I can’t believe I’m getting into a facebook fight with my ex-boyfriend about Julian Assange. I mean that is exactly what you’d expect from a leftist ex-boyfriend, embarrassingly exactly, and it’s just depressing because he should know better and I really thought he would. it’s depressing when people behave like malicious parodies of themselves. it makes me feel like nobody is real and every person is just a bundle of social conditions. it makes me feel like consciousness is a lie and internal volition a fantasy. like maybe all those dreary checklists of privileges and oppressions really can take the place of understanding people as individuals, affected by social conditions, sure, but ultimately in control of their own hearts and minds, or if not that, at least so complex that you need to get to know them before predicting their actions. I need to believe that it’s not a waste of time knowing people more intimately than a/s/l. whatever whatever
Posts tagged julian assange
Anonymous asked: Do you have any thoughts on Assange reportedly receiving an Aboriginal Passport?
I loathe Assange and I’m not impressed that he’s received the passport. At the same time, it’s not for me as a non-Indigenous person to police who is given one. We also can’t forget the context of him actually being Australian. My understanding is that it’s not to be taken as a special mark of favour, but as a generic requirement that all non-Indigenous Australians or visitors to Australia would, ideally, have to meet. It does make me feel pretty skeptical of the specific individuals behind it, but it’s still an interesting project, and I think any project centred on race relations between Indigenous people and migrants to Australia should be highlighted and discussed, even if I disagree with particular aspects of its application, or even find it entirely worthless (I don’t, but someone easily could).
How do you know for sure whether the rape allegations are true or not though?
He and his legal team have admitted that shit went down the way the women involved said it did. Their defense case is grounded in an argument that it doesn’t count as rape.
Even if that weren’t the case, I would be highly, highly suspicious of any high-profile male activist transforming his political project into a pressure group helping him avoid trial for rape.
julian assange: “there is unity in the oppression; there must be unity in the reponse”
you know what a really effective way is to divide the left?
like, that is a fairly divisive thing to do, no?
if assange actually gave a shit about having a unified left he would accept the consequences of his actions and pass on the Wikileaks torch to a less grotesque human rather than transforming his political group into Rape Apologism, The Legal Fund
Faith in the State
It occurs to me, and this is a result of radically hotoff’s post yesterday so is probably well obvious. It occurs to me that lurking behind the liberal feminist response to Assange (and this is not a crack at Sady, who I like a lot, and whose definitely being deluged with really nasty shit atm from all quarters) is a still lingering faith in the State at some level.
Even from the most hardened Leftists, at some level, people believe in the ability of the State to dispense justice and provide recognition for rights. I include myself in this critique, I get as pissed as anyone about gay marriage or ENDA or whatever. The State would or it should or it could prosecute those who commit crimes. It’s hard to rid yourself of this conviction on some level, because it’s taken utterly for granted. The State will do what’s right for its citizens. Except that it doesn’t in this case.
So this supposed ability of the State provide justice for rape victims. Sady posted a stat this morning that noted that something like 6% of rapists are ever prosecuted successfully. It seems to me that that’s not a broken system - that’s a working system. That’s not an anomaly. It’s doing something, it’s just not doing what we think it’s doing. It’s not “protecting” women (and genderqueers), it’s protecting cis men. It’s protecting property (it always protects property - Sarah Jaffe has talked recently about the way that “violence” is used by the media to cover property damage but rarely the violence of the police, rarely the violence inflicted upon citizens), and make no mistake, that includes women - which is why cis dudes always phrase it in the relational (what if it were your wife, your daughter, your mother). Not what if it were you, because that’s unimaginable to most cis men except as a joke, I think.
To put this in context, I write as a trans woman, and trans women are not protected by the police. I’ve lost track of the number of cases where trans women call the police, only to be beaten or arrested themselves, then placed in male prisons to be raped and brutalised again. I know very well that the police are not there to protect me, they’re there to police me. This is something that people of colour in this country have known from the start.
So I mean, with the Assange case, what has happened is what always happens. Liberal feminists absolutely get that right, this is a rape culture that apologises for and erases the possibility of rape.
The two women have been vilified, accused of making it up, of working for the CIA (a charge which appears infectious, which spreads to any woman who admits the possibility of a Leftist man being both a righteous activist and a rapist). Keith Olbermann thinks nothing of tweeting something that outs the women. Not our Julian says Assange’s mum on Channel 7.
No-one, and I mean no-one, in the mass media appears to give the slightest shit about these two women - they’re an obstacle to removed for the Assange-supporting Left, they’re an instrument to be used (but not actually helped) for the Right.
Enlisting the aid of the State exposed these two women to harassment at the very least (which is in itself traumatising). It almost always does, if not worse.
So I mean, my question is: why go to the State, knowing that it probably won’t take you seriously, that you’ll be treated like utter shit, that your privacy won’t be protected, and that it’s unlikely to ever go to trial let alone convict? And that it’s only if - improbably - your interests match up with those of the powerful that anyone bothers in the first place?
Isn’t there something fundamentally wrong about having faith in the State then to provide justice for the victim, when it appears incidental at best and outright harmful at worst?
Isn’t there a better conversation to be had, about what would “justice” mean for women who are raped? How do we protect each other? How do we prevent rapes from occurring in our communities without enlisting the aid of the corrupt State? What kinds of organisation would that require?
I am SO SICK today of people who can’t see that
1) Wikileaks is important and does good work
2) Julian Assange may be a rapist
3) The pursuit by the authorities for the rape charges may be motivated as much by Wikileaks as by a desire to see justice done
are not in any way contradictory positions and could all be simultaneously true.