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.