misscam: (What the fuck have you done)
[personal profile] misscam
You know, I've been in two minds about Wikileaks for a long time and still am. But regardless of how I feel about the site, some of this shit going down in regards to the rape charges the Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange, is facing is pissing me right off.

You can think the US is wrong in how they're targetting and fighting his website. (I am quite uneasy about the pressure they've put on independent companies, myself.) You can think he's a light for a new kind of journalism. You can think the work he is doing is important and should not be silenced.

None of that means he can't also be a rapist. He is not charged, as Michael Moore has gone around claiming on Keith Olberman's show (without being challenged, as we'll get to) and elsewhere, with a condom breaking during sex. He is in fact charged with one count of unlawful coercion, two counts of sexual molestation, and one count of rape, involving two women. Those are serious charges. Assange's lawyers have been spreading lies about what the charges are and what the Swedish laws contain, but this is the truth of it: he has been charged with rape. Let me repeat that, in case the word is making you uncomfortable, because it damn well should: rape.

Michael Moore and other figures on the left in the US have been very keen to defend Assange. Moore has stated that "the official story" shouldn't be believed, and on Olberman's show referred to the whole thing as "hooey". Olberman has also retweeted the idenities of the women who have pressed charges, who are likely to face all the fun victim blaming and harassment that comes with it. (More on the false information spread around and the retweeting of the women's identities here.) Because rape, that's never about the rapist. No. He's an outstanding fellow. It must be sometime the victims did to make him rape, surely.

And now we are blaming the victim, and helping that low precentage of reported rapes to stay low. Now we are helping rapists further hurt their victims. Now we're not being progressive at all. (Please spare me the anecdata about false accusations of rape - yes, it sometimes happens, but extremely rarely and not in numbers that even make a dent in the number of unreported rapes. The shit that comes with reporting a rape ensures both of those things, you see.) Assange will get his day in court. The women have already been judged, it seems, with making it all up unless proven otherwise. Because Julian Assange can't be a rapist. He's on our side, see.

So, Michael Moore and Keith Olberman, I am one of those people who heartily swing to the left. More so than you maybe, given I live in a country that is more left-minded to begin with. I agree with you on many issues. If I were American, I'd probably agree on more.

I am also a victim of rape. So, please answer me this - what the fuck are you doing?. No really, what the fuck is this shit you're doing? You are so keen to support someone who shares your views that you are doing what you usually accuse the other side of doing. You are distorting. You are spreading disinformation. And when called on it, you make it all about how you're getting attacked and everyone is so mean and shouldn't they just apologise for it?

Sometimes, it's painful to realise people you want to agree with have done something dickish. Kinda like now for me, at least with one of you. But you know what real integrity comes from? Not from calling out those you always disagree with. That's easy. Calling out those you'd normally agree with when you feel they've done wrong? That's harder. Calling out people you downright admire is even wrose. But sometimes it's bloody well needed and so is recognizing your own wrongs and owning to them in a decent manner. Julian Assange might be a shining light for progressives on the issue of a free and open press. That does not mean he can't also be a rapist.

So. Show me your integrity. Show me your willingness to actually do something progressive and not support rape culture. Show me you can listen, not just talk. Show me I can trust you to call out me if you felt I did wrong, and not give me a pass for being on the same side.

I sure as hell am not giving either of you that pass. I expect better of those I am inclined to agree with and support; that's why I am so inclided in the first place.

Live up to it. Show me your integrity.
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misscam: (Default)

January 2011

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