Julian Assange, Feminism, and Rape

How the WikiLeaks founder shined the spotlight on the debate over sex, rape, and consent.

One unexpected consequence of the WikiLeaks saga has been to turn the spotlight on the debate over rape, sex, and consent. Julian Assange, journalism's misbegotten enfant terrible, has been hounded by accusations of sex crimes after he vaulted to fame by releasing leaked classified documents on the Internet. The charges were dismissed but then reinstated; Assange was arrested in London earlier this month and was released on bail last week while he fights extradition to Sweden. The nature of these charges has revived questions about where the law should draw the line between bad behavior and criminal acts, and whether the feminist rethinking of rape has made it easy for any man to be targeted.

As is widely known, Assange is accused of sexual offenses against two women: Anna Ardin, a left-wing activist who helped organize his speaking tour in Sweden last August, and photographer Sofia Wilen. The prosecution asserts both encounters started out as consensual but later turned into assaults—partly, it seems, because of Assange's failure to use a condom despite the women's wishes. The triviality of the offenses is compounded by the women's un-victim-like behavior afterward: Ardin had sex with Assange again and threw a party for him; Wilen made him breakfast. It was only when the women learned of his two-timing that they went to the police—initially intending to force him to get tested for sexually transmitted diseases.

In the United States, the sex charges have been met with near-unanimous derision across the political spectrum. Conservative media personality Glenn Beck and feminist writer/activist Naomi Wolf have both satirized the case as one in which the man acted like a jerk and the women are seeking payback for hurt feelings. This unanimity is no doubt partly due to the fact that, on the left, the instinct to back women claiming sexual abuse by men has been blunted by Assange's status as a rebel fighting the power—while on the right, scorn for feminist sexual ideology has proved stronger than distaste for Assange. Along with the Assange prosecution, Swedish sexual assault laws have also come under ridicule for defining the offense so broadly that half the male population could end up in the slammer.

Some feminists are not amused. MSNBC anchor Keith Olbermann decided to suspend his Twitter account after being slammed as a "rape apologist" for tweets expressing skepticism about the charges. In The Washington Post, Jessica Valenti, a star of the feminist blogosphere, has lashed out at what she considers distorted accounts of the case while offering her own highly selective summary of the facts. Valenti thinks the real problem is "our country's overly narrow understanding of sexual assault," which falls woefully short of Sweden's far better standards.

And what is this "narrow understanding"? According to a feminist lawyer quoted by Valenti, "we're deeply wedded to the notion of rape as forcible" instead of focusing on consent. Actually, sexual intercourse without consent is virtually always a part of the legal definition of rape. But typically, American law also requires force or threat of force—though, as a result of feminist advocacy, some states have moved toward a strict construction of "no means no" so that, if a woman says no and the man doesn't stop, he can be found guilty of sexual assault even if she submits without being physically subdued or threatened with violence.

Valenti also laments that American law is mired in the archaic notion that once consensual penetration has occurred, the woman has no standing as a victim if she withdraws her consent and the man proceeds against her wishes. As evidence of just how archaic the American mindset is, she asserts that in 2007, Maryland's Court of Special Appeals not only upheld this doctrine but also explained in its ruling that "anything after the initial 'deflowering' of a woman couldn't be rape because 'the damage was done' to her virginity," and that the injured party wasn't even the woman herself but the "responsible male"—father or husband.

It seems unbelievable that any U.S. court would use such reasoning in the 21st Century. And, in fact, it didn't: Valenti's quotes are from a passage in which the court describes (but certainly doesn't endorse) historical attitudes toward rape. The court did rule that rape is not committed when consent is given and later withdrawn, but solely on the grounds that this interpretation was rooted in legal tradition and should be changed through legislative action, not judicial mandate.

Few would deny that a man who holds down a struggling woman and forces her to have sex is committing rape, regardless of initial consent. But things are rarely as clear-cut. The Maryland defendant was a teenager who took about five seconds to stop after his partner told him to stop. The rape charge would seem absurd if it weren't for the overall context: the young woman, alone in a parked car with two teenage boys, had been subjected to repeated, physically aggressive unwanted advances. Applying such rules to a genuinely consensual situation seems like a good recipe for a nightmare.

Once, feminist reformers rightly fought against laws that required a rape victim to fight her attacker "to the utmost." But removing any element of actual or threatened force from the crime of rape makes it too easy to criminalize miscommunications and morning-after regrets. Should non-consent require a firm "Stop!" or does it cover a hesitant or coy "Maybe we should stop"—perhaps accompanied by actions that contradict the words? Is the man guilty of rape if the woman says early in the evening that she does not want to have sex, but does not rebuff his overtures later? Is the woman a rapist if the roles are reversed? Writing the "forcible" part out of the definition of rape makes it much more of a two-way street.

Valenti laments that U.S. law is "ill-equipped to actually protect women in realistic scenarios." But, in realistic scenarios, sexual relationships are complicated and messy; it is an area where people often don't think rationally, and context is everything. When a man initiates intercourse with a woman who is asleep—one of the accusations against Assange—the existence of a prior sexual relationship is hardly irrelevant. Perhaps that is why Valenti has to concede that, under Sweden's admirably progressive sex crime laws, only 20 percent of rape complaints ever go to trial and only half of those result in a conviction. British author Joan Smith, who has expressed concern over the wave of support for Assange, has noted approvingly that "sexual manners and sexual conduct come in for careful consideration in Sweden." But when rape law is used to regulate "sexual manners" rather than sexual violence, it has seriously strayed from its purpose.

Earlier generations of feminists argued that rape should be treated the same as any other violent crime: The victim should not be subjected to special standards of resistance or chastity. These days, the demand for special treatment is so blatant that some activists openly support abolishing the presumption of innocence for rape cases and requiring the accused to prove consent (a proposal Valenti cites with obvious approval). In an ironic twist, these activists actually seem to hold women in very little esteem: in their world, women are too timid to push a man away if he won't take no for an answer and too addled to know that they have been raped.

The Julian Assange who emerges from the legal documents in the case is not a sympathetic man. He comes across as a narcissistic cad and a user, not unlike some men of the 1960s Left who saw the women in the movement as servants and sex toys rather than comrades. And yet his tribulations may well become a "teachable moment" that will help draw attention to the dangers of ever-expanding definitions of rape and overzealous prosecutions. In that case, as with the WikiLeaks saga itself, Assange will have done some good no matter how dubious his motives.

Cathy Young writes a weekly column at RealClearPolitics and is also a contributing editor at Reason magazine. A version of this article originally appeared at RealClearPolitics.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Jen||

    Good article, dead horse of a story.

  • Suki||

    New news. Assange is redacting the names of Chinese diplomats before releasing documents about them.

  • ||

    Well, of course. The Chinese might actually, you know, hurt him.

  • Suki||

    At least Cathy is not a reason apologist for this creep. The rest try to convince us that Assange broke Climategate and he is some sort of hero for freedom.

  • Jen||

    I think he just wants attention.

  • DDuana||

    Got a link to substantiate your assertions?

  • ¢||

    I'm in a rush, so "tl;dr," as the kids say, but—

    In this episode, are there two sides whose more-alike-than-they'd-admit preconceptions and reflexive entrenchments and shit prevent them from achieving Young's Olympian ambivalence on a subject?
    Because I've seen that one.

  • aureliano||

    I don't get all the Cathy Young hate on this site. I'd understand the objection if most journalists wrote in this "picking apart both sides" style or if every Reason journalist wrote in this style, but they don't. She's just one voice among many. Secondly, I'd undersand the objection if Reason were actually called "Freedom Watch" or "To to the Barricades, Comrades!" where the goal was to merely cherry pick for one's ideology, but..."for a magazine that calls itself 'Reason'" wouldn't coolly trying to examine both sides of an issue be consistent with such a label?

  • Epeesiarch||

    Are you new here?

  • DesigNate||

    Drink?

  • ||

    Drink?

  • ||

    Damnit! Should have refreshed.

  • DDavis||

    "He comes across as a narcissistic cad and a user, not unlike some men of the 1960s Left who saw the women in the movement as servants and sex toys rather than comrades."

    Is he really a cad for having sex with women who seem to be power and fame groupies? Were they using him any less than he was using them?

    Where is the condemnation of their actions, designed to bring the violence and power of the state against Assange for the "crime" of disabusing them of groupie fantasies of having a special relationship with a man in power?

    Whose actions were more seriously reprehensible, someone who offered sex for sex and delivered, or someone seeking to ruin someone else's life over their own shattered fantasy?

  • Dave||

    I agree. Any assumption regarding Assange's nature based on these "charges" is ridiculous. The description of the charges thus far paint the women as the real criminals willing to imprison somebody over hurt feelings.

  • Suki||

  • fuzzysheep||

    That is about as relevant as the old Ardin article about taking legal revenge on unfaithful partners.

  • Alessandra||

    Perhaps it’s time people started criticizing women AND men for thinking and behaving like sluts, instead of normalizing a risk-infested, destructive and harmful way of thinking about sex, devoid of any moral or committed relationship framework.

    Thinking and behaving in a “slut”-like way is terrible and irresponsible, and, more importantly, contrary to macho jingoism, that certainly also applies to men.

    It’s this issue of the normalization of reckless, loveless, respect-less sex that liberals (US meaning) anywhere are too cowardly and devoid of ethics to address, whether it applies to men or to women.

    All the three individuals in this case (two women and one man) have harmful views and behaviors about sexuality and personal relationships. It’s not merely the “bodies of women” that are destroyed with such an ideology, it is the bodies AND minds of women AND men.

    And yet, this is the model that is being consistently pushed in just about every television show and movie, being taken up by a large number of people, young and old. I believe the damage that this does to the individual lives of millions of people is being completely ignored by a good part of society.

  • Good Luck||

    Unless you want to start tinkering with our DNA, you're gonna need it.

    And yet, this is the model that is being consistently pushed in just about every television show and movie, being taken up by a large number of people, young and old.

    Yeah, this is all new.

  • ||

    if anything what we need is slut pride. Be pround of getting off.

  • VOLOKH TROLL ALERT||

    And how much do you hate teh gayz, Alessandra? Where's Elemenope when you need him...

  • Epoche*||

    The amount of force needed to actually put yourself into a woman without her consent is tremendous. Why is it again that Andrea Dworkin was so concerned with rape, being as hideous as she is?

  • Hump of Die||

    It's good to be the King.

  • Gymnastics Critic||

    Which should--of course--be contrasted with the attempted rape scene in Men in Tights.

  • Dello||

    Couldn't agree more! I used to teach a rape-play class to folks in the kink community, and would demonstrate just how difficult it is to get even groin to groin contact, much less actual penetration, without using overwhelming force or physical/mental defeats.

  • IceTrey||

    Really? One punch to knock her out doesn't seem that tremendous. A knife to the throat also seems to be a preferred method.

  • Hooha||

    Assange brutalized them with weapons? Hang the bastard!!

    Oh wait, he didn't? You just missed the point like a fat kid misses yesterdays cake? Nevermind, then.

  • ||

    Why do you hate fat kids? And cake?

  • Number 2||

    "This unanimity is no doubt partly due to the fact that, on the left, the instinct to back women claiming sexual abuse by men has been blunted by Assange's status as a rebel fighting the power."

    I thought the feminists gave up on "the instinct to back women claiming sexual abuse by men" after their hero Bill Clinton got caught with his pants down on this issue. Ask Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey, etc., about how much "the instinct to back women claiming sexual abuse by men" helped them.

  • Paul||

    They did. Kind of like anti-war protests dried up faster than a puddle in the Sahara after Obama got elected.

  • Some Guy||

    Obama got elected in 2004?

  • VikingMoose||

    who you work for, again?

  • Max||

    Cathy Young is the only person writing to Reason who doesn't have always have ideological blinkers on. How did happen? Is she fucking Gillespie?

  • Number 2||

    English speak do you speak, Max?

  • Max||

    I ahve dusluxia, ssa hloe.

  • So?||

    Hoo, Boo!

  • Dello||

    Dusluxia? ouY cna lstil sue sleppchck...

  • Gah||

    Spellcheckers are for the week.

  • LarryA||

    Dyslexics of the world, untie!

  • Jeffersonian||

    Turned down by your blow-up girlfriend again, Maxie?

  • ||

    Wow, a lefty getting hauled into court due to laws based on lefty feminist theory. Somewhere the word "petard" has to come up.

  • Jeffersonian||

    The Revolution always consumes its own, David.

  • ||

    Irony, too.

  • fuzzysheep||

    Yes, because feminism has a lot to do with the economy.

  • ||

    They keep trying, anyway.

  • Xmas||

    No...the hoisting came when someone leaked the police reports with all of the details of Assange's piss poor sex skills. His lawyers were very upset about that leak...

  • Zeb||

    Yes, everyone who can be described as a "lefty" believes exactly the same things.

  • nanda||

    David, so right you are.

    Funny to see how when a lefty is accused, the female accuser becomes the villian and is no longer to be believed when she cries rape.
    On the other hand, if a conservative leers at a woman, he is doing her a grave injury (according to liberals).
    I don't know who did what. I just note the left's total lack of honesty and integrity.

  • Paul||

    Is all of this the left's mobius strip looping back on itself?

  • ||

    I was just thinking about this:

    Where do we draw the line between "stretching the truth to get laid" and "rape by fraud." I'd argue that if a man in full costume tells you you he is your boyfriend/husband and fucks you, but then turns out to be somebody different, than that is rape by fraud. If a man simply lies about his age, job, past, name, or relationship/marital status, that is simply lying to get laid. What's the difference? In the first example, a sexual decision was based on specific identity of the male. Had the woman of known that that was not her husband, she would have never have consented. In the example of a man who lies to get laid, the woman bases her sexual decision on other factors such as his physical appearance, the way he acts, the way he talks, how well he treats her, how expensive the meal he bought her was, etc. The sexual decision did not hinge on the man's identity, therefore it cannot be rape by fraud.

  • Ramondo||

    Not only do I not have any STD, I also had a vasectomy two years ago.

  • cynical||

    "I'd argue that if a man in full costume tells you you he is your boyfriend/husband and fucks you, but then turns out to be somebody different, than that is rape by fraud."

    Is it? All sexual relationships involve a little bit of fraud, on both sides. Is it rape by fraud if a man doesn't tell you he's married?

  • ||

    I have already been over that. That is simply "lying to get laid." The woman's decision to have sex with you went beyond whether you were married or not. There was obviously a physical attraction element too. She must have also liked your personality.

  • Hrm||

    If a man in full costume tells you he is your boyfriend/husband and you let him fuck you, you are a whore.

  • ||

    If it is rape, then why were we subjected to "Revenge of The Nerds II: Nerds In Paradise?"

    Lewis should have been in prison for his stunt at the carnival. Let alone the myriad charges the Pi's could have levied against the entire Tri Lambda house for the panty-raid and the illegal video scheme.

    Fucking nerds.

  • ||

    true.

  • MattXIV||

    If I had to propose a standard, I'd say that the deception has to be a knowing lie on the part of the deceiver and involve something that had been explicitly expressed as a condition for granting consent, and the accuser must not have learned of the deception until it was late enough that they did not have an opportunity to withdraw consent.

    That should handle the most troublesome situations, like not using a condom despite agreeing to it as a condition of having sex, without creating an excessive grey area.

  • ||

    Same problem. Just about anything can qualify as "a" condition of consent. TO me, a true rape by fraud scenario must involve serious misrepresentation. As I said above, a rape by fraud scenario shouldn't revolve around one condition of consent when many exist. Under your rule, a man who simply lied about not being married would qualify as a rapist. Sorry, but a woman should have to prove that she was tricked into having sex that she would NEVER have sex with if even the smallest detail about the individual were known. In the "Revenge of the Nerds" case, had the girl had even seen the face of the nerd who tricked her, she would have declined the opportunity for him to have his way. I'm sure that plenty of men have lied about some small condition of consent in order to get some sex. YOu didn't really solve the problem of vagueness.

    I don't think that lying about using birth control constitutes rape. Should a disease be passed on as a result, I would allow the affected party to sue for damages. Should a child be conceived, and the woman has real evidence that she told him that he must use protection and he lied, than a paternity suit and child support should be in that man's future.

    Remember, a charge of "rape" is a serious offense that can ruin somebody's life forever. A guy lying in some way to get laid will be a fairly common occurrence in every female's life.

  • Women||

    No! Oh my god, please, no!! Stop that!! No!!! Please, no!!...

    Mmmmmm...let's do that again.

  • waffles||

    No! Don't! Stop!
    OR
    No! Don't stop!

  • Rhywun||

    No! Money Down!

  • Dave||

    The sexual offense charges appear to be, by and large, ridiculous and unprovable. The mere fact that such charges can be brought is an indictment of the Swedish justice system. Expanding the definition of rape to include non-rape and trivializes actual definitive rape and exposes the entire male population to unjust charges and punishment.

    Young lists many scenarios where consent is questionable. It is grossly immoral and indeed criminal to charge somebody with rape under questionable circumstances. It is impossible to convict all rapists and attempting to do so by prosecuting many innocent individuals is obscenely immoral and as bad or worse than rape itself.

  • ||

    +1

    this

  • MJ||

    Yet Young still thinks Sweden's sex crime laws are "admirably progressive".

  • Xmas||

    MJ,

    Your reading comprehension is horrible. First, she's paraphrasing Valenti. Second, she counters the "admirably" with the horrible prosecution and conviction rates.

  • ||

    ""Expanding the definition of rape to include non-rape and trivializes actual definitive rape and exposes the entire male population to unjust charges and punishment.""

    Is rape a term in the acutal charge or is the media just calling it that?

  • Ben||

    He had sex with her while she was asleep! Peter Bagge defined that as rape in this magazine no less. What the hell are you people talking about? If he had sex with her while he was asleep means he raped her, regardless of how the victim felt after the attack.

    If I punch someone in the face and they make me breakfast does that mean I haven't punched them in the face? What a facile argument presented here.

  • Jeffersonian||

    Ever had a girlfriend, Ben?

  • prolefeed||

    She didn't wake up at all? Or she woke up and didn't give any indication she wasn't OK with it? Or maybe she said "no", but in that role-playing tone of voice that in the past has meant "yes yes YES"? Or ...

    Jeebus fucking Christ, to say that "having sex with a girlfriend who was asleep" is absolutely, always rape without parsing about whether force was involved is either retarded, or you haven't had much kinky sex in your life.

  • prolefeed||

    My girlfriend loves it when we play at reluctance, or anything else. She's always up for fucking me. So, if I did her while she was initially sleeping, in your mind that would be rape?

    Please stay off juries.

  • Jeffersonian||

    Wait, I'm on your side here, PF!

  • prolefeed||

    Sorry, I was directing those at Ben's remarks, not yours. Effing nested comments ...

  • Dello||

    I slap my girlfriend (on any part of her body I fee like) whenever I feel like it: She says "Thank you, Sir!" and makes me breakfast.

    Just because YOU don't play that way doesn't make it bad when others do.

  • ||

    Wilen's accusation is that Assange started having sex with her, not using a condom, while she was asleep, despite her repeated insistence that she would never want to have sex without a condom, thereby circumventing both her consent and the use of force. Ardin's accusations involve direct force. She acted "un-victim-like"? Look up Lindy Chamberlain, a woman who had an idiosyncratic--some might say "un-victim-like"--reaction to the disappearance of her baby and was partly convicted on those grounds for a crime for which she was later exonerated. People are not necessarily logical.

    Frankly I'm astounded at how many people on this allegedly libertarian site are trivializing Assange's alleged behavior. Issues of whether it is just to charge/convict someone of an unprovable crime or the potential consequences of arraigning men on such grounds aside, do people not have the right to dictate the basis on which other people access their bodies?

    Self-ownership, anybody?

    Yes, human interactions are messy, especially when it involves sticking body parts inside other bodies--but this isn't THAT ambiguous.

  • MJ||

    "Issues of whether it is just to charge/convict someone of an unprovable crime or the potential consequences of arraigning men on such grounds aside, do people not have the right to dictate the basis on which other people access their bodies?"

    On what basis do you judge this a crime worthy of Assange losing liberty over? It is the line of distinction between immoral/unethical behavior and illegal behavior. This could be Assange taking something without permission or him misundersatnding what he had permission to take. On what basis do make a judgment that he violated these women? It would seem whether or not they acted violated is relevant as there is no physical evidence of what happened, as no one denied that intercourse occurred, just a lack of consent to a man who was already in her bed by her consent. At some point a person has a responsibility to use some discretion about who they allow that kind of access to their bodies. In some sense this type of marginal case trivializes the very concept of "rape".

  • ||

    "If I punch someone in the face and they make me breakfast does that mean I haven't punched them in the face? "

    You are begging the question. People are skeptical that the face was even slapped BECAUSE it turns out it is hard to believe she would make you breakfast after.

    Let's imagine: I walk into your house and a smiling beauty is making you breakfast. A month later she tries to convince me you had just beat her up. I might be a little skeptical. She might be telling the truth but there is cause for doubt here.

  • John||

    According to the leaked swedish prosecution documents:

    In context, the night before they woke each other up several times while they were sleeping in the same bed to initiate sex. The next morning, he got back into bed with her after being up and initiated sex. She said she was "half-asleep" when it began, but woke up of course and didn't ask him to stop. This is very diferent from having sex with an unconscious person.

  • pancakes||

    I woke up one morning to find my girl on top of me. She whispered "is this okay?" I nodded. But it wasn't okay. I was sexually assaulted. I thought she said "are you gay" and she misinterpreted my nodding as consent.

    Afterwards I felt dirty and had to take several showers to get even a semblance of cleanliness

  • ||

    Ha!

  • Van||

    100+ LOL

  • ||

    ""If I punch someone in the face and they make me breakfast does that mean I haven't punched them in the face?""

    Well how often do you punch her in the face?

    Analogy fail. If punching her in the face was something she let you do when she was awake, you analogy might be more apt.

  • ||

    Normally, after you're raped, I'd imagine you would call the police if the perp is still within your domicile and is not being threatening. And normally, you wouldn't fucking make him breakfast. And normally, you wouldn't fuck him again without obvious signs of a fight..
    Then again, I guess it could be Stockholm syndrome.. that would make total fucking sense now..

  • Anonymous Coward||

    The prosecution asserts both encounters started out as consensual but later turned into assaults—partly, it seems, because of Assange's failure to use a condom despite the women's wishes.

    Reminds of the Dave Chappelle skit on the "love contract." I wonder if there is a market yet for sexual consent and release forms yet.

    "Please check the following boxes to indicate your consent or refusal to participate in the sexual acts listed."

  • Matrix||

    Yeah. I'm beginning to think that there should be market for them. A man should keep them near his bed at all times, or at least one in his wallet. Also, the non-disclosure form as well!

  • your first customer||

    Dammit, it's not small! I was just got in from the cold!

  • Dello||

    "When a man initiates intercourse with a woman who is asleep—one of the accusations against Assange—the existence of a prior sexual relationship is hardly irrelevant."

    On the OK Cupid dating site, there are two questions that come to mind (paraphrased):

    1) Would you ever engage in rape-based roleplaying?

    2) How would you feel if your partner initiated sex while you were asleep?

    I'm curious how many people would say "no" to number 1, but love the idea of number 2...

  • fuzzysheep||

    Number 2 doesn't seem that uncommon to me. In fact, if that counts as rape, I am a rapist ... and so is my ex.

  • ||

    "These days, the demand for special treatment is so blatant that some activists openly support abolishing the presumption of innocence for rape cases and requiring the accused to prove consent (a proposal Valenti cites with obvious approval)"

    It's been my observation that this sort of extremism rapidly dries up as soon as a feminist woman bears a son.

  • ||

    "It's been my observation that this sort of extremism rapidly dries up as soon as a feminist woman bears a son."

    Sadly, that's not always the case.

  • noway||

    As he approaches puberty, and girls start calling him, certainly there is an increasing understanding of things.

  • White Chick with Dreadlocks||

    All male/female sex is rape!

  • ||

    All female/female sex is rape!

    http://www.baywindows.com/inde.....p;id=64902

  • fuzzysheep||

    Let's just settle at all sex is rape. It is too, if unprotected! You're raping Mother Earth with your future children!

  • nktw||

    Please take the accuser's names out of the article. They may be available, but the more they are distributed freely, the more danger these women are in.

    Thank you.

  • ||

    In danger of what, never ever ever EVER getting laid again?

  • prolefeed||

    They have pussies. They will get laid, though possibly only by illiterate men who haven't heard of these charges.

  • Dave||

    What a load of immoral feminazi crap.

    So the accused deserves no sympathy or anonymity while the accuser deserves both even before the truth is known?

    If the accused is named, the accuser should also be named.

    It is obscenely unfair to allow alleged "victims" to smear somebody's name and destroy their life anonymously.

  • Matrix||

    Which is why in this country, a defendent has the right to face his/her accuser.

  • ||

    HAHAHAAAAAAHAAAAAHAA

    AAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAAHA!!!!11one

    Sorry, you just made me spit up some 7/11 breakfast croissant.

  • Nicholas Anelka||

    "When a man initiates intercourse with a woman who is asleep—one of the accusations against Assange—the existence of a prior sexual relationship is hardly irrelevant"

    Exactly the same point I tried to make to my ex-wife after I drugged her and sodomized her - does she listen? Hell, no, that's why we got divorced in the first place.

  • prolefeed||

    That's either a threadwinner or TMI.

  • Slut Bunwalla||

    Can't it be both?

  • ||

    going with neither.

  • ||

    Is THAT why you want to come to the States to play so badly?

  • Gray Ghost||

    Every other washed-up foreign soccer star eventually comes to MLS for one last payday; why not Le Sulk?

  • ||

    Note that most of them have exited essentially having tarnished their image. If they REALLY wanted a payday, they'd go to Qatar. Anelka reportedly would rather play here for much less.

    The backbone of this league is American players and will be for decades.

    Guillermo Barros Schelotto was NOT washed up when he came, BTW. He is probably the best talent-for-money big name player the league has ever had (except maybe Juan Pablo Angel), and he's certainly the best player in Columbus Crew history.

    If you haven't noticed, this isn't the NASL.

  • Gray Ghost||

    You're absolutely right. We all had something left when we came to MSL with great fanfare. And we could have been in the running for MVP in any other major soccer league while we were playing in the States.

    Sincerely,
    David Beckham, Carlos Valderrama, and Cuauhtemoc Blanco

    (I agree with you on the Qatar point. MSL is still a pale shadow of other major countries' leagues. What European or South/Latin American league would you say is roughly equivalent to MSL in skill? I wouldn't guess Mexico, considering the relative performance of their league's best vs the U.S.'s in SuperLiga/Champions' League.)

  • fuzzysheep||

    Nah, the Mexicans will take over soon. They're simply better at it.

  • sevo||

    "Exactly the same point I tried to make to my ex-wife after I drugged her and sodomized her"
    So you are guilty of rape. WIH does that have to do with the article?

  • ||

    Don't believe everything you read.

  • Van||

    Feminist friends assure me I have raped many times. I do it with my weapon of choice, my enormous throbbing Sperm Gun. As intimidating as a .44 caliber revolver, they flop over backwards, quivering with desire until the deed is done.

    So far, none have dropped a dime on me to the cops, allowing me to continue.

  • Van||

    I forgot to mention that the Threat Level of impregnation by the Sperm Gun is SEVERE, loaded as it is with the most highly effective sperm known to Humanity.

  • Scott66||

    "these activists actually seem to hold women in very little esteem"

    It does seem that way but that misses the point. Feminists hate men and get joy from discriminating against them. Hatred is the reason feminists act as they do. The infantilizing of women is a byproduct.

  • ||

    All molesters and rapists claim it was consensual. Don't be so trusting.

  • prolefeed||

    And all men who did it consensually also claim it was consensual. Your point?

  • Matrix||

    It's just like the old saying in prison, "They all say they're innocent." What innocent person WOULD say they are guilty?

  • sevo||

    Of course they do, but do you have any evidence it wasn't in this case?

  • Hrm||

    And all supposed victims claim it wasn't consensual. Don't be so trusting.

    It's not about 'trust'. It's about showing that a crime actually occurred.

  • Matrix||

    Lest we forget about the Duke LaCrosse players

  • Matrix||

    Which also leads me to this point. Those who falsely accuse people (and by falsely accuse, they knew full well the person was not guilty of said crime or made up the crime) should face the full penalty of crime of which they are accusing the innocent party. So, if the typical sentence is 20 years, the false accuser should get 20 years. This should go to private citizens, police, and prosecutors all the same!

  • Dave||

    Agreed. The lack of appropriate punishment for false rape accusations is a major flaw in our justice system. There is also an almost complete lack of oversight and appropriate punishment of district attorneys. DA's routinely prosecute sex crime cases with little or no actual evidence (see the Duke case) and then face little or no punishment for their abuse of the law. The DA and the false accuser in the Duke case deserve the same sentence as a rapist. They both should be in prison but are not. Innocent individuals go through a form of russian roulette where they hope their jury full of idiots decides the case based on the evidence instead of emotion. They always lose - whether they "win" in court or not. Their lives are often destroyed even if they avoid conviction.

    We need a more effective method to prevent such DA misconduct and screen out cases that should not go to trial.

    One major step in the right direction would be to fully name both the accuser and accused. This recognizes that many accusers are liars, that many accused are innocent and that all should be treated equally and fairly by society and the law.

  • ||

    I don't know about that, but there is a the charge of false accusations or something of that sort, which should be levied more often.

  • Matrix||

    Yes, but the penalty is not very severe in most instances. So, if the individual was wrongly convicted based off of false testimony by a person who knew full well they were lying, and spent 20 years in jail or were even executed... why should the liar, who seeks to actually MURDER or in any way DAMAGE the life or reputation of the innocent party NOT face similar punishment? We are too soft on liars! A fine and/or 6 months in jail? Pitiful compared to 20 years or execution!

  • Dave||

    +1000

    Why doesn't our justice system apply similar fairness and logic?

  • ||

    Accusations drive DAs, they probably want more of them, false or not.

  • ||

    I agree, at 5 years and $$$ to th victims for moral and economical damage.

  • ||

    Most feminists claim it was rape. Don't be so trusting.

    Feel free to use that as alt-text.

  • ||

    Also, we shouldn't confuse legal laws that were fashioned to standardize criminal convictions of rape in a certain way, from the way we may define rape personally or as a society.

    For example, even if in the lay sense we may define rape to include a scenario where a "woman" withdraws her consent and a "man" proceeds against her wishes, we may wish to exclude such cases for consideration in the law as rape, if we do not believe that the legal system can reliably convict or exonerate the accused based on a he said / she said argument alone which would be present in such a case (this would be the only type of evidence relevant to the crime because the presence of DNA on or in the victim's genitals does not go to the issue of whether or not consent was withdrawn).

    Passing a law allowing for conviction for rape in cases of withdrawn consent (without physical violence), raises the specter of excessive false convictions in a very bad way, with the falsely convicted serving *very* long sentences for crimes which may never have been committed. This is not good policy.

    And let's not try to move forward with the old canard that women never lie about rape, as by now we certainly know that is not the case. As for comparisons with other forms of crime, such as robbery, let's all admit we can think of far many more ways that a man's semen could arrive in a woman's vagina consensually, than we could imagine ways in which a stranger could come into possession of another person's wallet consensually without making an effort to turn it in or return it. These are not analogous situations, really.

    We now even allow for convictions of rape within marriage with little more than a he said / she said argument. Just imagine how hard it would be to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a man stole his fiancee's car (took it without her consent) and drove it back to his own home - the same home in which he and the fiancee currently live together.

  • Dave||

    It is grossly inappropriate and immoral to prosecute somebody for a sex crime without hard evidence that a crime occurred, let alone that the accused is the perpetrator. Yet such injustices happen routinely in our society and many innocent people are convicted and imprisoned for questionable or even imaginary sex crimes. One such individual, Gerald Amirault, remains imprisoned in Massachusetts even though the conviction has been shown to be unjust.

    This practice is worse than rape itself. It deprives many innocent men and women of their reputation and even their liberty. Even when vindicated, their lives are often destroyed.

    The feminist canard that women don't lie about rape is preposterous on it's face. It is a deeply immoral lie in itself. All people will lie about anything if it is to their advantage and women have often have great motivation to lie about rape. Some will lie to gain revenge on the accused. Some will just lie about rape in order to gain sympathy as a victim. Some will lie just because they are crazy or very young.

  • Alan||

    Years ago I read an essay on the subject by Henry Lawson, a notable Australian author. Apparently in the colonial period in Australia, the law heavily favored women in charges of rape - in effect, in order to protect the small female minority in the outback who were living among hordes of convicts, a charge of rape meant a presumption of guilt for the defendant. As a result, there were cases where men were executed (murdered) for cases of rape where the man had never even met the woman in question - but, for instance, it was later found out that the woman had to explain an unexpected conception that occurred while her husband was away, and the easiest thing to do was to find a man to accuse of rape.

    The idea that women and children never lie about rape is a clear and obvious lie.

  • Matrix||

    Which is why I stay the hell away from kids and don't put myself in any situation with a woman where I can get such an accusation. I don't need that crap, and there are too many vindictive people in this world that with a word can destroy your life.

  • ||

    Which is why I... don't put myself in any situation with a woman where I can get such an accusation.-Matrix

    Wow, are you living in a fool's paradise! Ms. False-Accuser can lay "such an accusation" on you without even knowing you exist. Don't believe me? Find Cathleen Crowell Webb's book Forgive Me and read her true-life record of how she lied a man she'd never met into prison on a rape charge.

  • pancakes||

    and children? WHAT? I'm not sure you want to take this convo down to pedo-land. What's important here is that women are adults and should have the full faculties of an adult person. With kids it's like triple messey and icky and nasty and don't even want to think about it.

  • ||

    But really, how old is old enough?

    As the saying goes, "old enough to eat a grape, old enough for me to rape."

  • Dave||

    Unfortunately, while "icky and nasty," the issue of children is also very relevant here. It would be wonderful if it was easy to identify those guilty of abusing children - but it isn't. It would be great if children didn't lie - but they do. The same justice system which is cavalier in prosecuting possible sex crimes against adults uses the same approach with children who may be even more unreliable in their testimony.

    The end result is often far ickier and nastier than the alleged crime. Often worse than rape itself. Lives are completely destroyed while justice is turned upside down.

    So you may not want to think about it but it's important that you, as a citizen and hopefully moral human being, do.

  • Dave||

    Oh, one more thing. Prosecuting false accusations of sex crimes involving children also hurts the children even more than the alleged crime might. How does an adult deal with the knowledge that a childhood fib destroyed somebody's life? If you have a conscience, that might be even more traumatic than an actual molestation.

  • ||

    Read the Wikipedia article on Day Care Sex Abuse Hysteria, the great witch hunt of the 1980s and 1990s:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Day_care_sex_abuse_hysteria

    It's horrifying. The children were more traumatized by the things they were coerced into "admitting" - and came up with out of their own youthful imaginations - than anything that actually occurred (which was nothing whatsoever).

  • Dave||

    Thanks for pointing out the other motivations for lies about rape. An unexpected conception is still a motivation for some.

    Thanks also for pointing out the unreliability of children in these matters. Anybody who has spent a significant time with children know that they will lie about anything and lie in the most extravagant manner. They're probably worse than adults in this manner. Yet parents, the justice system and juries often seem oblivious to this simple fact and destroy an innocent adult based solely on the unreliable testimony of a child.

  • ||

    Gerald Amirault was released in 2004; I otherwise agree with what you said.

  • MJ||

    It is reasonable explanation in this case that consent was ambiguous and after the women finding out about each other they withdrew consent after the fact.

  • Van||

    The most amazing thing about this story is the revelation that Assange is a Stud.
    I thought he looked like a Poofter.

  • MJ||

    He apparently targets feminist activists for his sexual depredations. That sort of look might be a help in that case.

  • Dave||

    Feminists are also probably easy prey given their lack of intellect/reason.

  • MJ||

    "This unanimity is no doubt partly due to the fact that, on the left, the instinct to back women claiming sexual abuse by men has been blunted by Assange's status as a rebel fighting the power—while on the right, scorn for feminist sexual ideology has proved stronger than distaste for Assange."

    In other words, the Left will put aside their principles because they do not want to attack a man they like, and the Right will put aside their disagreements with a man they do not like for the sake of attacking an ideology they find preposterous. These apparently are equivalently shaky grounds in Cathy Young's mind.

  • mr simple||

    So did you not read the article or do you just have no idea what's going on around you at any given time of day?

  • ||

    I found those characterizations to be pathetically facile. Gimme a break cathy

  • ||

    Well, i for one think we should call this the Swedish Praying Mantis Laws. The female praying mantis, as is well known, kills and eats the male having sex with her, and obviously this is a feminist utopia in Nature. Thus, i think it can be said, that there is a Swedish Sexual Ultimate Solution, wherein ALL consensual sex between man and woman is rape (Gertrude Stein would be salivating at both ends to hear this), so my advice (dickless Swedes aside) is that if you ever go to Sweden, DON'T HAVE SEX! It will only land you in prison, routinely beaten by riding-crop wielding, buxom blonds in Gestapo uniforms. Personally, i don't give a damn what kind of emasculating Utopian hell other countries auto-eroticize themselves with (i am, after all, a libertarian), and if all Swedish Meatballs want to turn themselves in for state-sponsored castration, go for it. i mean who gives a fuck, really? Honestly, they make the most plug-ugly cars on Earth. If a Volvo and a Saab both drove off a cliff. which would hit the ground first? The answer: who gives a shit? Really, if mass-castration is Sweden's zeit-geist, then that's their problem. Although, looking at history, you had your Denmark that was raped and pillaged by that bastard Hitler, and you had your Norway, which was raped and pillaged by the aforementioned bastard Hitler, and you had your Finland, which was raped and strangled and pillaged by that four-door bastard Stalin, and you had your Sweden, which got raped and pillaged by nobody. So; just what kind of stinking to high heavens dirty deal did the Swedes have to cut with der fuhrer and Papa Joe to stay out of the war? Selling their souls was just a down payment and their balls were part of the bargain as well. The Praying Mantis Laws are just icing on the cake; the Swedes haven't had balls for 70 years. Their Nordic Mistresses can march them all off to Death Camps for all i care. And as far as i am concerned, they can castrate Assange with a dull deer antler, though it would be an injustice (i suppose).Now; if they want to export the Praying Mantis Laws to the US, then we've got a problem, maybe even a military confrontation. i don't know about you, but the thought of an army of castrated Swedes attacking America has got me shaking in my boots. No, i suppose that's asking too much. So, anyway, i do believe my insane rant against the goddam Swedes is pretty much spent itself. i need another drink.

  • ||

    The Swedes raped and pillaged most of the Baltic region in the 17th century.

  • omg||

    It will only land you in prison, routinely beaten by riding-crop wielding, buxom blonds in Gestapo uniforms.

    BRB GOING TO SWEDISH PRISON

  • Spazmo||

    Threadwinner.

  • ||

    seriously, how many swedish people do you know?

  • ||

    It is too dangerous for a man to have a relationship with a woman anymore or to even be alone in their presence.There are four things a man should avoid at all cost-booze,drugs,women,and children.If you do that your chances of ever winding up in a prison cell are greatly diminished.

  • ||

    lol?

  • ||

    If you are avoiding booze, drugs, and women, you are avoiding most reasons for living.

  • ||

    IOmagine for a second that you're having sex, and you suddenly experience an excruciating pain as a result of what your partner is doing. You scream at your partner to stop immediately. He (or she doesn't). They continue to fuck you until they have an orgasm, even as you scream in pain.

    Isn't that rape?

  • Steff||

    Yes, it is.

  • Dave||

    Theoretically yes but practically no.

    How much forewarning is necessary? Seconds? That is unrealistic - especially in the throes of passion. How do you prove that the person heard the complaint about pain or clearly understood the complaint? How would one prove such a case of rape? It's impossible.

    Such questionable cases should be kept out of the justice system. They are a cause for dispute among the participants only.

    There are even other clearer cases of rape where there is no concrete evidence that actual rape (force or coercion was used) occurred. These also should be kept out of the justice system - unless we prefer to ruin a thousand innocent lives to convict one rapist.

  • Steff||

    It's not unrealistic, though. People don't lose their free will in the throes of passion, you know? That's discrediting men by assuming that they cannot possibly function while their penis is in use in any sane, compassionate manner. I know that if I would scream in pain, I would sure want whoever it was to stop, right that instant. If not, you'd bet I'd feel violated -- it's not just an issue of pain, it's also violated trust, it's stepping right over my humanity.

    This isn't something that's going to be fixed by courts, though. This needs to be fixed by individual choice; by mutual respect between individuals, both sexes, and viewing sex as a genuine exchange of trust, a contract as it were, that shouldn't be breached.

  • waffles||

    Agree. With my lover sometimes exciting sex can hurt me or her. We usually stop, tell eachother that yes, ow that hurts, don't do it again, and then resume. It's not hard, just requires basic trust and communication.

  • ||

    Exactly. There are lots of perfectly normal occurances during perfectly normal sex when you tell your partner to stop for a second because... who knows, his hand is on your hair, or you're elbow is poking him in the ribs, or your leg is getting a cramp or whatever.

  • ||

    Then explain to me how I'm supposed to know when my girl wants me to stop with a ball-gag in her mouth.

  • ||

    If your girl can't make herself understood with a ball gag in her mouth, you're not using it often enough.

  • ||

    If you're fucking your girlfriend in a situation where there is no possible way for her to tell you to stop, you're doing it wrong.

    Especially when it comes to bondage scenarios.

  • ||

    The safety word is banana.

  • Dave||

    It IS unrealistic to prosecute such behavior as rape.

    Of course it would be terrible to continue sex if it causing the other person pain. The person should stop immediately.

    But you are failing to recognize the reality of human physiology. In the throes of passion (nearing orgasm), it literally would likely take a couple seconds to stop. If a male is ejaculating, he physically cannot usually stop until ejaculation is completed. This is not discrediting men but recognizing physical reality. Perhaps as a female, you do not appreciate this physical fact. Contrary to feminist idiocy, men and women are very different physically - and intellectually for that matter.

  • waffles||

    do some kegels, control your orgasm, and stop being such a misandrist. You discredit men by being recognizing "physical reality".

  • ||

    Agreed. I recognize that it can be hard, infuriating, difficult. But not stopping when your partner is in pain and telling you to stop shows a unconscionable lack of compassion.

    Fortunately, I've never had to deal with that. I have had to ask someone to stop during sex because something they were doing hurt (in a bad way). In every case, they were able to control themselves and stop and get over it in a few minutes.

  • Dave||

    do some reading, educate yourself and stop being so brainlessly flippant. You discredit reality and men by failing to recognize physical limitations.

    Again, I recognize that either partner can and should stop if intercourse is in any way uncomfortable or they simply wish to stop. But my only query was how quickly is reasonable - one second, two seconds, three seconds? In the throes of passion, the other person's complaint may not even register immediately, especially during orgasm. Is somebody going to be sitting there with a stopwatch? What if one partner is hearing impaired? What if they mistake "ouch" for some other sexual sound? And on and on and on.

    I think this particular scenario is far too complicated to quickly label certain conduct as "rape." But then again I prefer not to trivialize the word or act of rape.

  • Paul||

    Never mind psychological studies on "hot" and "cold" states. I remember another study in "Predictably Irrational" which had some interesting results on surveys done on men in a normal state versus while masturbating. People are going to be less rational and more like animals when having sex. You might say someone should be responsible for what they do regardless of mental state, but you might be hard pressed to blame someone for irresponsible behavior when there's crazy gas in the air.

  • ||

    Yes, but it's not a court case. There are some things in life that just can't be handled by the law. This example of yours is the worst kind of "he said she said" mess that has no chance of being resolved by a court.

  • ||

    yes because she/he said stop. Everybody can stop, everything else is just bu11

  • Steff||

    This one's hard to parse. On one hand, I firmly believe in the presumption of innocence, and that it's a very nasty deal to convict a man on charges that they can barely force to stick. On the other hand, rape victims have suffered silently for fear of being mistreated for coming forward about what happened to them.

    Then you have the lines of consent, which can be exceptionally difficult at times, but ultimately, 'No means no' IS about the only fair way to go about it. Or, 'yes means yes', which isn't quite the same thing. When someone's told 'no', that oughta be the end of it, period.

    In a case like this, where it is essentially 'he said, she said', it should go to court and be judged, and neither side should be given preferential treatment.

    Ultimately, this debate is touching on issues with society, not with law, where the archaic views of men/women relations have clashed with more enlightened views of individual rights and laws. I see this in my own marriage, even: We are a fucked up society. A lot of women don't know how to take the kind of power it requires to be able to say, 'no' and use it. Then, angry and hurt, and feeling violated, they figure men should have read their minds. Are they wrong to feel violated and hurt? No. Are the men wrong for not being telepaths? No.

    I suppose the only fair answer, then, might be presuming 'No' constantly, until you're given a definitive 'yes' from someone. However, there are still men in the world, and a lot of them, who think that the yes is automatic and there are a lot of women in the world who don't know how to say 'no' and make it stick.

    Which means we have a lot of work to do.

    ...and this rambling post is brought to you on one cup of coffee. Salut!

  • ||

    Somebody give this man a "HARUMPH!"

  • VikingMOose||

    HRUMPH.

  • ||

    Personally, I'd count Assange's actions as some kind of second-degree or third-degree sexual assault.

    The women clearly did not consent to sex without as condom and in both cases it was forced upon them. Just because they reacted with less than an immediate call to the police doesn't make it okay.

    Maybe this should open a discussion of what counts as "lesser degree" sexual assult. Just because it isn't full on forcible rape doesn't mean the women's right have not been violated in some way. Just because what the man did isn't beat you into submission, but trick you into unprotected sex doesn't mean you should just have to shut up and accept it.

    All sorts of similar situations that don't involve sex can be criminally prosecuted. You can be prosecuted for assuault for throwing a pie in someone's face. Why is it all of a sudden laughable and stupid just because the crime involves sex?

  • ||

    Hazel, don't you see? Don't you get it? Feminists [something something] and [I am a man] so, no, allegations of sexual assault should not be taken seriously unless there is a gun or knife involved.

  • VikingMoose||

    high#: also you don't take it seriously, unless you it serves your agenda/ unless you think it scores you political points.

  • waffles||

    PENIS != PIE

  • ||

    You'rev right. Penis >>> Pie.

  • fuzzysheep||

    Wanna go get some pie later?

  • ||

    In america, the crime must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. There is plenty of reasonable doubt about the Assange charges. Now, this is sweden so who knows what will happen but under no circumstances should charges like these ever result in a conviction in the USA. The burden of proof CANNOT POSSIBLY BE MET.

  • ||

    "Why is it all of a sudden laughable and stupid just because the crime involves sex?"

    To clarify: it's laughable and stupid because it's not possible to resolve it in court beyond a reasonable doubt.

  • ||

    How can you say that before a trial has happened?

    Logic ftl.

  • ||

    How exactly can you prove such a thing?

  • ||

    unless there's a video, its simply not possible to prove beyond a reasonable doubt

  • ||

    So the defacto assumption should always be that the woman is lying unless there is a videotape?

  • Dave||

    No, the de facto assumption is that certain accusations are unprovable and do not belong in court.

  • ||

    I'm not convinced that is the case.
    Why is the assumption that in rape cases it is always going to come down to 'he said, she said'?

    Just for example, in the Assange case, the second women was known to her friends and former lovers as someone who would never have sex without protection. What makes you think she's suddenly going to break that rule with Assange?

    Furthermore, Assange hasn't really denied the fact that he didn't use a condom with her. He hasn't really denied that he woke her up by initiating sex with her. He hasn't denied that she wanted to use a condom, or that he didn't. He hasn't really denied anything in either woman's story excapt he claims in the first case the condom broke by accident. He still admits that he continued after the condom broke.

    If he admits EVERYTHING ELSE, then isn't that an admission of guilt?

    There are ways of proving these things. You mgiht have tape recorded phone calls where the woman says she won't have sex without a condom, or tape recorded phone calls after the fact where he admits stopping her from reaching for one.

    And what's more, it's not a full on rape charge they are prosecuting, it's a kind of misdemeanor level sexual assault. If snapping a photo with your phone up someones skirt or exposing oneself in public is a prosecutable offense, why not refusing to use a condom during sex against the woman's wishes?

  • ||

    are you saying there's no reasonable doubt if he denies the accusation? WTF

  • ||

    The only thing he has denied is that he broke the condom on purpose.

  • Van||

    From now on there should be a Federal law requiring men to keep every scumbag produced in a special bio-hazard container, so that, when asked by the Police to produce proof, they can show the container to the Cops, verifying that their Sperm Gun was fired safely with a meat sock over the barrel. This won't prove consent, but more importantly it proves a condom was used.

    Also, women should realize that tonsils can't get pregnant.

  • ||

    "Also, women should realize that tonsils can't get pregnant."

    ^^THIS^^

  • ||

    Read up on oral sex and throat cancer.

  • ||

    The women clearly did not consent to sex without as condom and in both cases it was forced upon them.

  • ||

    Except for that part where.. well they did consent... and consented to it the next morning, in that one woman's case.. and the other one made him fucking breakfast..

    Sounds to me like the women realized that the other knew how petty and stupid the other was, and instead of admitting that they both really are that naive, they claimed 'rape' as away to escape the undeniable fact that they are, in fact, fucking retarded

  • ||

    Speaking as a fairly observant woman with a healthy distrust of feminism, I think the broadening definition of rape can be attributed to two social factors.
    1. Women are now encouraged to approach sex the same way as men, with great enthusiasm and impulsiveness. "Sexual empowerment"
    2. But women have more to lose from casual sex than men, emotionally and physically, so they are much more likely to regret it.

    So in the face of increasing sexual regrets, without an honest sense of personal responsibility, who could be easier to blame than the guy?

  • ChicagoSucks||

    '1. Women are now encouraged to approach sex the same way as men, with great enthusiasm and impulsiveness. "Sexual empowerment"'

    Yes, Yes, Yes

    '2. But women have more to lose from casual sex than men, emotionally and physically, so they are much more likely to regret it.'

    What exactly do you loose emotionally and physically that is more than men? Calories? I'll buy that, because I'm the one usually doing all the work. Self esteem? Bullshit, the only 'emotional' losses that a woman incurs from sleeping with a man are inflicted by other women, not the man.

  • ||

    I think that is a bunch of bullshit, really.

    There is a broadening definition of sexual assault because people are becoming more cognizant of both women's right to control her own sexuality and a man's ability to control his own impulses.

    You go to places like Saudi Arabia and you still find this attitude that men are helpless victims of sexual urges and if a women shows an ankle that she's "asking" to be raped because the men obviously go crazy at the sight of a bare ankle and can't control themselves.

    These are archaic attitudes.
    Men should be held responsible for their own actions and woman's body is hers to control, regardless of where she is, what she is wearing, what she drank or what she said earlier in the evening.

    The idea that women just blame the man because they have regrets for their wanton behavior is as idiotic as the notion that the man isn't responsible for his actions because sex turns them into wild beasts.

  • ||

    But to prove either way is nearly impossible, unless you don't subscribe to innocent until proven guilty BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT

  • Hazel Meade||

    I suppose you think that "the woman must be lying because she has regrets" is defacto "reasonable", regardless of who the woman is or who the man is.

  • ||

    No, but "there is no fucking confirmable evidence whatsoever for her claims" is tough to convict with. Jesus what part of "evidence" do you not understand?

  • Dave||

    +1000

    Unfortunately, Hazel (and many like her) has or will sit on a jury someday.

  • ||

    "what she drank "

    Good lord. You're surely not implying that a woman can recant her consent on the grounds that she was drunk? What if both are drunk, is only the woman in a position to accuse rape? WTF

  • ||

    No, I mean, being drunk isn't a form of consent.

  • Dave||

    Yes, but being drunk does seriously muddy the waters of reasonable doubt most of the time. When both parties are drunk, the waters are even murkier. In many such cases, it is gravely irresponsible for the DA to pursue prosecution but they often do anyway.

  • ||

    Do you mean all drunken sex is non-consensual? WTF

  • Dave||

    Hazel, you really have to get a grip.

    Bringing medieval-like Middle Eastern culture into the discussion is not helpful.

    The idea that women blame the man because they have regrets for their wanton behavior is unfortunately reality, not idiotic. Why? Because many women (like many men) are extremely selfish immoral idiots. What percentage? I don't know. But there are quite a few. I would suggest you read up on a few notorious high-profile cases where such idiotic female behavior has occurred - there are many similar cases which never make the news.

    There is a broadening of the idea of sexual assualt since Western culture has become callous towards the rights of men perhaps much in the same way it previously was callous towards the rights of women. The pendulum has swung in the opposite direction rather than finding it's appropriate "fair and balanced" position.

    There is a similar parallel in our society's views on race issues.

  • ||

    So, basically, because one country has the attitude that women ARE, in fact, sex objects to men, we should ramp up rape laws in western civilization, to the point of putting men in prison for the crime of a condom breaking?

  • ||

    He's not being charged for a broken condom. He's being accused of f-king two women against their will. Get your facts straight and stop repeating lies.

  • ||

    RTFA, dipshit.
    That's exactly why he's being charged.

    More importantly, he didn't 'fuck them against their will'. In fact, they were both more than happy to fuck him and follow him around like star-struck groupies.

  • ||

    The article is wrong. Read the accusers' reports.

  • ||

    "(holding partner down, and unsafe sex despite earlier expressed opposition to such)" charge 1 and 2.

    "(sex while complainant was sleeping)" charge 4, which was after they had already engaged in consensual sex.

    "charge 3 — pressing his erect penis into the complainant’s back"

    Yeah, not seeing the 'against their will' you speak of.

  • ||

    How many rape victims consent to sex with their attackers AFTER they were raped? And after their attackers fell asleep in their apartments and didn't call the police ASAP?
    And then the one girl makes him breakfast in the morning and then still works with him?

    And they didn't cry 'rape' until they both found out they were both played by him.

    That's not rape. That's two chicks finding out they're dumbasses.

  • ||

    Your Honor she never said no.She was already dead.

  • Dr Stuart Jeanne Bramhall||

    There has been a recent media frenzy trying to define what "rape" and "sexual assault" are - in trying to determine whether the Swedish charges against Assange have any merit. I would be really grateful if the mainstream media made the same effort to define what a "feminist" is. There seems to be a strong tendency to portray them as rabid, hysterical, ball-breaking harpies.

    Unfortunately even many progressives are unaware of two important facts: 1) that the federal government effectively infiltrated and smashed the feminist movement, just as they did the civil rights movement, the anti-war movement, and other American left/progressive movements and 2) that the angry, arrogant, ball-breaking stereotype feminists enjoy in the mainstream media is mainly the one the US government created for them.

    Unfortunately the US intelligence role played America's feminist poster girl Gloria Steinem is still largely invisible to most Americans. In 1976 Steinem blocked Random House from publishing details about her CIA past (see http://www.mail-archive.com/ct.....02217.html). A great pity - as its publication might have changed history for American women. Betty Friedan, the founder of NOW, publicly confronted Steinem for deliberately sowing dissension and trying to break up the organization. Steinem also very effectively used Ms Magazine to create massive divisions between professional and working class feminists and between feminists and progressive men.

    In addition African American activists have long been aware that the FBI was planting so-called "black feminists" in civil rights organizations to break them up. More recently evidence has surfaced that Steinem created and ran this operation (see http://rah.posterous.com/black.....teinem-fwd). I (I'm female, despite my name) ran across some of these agents when I worked with a group creating an African American Museum in Seattle. I write about it in my recent memoir: THE MOST REVOLUTIONARY ACT: MEMOIR OF AN AMERICAN REFUGEE (www.stuartbramhall.com). I currently live in exile in New Zealand.

  • ||

    When Julian beats these charges and theres no way he can't, then what? Do these two women just merrily walk away after trying to falsely imprison a man.

    This is a high profile case but what about the tens of thousands of low profile false rape accusation that happen every year. Once a rape accusation is filed the man is arrested, loses his job has his reputation dragged thru the mud, name plastered in the papers.

    We read everyday about some false rape accusation that ranges from revenge, to wanting child custody, to didn't complete homework and needed an excuse, to not wanting her lover to find out she's cheating, to apparently no reason at all. Whats to stop the cavalcade of false accusations?

    When the woman recants it's oh well my bad and thats it, she continues on as if nothing happened. The man will not be rehired, he won't get another job because no company will hire a man whose accused of rape even if the charges have been dropped. He will forever be branded a rapist. Right now there are millions of men living on the fringes of society thanks to the sanctimonious word of a woman.

    If Julian Assange gets convicted and is jailed that means that a woman's word is all that is needed to convict any man of any crime without so much as a lock of hair out of place. If he is proven innocent and it's proven these women falsely accused him and these women serve no time that means any woman can accuse any man of any crime and she'll never be punished for trying to destroy a mans life. False accusations are a crime and should be harshly punished.

  • ||

    To clarify for all you fuzzy thinkers: There is a huge difference between what actually a happened and what can be proved. It literally doesn't matter how bad of a cad the man is, there's no way to prove it in many of these hypotheticals being thrown around.

  • Dave||

    Exactly. Without actual proof, none of these alleged sex crime cases warrant prosecution. But they are often prosecuted anyway - and the defendant loses his reputation and often his liberty.

  • MJ||

    If the legal system were omniscient and infallible, perhaps all cases of unethical sexual behavior could be prosecutable. Unfortunately, the law is run by mere humans, and you either trample the rights of the accused or not take "rape" seriously because the burden of proof is too high.

  • ||

    The burden of proof is put on the victim. Prove a negative, that you didn't consent. It's a logical impossibility.

  • ||

    "The burden of proof is put on the victim accuser "

    So, what we should do is take their word for it and never investigate?

  • ||

    Make the accused prove he didn't do it, like any other crime.

  • ||

    Uh.. the burden is on the accuser to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the accused did it.

    And weren't you the one saying we shouldn't force someone to 'prove a negative'?

  • ||

    Prove that you didn't just contradict yourself, please.

  • MJ||

    One of the things in dispute is whether a crime even occurred, and that the women are "victims". Under the US legal system the accused gets the benefit of the doubt, and the case against has to be proved beyond reasonable doubt. Perhaps Sweden does not protect the rights of the accused to that extent. Do you have a problem with the "reasonable doubt" standard?

  • Jonathan||

    The Seattle Weekly did a good job covering women lying about rape.

    The Lie That Just Happens

  • Dave||

    Thanks. A very interesting article.

    But it's not news to me. In my occupation, I have seen firsthand a number of women lie about rape - usually just because they're f'ing crazy. It may be a personality disorder, psychosis, or other mental illness.

    The article should be required reading for all feminists.

    Maybe Hazel here should give it a read.

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  • Mark Tully||

    This issue has also inadvertently brought up the fact that for many feminists, rape seems to be a political issue rather than a moral, human one. I suppose they feel it's ok to capture and sell the stories of victims in exchange for liberal opposite because they believe that these policies help the victims. Real assault takes place and is a tragedy for the victim. Using that to push some progressive policy on people seems pretty heinous to me...

  • ||

    By most accounts, this is a balanced piece, but to my mind even Ms Young doesn't really see the big picture. It seems rather paradoxical that in an age where women are freely able to discuss their sex lives, their sexual proclivities, when and how they have sex in the most public ways, and even in some states to force parents to forego their parental right of knowledge of their minor's sexual activity, society requires that males be given complete responsiblity for being able to read, analyze and decipher the intricacies of the feminine mind. Women flaunt their sexuality with the vim and vigor of street hawkers selling stolen goods, while conveniently decrying the ever present possibility of "rape." The Rape word has become so politicized that today in some states you can be charged with "rape" without even touching a woman. So women don lipstick (in 59 shades) mascera,rouge,lip gloss, miniskirts, micro skirts, see-thru blouses, plunging necklines, thongs, daisy dukes, shorts, short shorts, push-up bras, lace bras, lace blouses, see-thru blouses, jewelry, body baths, perfumes and f*ck me heels with the glee of a heroin addict in a field of poppies--and then have the temerity to whine about men "objectifying" them. Women bugle their victories over the "patriarchy" via feminist power while at the same time demanding an army of attorneys, judges, psychotherapists, rape crisis counselors, the power of the government and of course mommy and daddy "because they were frozen in fear and couldn't articulate the word "No." I think it high time that society devise a test to give all people endowed with a Vagina which I will call the "Moron Test." Like real Morons--people the courts find incapable of making logical rational decsions--and therefore become wards of the court, we need to ferret out those proverbial "innocents" incapable of rising to the level of..oh lets say a chipmunk brain-- and letting a man know that "no actually means no," and not "kinda no" or "maybe no," or mostly no-but-kinda-yes...but-not-really-real-yes." We should not do this for women of course, but rather for men..who have to navigate these dangerous, confusing social currents, cross currents and rip tides.

  • Sarah||

    Did you seriously just release the names of the both of the victims?!?!? WHAT THE HELL?

  • ||

    'Victims'? lol

  • dave||

    Are you f'ing serious?

    First of all, they are "alleged" victims. Secondly, I don't hear any concern regarding the alleged perpetrator's name becoming public.

    Do you have any concept of fairness? Or does fairness only apply to the female gender?

    WHAT THE HELL?

  • ||

    That's exactly what she's implying. She's a chick who levied the most vile of charges against another person. She can't be lying, simply can't be..

  • ncage||

    THE BEES ARE IN MY ASS!!

  • ||

    Your insensitivity to allegations of rape and slandering of victims is unconscionable. Rape is never "trivial", and your characterisation of the women's behavior as "un-victim-like" is pure slander against all victims of rape. Do we need a #reasonandme campaign now?

  • dave||

    Your hypocrisy and your insensitivity to the entire male gender is more than unconscionable - it is f'ing revolting.

  • ||

    Oh, and thanks but no thanks for releasing the victim's names. You've just put their lives in danger.

  • dave||

    Seriously?

    Again, they are "alleged" victims.

    Again, do you have any concern about the alleged perpetrator's name becoming public? Is there any concern about his rights or safety?

    Your hypocrisy is seriously disgusting.

  • ||

    So pinning one woman down and penetrating her against her will and penetrating another woman when she was unconscious is "trivial" now?
    Just look at the comments that agree with your article. They're all "sluts is asking for it, with their lip rouge and miniskirts." Hope you're proud of yourself, Cathy Young.

  • ||

    Yes. It IS trivial when the 'victims' decided to not report the 'rape' until they both found out about each other..

  • Robert Hutchinson||

    All right, here goes:

    1) Releasing the names of the accusers is extremely poor form, Reason. They've been getting death threats. I strongly encourage you to remove their names.

    2) I would just love to take some of the arguments I've read in these comments and turn them around on the "social contract". How can you possibly have a problem with government monopolies on services when you use those services all the time? Do you know how you grit your teeth every time you read someone smugly talking about "I don't see *you* not using the roads or the police or the fire department!" That's exactly what many of you sound like when anyone dares to suggest that feminism might have a lot of valid points--ridicule, and a retreat to what "everyone knows" is "just common sense".

    3) Many commenters are also exhibiting a tremendous ability to hold illogically contradictory thoughts in their heads. Yes, it is possible that the charges against Assange will not lead to his conviction. This is NOT proof that the charges were baseless. It is NOT proof that proceeding with legal action is baseless. And it is most certainly NOT proof that the accusers were therefore lying and should themselves be prosecuted.

    Yes, reasonable doubt (as long as we're going to assume that Sweden uses that standard just like the U.S. does, but that's another issue) means that many cases of rape and sexual assault simply cannot be proven in a court of law. But "not proven true" is miles and miles away from "proven false". You cannot transmute a "not guilty" for Assange into a "guilty" for his accusers.

    4) And to everyone who thinks that there's an epidemic of false rape charges made by women, considering the unholy hell that most *any* woman goes through who makes rape charges that become public knowledge (see, for example, this comments section ALONE) ... go educate yourself on human action, then try again.

  • ||

    I've investigated scores of rapes, and some fake ones. There is hardly an epidemic of false rape charges, but they are far from uncommon. The primary difference between false rape charges and for example insurance fraud fake burglary reports etc. is that false rape charges almost always target a fake defendant. Also, rape cases unlike most other cases get the defendant's name splashed in the media, while the accuser almost always gets to remain anonymous.

  • dave||

    Bobby, let me educate you on each of your points:

    1) Releasing the names of the accusers is only fair if the name of the accused is released. The accused typically suffers far more than the accusers when he/she is named.

    2) Feminism, much as any other belief system, is not entirely without merit. Unfortunately, feminism has become largely synonymous with misandrism.

    3) If there is a lack of concrete evidence and therefore obvious "reasonable doubt," it is gravely and obscenely immoral to prosecute somebody. Prosecution, especially in sex crimes, severely damages the accused individual - even if they "win" the case.

    4) You must have a very poor understanding of human nature. Nobody knows what percentage of rape allegations are false. That's why it is important to maintain the presumption of innocence and show the same fairness/empathy to both the accused and accuser. There are a myriad of reasons a woman will falsely cry rape - many have been listed here. While some accusers may go through "holy hell," the accused suffers far worse - their life is often completely destroyed even if they are vindicated in court.

    Your extreme bias in favor of rape accusers and utter lack of empathy for the accused is distressing - mainly since such attitudes are all too commmon and doom many innocent people to a life of misery.

    dave

  • Robert Hutchinson||

    My name's not Bobby.

    1) The accusers didn't release the name of the accused--the state did.

    2) Feminism is 99.99% not misandrism. It criticizes male privilege, not men for being men. (Yes, you can find self-identified feminists who will say things like "down with men". And you can find libertarians who say things like "let's all live as hermits and abolish human interaction".)

    3) I believe you are conflating the accusers attempting to bring charges and the state going forward with a prosecution. Surely you're not saying that all victims of "he said she said" crimes should just throw up their hands and say "no getting justice here, I'm just screwed" and move on? Because, again, I am completely not trying to defend the particular legal system and/or prosecuting officials of any state.

    4) I agree that putting these cases in the public eye brings so much attention to the accused and accuser, much of it unfair and oppressive. But to suggest that the solution for this happening to the accused is to make damned sure that the accusers have to deal with it too is perverse. And I see no evidence that the accused ends up having it much worse than the accuser.

    I am not sure from whence you derived your evaluation of my opinion in that last paragraph, so I'm not sure how to respond to it.

  • dave||

    Ok, Mr. Hutchinson.

    1) In your post, you condemn Reason, not the state, for printing the names. You show no similar concern for the accused.

    2) Misandrism does not have to be as blatant as the statement "down with men." It comes in the form of statements such as "women don't lie about rape." This assumes that women are somehow superior to men in their honesty, that all men accused of rape are guilty and that men do not deserve the presumption of innocence when accused of a sex crime. That is blatant appalling misandrism which destroys many innocent men. Another example is the presumption, despite the mountain of evidence otherwise, that gender differences in pay are caused by evil men rather than the free market. Then there is the extreme bias against men in custody and divorce battles. I could go on and on.

    3) Neither the accused nor the state should bring charges if it is a "he said/she said" case. If there is no concrete actual evidence that an actual crime occurred, let alone that the accused is the perpetrator, it is gravely immoral and irresponsible to pursue charges which can destroy the accused even if found innocent.

    4) So you think that allowing somebody to anonymously ruin somebody's life is morally acceptable and fair? That, sir, is perverse. Allowing somebody to hurl charges anonymously assumes that the accused is guilty and not deserving of the same protections/sympathy as his accusers. It also encourages women to lie about rape in order to destroy somebody while they are protected by secrecy. It is more than perverse.

    Lastly, your failure to see how the accused has it worse than the accuser is mind-boggling. Do you live in a cave walled off from the world? Try to put yourself in the shoes of the accused for a minute. When you are accused of rape, your reputation is immediately soiled. All your relationships are immediately tainted by suspicion - you may lose your job, friends and family even before you get your day in court. Your life may be completely ruined. Even if you are completely innocent. Moreover, you face possible imprisonment. You live with this threat even if you are completely innocent because cases are often prosecuted without any concrete evidence and juries often decide on emotion rather than evidence.

    The accused faces NONE of this. Oh sure, there will be a few people who are angry with her but she is generally viewed with sympathy as the "victim."

    Your extreme bias in this matter is obvious from your opinions and lack of empathy for the accused.

    dave

  • ||

    Far too often, it's not "RAPE" but "REMORSE". False claims of rape make up approx. 60% of all cases, and the reasons why the women lie are myriad.
    Report from the U.S. Air Force:
    WHY WOMEN LIE ABOUT RAPE

    The National Organization for Women , radical feminists, and Women’s Studies departments, often deny that women make false accusations about rape by asking the naïve, simplistic, and self-serving question:
    “Why would a woman lie?” It turns out that there are plenty of reasons women lie about rape, either deliberately or out of desperation.
    A U.S. Air Force study, “The False Rape Allegation in the Military Community.(Forensic Science Digest.Vol II, No.4, Dec. 1985) investigated 556 cases of alleged rape, and found a 60% rate of false accusations. As part of the study, women who were found to have made false accusations were asked “WHY?”

    Motivations given by the women who acknowledged they had made false accusations:

    REASON PERCENT

    Spite or revenge 20
    To compensate for feelings of guilt or shame 20
    Thought she might be pregnant 13
    To conceal an affair 12
    To test husbands’ love 9
    Mental/emotional disorder 9
    To avoid personal responsibility 4
    Failure to pay, or extortion 4
    Thought she might have caught VD 3
    Other 6

    TOTAL 100%

    The study found that most false accusations are “instrumental” – they served a purpose. If the purpose isn’t avoiding guilt, or getting revenge, it might serve a more focused purpose, for example, telling her parents; “I didn’t just go out and get pregnant, I was raped.” Or, telling her husband, “I didn’t have an affair, it wasn’t my fault, I was raped.”

    An unrelated Washington Post article, “Unfounded Rape Reports Baffle Investigators” (6/27/1992) also found a wide range of motivations to falsely accuse men of rape. Anger toward boyfriends was common. One woman had her boyfriend spend 13 months in jail before she acknowledged that she had lied. One woman accused her newspaper delivery man of raping her at gunpoint because she needed an excuse to be late to work.
    Neither woman was prosecuted or even reprimanded for lying to the police and attempting to have a man frivolously imprisoned. In another case, police say the young woman who admitted to falsifying two rape reports only wanted a day off from work.

    All rape accusations need to be considered seriously, as, no doubt, rape does occur. But a balance needs to be maintained between the claims of the accuser against the all-too-often legitimate denial of the accused.

    Women who are found to have made a false sexual assault complaint should be punished with lengthy prison sentences. Perhaps that will make other women think twice before making false complaints.

  • ||

    In this era of having to walk a razor's edge on the prevailing social norm of political correctness(thus very quickly has become more importantly on the law books), if one is male, the safest thing to do is pay for "it".

    That may sound odd coming from a socialist(in economics to be specific) like me. Sex as mentioned in the article is a "messy thing", that it is complicated. However sex in it's most honest appraisal is instinctual. If a woman or the rare male(although probably not so rare in the gay community) does not make up her mind and firmly say no before entering even her apartment with a male she "likes", then in real terms its a hard and difficult thing to stop mother nature(in this case the male or female sex drive) once you have decided to open the door to the storm.

    btw, free markets and free minds are two different things, they are not inextricably linked nor synonyms. You can have one without the other, both or neither.

    For example you have nations like Singapore, USA, Malaysia, et al which are quite Laissez-faire economically, but to lesser or greater degrees, totalitarian regarding civil liberties(recent development due to the bush and now obama hyper security state)or what you do in private and repressive toward deviation from social norms or trivial, petty sumptuary concerns(i.e.to be truly human. e.g. to enjoy, or therapeutically use marijuana).

    Then you can take for example Germany, Holland, Suisse et al, whose economies heavily support beneficent social programs for their citizens AND allow for ample personal freedom to express yourself publicly or to do what you like by yourself or with others in private, without fear of going to prison(or in the case of Singapore or Thailand, to be executed for merely being a "drug" user).

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