Here’s how James Joyner describes the accusations against Julian Assange:
Assange had consensual sex with two women, unbeknownst to one another, who were friends. They had hurt feelings afterwards and confided to a female police officer that Assange had engaged in sex with one of them without a condom, having worn a condom the night before. In the case of the second woman, Assange’s condom broke but he continued to climax, anyway.
Now here’s how the Press Association describes the charges:
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been remanded in custody in London after appearing in court on an extradition warrant.
The 39-year-old Australian is wanted by prosecutors in Sweden over claims he sexually assaulted two women. […]
Gemma Lindfield, for the Swedish authorities, told the court Assange was wanted in connection with four allegations. She said the first complainant, Miss A, said she was victim of “unlawful coercion” on the night of August 14 in Stockholm.
The court heard Assange is accused of using his body weight to hold her down in a sexual manner.
The second charge alleged Assange “sexually molested” Miss A by having sex with her without a condom when it was her “express wish” one should be used.
The third charge claimed Assange “deliberately molested” Miss A on August 18 “in a way designed to violate her sexual integrity”. The fourth charge accused Assange of having sex with a second woman, Miss W, on August 17 without a condom while she was asleep at her Stockholm home.
I guess I just don’t find anyone in this case trustworthy. A lot of the press accounts — like this article by Mark Hosenball, which Glenn Greenwald called “informative, credible” — seem very biased. The first two pages are filled with anonymous claims. Buried on the third page, Hosenball finally mentions the actual charges against Assange by saying:
Tuesday, a lawyer representing the Swedish government laid out for a British judge four specific charges of sexual misconduct, three related to Miss A and one related to Miss W. The word “rape” was not part of the charges but “unlawful coercion” and Assange’s alleged reluctance to use condoms was.
Funny how Hosenball doesn’t mention that Assange is being accused of physically holding one woman down with his weight during the alleged sexual assault, and of having sex with another woman while she was asleep.
Although I’ve had opinions about some cases in the past, I don’t have an opinion in this case. But I’m really bothered by the way the apparent charges against Assange are being soft-pedaled, including by some liberal sites, and by big-name feminist Naomi Wolf.
Anyway, here are some very good posts about this case — or really, most of the time, not about the case itself, but about the way people are discussing and framing the case.
- Almost Diamonds responds strongly to the “she didn’t act like a rape victim! She socialized with Assange afterwards!” argument: How Must She Behave to Have Been Raped?
What did I do when I was sexually assaulted? I went on with my plans for the evening, which were to lose my virginity. Yep, that’s right. Within hours of being sexually assaulted, I had consensual sex.
Why? Hell if I know that either. I do know it doesn’t make any sense, but that’s because I wasn’t rational. I’ll remind you that I’d just been assaulted (and suffered another type of betrayal right alongside it). I had no idea what to do. I did the easiest thing, which was to go along as though it hadn’t happened.
- Jill at Feministe’s post is especially good, focusing on legal questions around rape, consent, and withdrawal of consent.
- Kate Harding’s post at Salon is the best post I’ve read responding to the smears against the accusers.
- Feminism and Tea has a good post about how rape myths are coming up in discussions of Assange’s case.
- An Open Rant Against the Perpetuation of Rape Myths
- Sexual Offense Laws of Sweden (Not sure if this is complete or not.)
- When you assume about Assange, you make an ass of you and me
- Feminism, Assange rape charges, free speech, and Wikileaks
- Assange Arrested Because Of “Radical Feminist” Bitches
- On Consent
- Julian Assange, the arrest and why we should not protest. Yet. | The River Fed
- A Feminist Lawyer on the Case Against Wikileaks’ Julian Assange
- Pandagon on how it’s possible to both admire Assange’s Wikileaks activism, and not automatically dismiss any sexual assault charges against him as baseless or a conspiracy.
- Right-Wing Blogger on Date Rape: ‘You Buy the Ticket, You Take the Ride’
- The arrest of Julian Assange – a reality check
- Naomi Wolf really needs to read the internet
- Feminist Conspiracies and Julian Assange
- Wikileaks and Rape (and left wing hypocrisy)
(Due to posts added in future edits, the number of links no longer adds up to 20. Sorry!)