I was reading this piece today WikiLeaks and Julian Paul Assange : The New Yorker, which is an in depth portrayal of Assange and how he works. It doesn’t mention the rape accusations or the Interpol arrest warrant (I suspect because it was written before those broke out).
The whole “rape” scandal has been bothering me since it erupted in the media a few weeks ago. It hasn’t bothered me because I believe Assange is incapable of raping someone. He is as capable (or incapable, for that matter) of raping as any other human being out there. What really bothers me is that the scandal, and mostly, the well intentioned liberal outrage over the scandal, yet again, minimizes the reality of rape.
Here we have, a guy on the run, someone who has brought great pains to the international establishment being accused of an unspeakable act. The well intentioned liberals see it as a conspiracy. The end result is, yet again, raped women (not necessarily these ones, who might or might not have been raped), but rape victims in general, being doubted in their stories. The cunning women who accuse a poor activist of doing something heinous.
And on the other hand, even if the alleged rapes are true, the story is downplayed, yet again, painting the women involved as cunning temptresses because quite possibly, they are part of the conspiracy.
In either case (regardless if the rapes are true or not), the victim blaming, the doubts behind the veracity of the stories, the portrayal of the alleged rapist as a victim: all of them conspire to make it even more difficult for women to actually get justice for the wrongs committed on them.
And once again, a crime so widespread as to be called an “epidemic” in many parts of the world is downplayed and minimized for political gains and manipulations.
Perhaps I should have titled this post “How Wikileaks undermines the struggles against rape culture and victim blaming”. But that wouldn’t necessarily be Wikileaks fault, would it?
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