I shouldn’t have to do this, but I thought with all of the nonsense, abuse and spite which is being flung around in defence of Julian Assange, it seemed best to do a misogyny round up, of sorts.
If readers know of any good commentary, intelligent, not full of slippery obfuscation or Assange apologists please let me know firstname.lastname@example.org or comment below.
Assange’s abuse of the refugee system is highlighted at the Legal Feminist blog:
“However, on the particular subject of Assange’s asylum claim, I’m staggered that it succeeded. Had it been made by a (non rich, non white, non celebrity) in the UK it would almost certainly not have done.
When a person applies for asylum they must show that there is a ‘real risk’ that they will face persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership of a social group. Assange had said he feared the death penalty in America. However, America has not asked for him, despite the fact that he was more easily extraditable from the UK than he would have been from Sweden. I can’t imagine how he would show that Sweden would hand him over, in contravention of the ECHR to which they are a signatory, to face the death penalty. I don’t even think that he can show the Swedish case is persecutory, unless Sweden is the most incompetent agent of persecution in the world; the prospects of a conviction for rape are just too low. If they’d wanted to lock him up they’d have taken a leaf out of certain other countries’ books and charged him with a hugely complex fraud, bolstered with faked figures.
I think this makes a mockery of the Refugee Convention. There are refugees in the UK who genuinely need asylum and can’t get it, because they can’t prove their cases to the requisite standard. Still, let’s hope this wave of pro-asylum-seeker feeling translates into more sympathetic consideration of others’ claims.”
Cath Elliott on Assange, and feminism’s so-called male allies:
“That’s the narrative that suggests that Assange’s two accusers are part of some CIA inspired honey-trap and that the great man himself is the only victim here – a victim of some dark and covert plot. It’s also a narrative that says, yet again, that women who accuse men of rape are not to be believed, and that the rights of important men doing important work should trump a woman’s right to justice.
Declaring a man to be innocent of rape and other crimes of sexual violence, purely on the grounds that he’s been engaged in important work that many of us would like to see continued, while discounting women’s testimonies and women’s concerns in the process, is just the same old same old, men protecting men protecting men. What a shame then that in any other context so many of those men would be declaring themselves our comrades and feminist allies.”
For those still in denial, the Guardian covered Assange’s actions last year:
“”AA tried several times to reach for a condom which Assange had stopped her from doing by holding her arms and bending her legs open and try to penetrate her with his penis without using a condom. AA says that she felt about to cry since she was held down and could not reach a condom and felt this could end badly.”
The Atlantic Wire examined Assange’s view of Sweden:
“”Sweden is the Saudi Arabia of feminism.” and “”I fell into a hornets’ nest of revolutionary feminism.”
Feministing commented in 2010:
“Not ok, dude. If you think it’s fine to penetrate a woman when she’s asleep, without a condom when she’s explicitly stated that she has not agreed to unprotected sex, respond with a line as god awful as that, and still claim to be positively baffled by the complaints against you, I really can’t help you.
We don’t know if Assange is guilty of these allegations. But between these quotes, his truly terrible OkCupid profile, and the leaked excerpts from his diaries, I, for one, am ready to definitively conclude that–at the very least–Assange is a huge tool. And supporters of “revolutionary feminism” worldwide should probably boycott having sex with him ever again. “
I suppose Assange couldn’t be more offensive and misogynistic, if he tried. Oh, I forgot Assange has, er, issues with Jews according to Ian Hislop:
“Julian Assange has blamed a number of journalists for a “Jewish” conspiracy against his whistleblowing website, WikiLeaks, according to the editor of Private Eye, Ian Hislop.
In the latest issue of the satirical magazine, Hislop writes that Assange called him on 16 February to complain about an article on Israel Shamir, a WikiLeaks associate in Russia who has denied the Holocaust and has published a string of antisemitic articles.
“He said that I and Private Eye should be ashamed of ourselves for joining in the international conspiracy to smear WikiLeaks,” Hislop writes. “The piece was an obvious attempt to deprive him and his organisation of Jewish support and donations, he said angrily, and he knew perfectly well who had written it. He then named a Fleet Street hack who had nothing to do with it.”
Hislop adds that Assange went on to claim that Private Eye was “part of a conspiracy led by the Guardian which included journalist David Leigh, editor Alan Rusbridger and John Kampfner from Index on Censorship – all of whom ‘are Jewish’”.
“I pointed out that Rusbridger is not actually Jewish, but Assange insisted that he was ‘sort of Jewish’ because he was related to David Leigh (they are brothers-in-law),” writes Hislop.
“When I doubted whether his Jewish conspiracy would stand up against the facts, Assange suddenly conceded the point. ‘Forget the Jewish thing’.” “
James Ball’s Israel Shamir and Julian Assange’s cult of machismo illustrates how Assange is seemingly at ease in the company of antisemites:
“Shamir has a years-long friendship with Assange, and was privy to the contents of tens of thousands of US diplomatic cables months before WikiLeaks made public the full cache. Such was Shamir’s controversial nature that Assange introduced him to WikiLeaks staffers under a false name. Known for views held by many to be antisemitic, Shamir aroused the suspicion of several WikiLeaks staffers – myself included – when he asked for access to all cable material concerning “the Jews”, a request which was refused.
When questions were asked about Shamir’s involvement with WikiLeaks, given his controversial background and unorthodox requests, we were told in no uncertain terms that Assange would not condone criticism of his friend. Instead, a mealy-mouthed statement distancing WikiLeaks from its freelancers was issued. Still later, when damning evidence emerged that Shamir had handed cables material to the dictator of Belarus – a man he holds in high esteem – to assist his persecution of opposition activists, Assange shamefully refused to investigate. “
Andrew Brown’s background to WikiLeaks and Israel Shamir.
Searchlight on Israel Shamir.
“Nevertheless, commentary on Assange’s attempts to avoid being extradited to Sweden centres around whether or not Sweden would allow him to be shipped off to the US and possibly face the death penalty for espionage for his work in a rather famous organisation called Wikileaks. European Court of Human Rights and Swedish law on the extradition of people facing a death penalty or torture is explained here by Swedish foreign ministry spokesperson Anders Joerle. The twittersphere, blogsphere and other platforms for ‘liberal lefties’ have also been abuzz with the assertion that the women accusing Assange of sexual assault are government plants and it’s all a big ploy to get him on US soil, via Sweden.
The real news is that none of this should ever have been such big news. This is the horribly familiar theme and narrative of alleged rape cases that happen everywhere, all the time – this one just made it on to the international stage because of the legend status of the man accused, and his attempt to hide behind international conspiracy theories to avoid normal legal process.
Rapists can be rich, powerful, good looking, charity workers, family men with charming personalities, articulate men with good careers and a close relationship with their mother. And yes, a rapist could be the leader of a movement that redefines media freedom- although of course I accept that he has not been convicted. That’s something that should probably be decided in a Swedish courtroom, not judged or dismissed on the basis of Assange’s ‘freedom warrior’ status. “
Update 2: Tanya Gold’s Have you heard the one about rape? It’s funny now, shows how attitudes to women haven’t really changed much.