Thursday, December 16, 2010

Assange and Misogyny

It's difficult for some people to grasp but it is possible to have an opinion on Wikileaks *A*N*D to have an opinion on Julian Assange *A*N*D to have an opinion on the case against him.

Here's a link to a collection of posts on the misogyny of some of Assange's supporters.

Being a tad old-fashioned I always thought that castigating the character of women alleging sexual assault was the preserve of antediluvian neanderthals, high court judges, and Premiership footballers. For a take on this see Attila the Stockbroker's poem Contributory Negligence.

Whatever happened with Assange and these two women, it should be left to a court to decide.

There are dynamics at work in this story that are particularly unpleasant.

Something that has not been discussed is that the case may have progressed as far as it has only because of Julian Assange's celebrity. Imagine, you are a little known prosecutor, and a case involving a celebrity crosses your desk. Taking on the case could be the making, Or even the breaking, of your career. Do you take the case? Some ambitious people would do just that.

There's a good piece on Feministe criticizing Naomi Wolfe.
it is totally possible to support the WikiLeaks project and to think that the international response to Assange and the project is thoroughly fucked up and to think we should withhold judgment on whether or not Assange is actually a rapist and also to think that we should withhold judgment on whether the women are lying, and to not discredit the women involved, and to not create a hostile climate for rape survivors, and to not play into every tired old stereotype about women and rape.

Seriously, we can chew gum and walk at the same time.

Let's have less misogynistic bollocks spoken. There's a time to wait quietly. And that time is now.


Will said...

excellent -- see also here:

Neil said...

Ta for the comment.

I just read Seymours's piece and thought it was a thoughtfil piece.

Reading some other supposedly "Left" posts is like wading through misogynistic garbage. Please can all these people go back under their rock.

Anonymous said...

Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn.

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James700 said...

I have read your comments and also those of Lenin and find them commendable, objective and impartial, from a leftward leaning point of view. i.e One that firstly, appears to show some sympathy for the wikileaks project, as do I. However I wonder how many lefties would be so quick to defend Assange if the leaks were not directed at the US, and as Lenin points out Assange's personal politics were known as being towards free market libertarianism.

Secondly the comments on the due judicial process and not attacking the two women and their allegations. I don't happen to think that being left or right is necessarily any measure of ones sexual politics.

Which leads me to a question. Should evidence come into the public realm that undeniably shows that Assange did commit the rape crime(s) he is accused of. However due to the publicity surrounding the case, its unclear whether he can be charged. Would you rather he was charged, and the wikileak project was then ended (with no chance of it being continued) or that he was aquitted and wikileaks continued ?

Neil said...

There is always a problem when a campaign, project, organisation or whatever becomes inseparable from an individual. Then when that individual, being mortal, fucks up, the project gets tainted.

It would be better if wikileaks had a range of spokespeople and not just one public face. The same goes for any organisation. Remeber how the Greens recovered from David Icke, okay it took them a decade or so but they eventually recovered through having other spokespeople.