by Furry Girl

12.16.10

The first person who ever made me fear for my life was an avowed pacifist.  He was my boyfriend, and he lost his temper, threw me to ground, pinned me down, and head-slammed me until several of his guy friends dragged him off me.  This was at the same time that he became obsessed with Gandhi and decided that protesting was unethical because it had the potential to make someone uncomfortable, which was, according to him, a form of unacceptable psychological violence in which activists must no longer engage.  I later had my head smashed into the edge of a tiled kitchen countertop by an environmentalist boyfriend, too.  I've twice experienced a panic at the hands of a "do-gooder" that my skull was going to be cracked open.  You don't need to convince me that abuse exists in even the most purportedly enlightened circles.

I have also witnessed a number of instances of people in activist and political social scenes who have use calculated accusations of rape, abuse, and assault out of spite, broken-heartedness, desire for attention, and to deflect from their own behaviors.  Why does this happen?  On the left side of the political spectrum, people are awarded unflinching acceptance of all claims of sexual misconduct.  This harm lasts forever, even if later proved false or rescinded by the accuser once they've stopped being mad at their ex.  I have friends who have been slandered by former lovers, and I've seen how the stigma scars their lives.  I've seen this happen in different countries, in different social causes/subgroups, among people with different class backgrounds, different orientations and genders, and different ages.  It's not been just a one-off thing that could be chalked up to a small and localized problem, like, "Gay animal rights people in Tuscon under 25 tend to do this."

I have no idea if WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange might have had sex with two of his fans without using a condom every time, or whether a condom broke.  I don't know whether, if true, it was coerced unprotected sex, or consented to in the moment and later regretted.  (You don't know the answers to these questions, either.)  I spent several hours reading articles from both pro-and anti-Assange camps, and the more I read, the more the stories and circumstances of his accusers sounded fishy, and the more hysterical his detractors got with cherry-picking information, flat-out lying, and using over-the-top emotionally-manipulative language.

Here's the story from what I can tell: "victim one" bragged about having trophy-fucked Assange, threw a party for him the day after he "raped" her, and only decided she'd been "raped" after finding out she wasn't his only lover.  Earlier this year, her blog promoted exacting malicious revenge on men who are unfaithful.  (This series of events apparently could sound suspect only to a "rape-apologist"?)  Once two jilted Assange groupies discovered each other, the women who'd previously stayed friendly with Assange even after their "assaults" (while thinking they were his only girl) got upset and decided to go to the police.  And, even then, they didn't go to press rape charges at first, they went to see if they could force Assange to undergo STI testing.  After there wasn't any evidence to charge him with anything, one woman changed her story to claim that, yes, actually, she did recall that he held her down with his body weight when they had sex, and so she was a rape victim.  (The feminist hysterics have been holding up that part as their key lynchpin in their witch hunt.  Because obviously, only a rapist would be on top of a woman during sex!)

So, are Assange's accusers victims of a powerful and horny political celebrity, or are they pissed off jealous fangirls who assumed Assange would reciprocate their adoration if they pursued and seduced him?  It's a fair question to ask about motivations and truthfulness here, but anyone who's been asking gets shouted down with screams of "YOU SUPPORT RAPE!"  It's a very offensive logical fallacy: question whether Assange is actually a rapist, and it means you must think rape is awesome.

Our post-feminist western culture celebrates women doing pointlessly spiteful things to men.  This is the "triumph" of decades of fighting real sexism: narratives where women blow up an unattractive suitor's truck (Thelma & Louise), or burn all their husband's possessions when he wants a divorce (Waiting to Exhale) are chick flick classics.  Women are generally given free passes to control, abuse, and seek vengeance that they would never be allowed if they were men.  The solution to gender-based injustice is never to just reverse which gender the injustice gets brought against.

When lefties fanatically spearhead every rape/abuse allegation leveled by anyone, they are creating an environment that enables and even encourages false accusations from angry parties.  While it's a travesty that police and courts have historically not often believed the claims of people who have been sexually assaulted, the solution is not to unquestioningly champion and celebrate anyone who says they are a victim.  Never believing and always believing allegations are both wrong.  Rape and assault are awful, fucked up things, but that doesn't mean accusations shouldn't be subjected to any degree of fact-checking or skepticism.  Murder is awful, too, and even with badly flawed judicial systems, we still generally try and sort out the facts and give the accused their day in court and a chance to defend themselves.

Hysterics will no doubt claim that I'm defending rape or don't take it seriously.  On the contrary: I consider rape and sexual assault accusations to be so serious that they deserve extra consideration and yes, even questioning when it's warranted.  I think we're obligated to turn a critical eye on potentially fraudulent allegations.  As someone who recently sung the praises of vigilante justice, I'm all in favor of exacting harsh revenge upon rapists, predators, and abusers - but if you're going to do that to someone, you had better be sure.

What is the workable alternative to having some degree of caution about rape accusations?  What solution do the feminists propose?  Is their argument that rape is so terrible that it's morally justifiable to mindlessly destroy innocent lives in the pursuit of ferreting out any potential rapists?  (The term for that is collateral damage, and it's generally used to gloss over and negate civilian casualties in warfare.)

Julian Assange deserves a right to defend himself, have legal representation, question the lack of evidence of wrongdoing, and address lies being spread in the mainstream and liberal press.  (Example: he didn't "flee Sweden to avoid prosecution" as the feminists are claiming - he stuck around some 40 days after the accusations surfaced, trying to see if police wanted to take a statement from him.  Assange also willingly turned himself in - hardly the hallmark of a "flight risk trying to avoid going to court".)  I don't know what transpired between himself and his "victims", but I do know that thus far, I'm not convinced he did anything more discourteous than failing to make clear to his Swedish ladyfriends he wasn't looking to settle down and marry them.  Maybe my guess will be proved wrong.  I'll keep an open mind, and I challenge others to do the same, especially when it comes to such incendiary topics.  Google the matter for yourself, pick an array of articles to read (start with this post, perhaps), and form your own opinion based on a metric other than "anyone accused of rape is guilty, because rape is wrong."

Being around activist types for over a decade - and witnessing the fallout of how some of them go nuclear on their former lovers - I've been taught to be very suspicious of accusations of sexual impropriety when they involve "politically-minded," lefty, and feminist people.  Don't blame me for requesting fairness to all parties - vilify the scoundrels who cry wolf just to get back at an ex, mocking real survivors and make it harder for them to be believed.  Just as much as rapists and abusers, fakers are the true villains of this topic.





81 Comments

  1. As always, you make a lot of good points here. Upon hearing the "rape" story about Assange, the timing seemed a little too convenient considering the whole wikileaks thing, not to mention that I also heard that in the country where these rapes supposedly occurred its considered rape to have unprotected sex? WTF?

    Comment by Sequoia — December 16, 2010 @ 6:23 pm

  2. Thank you for helping put a finger on some of the issues in this case that have been bugging the heck out of me, as well. I dare anyone to call me, a rape survivor, an apologist. I've known plenty of people who have falsely accused others of wrong-doing to get revenge, get attention, get paid, etc. Any sane person can read the frakking news and get the same picture. People lie. Even when someone actively supports your cause, they can still be douchey (or worse. Thank you for sharing your experience, btw). But, like @Sequoia brought up, it's rather convenient that these accusations got pumped up at THIS time. I'm jaded about celebrities and politics and I do NOT believe in coincidence (unless proven otherwise). Just so you know, it's not a popular opinion or chain of thought, but you are not alone in your line of thinking.

    Comment by DizzyDezzi — December 16, 2010 @ 6:38 pm

  3. Two words, Furry Girl: THANK. YOU.

    I'd only differ with you on the notion that this represents the overall view of the "feminist left", since both feminism AND what I define as "the Left" are far more diverse and more capable of critical thought than all of the radfem-mocking screechers curently dumping on Keith Olbermann and Michael Moore.

    This nonsense is the perfect reason why I consider myself an INDEPENDENT Leftist.

    Anthony

    Comment by Anthony Kennerson — December 16, 2010 @ 6:40 pm

  4. A great article. But see also: http://conniptions.posterous.com/assange-and-wikileaks-the-best-way-to-frame-s

    Comment by Wayne Myers — December 16, 2010 @ 6:57 pm

  5. Thank you for saying this.

    Comment by DoomBunny — December 16, 2010 @ 7:00 pm

  6. Great comments there. While I agree with you on most accounts, it's the fact that this case has become a spearhead of a political campaign against Assange.On top of that, IF these women were in fact raped, many US citizens are saying that these allegations are ridiculous due to non-existant Swedish sex crime laws (http://www.scribd.com/doc/45054644/Swedish-Rape-Law and the second one, if you want it from a Swedish gov't website http://www.sweden.gov.se/sb/d/3926/a/47455 ) or the disgusting notion that once someone gives consent, they can't take it away, and if they even take it away, it's not rape. It's a wake-up call to the US that our sex crime laws are narrow and do not fully support rape victims.

    Comment by Alyx — December 16, 2010 @ 7:22 pm

  7. Fuck YES. Beautifully put, and 100% agreed! Sounds like jilted fangirls to me as well... and thanks ever so much to those two, and everyone else who's ever pulled a similar stunt, for helping convince the sexist assholes of the world that all women are evil dangerous bitches. *grr*

    While I personally insist that I am both a feminist and politically faaaar left, I know *exactly* the "feminist left" you're talking about, and they'd never grant me the 'feminist' title if it were theirs to give. Then again, if it were theirs to give, I wouldn't want any part of it.

    Before i ramble any worse, I'll just say: Thank you for writing this. :-)

    Comment by alphabitch — December 16, 2010 @ 7:23 pm

  8. Thank You.

    I (sort of) run in (some) feminist circles, and have felt like a "bad, evil woman" for thinking the whole thing sounded fishy and overblown. Why people think that you have to either ALWAYS believe the alleged victim, or ALWAYS believe the alleged perpetrator, I will never understand.

    Yeah, rape is a heinous and grievous crime, but so is destroying someone's life by acting as a political tool and accusing them of crimes they didn't commit.

    It's going to be interesting to see how this plays out - I wonder if it's even possible for Assange to actually get a fair trial in this.

    Comment by justducky — December 16, 2010 @ 7:27 pm

  9. Thanks for all the comments so quickly, folks!

    Alyx: No where do I argue that withdrawal of consent during a sex act shouldn't be respected.

    alphabitch: Love your domain name.

    Comment by Furry Girl — December 16, 2010 @ 8:11 pm

  10. As a guy who's been in the "radical" scene, I definitely know where you are coming from. I eventually concluded that if I were falsely accused of rape while in the scene, my best bet would be to just confess to it and hope for the best. That may seem crazy, but for the uninitiated, imagine being a fly caught in a web: the more you struggle and fight the more you become entangled. You can't win, and defending yourself makes you "unrepentant" and increases the charges against you.

    I take issue, however, with your second paragraph. I don't know you and I certainly don't know your experiences, but frankly I doubt that you have seen (*and can confirm*) false rape accusations as frequently as you suggest. As much as I've heard the "guilty until proven innocent" attitude, I've heard your "false rape accusations are super common" trope just as frequently, and I think it's wrong. Despite everything I said in the beginning of this too-long comment, I saw WAY MORE cases of rapists, some serial (in the scene), not addressed, and survivors hung out to dry. My count of confirmed false accusations is ~1.

    I don't think you're a "rape apologist," but I don't understand why you go out of your way to attack these women (the tone of your article is strongly antagonistic and you imply they are liars). If we are saying it's not fair to hang JA in the media, then don't hang these women! Like you said, you don't know about the case, so why speculate as you have that they are just jilted lovers, calling them fakers and "the true villains"? Again, *why speculate?* Why attack the women involved?

    Can't we just remind people of the facts (no charges currently), say "No gossip please," and GET BACK TO READING LEAKED CABLES?? Isn't that the REAL news? Sorry to get all capslock but I'm so fucking tired of the Julian Assange show. I wish WL hadn't chosen to deify him, it wouldn't have made it so fucking easy for the news to hijack and derail the wikileaks narrative. But I digress...

    -Sequoia

    Comment by Sequoia (not Redd, I'm a dude and it's just my name :/ ) — December 16, 2010 @ 9:23 pm

  11. Sequoia: I trust or have close friendships with about half a dozen falsely accused people, and whether you believe me or not, I stand by that these were fraudulent cases. I've also casually heard of dozens other likely-accurate fake rape stories in political circles. Also, I never called Julian's fans in this case liars, fakers, or villains. I never make a 100% claim one way or the other- I simple strongly suspect their motives, and pointing out that their case highly fishy isn't "attacking" them or "hanging" them. (Great use of violence metaphors to disagree with my suspicions, though. Emotionally-loaded language is the best way to prove your point with me.)

    Comment by Furry Girl — December 16, 2010 @ 9:35 pm

  12. Sequoia, just want to point out that you're misreading the allegations against Assange. The issue is not as simple as "unprotected sex is rape." The issue is one of consent. If two people agree to have sex under certain circumstances (she insists that he wear a condom) and the man allegedly waits until the woman is asleep so he can pin her down and have sex with her without a condom, then that is rape -- if the event occurred in that way. That is the circumstance being reported by one of the accusers.

    Comment by blitzgal — December 17, 2010 @ 5:40 am

  13. A couple of points.

    If Assange had a reputation as a serial shagger, I suppose his enemies might just have tried to set up a (double?) honey trap. This would not be unknown in the world of espionage.

    And why would you ever assume left-wing/liberal men would be less capable of violence towards women than conservatives? Not suggesting the opposite or anything ...

    Comment by Geoffrey Walker — December 17, 2010 @ 5:49 am

  14. Eloquent and insightful.

    Lady, you've got class.

    Comment by Bobby — December 17, 2010 @ 7:36 am

  15. Great post and I agree wholeheartedly. The story smells mile high and while we can't know all the facts we know two things:
    One, at the heart of the case is the unknowable, which is did she or did she not say or whisper "no, not without a condom" that one time. Nobody can ever clear this up - it is something that even the two participants might have percieved differently and any sane judge can only dismiss this case for that reason alone.
    Two without all fhe media attention this case would never have made it out of Sweden, let alone raised with Interpol. The only reason it has not long been dropped is that some of the involved feel its time for their 15 minutes in the spotlight.

    Comment by Nick — December 17, 2010 @ 8:38 am

  16. I think a lot of the people assuming that Assange is a rapist are doing so in reaction to the massive numbers of people jumping to the conclusion that he's being framed for political reasons and calling for him to be released. Neither side is right, but I can understand the desire to react strongly against people who think that a man who has been accused of rape should be released without further investigation.

    This is a big fucking mess, and the only way to fix it now is for it to go to trial. However, I can't see that a result either way will appease the internet. If he is found innocent, many will assume this is a broken system that allows rapists to walk free (which to an extent is true - that's what makes cases like this so hard to form an opinion on). If he is found guilty, there will be conspiracy theorists still talking about the fact that he was framed for decades to come.

    What I feel I have to do is look at the gossip surrounding this and think about how I would feel if I was on one side of this. It would be terrible to be falsely accused of a crime, and to see people talking about you as a monster. But - Julian Assange will always, always have support. Even if he admitted to rape, if it was proven without a doubt, the work he has done with wikileaks is important enough that he will always have respect. He can take the criticism. I feel that if these women have been raped the last thing they need now is to be publically humiliated by having their motivations questioned. The best thing for everyone to do right now, I think, would be to STFU (and yeah, I'm a hypocrite commenting, I know) and let the legal system work this one out. There is a place for the allegations to be questioned - and that is in court.

    Comment by Krystal — December 17, 2010 @ 8:41 am

  17. Great article. It is good to see people like you stand up in the role of devil's advocate. Especially in cases like this where the other side skirts an issue that automatically triggers moral outrage and witch hunts. There are, after all, two sides to every story, and the timing of the charges, after the diplomatic communications leak seemed too perfect.

    It is a shame that this will possibly damage Assange's reputation regardless of the outcome, though it would have helped Wikileaks with publicity. Any publicity is good publicity, right?

    Comment by Crimson_Renoir — December 17, 2010 @ 9:31 am

  18. The only thing giving me pause about suspecting the motivations of the women who lodged the complaint is that they have no doubt turned their lives upside down by making public the allegations. It's difficult to see what they gain by doing this if there is no truth to their claims. Even if someone put them up to this (which seems far-fetched), what would it take to make it worthwhile to subject yourself to something like the global media and legal spectacle that has since resulted?

    Of course none of this contradicts your point though that questioning veracity of the rape charge is not tantamount to approving of rape.

    Comment by iNoah — December 17, 2010 @ 10:15 am

  19. I totally agree with you. Although I would have probably said it more like, "Jeeeeze people! What is this? High school??"

    Luckily, there are people like you who are a little more eloquent.

    Comment by Dead Cow Girl — December 17, 2010 @ 10:25 am

  20. Putting aside for a minute all the (expected) flat out disgusting reactions from mainstream and watered down pundits defending Assange (or Wikileaks) by attacking the accusers (or even notions of consent!), it's unpleasant (to say the least) to imagine yourself living under the assumptions coming from some on the feminist blogs that it's easy to think of men as whatever creepy monster ("he's got that vague undefinable creepy element therefore..."/ "I'm not saying he's a rapist, but that he's someone that would rape since he's obviously a deviant ego-monster in defying the U.S.") living alongside patriarchy's "women are dolls men must protect" (the other side of misogynist coin of women as manipulative etc) - surely probability suggests that men and women share traits of "anti-social" behavior.

    There's something very creepy in how it's all so suburban (sharing too many elements from rape culture and all-too-bourgeois kneejerk vague fears and framings) about this easiness in accepting that men are ever-potentially id monster dogs who can't help themselves ("oh the beasts!") and women as victims (even infantile at times).

    Comment by Carl G. — December 17, 2010 @ 11:01 am

  21. Absolutely bang on, Furry Girl; I've talked about the "Potiphar's Wife" syndrome before and even knew a victim of it. And as I said in my own column on the subject, "I’ve seen a few feminists up in arms about the general lack of sympathy for Assange’s accusers among opponents of Big Brother. Well to those women all I have to say is this: Don’t try to play the 'rape card' on me, honey, cause I’ll trump you five times over. I have been raped, several times, and I can assure you I wasn’t laughing and socializing with my rapists the next day, nor did it take me several days to 'realize' I had been violated."

    Naomi Wolf has done several columns on the subject, this one being the best: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/naomi-wolf/post_1435_b_797188.html

    Comment by Maggie McNeill — December 17, 2010 @ 11:15 am

  22. Thank you for this post. This needed to be said.

    Comment by V — December 17, 2010 @ 12:36 pm

  23. Amen!

    Comment by Sirkowski — December 17, 2010 @ 1:10 pm

  24. I can't comment on the Assange case. But thanks for pointing this out. As a leftist feminist, I must agree with you. Just because rape is wrong, just because many people are afraid to come forward when they are raped for fear they won't be believed, it doesn't mean that anyone ever accused of a rape is a rapist. That's just a logical fallacy.

    Comment by MichelleZB — December 17, 2010 @ 1:29 pm

  25. These details sound like rape:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/dec/17/julian-assange-sweden?CMP=twt_gu
    My question here: if this is the account, which seem so unambiguous, why was the case dropped at first, and why weren't these details made known earlier?

    Anyway, thought I should bring that link to your attention. Your blog gets cited by people I respect, so I'll definitely be reading it more frequently.

    Cheers.

    Comment by G.M. — December 17, 2010 @ 3:37 pm

  26. I don't know exactly how you can defend a line against emotionally charged language if you've called people who might disagree with you "hysterics" and the women who have accused Assange "pissed off fangirls."

    I have yet to get the impression that the liberal and/or feminist blogs I read are calling Assange a rapist. What I have seen is mostly a critique of the narrative the media has been creating around this, the inaccuracies, and the normal idiocy. I have yet to see one of these websites claiming Assange is definitely guilty.

    "The fact is, we just don’t know anything right now. Assange may be a rapist, or he may not." - Kate Harding at Salon

    "Since I don’t personally have access to either of the women who brought the charges, nor to their testimonies, it is hard to get a good sense of the details of the case and the charges against Assange." - Lori at Feministing

    "Over at Feministe, Jill notes that the real issue here isn't "What Assange Did or Whether Assange Is A Rapist" (we really don't know unless/until the case actually goes to court), but "the primary media narrative about this case, which is that women lie and exaggerate about rape, and will call even the littlest thing — a broken condom! — rape if they're permitted to under a too-liberal feminist legal system.'" - Jezebel, which is btw quoting Feministe

    Comment by Oskomena — December 17, 2010 @ 4:53 pm

  27. Just found your blog (while looking for information on Assange and rape), and you've got me hooked. I have the same problems with feminism that you mention, and most if not all of the things you mention resonate very deeply with my own personal experience. So here's a big thanks for being there and saying things that need to be said -- and you've got one more faithful reader of your blog, FurryGirl.

    Maybe the problem is that America is not a good country for nuance. If you mention that false rape claims are a problem, it seems America wants to see you as a defender of rape culture. If you say you think rape is a big, difficult problem, it seems America wants to believe you think that false rape accusations can be safely dismissed as a nonissue.

    If I can ask you a question: how do you think nuance can ever be re-introduced (or maybe introduced for the first time?) in American debates on any issues? Or is this a hopeless ideal? Wasn't Jon Stewart's and Stephen Colbert's rally an attempt at doing that? Is this a good sign? Are you optimist or pessimist in that respect?

    Comment by Asehpe — December 17, 2010 @ 5:38 pm

  28. Wow. Look at me, an MRA, all impressed with the feminist for once...

    It's gotta be the naked picture...

    yeah, that's probably why...

    Comment by Factory — December 17, 2010 @ 5:46 pm

  29. From what I've read about this case, the people backing Assange seem to be backing him because they approve of Wikileaks, and the people backing the alleged victims are backing them because of their own beliefs about those who make claims of rape.

    I believe that a group can be, on average, a force for good, and its leader still do bad things. Reading Assange's own writing, he comes off as a guy who can easily think a woman is madly in lust with him, even when they are not. But reading the writings of one of the alleged victims, she comes off as someone who may not be above an inaccurate claim because she now feels like she is justified in being mad at Assange. Because of how memory works in human beings, she may honestly believe what she's saying, even though that's not how it happened. (If you don't understand this, google "memory" and "eye witness testimony", this probably has been studied.)

    However, someone who writes a list on how to get revenge can still be raped, and someone who thinks he's god's gift to women can still not be a rapist.

    So I don't know in this case, and I'm waiting to read more before I pass judgment.

    I do think that many rapes go unreported, and the rapes that are reported, many are not prosecuted due to lack of evidence that would lead to a conviction. I also believe that the average person who would make a claim of rape honestly believes she (or he) was raped, and in most cases, they are probably right. But there are going to be a rare few that make rape allegations falsely, either knowingly or unknowingly.

    The individuals who unquestionably believe the alleged victims may be biased due to their own experiences with rape. There could also be an unconscious echoing of gender stereotypes when it comes to sexuality and reliability. That doesn't sit well with me.

    Just my $.02

    Comment by NothingElse — December 17, 2010 @ 9:24 pm

  30. You haven't made an enemy out of me, your points are valid and well structured (and personally I think you're right).

    Comment by Dave — December 17, 2010 @ 9:31 pm

  31. Thanks for the continued supportive replies! I think it bears pointing about that I've gotten a lot of *positive* feedback on this from women, including rape and abuse survivors. I feel like the overall discussion online is one of chicks-versus-dudes, and it's good to see more women feeling comfortable with coming out and saying "Yeah, I'm skeptical on this, too."

    Also, I must add that don't think this is a CIA conspiracy. I don't think the women are high-level US government operatives sent to trap him. I tend to go with, "the simplest explanation is usually the correct one". Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

    iNoah says, "It's difficult to see what they gain by doing this if there is no truth to their claims." Honestly? Seeing as how one of them has publicly supported getting psycho vindictive at men who cheat, is broken-hearted revenge really not a possible motivation for her wrongfully accusing Assange?

    G.M.: I've read the evolving accusations and the Guardian article, but it's still she-said-he-said. (And it bears noting that the women's claims have escalated and changed over time after not holding up in court the first time around, which I find suspicious.) We'll see how it all shakes out. I've never said it's impossible that the accusations are true, just that I think it's unlikely.

    Oskomena : I don't see how "fangirl" is an inaccurate description of his accusers. Assange is famous and has legions of fans. These women aggressively pursued him, followed him around, seduced him, and at least one bragged about getting to have sex with him. That sounds like the textbook definition of groupie to me.

    Asehpe: If I knew how to force nuance into public discourse, I'd have shared that tactic by now. I am a cynic and a pessimist.

    Factory: I think you missed the title and introduction of this blog. I am not a feminist.

    NothingElse: I agree strongly with you on, "The individuals who unquestionably believe the alleged victims may be biased due to their own experiences with rape. There could also be an unconscious echoing of gender stereotypes when it comes to sexuality and reliability. That doesn't sit well with me."

    Comment by Furry Girl — December 18, 2010 @ 12:35 am

  32. I recently had an argument with a (white, female) co-worker at a retail job who subsequently decided she "didn't feel safe in the same building" as me and filed a hostile work environment complaint. Despite considerable evidence suggesting her claim was irrational, and without being given the opportunity to plead my case, I was fired.

    At times like this, it's good to hear some, any validation from a female that post-feminist western culture has gone WAYYYY too far in its efforts to rectify past wrongs. As a Black male, I kinda think the same has been done with the racial divide in the U.S.--way too many superficial "accommodations" and empowerment with no real systematic change.

    I know this pretty much makes me the choir to which you're not really trying to preach. But thanks.

    Comment by darryl zero — December 18, 2010 @ 2:06 am

  33. Yay!

    Of course, the blanket condemnation of the "left" for blindly supporting alleged rape victims before all the facts are in stands in opposition to the support from some members of the "left" for Roman Polanski, even though he admitted to sodomizing a child.

    I don't see this as an issue of "the left does X, the right does Y" so much as people who put on ideological blinders tends to support whatever they see as "their side" and attack "the other side" even where there's no good reason to take a side at all.

    Comment by Improbable Joe — December 18, 2010 @ 2:05 pm

  34. This was awesome. Your last couple articles have been uber kickass.

    Thanks.

    Comment by Royce Icon — December 18, 2010 @ 2:10 pm

  35. I enjoyed this, thank you. For background on Swedish rape law, I published this in Sweden last year:

    http://www.lauraagustin.com/is-rape-rampant-in-gender-equal-sweden

    Thanks for the balance.

    Best, Laura Agustín

    Comment by Laura Agustín — December 18, 2010 @ 2:46 pm

  36. Laura: Thanks. I'm quite flattered you liked my post, I love your work.

    Comment by Furry Girl — December 18, 2010 @ 4:40 pm

  37. Spot-on. It's a travesty that you should have to even say this, but thank you for doing so. I know what activist circles are like, and I sympathize. I hope you do not lose too many friends over this.

    When I was around your age I was a witness to similar incidents. I saw accusations of violence casually hurled around, in an attempt to eliminate rivals for part-time academic jobs. That turned me off left-wing activism permanently.

    I totally understand the need to counterbalance society's sexist norms. But those who say you have to turn off your mind and just react blindly to all such accusations, whatever the circumstances -- these people are not fighting for liberation.

    Even if they are being sincere, they're setting up a situation that will soon be exploited by sociopaths, or even by the patriarchy itself.

    Comment by Neil Kandalgaonkar — December 18, 2010 @ 5:05 pm

  38. One additional point I've heard no where in discussions about Assange: So my understanding is that the accusation from one of the women is that the condom broke and she asked him to stop.

    My experience in 20 years of having sex always with condoms is that as the woman you can tell it broke, and neither can the man. You discover it after the sex is over. I just find it extremely hard to believe that the woman "felt" the condom break, and then asked for things to stop. It's just bizarre, because you can't feel that. So I understand that she may believe this story and be holding it up as proof that this is rape, but it just seems extremely unlikely in my personal experience.

    Also in my personal experience I've witnessed a number of divorcing or divorced couples have one parent accuse the other of molestation of their child (both dads and moms were accused at different times in different situations). In all cases this was proven to be false (the kids actually all said it was false to their counselors, after which the judges sanctioned the accusing parent). So while it's not quite the same as a false rape charge, I hear your assertion that the accusation of sexual misconduct is damning well after the charges are proven to be false. And it was extremely damaging to the kids to have to go through the whole legal and therapy ordeal, until the whole thing was cleared.

    The upshot for me is that I'm skeptical, wanting to see or hear some evidence that makes sense. If the women had just accused him of raping them, and gone to the police, gotten rape kits done, etc, I would be a lot more inclined to believe them. People I know who've been raped know when it's happening, and while they haven't always gotten a rape kit done (a friend was raped by his dentist when he was 10 years old.. no rape kit.. for example), they are of a mind to stay far away from the rapist. They don't throw a party for them the next day.

    The whole thing just sounds incredibly fishy, and frankly I do think it does a disservice to those who have actually experienced sexual abuse in one form or another.

    It's too convenient as well that there are giant, powerful governments gunning for the guy at the same time.. some in those governments who are calling for his assassination and prosecution for treason (completely ridiculous as the docs were published in the media first and wikileaks isn't in the US.)

    It seems like a rouse to me.. and all about diverting our attention from the fact that US diplomatic cables show that our government says it's doing one thing and it's actually doing the opposite.

    That's the real issue here.. rape is likely a fake charge to take our eyes off the ball.

    Comment by elemental — December 18, 2010 @ 5:53 pm

  39. Thanks lots for this. I don't know why you would fear on any level that you are in the minority here. In fact, I'm willing to bet that the radfem screechers and so on are (mostly) paid CIA agents. In other words, none of it's real, all of it is fake. etc.

    Comment by nico — December 18, 2010 @ 6:22 pm

  40. As a Black man who was involved first with a "socialist" group then around "anti-capitalist/anarchist/feminist" circles for 15, I have had bitter experience in being falsely accused not even of rape but "date rape". They were politically motivated. I had a one night stand with a woman in a socialist group. 8(eight!) months later she suddenly realised that I had date raped her. She was doing research for an upcoming talk about sexual violence. She read a feminist text and had suddenly concluded that I had "date raped" her. It was a political act because I had started to see that this "socialist" group had contradictions and were actually Stalinists while saying they were not. I was expelled out of the group. I was only 21 and very confused. I was suicidal. A "leading member" even called my grandmother and told her about it. My grandmother didn't believe me and was convinced that I had raped a woman.
    Fast forward a few years later in another country. There was a a two storied bar where one was permitted to smoke joints on the upper floor corridor where the toilets were located. I was alone smoking a spliff when a woman came up to use the toilet. I only looked at her because someone was there. I hardly paid any attention to her. She went into the ladies toilet and came out. I didn't say a word let alone touch her. When I finished the spliff after a few more minutes, I went to the steps. As I was descended down, the same woman had appeared at the bottom and started to come up. She turned around when she saw me. I returned to the bar stoned and noticed that everyone was looking at me. Another man asked if I had followed that woman into the toilet. Taken aback by such a absurd question at first, I said of course not. The woman had told the entire bar that I had followed her into the toilet. I was told to leave as everyone was angry with me.
    The third time was about 4 years later. It was with a co-worker at her place with her room-mate. I admit that I did slap her behind in a flirtatious way. I was wrong and should not have done it. It was stupid of me. A few days later, I received a visit from a police agent with the Sexual Assault Unit. I admit giving a playful slap on the behind was not a good thing to do but to actually call the police, the Sexual Assault Unit on top of that, was over the top. I was lucky as the cop realised that it was not "assault". He simply gave me a warning never to contact that woman again.
    These 3 events that occurred over the course of 12 years ended my association with radical groups. I came to detest Feminism because of this. The hell of it is that I actually became active in radical politics around reproductive rights. I helped to drive Operation Rescue out of Boston. I travelled around the country defending clinics from the real and true sexist misogynist fascists.
    The hysteria raised by Western feminists regarding Julian Assange is the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back for me. I have never gone public with my story because after all, if I was accused of date rape, sexual harassment and assault 3 times over 12 years there must be something to it.
    There is. Men of colour, Black men in particular need to be very careful joining or associating with mostly white "left wing" groups which peddle feminist theory and have feminist members. These people play twisted games such as: "I will trade my racism for your sexism" It's no secret that Feminism has made lynching Black males as examples of the most sexist and misogynist demographic on the face of the planet in part due to Black feminists such as Alice Walker and more recently Waiting to Exhale.
    I have spoken my peace. Thanks for letting me get this off my chest.

    Comment by DK — December 18, 2010 @ 6:44 pm

  41. DK:

    With all due respect, I happen to be a Black man who happens to be a strong supporter of progressive feminism...and not all who call themselves feminists are in any way the caricatures you paint them.

    I'm sorry that you had to deal with the "date rape" stigma, but please note that that still does not excuse those who use everything from drugs to force to coerce women into unwanted sexual contact. It may not be forcible rape in the traditional contest, but it is at least sexual assault, and it is still morally and ethically wrong.

    As for the Assange matter: my main objection is that there has been a gross rush to judgment on the part of some people to either convict Assange as a rapist before any true evidence is given in a court of law, or to simply dismiss the charges as an evil CIA plot to entrap him due to his association with Wikileaks. The former is motivated more by the good intentions of defending those who have been raped but had their experiences dismissed in the court of law or public opinion; the latter is motivated more on the good deeds of Wikileaks in exposing high war crimes and corporate misdemeanors.

    I understand and respect their opinons...but the circumstances remain quite iffy, and the campaign of the anti-Assange backers to punish anyone who dares to challenge the credibility of his accusers as "rape apologists" and "silencers of women" amounts to just plain overkill. And, the attempt to shout down and silence people like Michael Moore and Keith Olbermann (who was forced to suspend his Twitter account as a result of the "campaign") is not only counterproductive, but outright disgraceful, since neither one of them personally attacked the accusers, but only questioned the merits of their case.

    The problem here is not necessarily "left-wing feminism". The problem is rushing to judgment and allowing narrow identity politics to get in the way of allowing justice to take its course.

    Anthony

    Comment by Anthony Kennerson — December 18, 2010 @ 7:30 pm

  42. "I'm sorry that you had to deal with the "date rape" stigma, but please note that that still does not excuse those who use everything from drugs to force to coerce women into unwanted sexual contact. It may not be forcible rape in the traditional contest, but it is at least sexual assault, and it is still morally and ethically wrong."

    --Anthony

    This is a red herring. No one is arguing that date rape is not date rape; drugging in such a context is tantamount to assault and coercion. I'm not sure whether you enjoy pontificating or whether it was your desire to put these words in DK's mouth.

    This is an issue with feminism; feminists all-too-quickly fall into soapboxing and treat their audience as ignorant children.

    More to the point, you imply your subject does not understand the criminality of date-rape, implying further that he might have committed such a thing.

    "The problem here is not necessarily "left-wing feminism". The problem is rushing to judgment and allowing narrow identity politics to get in the way of allowing justice to take its course."

    --Anthony

    So, you don't think that left-wing feminism is a form of narrow identity politics? When left-wing feminism makes a Grendel out of women, encouraging them to swallow up free-spirited males with false legal action, and simultaneously defending such women, regardless of circumstance against accusations of false accusation, it is most certainly placing impediments in the path of justice.

    Comment by Nemesis — December 19, 2010 @ 11:49 am

  43. FurryGirl,

    have you seen the article with the so-called creepy e-mails Assange wrote to another woman? If you haven't, here is the link:

    http://gawker.com/5714043/

    I'm curious about your opinion. Some people seem to believe that such e-mails make it at least likely that Assange is the kind of man who wouldn't take "no" for an answer.

    Comment by Asehpe — December 19, 2010 @ 7:54 pm

  44. Asehpe: I've read those. And how does that prove he's a rapist? When you're the most famous person in the news, and everyone you've interacted with has the option of selling stories about you to tabloids (the source of those emails), what might come out about *any* of us?

    Comment by Furry Girl — December 19, 2010 @ 9:29 pm

  45. Excellent article. It’s good to see someone standing up for what they believe in a world dominated by the cacophony of the holier-than-thou Bob Ewell’s of society. I would like to add something. People who cry wolf when there is no wolf do much more than merely insult actual victims of this crime; they throw up chaff that makes it all the more difficult to find the real predators and punish or remove them from society, and in so doing they are aiding wolf attacks. Not that anyone sociopathic enough that they would unflinchingly exploit the horrendous crime of rape - how many transgressions can sicken good-hearted folks across all spectrums more than murder itself? - would bat an eye at abetting the actions they claim to despise. But we should remember that the consequences go beyond the public perception of the crime.

    All that said, the only rational and decent thing to do in this case is to let the facts come out as events proceed. There are exactly three people who know what actually happened, and rushing to judgment either way only reflects on those that pre-judge. I’d like to say that until the facts do emerge, most interested parties will relegate their adoration or loathing of Assange to his work and their opinion of his efforts, for better worse, to spill the beans on international diplomacy. The bell curve, however, has taught me otherwise :-/

    Comment by Aaron — December 20, 2010 @ 3:49 am

  46. FurryGirl, that is also what I thought (besides, as you can read at the end of the article, the girl who received these creepy e-mails -- Elizabeth -- said herself that she didn't feel in danger; it felt more like Assange was a slightly creepy nerd with poor social skills).

    But that opens and interesting question, and one that I have wondered about in my own personal dialogue with feminism. The basic idea seems to be that it's difficult to prove rape -- if we ask for 'too much' (say, enough evidence to prove it beyond any shadow of a doubt), then there will be very few cases indeed in which this will be possible; and many real rape victims, seeing how difficult it is to get the case in court and win it, will simply give up -- many more than in other kinds of crimes.

    But, of course, if you allow rape cases to fly on less than what other criminal cases need to be proved -- you open the door for freeloaders, false rape accusers, etc. to game the system... besides probably also increasing the number of mistakes made.

    What do you think?

    I had, by the way, an interesting exchange on the topic of false rape accusations in the comment threat to the post that Dan Savage wrote in his blog about your post on Julian Assange here -- in case you're curious and have the time, look at the messages I wrote -- as 'ankylosaur' -- and the answers from a poster named 'amazonvera', near the end of the comments thread. Here is the URL:

    http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2010/12/17/what-she-said

    Comment by Asehpewill — December 20, 2010 @ 2:23 pm

  47. Oops -- the last comment was by me, Asehpe, I misspelled my name in the 'Name' field. (Also, 'comments threat' was just a Freudian slip... I know you care about proper spelling and grammar.)

    Comment by Asehpe — December 20, 2010 @ 2:36 pm

  48. Quick response to Nemesis:

    1) I didn't raise the "date rape" issue...DK did. I didn't even imply guilt or innocence. Who's putting words in whose mouth??

    2) If you want to use this episode to condemn all feminism and to serve your own MRA agenda, Nemesis, that's fine with me. All I am doing is saying that the catcaling of the #MooreAndMe folk do not represent all feminists or even all "left-wing feminists". Just because Furry Girl decides not to call herself a feminist doesn't mean that there aren't women and men who agree with her who proudly do.

    3) So..I guess that "conservative feminists" or "libertarian" antifeminists are immune from jumping to judgment or inventing false claims to sell their agenda??

    Try reading and comprehending a bit before you launch your next missile.

    Anthony

    Comment by Anthony Kennerson — December 20, 2010 @ 5:09 pm

  49. Asehpe: I don't have a perfect solution for how rape accusations should be tried in court. But I do know that the Assange ones are some of the most patently suspicious I've ever heard, so I am going to publicly state that I think they deserve to be taken with a serious, serious grain of salt.

    Also, I wish that people would stop "agreeing" with me that this is a CIA conspiracy, that the women are paid CIA agents, and other CIA tinfoilhat stuff. I keep seeing that on the net, as though I ever argued it here. Who needs a CIA conspiracy to bring down a man when you have the natural jealously and spitefulness of women?

    Comment by Furry Girl — December 20, 2010 @ 5:14 pm

  50. FurryGirl, I don't think anybody here said you said it was a CIA conspiracy, no? As for me... I dunno. Of course the jealousy of women is quite enough to get this started -- it certainly wouldn't be the first time. Nor would it be the first time if these women had been approached by some third party who gently suggested they might press charges against Assange. There is no reason to ASSUME this -- only the circumstance of the quite suspicious timing. Why wait so long?

    It's not that I want to live in a James Bond world with spies running around the free world creating scandals for inconvenient people; it's just that I don't want to exclude any possibility. (Not that I think there's much chance we'll ever get to know if any government was involved, though. Unless some new evidence shows up at WikiLeaks :-)

    Comment by Asehpe — December 20, 2010 @ 8:29 pm

  51. Excellent post and spot on as always.

    Comment by Dexter — December 21, 2010 @ 2:09 am

  52. I feel that rape , in that it is an act with a sexual tone, can be suddenlyconceived as rape few days afterward. We all know what last weekends wild actions can feel like once the air clears. Dirty, used, like it happened to another person in another time...
    So they may have left it a while before speaking out - may - because as they were fans, and jilted lovers, both personality types perhaps more bent on revengeful tactics than most - that's why I think the accusations are overblown.
    Maybe not entirely false, but certainly overblown

    Comment by Sassy — December 23, 2010 @ 5:00 pm

  53. As someone who followed and lightly participated in #MooreAndMe, I have to say, I'm pretty confused by your post. Who is it that's assuming that Assange is guilty? Or that every rape accusation must be true? I haven't seen those claims made at all. At least not on #MooreAndMe, or any of the articles linked from there. Are there other people who are making those claims?

    The overall point that I heard people make on #MooreAndMe is: there are prominent, progressive journalists who are both getting facts blatantly wrong and linking to articles that reveal the names of the accusers, and that these two actions make it even harder for rape victims to report the crimes committed against them.

    Here is the initial post by Sady Doyle that led to #MooreAndMe: http://tigerbeatdown.com/2010/12/15/mooreandme-on-dude-progressives-rape-apologism-and-the-little-guy/

    And, here is a post by Sady Doyle five days later listing out claims made by people and a NY Times article that debunks them by describing the allegations: http://tigerbeatdown.com/2010/12/19/mooreandme-five-days-and-running-run-it-all-the-way-down-a-timeline-of-relevant-quotes/

    I can't find anywhere in Sady's post claims that Assange is guilty or should be assumed guilty. You may disagree with some of the points (e.g., that "fled" is the right term for how Assange left Sweden), but the main point that Sady is making is not about Assange at all but about how otherwise progressive people, specifically Michael Moore and Keith Olbermann, responded to rape allegations: by misrepresenting and dismissing them. Not all rape allegations are true, and over and over again on #MooreAndMe, protesters agreed that the timing of these allegations is suspicious [1], but the point is: rape allegations should never be ignored. They should be investigated, because rape is a serious crime, and ignoring it makes women who have been raped less likely to come forward.

    This seems obvious... Am I missing something here?

    [1] Three examples from a cursory search: http://twitter.com/#!/humbuggery/status/17084395231903744 http://twitter.com/#!/kaepuciyna/status/17252276947132416 http://twitter.com/#!/TheCloris/status/17417778180915200

    Comment by Omer — December 25, 2010 @ 5:11 pm

  54. Good Morning Feminisnt!

    Just ran across this posting linked through Infidel753's link round up ... and thought it was a fairly balanced and accurate view point on this .... what I term as a "freak show" that has permeated our media's. This whole bloody country also has got to be one of the most sexually uptight coutries in the bloody free world (so called free world). I am certainly against the brytality that is brought against many women ... I had to raise 3 daughter's and certainly wouldnt want them hurt either ... but some of what is called rape in this country ... look's more like a political freak show more than anything else ... and basically just get's used at that ... "some" I say. It's just ridiculous shit. I seen the other day on the news again where again "NOW" is attacking "Hooter's" because according to their President ... Hooter's is an adult porn business that degrade's women, etc ... I frankly dont even go to bloody Hooter's ... but my daughter's ahve even taken their boyfriend's their ... are my daughter's "evil" woman abuser's too? One of my daughter's recently hired a stripper for a suprise birthday party for her boyfriend .... according to these folk's ... I reckon she is "evil" too.

    Thank You

    Comment by thomas.h.pickering — December 26, 2010 @ 9:00 am

  55. Anthony, you seem to have missed Nemesis's point about #1. DK wasn't saying that date rape is okay; he was saying that he didn't do it. Just step back and think for a second about the implication of responding to that by reminding him that it's wrong. I mean, really? Come on.

    Comment by Electrolemming — December 26, 2010 @ 8:32 pm

  56. As someone who's suffered not only the torment of sexual abuse but the ceaseless questioning and reliving every last detail for several weeks after the attack, I find this immensely offensive. Read a psychology article on the perils of rape victims--how they not only must endure the act of having been brutalized by a physical force greater than their own, but must also recount the facts of the incident to several police officers, as well as the DA, and then in a court of law, and how they're incredibly traumatized by the entire speculative process; perhaps not more than the attack, but those neural pathways are certainly being forged thoroughly enough for the victim to never be able to [blissfully] forget the incident. It's no wonder victims of sexual assault are astoundingly afraid of reporting the crime--you may think it's only "fair" to question these women about an immensely distressing circumstance to perhaps save an "innocent" bystander from false accusations, but it truly does more harm than good for it to be publicized in such a manner. This post will never go away, unfortunately, and should this man actually be guilty of the atrocity of which he's been accused, the women will be assaulted yet again by your skepticism. But of course, leave it to you to stand on the *other* side of the coin, the one that provides the most controversy, which in turn leads to more notoriety.

    You are truly unfeeling and you clearly have no concept of the internal mechanism of humanity. How you can point a finger at the victims, whether it's been proven in your eyes or not, is beyond the realm of cognition. It's people like you that make it difficult to *get* a conviction on a legitimate sexual assault charge--you're not focusing on the fact that perhaps this man committed the crime, but how the women are frantically attempting to prove their claims after an already damaging situation. Put a person in physical and emotional distress and then accuse them of lying after an attack--it's a recipe for confusion. After all, the burden of proof is left to the victims. Just because a woman makes it known that she may desire someone does *not* mean it's ethically right to assume her claim is false--if she was a "fangirl" as you say, does that really entitle this person to presumably force himself upon her sexually???

    You spout fairness, yet where is the fairness of that?

    Comment by Kate — December 26, 2010 @ 9:51 pm

  57. Kate: Too long, didn't read. You lost me with the whole "I'm self-righteously going to inform you that rape is a terrible thing..." spiel. Yawn.

    Comment by Furry Girl — December 26, 2010 @ 10:46 pm

  58. Omer: If you didn't notice a single feminist saying that Assange is a rapist, you obviously didn't follow the issue for more than about 15 seconds. Sady is obviously batshit fucking crazy, and I don't care to debate her craziness with you. She probably gets into arguments in diners with bottles of ketchup for being too penis-shaped, and therefor, being rapists.

    Comment by Furry Girl — December 26, 2010 @ 10:50 pm

  59. Your lame retroactive attack and dismissal of suffering only proves to me how useless a person you truly are. Women [and men] in sex work often battle with the stigma of being utilized for their bodies only--and now I know why. Imbeciles such as yourself bear only the pretense of intellectualism and have no high mental capacity to speak of, so you parade your body to gain a [shallow] following and only write [poorly] about controversial topics that will do nothing more than show a long comment thread where others debate about the topic--not your prose--so that it seems as if people are legitimately interested in something other than your furry bits.
    It's a teeny wade-pool of celebrity that matches your diminished intellect which makes you feel somehow important. Sadly, it's merely a facade. You're riding on the coattails of those who actually can provide thoughts worth pondering--only they can do so without desperately attempting to attract attention by your blatant "look-at-me-I'm-doing-something-controversial" tactics.

    Speak of yawn.

    Comment by Kate — December 27, 2010 @ 11:46 am

  60. @Kate - You make it hard to disagree with you, and that makes me mad. While I feel terrible about the fact that you’ve obviously endured a very traumatic experience, I’m mad that you think it gives you carte blanche rights to subject matter. Since you’ve assured that there is no courteous way to disagree with you, I’ll be blunt:

    You have no idea if Furry Girl has been raped or not (nor do I), so why are you making any assumption about it? She can hold her specific opinion on this subject either way.

    Knowing that you are traumatized should influence your behavior, if only as a self-protective measure. It’s apparent that you knew fully well you’d find any post with a title similar to this post offensive and possibly traumatic. You owed it to yourself not to read this piece for your protection. That you did read it, calls your purpose for responding into question. If that didn’t, your liberal and incorrect usage of quotations surely does.

    Speaking of quotations, it is clear that you do not believe anyone accused of sexual assault is “innocent” as your quotations make clear. So who is being “fair” now? My opinions on the matter also are partially formed through personal experience. I find the idea that innocent people are expendable as some freakish sacrifice to victims of crime a really creepy, common and deeply offensive point of view.

    Comment by NoxiousNan — December 27, 2010 @ 5:15 pm

  61. Kate: It's obvious you have a crush on me, but too bad for you- I don't date crazies or idiots.

    Comment by Furry Girl — December 27, 2010 @ 8:51 pm

  62. @Kate, if you were being reasonable, you'd see that the circumstances behind the accusations were suspect, and conclude they were probably lying. Then you would scorn them for making it more difficult for genuine victims to be believed.

    Comment by Patrick — December 28, 2010 @ 3:39 pm

  63. Furry girl- I agree with Kate only in part, but your responses to her are lame and arrogant. Though this is your space so i guess you can say what you want. Obviously.

    Also, despite criticising emotional language you used a lot in this article to belittle and slant. As for women being allowed to be nasty to men because of our 'post feminist western culture', citing Thelma and Louise, blowing up a truck doesn't make up for the overwhelming slant the rest of Hollywood creates, ie any frat boy comedy. And just look at what happened to the character of Sarah Connor from Terminator 2 (unflinching defender of humanity) to the television series (sexy boob fest) in our post feminist western culture. Regressive much? Though this is a slightly off-topic example, the new inequality you suggest simply does not exist.

    Questioning the validity of abuse claims because you don't know any rape victim that would socialize with their rapist after an assault? Women are most likely to be raped by someone known to them. ALSO, realising after the fact you've been assaulted is also common. Such has happened to me and sometimes it does for a number of reasons take time to realise you've been wronged. It doesn't diminish the trauma.

    Comment by wagtail — January 2, 2011 @ 12:36 am

  64. Wagtail: Hollywood stereotypes women no worse than men, I don't buy into the whole "movies/advertising are sexist against women" lie. I used examples of two of the top chick flicks of all time to illustrate (using known examples) how our culture attributes "fuck yeah you go girl"-power to women acting unreasonably spiteful and destructive towards men. As for Kate, if she's going to act like a crazy idiot, I'm going to treat her like a crazy idiot. That's how things work on my blog.

    Comment by Furry Girl — January 2, 2011 @ 1:14 am

  65. I think Julian Assange is a prick but that doesn't make him a rapist. I don't think there is a compelling case against him. The more serious the crime, the more important it is to follow all the due process rules. If someone committed a violent felony, prove it in court.

    Comment by Canary — January 2, 2011 @ 11:52 am

  66. You basically said everything I've been thinking about this case. And you're right, people do freak out if you start to defend him or even suggest that perhaps he should be considered innocent until proven guilty.

    Thanks for this post.

    (I only found your site last week. I look forward to reading more posts!)

    Comment by Grace McConachie — January 2, 2011 @ 9:49 pm

  67. I've seen a lot of rebuttals to myself (and others) like, "Do you really think it's impossible that a person would socialize with their rapist later?" or "Is it inconceivable that a traumatized victim keeps remembering new details about the rape after time passes?" It's not any *one* thing. It's the compilation of things, which keep surfacing, such as the primary "victim" shooting a "trophy photo" of Assange in her bed after he "raped" her to brag about hooking up with him. Overall, taken as a *whole*, the Assange case is one of the fishiest sex crime accusation I've ever heard. I wasn't there, I'm not claiming I know what happened, but if you remove the emotional hysteria, the CIA conspiracy-mongering, and the politics, it sounds to me like plain and simple jealousy-induced revenge-seeking.

    Comment by Furry Girl — January 2, 2011 @ 11:45 pm

  68. Omer,

    You ask, who's it that's assuming that Assange is guilty? Sady Doyle seems to think he is.

    "Which is why, yeah, I really, really, do tend to believe that he raped those girls. When I look at the story these women are telling — a powerful, socially connected man rapes one woman, and she tries to stay friendly and doesn’t push it through the system; that same powerful man rapes another woman, and she tries to stay friendly and doesn’t push it through the system; these two women find out about each other, and realize that he didn’t just accidentally misguidedly rape one woman on accident, but apparently makes a habit out of raping women to the point that he did it twice in the space of a few days, and realize they have to do something about this, because it’s not just them, it’s other women at risk; they try a variety of things outside of the legal system, because God knows pushing this through the legal system will bring no amount of extra trauma and grief upon both their heads; eventually, after repeatedly trying to mediate with him personally and asking the police if there’s nothing else they can do, they try to take him to court, which is their least desirable option and last resort; he runs away — I don’t see a perfectly orchestrated plot. I don’t see a case that was manufactured out of nowhere to bring a guy down. I see something that looks exactly like how rape has played out in my communities.
    "

    Comment by Beste — January 4, 2011 @ 3:26 am

  69. Beste reminds me of something else I forgot to mention earlier, about language, in re-reading some of the hysteria from team Anyone Accused Of Rape Is A Rapist. I've repeatedly seen it said that Assange raped "girls" and "the poor girls" and whatnot, which makes the situation sound that much more predatory. Assange: grey-haired old pervert rapist (in his late 30s); accusers: victimized frightened oppressed girls (in their late 20s). I guess "girls" is more sympathetic a term than "the sexually aggressive fans who pursued Assange with the goal of starfucking him." And hey, I'm a sexually aggressive chick myself, so I'm not slut-bashing, but the feminazi team uses language here that subtly makes it seem like Assange was hanging outside of a middle school with a big potato sack, waiting hungrily to catch rape victims.

    The only times a feminist will refer to an adult woman as a "girl" is when they're trying to spin something in their favor and stir up emotions and images of helplessness. They normally have an absolute panic attack at the use of the word to describe adult women, unless their agenda says otherwise. (Also see: bashing the porn industry for using the term "girls" to describe adult performers, then later referring to other females in the sex industry as "girls" when they're playing up the "we need to save these victimized brainwashed girls" angle.)

    Comment by Furry Girl — January 4, 2011 @ 4:01 am

  70. Furry girl: i dont disagree that hollywood stereotypes men just as badly as women. I firmly believe there is often an equal and opposite stereotyping going on. Its just that your examples are out dated. Its not the same world as the mid nineties. Does post-feminist-accepted-jealousy-fuelled-revenge usually involve being grilled by the global media and having your countrys' relatively-progressive rape laws questioned as too liberal? In terms of your examples, i think the global debate shows that pointless man hating spite is NOT acceptible, even when no one knows if thats what is even going on.

    Comment by wagtail — January 4, 2011 @ 8:53 am

  71. Thelma and Louise and Waiting to Exhale are both parts of the permanent pop culture cannon. Your insistence that they are not, rebutting me with The Sarah Connor Chronicles (a short-lived low-budget scifi series not seen/adored by many), is a pointless debate. You might as well be citing Flash Forward to prove my points wrong. You have your opinion, I have mine.

    Comment by Furry Girl — January 4, 2011 @ 2:51 pm

  72. I'm just saying that this man spite is such a ridiculously small proportion of pop culture. Next time i see Clockwork Orange characters show up at a party ill keep your opinion in mind.

    Comment by wagtail — January 4, 2011 @ 7:22 pm

  73. That's the deepest diatribe I've read in a long time. Furry Girl, you're right on target. Regards.

    Comment by Ed — May 17, 2011 @ 8:41 pm

  74. Comment by Trackbacks — July 22, 2014 @ 4:11 pm

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