Yesterday, Channel 4 News ran an anniversary programme, of sorts:
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange – hiding for two years in the Ecuadorian embassy – is in “a prison cell with internet access” and “yearns to walk in the fresh air,” says a close friend.
Today, Slavoj Žižek, writing in the Guardian, seems to think that Julian Assange is hiding out in the Ecuador embassy because of something to do with Wikileaks and whistleblowing.
In August 2010, Julian Assange had sex with two women in Sweden. He was, so they both report, aggressive and unpleasant, and very unwilling to use a condom. When they talked to each other and realised he had had unprotected sex against their will with both of them, they went to the police to discover if they could force Assange to take an HIV test – and the police, listening to their account, realised that Assange had by their testimony committed sexual assault and rape.
Until Julian Assange stepped into the Ecuadorean Embassy, nearly two years after the legal due process began in Sweden, he had every element of the justice system due him. He was even on house arrest rather than in prison, in the confidence that he could be trusted with the large amount of money his friends would lose if he skipped bail.
I wrote some time ago about the massive sense of entitlement that men have that lies behind every rape story I ever heard.
Around 7pm on Tuesday 27th May, two young girls of the Dalit caste (the lowest-rank caste in India) were grabbed by men of a higher caste who were lying in wait for them – or other girls – to go to the fields after dark to have a pee and a crap. (The girls had been required to hold it in all day because they had no access to an indoor toilet, and modesty ruled they were not allowed to go out for this purpose in daylight.) The men raped the girls – they were fourteen and fifteen – and then murdered them.
Men in India often do take advantage of the near-universal practice of requiring girls and women to be “modest” and only go to the fields after dark, to lie in wait for a girl or two and rape them. (In areas where Hindu women practice chaupadi – isolation during menstruation and after childbirth – men find the isolated huts where menstruating girls and women sleep and rape them there.) The government and the police do not regard men raping women as a serious crime, nor do they regard it as a problem that the men who rape have found that the simplest way of disposing of the evidence is to kill the girls or women whom they raped.
Now what kind of person, hearing that story, reacts with: they should have had indoor plumbing! Lack of indoor sanitation killed them!
In 1962, when Cambridge House in Rochdale was opened to give young men a clean safe place to stay, Cyril Smith was 34, already an important man in the local community, and he seems to have regarded it as his private pleasure centre. The hostel ran from 1962 to 1965, Cyril Smith had keys and could come and go at any time, and was responsible for bringing in several boys to live there who’d been in difficult home situations, often then to work for the local authority, so that Smith would have control both over their jobs and over their home. Continue reading
In December 2012, an 18-year-old athlete who belonged to the Aldershot, Farnham, and District Athletic club orally raped a 12-year-old girl.
The athlete’s name is Adam Hulin. You can see how promising he is as an athlete here.
A 12-year-old child is agreed by law and by ethics not to be old enough to be able to consent to sex. (Exceptions are sometimes made, humanely, when two children of about the same age get together and everything is consensual even if neither of the kids are really old enough. This does not apply when an 18-year-old uses a 12-year-old for sex: that is statutory rape.)
Adam Hulin pleaded guilty to oral rape and assault by penetration in Guildford Crown Court two weeks ago. He claimed the 12-year-old girl had lied about her age and looked “17 or 18″. The judge commented “I certainly wouldn’t want to do anything which would prejudice his future career” and let him off with community service and a £60 fine.
Nigel Evans is a conservative and a Conservative.
He’s been a Conservative politician since 1985, when he was elected a councillor for West Glamorgan (the former administrative county in Wales that is now Swansea, Neath and Port Talbot). In 1992, he won Ribble Valley in Lancashire for the Conservative Party, and held it for them until last year when he lost the Tory Whip and became an independent. He held it through the 1997, 2001, 2005, and 2010 general elections.
From June 2001 to November 2003, Evans was Shadow Secretary of State for Wales: he was appointed a Vice-Chairman of the Conservative Party from November 2004 to December 2005: from June 2010 to 10th September 2013, he was First Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means – that is, the second deputy Speaker of the House.
He is also, as I find from his Wikipedia page, a disbeliever in man-made climate change and was a fan of The Great Global Warming Swindle.
Nigel Evans is on trial for rape, indecent assault twice, and six counts of sexual assault, and it is further alleged by the prosecution that the following named, senior Conservatives knew of his record of sexual assaults at least since 2003. Evans denies all charges.
They fell asleep and she woke up by his penetrating her. She immediately asked if he was wearing anything. He answered: “You.” She said: “You better not have HIV.” He said: “Of course not.” 12th July 2011
The longer Julian Assange delays his return to Sweden to be questioned by the police, charged with rape and sexual assault, and for the Swedish justice system to decide what to do with him, the less likely it is that he will ever be tried at all. It is already three and a half years since two women went to the police to discover if they could force Julian Assange to have an HIV test and, in the process of describing what had happened, gave evidence that Assange had attempted sexual assault on one woman and raped the other woman.
Since 19th June 2012, Assange has lived in a room in Knightsbridge, a guest of the embassy of Ecuador, his request for asylum accepted by the President of a nation who has little concern for free speech. Assange has, in effect, sent himself to jail without trial under much more unpleasant conditions than he would have been subject to in Sweden: where he would have been unlikely – even if found guilty – to have been sentenced to more than three years. If he intends to imprison himself in Knightsbridge until the statute of limitations expires in Sweden, he will stay there til August 2020.
On 8th August, PZ Myers published an email from a woman he knows and trusts (but who had asked Myers not to name her) at his blog. The email said that a well-known figure in the American skeptics community had
“coerced me into a position where I could not consent, and then had sex with me”.
Several other named and unnamed sources, known and considered credible by PZ Myers, have confirmed the incident and have described what may be other similar incidents:
…he deliberately got her very drunk while flirting with her — a story that corroborates a particular pattern of sexual assault. All of these are people PZ knows, and whose reliability he is vouching for.
It’s been noted that there will be no legal repercussions for this man, though there may be social repercussions:
So the best we can hope for as far as repercussions are that because his name is so popular, the accusations against him will give his potential future victims pause against trusting him enough to drink with or spend time alone with him. This might hurt his feelings, but it will not ruin his career or his life.
Filed under Drinking, Women
The company that produces “Keep Calm And Hit Her” t-shirts that were available on Amazon til this morning claims they were computer-generated, are not actually for sale, and have now been removed.
The vendor who sells these has been on Ebay since 2003, runs an online shop, and has 100% positive feedback.
“You say I never lift a finger to help around the house. Well, here it is, baby.”
For sale here.
Filed under Justice, Women
People have been asking, how did Jimmy Savile get away with rape and sexual abuse, hundreds of victims, for so long?
This cartoon in the Daily Mail today shows how Savile did it.
His victims knew no one would believe them, they’d be laughed at and told they were liars.
How’s about that, then? They were right.
Click for larger image. The cartoon depicts two police officers outside the BBC, interviewing a homeless woman, with the clear implication that she is lying about having been raped by Jimmy Savile. “Mac on… The victims of Jimmy Savile filing compensation claims worth millions”.
(From the actual facts, which clearly didn’t worry “Mac” when he saw a chance to make a rape joke, there are so many victims, and so many institutions which were clearly negligent, that the total cost of all of the compensation claims will very likely be millions. It took the Daily Mail to leap from that to “So they’re lying in order to get the money”.)
Consistently, since her original “Dear Interpol” letter in the Huffington Post in December 2010, Naomi Wolf has been the most high-profile self-identified feminist to argue that Assange did not rape or sexually assault either of the two women. In February 2011 she wrote a much-cited essay Something Rotten in the State of Sweden: 8 Big Problems with the ‘Case’ Against Assange. She’s been outspoken in interviews and at parties – Naomi Wolf slams feminists’ response to the Assange rape prosecution (Thursday, 17th November 2011).
She’s been cited with relief from Cory Doctorow to Reuters:
Even well-known feminist Naomi Wolf criticized the international judicial hunt for Assange, writing that she personally knew “1.3 million guys” with similar complaints made against them by women.
But she had never faced an interview like Mumsnet, yesterday lunchtime (Thursday 6th September) Nor did she seem to be aware that Mumset had launched a campaign in March this year:
called We Believe You, and it has two simple aims. First, we want to shine a spotlight on the prevalence of rape and sexual assault in women’s lives; then, we want to pull apart the many myths surrounding rape, which make so many women feel that they will not be believed if they report this crime.
To all those women, we say: we believe you.
Mumsnet interviewed Naomi Wolf, and it didn’t go as Wolf wanted.
Not even in the questions being posted before Naomi Wolf arrived.
- Are we allowed to ask questions about J****n A*****e?
- Hi Naomi, How does a woman say ‘no’ if she’s asleep? thanks.
- Dear Naomi, Why do you speak so authoritatively on Swedish law when you can’t read Swedish and are not a lawyer? Do you have a response to these criticisms of your statements about the Assange matter? You got so many things factually and legally wrong. Thanks!