Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Condomnation of Julian Assange

The lazy explanation for Julian Assange's non-WikiLeaks legal woes is that the rape charges against him are arbitrary, trumped up or (my fave) the complaining Swedish women are U.S. government plants.

This is more or less what you would expect from mostly male American commentators in a society that still does not take rape seriously, and an easy way out from under the contradiction with which we are presented: That Assange can be -- and I believe is -- both a heroic figure and a rapist.

While this isn't quite the same as Roman Polanski being a great filmmaker and a rapist, and what Assange is alleged to have done pales in comparison to what we know that Polanski did, there is another common element: A whole lot of people who seem to have fully functioning brains believe that both should go free. (Polanski, of course, is still under indictment in the U.S. but is technically free in Switzerland, where he sought refuge, and presumably other countries, as well.)

Further muddying these waters is that a whole lot of these same people seem to think that not consenting to sex because the guy isn't wearing a condom is no big deal, as is the guy continuing to oomph away when the woman cries out "Stop!" if the condom breaks. Unless, of course, you're the woman.

I happen to be a guy, albeit one with a fairly righteous sense of right and wrong, a beautiful girlfriend and a lovely daughter, as well as a number of friends who were raped by men who didn't understand the meaning of the word "No!"

So while I support Assange's efforts to air out the Augean stables of the U.S. Defense and State departments, that does not color my condomnation of his more intimate behavior.

You do the crime, Julian, then you do the time.

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