Letters with Lishra: Julian Assange & Victim Blaming

7 Dec

[Trigger warning for victim blaming and sexual violence.]

Dear Internet,

hey, remember that time you got all victim-blamey because that one guy you like was accused of rape, and you totes thought that his accusers were lying bitches? About that… it appears you missed out on Consent 101 and that you lack basic fact-gathering skills. You instead prefer to assume rape victims make shit up for fun, it appears. Below is some helpful information for you to review before pressing the ‘post’ button on your favorite news website’s comment section.

First, some groundwork.  New York Times, November 19, 2010:

“According to accounts the women gave to the police and friends, they each had consensual sexual encounters with Mr. Assange that became nonconsensual. One woman said that Mr. Assange had ignored her appeals to stop after a condom broke. The other woman said that she and Mr. Assange had begun a sexual encounter using a condom, but that Mr. Assange did not comply with her appeals to stop when it was no longer in use.”

You will note that what didn’t happen is the two women were pissed that he didn’t call them the next day, which is what you think their accusations are about.

Also, do tell why the following information about one of the women (if even true) is relevant to whether or not Assange is guilty.

An attractive blonde, Sarah was already a well-known ‘radical feminist’. In her 30s, she had travelled the world following various fashionable causes.

While a research assistant at a local university she had not only been the protegee of a militant feminist ­academic, but held the post of ‘campus sexual equity officer’. Fighting male discrimination in all forms, including sexual harassment, was her forte. (via)

Good to know that if a feminist is raped, she should automatically be presumed to be making it up. Believe it or not, feminists are not to blame for rape – rapists are.

Finally, Internet, go read this entire post, because I’m too weary to summarize it having done extensive screaming at you this morning.

Best,

lishra

P.S. – How’d you get Naomi Wolf in on this bullshit, by the way?

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3 Responses to “Letters with Lishra: Julian Assange & Victim Blaming”

  1. Aileen Wuornos December 8, 2010 at 6:55 am #

    I do not doubt that if this guy’s been charged with sexual assault or rape, that he did it, IMHO. It’s so hard to get the police to take any kind of sexual assault or rape charge seriously as is.

    • lishra December 8, 2010 at 7:57 am #

      Yeah, that’s my default response too. I’m really sick of hearing that we must presume he’s “innocent until proven guilty”. Ok, that’s for judges and juries, not other folks. It’s just a cover for denying women’s experiences.

      Also, the false report rate for sexual assault is the same as other violent crimes (I think it’s about 4%). I don’t hear nearly as many men saying we shouldn’t ‘rush to judgment’ about murderers or violent robbers.

      That’s the other thing too… with this Assange thing, if there really is some conspiracy, wouldn’t the accusers say that he did something that is actually taken seriously? Jeez… they could have said he stole a car even.

      • Aileen Wuornos December 8, 2010 at 8:07 am #

        Agreed! I had that exact conversation earlier today. As far as rape charges go for me, I go for guilty until proven innocent (seeing as so many of them never get convicted anyway) and that’s how so many rape-apologist arsehole men AND male-oriented womyn (ah, Margaret of AROOO is so freakin’ wise!) see the rape survivor anyway.

        Yeah! Exactly, or, cannabis possession. Most people take smoking dope more seriously than the systematic and institutionalised terrorism on half of the population anyway.

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