really dangerous.”

    “But the idea that we should automatically believe [people who report crimes] is really dangerous.”

    “But the idea that we should automatically believe women who say they were raped is really dangerous.”

    Gee, I wonder what’s different about that last one that makes some folks think it’s true, when the preceding examples are clearly absurd.

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 4:52 pm | Permalink
  28. roesmoker wrote:

    Yeah, I was pretty saddened and annoyed to read Naomi’s piece. Being flippant and dismissive – while proclaiming your status as a “longtime feminist activist” – not only makes you look like an asshole, but makes it that much harder for us to be heard. Thanks for nothing!!

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 5:20 pm | Permalink
  29. roesmoker wrote:

    PS – can someone point me to Feministe’s post on this? I can’t seem to find it.

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 5:23 pm | Permalink
  30. rosmar wrote:

    I actually strongly believe “But the idea that we should automatically believe [people who report crimes] is really dangerous.” to be true. Being labeled a criminal in our society has a whole series of negative effects, and in general I think we are too quick to believe the side of the accuser. Especially given the racial and class dynamics of who is likely to end up in jail or prison.

    I understand that Assange is white and well-off, but still, as one individual against a whole series of institutions, he is not in a position of power overall.

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 5:29 pm | Permalink
  31. Spiffy McBang wrote:

    @Rosmar: I don’t disagree that a sharper eye is warranted when looking at this case, given that while Assange may well have committed rape, there are factors at work that make this situation unique.

    But, a retort along two tracks:

    1) Assange may not have the overall power now, but that’s hardly evidence he would have been any less likely to feel he had less power when he was in bed with his accusers.

    2) The key word I used above is unique. Acknowledging that Assange is in a bad position relative to some of the world’s most powerful interests is a far, far cry from the much more general concept of, “…the idea that we should automatically believe women who say they were raped is really dangerous.”

    I agree that as a rule, before evidence is presented, any accusation of a crime should be viewed with an eye towards the potential for innocence. But if we want the justice system to work fairly for victims of all crimes, then we have to understand how differently rape accusers have historically been treated compared with victims of other crimes. Rather than fighting to keep the accused’s potential innocence in mind, if someone says she was raped, you sometimes have to fight just to make people see the accused might, in fact, be guilty.

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 6:19 pm | Permalink
  32. smadin wrote:

    But we do assume that. Even when a trial returns a Not Guilty verdict, we don’t generally conclude that no crime was committed — only that that specific defendant didn’t do it; if I go to the police and tell them I was mugged, I won’t get asked whether I’m sure I didn’t just give someone my wallet and then regret it later.

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 6:27 pm | Permalink
  33. M wrote:

    Besides, if the four women in question were, um, eh, just cold-bloodedly placing some faux rape charge on poor defenceless Assange – then why aren’t they making a harsher job of it? It’s not like charges like these are taken seriously even when the possible perpetrator is not an international man of leakery.

    So if they are conspirators, why not just accuse Assange of a far more violent rape? Like the television kind of rape.

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 6:29 pm | Permalink
  34. Sady wrote:

    @Everyone: Internet is down in my house so I’m commenting from a phone. Capabilities are limited; if I don’t publish or moderate your comment don’t assume it won’t be published or moderated in the future.

    @rosmar: You were specifically told that you were cutting close to the line. Now, people/you are spending an inordinate amount of time fighting your personal fight that you picked. I consider that trolling. So please back down and back away. This isn’t the conversation you want to be having, and you can’t force it to be.

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 6:49 pm | Permalink
  35. rosmar wrote:

    Okay.

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 6:51 pm | Permalink
  36. Dear god wrote:

    Oh boy was I unaware that we lived on a planet where international conspiracies where U.S. hires Interpol and two women to kidnap a man for being well-known is more likely than someone raping somebody else!

    Can you imagine how great a world it would be if it really was, though?

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 7:06 pm | Permalink
  37. Andrew wrote:

    @Spiffy–I have had a condom break, and neither I nor my partner had any idea until after I pulled out. Thankfully I had not ejaculated, so it wasn’t as big of a panic attack as it could have been, but we still spent the next week and a half or so worrying, until conclusive evidence of non-pregnancy turned up.

    But you’re also right to point out that multiple other accusations involved in this case are way more worrisome than any possible broken-condom issues.

    Overall, I just find this really disappointing.

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 7:06 pm | Permalink
  38. Scott wrote:

    I’ve had 2 condoms break in my lifetime. I didn’t realize either of them had done so at the time.

    Doesn’t do much to explain the second charge he’s facing, though.

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 7:41 pm | Permalink
  39. Brimstone wrote:

    Naomi Wolf just posted a long defense of Assange on HuffPo.
    Most of my (Australian) female Facebook friends have not only been defending Assange but talking about how they lust after him.

    It seems a bit distasteful

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 8:20 pm | Permalink
  40. Erin wrote:

    @Roesmoker: Jill’s article that people have referenced is from feministe (so close in name to feministing, but a different site): http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2010/12/06/some-thoughts-on-sex-by-surprise/

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 8:25 pm | Permalink
  41. Thefremen wrote:

    Thank you so much for this, Sady. I needed this after banging my head against the wall with several of my fellow “Allies” for the better part of the afternoon.

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 8:38 pm | Permalink
  42. DP wrote:

    Apologies for violating the community standards in post 5; clearly I stepped over a few lines, both written and unwritten.

    Sady told me not to engage in further explanation, and as it’s her blog, I won’t.

    I’m trying to engage further with the feminist blogosphere, because I’m aware that I have a pretty massive blindspot there in ideological terms, so I felt I should engage.

    It’s clear I still have some work to do.

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 10:05 pm | Permalink
  43. Renee wrote:

    @3

    thank you! I’m having a hard time keeping it all straight in my head.

    Wednesday, December 8, 2010 at 12:03 am | Permalink
  44. Teresa wrote:

    Ok, so this is maybe slightly off topic, but an interesting read: Swedish journalist Hanna Fridén blogs about the whole “Sweden has a broader definition of rape”-nonsense.

    http://www.hannafriden.com/politik-samhalle/sweden-does-not-have-a-broader-definition-of-rape-assanges-charges-would-probably-have-been-the-same-in-the-us/

    Wednesday, December 8, 2010 at 6:00 am | Permalink
  45. Kathleen wrote:

    Teresa: thanks for that, it’s really useuful! And I am going to use the following phrase all the time, “you are wrong, and it’s nothing but bad form to…” :)

    But really, it was very calmly and sensibly written & I hope will be widely linked.

    Wednesday, December 8, 2010 at 9:39 am | Permalink
  46. AK wrote:

    #41
    I’m Swedish too. It’s been very interesting, to say the least, to compare national and international reporting on the Assange case. That “broader definitions of rape” thing may have come up because we made some changes to the sexual assault laws in 2005, so that some acts that were previously referred to as “sexual molestation” or “sexual coercion” (I’m no lawyer but you get the point) is now prosecuted as rape. For example, rape of a sleeping person or rape of a drunk person used to not count as any degree of rape but instead as molestation or coercion (which is a different and lesser crime). If I recall correctly Assange is accused of raping one of these women when she was sleeping, so that may indeed mean that he’s being suspected of rape (as opposed to molestation) due to our new, “broader” laws.

    There is NOT, of course, a Swedish sex crime called “surprise sex”, and it’s definitely not illegal to have sex without a condom. People who say that are trying to make not only the victims but the entire country of Sweden seem crazy and hysterical, and thus frame Assange as a normal guy who couldn’t know that bitchez/Sweden are crazy.

    Wednesday, December 8, 2010 at 10:26 am | Permalink
  47. raddad wrote:

    @EE – you were not censored, you were ignored. For example, when the Jehovah Witness come to my door and I politely, but firmly close it in their face, they are being ignored. If I then interfere with them knocking on all the others doors on the block – that could be considered censorship. Tell your story elsewhere; oops it is the master narrative and is already told elsewhere.

    Wednesday, December 8, 2010 at 3:04 pm | Permalink
  48. EE wrote:

    @Raddad
    I use the word “censor” literally. I looked at dictionary.com to make sure I hadn’t misused it. I’m well aware that I can’t (and shouldn’t) demand the right to post; it’s a wonderful thing to censor comments. I hadn’t meant to play the victim by using the word. Perhaps we can replace it with “selectively remove”?

    Wednesday, December 8, 2010 at 3:36 pm | Permalink
  49. Napalmnacey wrote:

    @brimstone – I’m Australian, and I know a lot of Australians of either sex that find Assange despicable (if he did commit the crime).

    @EE, give it up man, it’s clear people don’t really want to hear what you have to say about this matter here.

    Thise whole situation has been incredibly uncomfortable for me. On one hand, I support the idea of Wikileaks and I don’t think using such a situation to physically harm Assange is a good thing. On the other hand, rapists gonna rape and looking at statistics, he probably did it. So part of me is all, “Throw his arse in jail” which isn’t an option, I don’t think.

    This whole thing is Trigger City. :( But it’s important. I hate issues like this.

    Thursday, December 9, 2010 at 1:43 am | Permalink
  50. tinfoil hattie wrote:

    But the idea that we should automatically believe women who say they were raped is really dangerous.

    Here, try this:

    “But the idea that we should automatically believe people who say they were robbed is really dangerous.”

    “But the idea that we should automatically believe people who say their car was stolen is realy dangerous.”

    “But the idea that we should automatically believe people who say they were swindled is really dangerous.”

    GET IT NOW, RAPE APOLOGIST?

    Thursday, December 9, 2010 at 5:59 pm | Permalink
  51. tinfoil hattie wrote:

    Aaaah, cripes. Smadin wrote my comment first, and better. So … Sady, go ahead & delete mine if you are in the mod queue.

    Thursday, December 9, 2010 at 6:03 pm | Permalink
  52. Ellie wrote:

    But the idea that we should automatically believe women who say they were raped is really dangerous.

    Dangerous to rapists, maybe.

    Oh, wait. That means it threatens the whole structure of society. My bad.

    /snark

    Saturday, December 11, 2010 at 2:40 pm | Permalink
  53. canomia wrote:

    Oh and the guy who made the Dilbert comics is apparently an idiot http://dilbert.com/blog/entry/sweden/ And if you didn’t know, we don’t have 400 words for “your cute friend is next” and getting someone in jail for rape in Sweden isn’t easy by any means. I have friends who work for helplines for girls and so many don’t even know that what they’ve been through was rape, it was just that time they had sex when they really didn’t want to. And so many don’t have the courage to go to the police and if they do the statistics are not good. And there have been cases where a whole town bullies a girl for reporting even when there was strong physical evidence. And there have been cases where the lawyer tells the rape victim in court that its her fault because she looks like a prostitute. No it’s definitely not easy to get someone convicted of rape in Sweden. I hope it gets better.
    /A Swede

    Sunday, December 12, 2010 at 5:16 pm | Permalink
  54. minna wrote:

    @brimstone

    As an Australian woman, it mostly sounds to me like you need better friends.

    Monday, December 13, 2010 at 11:22 pm | Permalink
  55. radical_mepho wrote:

    @50 & 52

    So I am confused by all the vitriol toward rosmar. Sady asked rosmar to back down; rosmar did.

    Also to reference #3, is it not possible to believe all those points, specifically that Assange may be a rapist, while at the same time believe that the criminal justice system is far from infallible?

    I apologize Sady if you wanted this conversation to back down, but I would like to appreciate instances where folks can have actual insightful conversation and debate about these issues (much in the vein of response #31).

    Tuesday, December 14, 2010 at 12:19 am | Permalink
  56. Vee wrote:

    @ Canomia And there have been cases where a whole town bullies a girl for reporting even when there was strong physical evidence.

    Oh, you mean the Bjästa case? Ugh, I know. It’s even worse than that, actually, a whole town bullied the girl even after he was convicted in court. And he did it again, after which they bullied the second victim as well, because surely this upstanding fellow couldn’t have raped two young girls? OH WAIT.

    Tuesday, December 14, 2010 at 4:24 pm | Permalink