Wednesday, December 22, 2010

On the Julian Assange Rape Charges

Trigger warning for this post and all posts I link to here for discussions of rape and rape apologism.

So.  I'm not going to write a blog post about this whole thing, because several people have said what I want to say far better than I could.  What I want to do here is a bit of a link round-up, a "signal boost" if you will, to make sure my friends and family and other readers at least spend a few moments thinking about this stuff.

What I am going to say, first of all, is that in the very early days of the Assange accusations, I did retweet some stuff on Twitter that I didn't really think through, and I did make some comments and have some discussions with my husband that were in public places and may have been overheard.  If I somehow upset you, or triggered you, or angered you, I'm sorry.  I'm more informed now.  I hope that you all take time to read these links, and become more informed too.

First up, if you somehow have no idea what I'm talking about, here is a Washington Post article describing the charges against Julian Assange, why they are controversial, and a little bit about who he is.  Here are the charges, as described in the article:
The allegations against Assange are rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion. He's accused of pinning one woman's arms and using his body weight to hold her down during one alleged assault, and of raping a woman while she was sleeping. In both cases, according to the allegations, Assange did not use a condom. But the controversy seems to center on the fact that both encounters started off consensually.
 Now for the link round-up (these are all from my Google Reader feed and thus are heavy on Fat Acceptance and Australian voices):

  • Talking about rape and who hears you: Kate Harding did this post about some of the things people are saying, and Elizabeth at Spilt Milk wrote this one about who hears you when you say these things:
...[W]hen what we hear time and time again is some version of apologism or some perpetuation of a rape myth like sluts can’t be raped or women always cry rape or nice men aren’t rapists then all we do is make the noise of rape culture louder and the voices of victims and survivors ever more silent.
  • Several prominent figures in the USA have spoken in support of Assange and disparagingly of the claims, including Michael Moore and Naomi Wolf.  Kate Harding wrote about Michael Moore and the Twitter hashtag #Mooreandme, and added a follow-up a few days later.  Brian at Red No. 3 posted on the same topic from a male perspective.  Viv at Hoyden About Town wrote reblogged an open letter from another blogger (Harriet J at Fugitivus) to other prominent feminists to challenge Naomi Wolf.
  • Two of my favourite bloggers wrote incredibly brave posts about their own rape experiences, and I thank them for sharing and for giving me permission to link them here: Fat Heffalump and The Rotund.
  • Finally, Elizabeth at Spilt Milk wrote a post about where she stands on WikiLeaks and the Assange accusations, which is pretty much exactly my stance.
Phew.  I know that's a lot of links, but I really hope you guys take the time to read them.  At the very least, I hope I've gotten you thinking about rape and rape scenarios and who hears you when you talk about rape.

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