exciting, informative, snarky, and very likely fabricated tales of life as an american expat in london

why people need to stfu about “sex by surprise”

by Jen at 6:38 pm on 8.12.2010 | 2 Comments
filed under: rant and rage

so wikileaks spokesperson julian assange has been arrested and brought into custody (just down the street from me!) after being the subject of an international manhunt by interpol.

he’s been arrested on the basis of four allegations of sexual assault, including rape. to many, given the intense political pressure he’s been under due to the revelation of confidential government information, the timing of the arrest is all just a little bit too much of a coinky-dink.

because apparently the media and the public *know better*. last night and today’s news has been full of all sorts of articles with the explicit intent of diminishing, debasing, and discrediting both swedish law (under which the charges were made) and his accusers. so bullshit like this is being bandied about:

“Julian Assange: Captured by the World Dating Police” I see that Julian Assange is accused of having consensual sex with two women, in one case using a condom that broke. I understand, from the alleged victims’ complaints to the media, that Assange is also accused of texting and tweeting in the taxi on the way to one of the women’s apartments while on a date, and, disgustingly enough, ‘reading stories about himself online’ in the cab…Thank you again, Interpol. I know you will now prioritize the global manhunt for 1.3 million guys I have heard similar complaints about personally in the US alone — there is an entire fraternity at the University of Texas you need to arrest immediately.

(thanks, naomi-fuckin’-wolf!!)

People who saw Assange and the woman in the days after this incident is said to have occurred said the two displayed little if any obvious sign of tension or hostility; to some who saw them at the time, it was not clear their relationship was anything other than amicable and chaste.

The next morning, however, under circumstances which remain deeply murky, the sources said, Assange allegedly had sex with the woman again, this time without a condom. Then, after a meal during which the Mail says that the woman joked that she could be pregnant, they parted on friendly terms, with Miss W buying Assange his train ticket back to Stockholm.

(that’d be the credible msn weighing in, by citing the daily mail)

“Revealed: Assange ‘rape’ accuser linked to notorious CIA operative” -Swedish prosecutors told AOL News last week that Assange was not wanted for rape as has been reported, but for something called “sex by surprise” or “unexpected sex.”

One accuser, [AA], may have “ties to the US-financed anti-Castro and anti-communist groups”

(if you actually read the article, the reputed “CIA ties” are laughable – also, way to out a possible crime victim by splashing her full name everywhere! stay classy.)

and finally, the coup de grace, daily mail

An attractive blonde, Sarah was already a well-known ‘radical feminist’. In her 30s, she had travelled the world following various fashionable causes.

The prosecution’s case has several puzzling flaws, and there is scant public evidence of rape or sexual molestation
What happened over the next few days — while casting an extraordinary light on the values of the two women involved — suggests that even if the WikiLeaks founder is innocent of any charges, he is certainly a man of strong sexual appetites who is not averse to exploiting his fame.

The pair went out for dinner together at a nearby restaurant. Afterwards they returned to her flat and had sex. What is not disputed by either of them isbthat a condom broke — an event which, as we shall see, would later take on great significance.

At the time, however, the pair ­continued to be friendly enough the next day, a Saturday, with Sarah even throwing a party for him at her home in the evening.

She had snagged perhaps the world’s most famous activist, and after they arrived at her apartment they had sex. According to her testimony to police, Assange wore a condom. The following morning they made love again. This time he used no protection. Jessica reportedly said later that she was upset that he had refused when she asked him to wear a condom.

Again there is scant evidence — in the public domain at least — of rape, sexual molestation or unlawful coercion.”

whew! so glad that’s settled then! as long as the daily mail says there’s no evidence. now we can dispense with the silly conventions of “investigation” and “trial”. what a timesaver!!

the funny thing is that all these articles quote each other in one big congratulatory circle-jerk, without any actual, y’know, *evidence*. (funny, the mail actually nailed that – even a broken clock…) probably because what happens in the privacy of the bedroom is rarely documented and distributed for edification of the worldwide media.

let’s face it – people are quick to decide that these are trumped-up charges by women who have some ulterior motive because that’s what they want to believe, especially wikileaks supporters. how can their whistleblowing hero possibly also be a sex offending arsehole?

but let’s look at the charges as they were presented to the british courts when assange was taken into custody.

“The court heard Assange is accused of using his body weight to hold her down in a sexual manner.

The second charge alleged Assange “sexually molested” Miss A by having sex with her without a condom when it was her “express wish” one should be used.

The third charge claimed Assange “deliberately molested” Miss A on August 18 “in a way designed to violate her sexual integrity”.

The fourth charge accused Assange of having sex with a second woman, Miss W, on August 17 without a condom while she was asleep at her Stockholm home.”

not quite so funny sounding now. huh. “sex by surprise” isn’t nearly as amusing when you’re talking about having sex with someone who isn’t awake to give consent. also, perhaps i missed it, but when did our own legal systems become so brilliant at dealing with sexual assault that we can all feel secure in laughing heartily at Sweden’s consent laws? HA HA!

look, whether you believe the allegations are politically motivated for the convenience and expediency of the multiple government witchhunts which are in motion, or you actually believe there may be something more substantial to the charges, what you cannot in any good conscience say is that *you know*.

none of us know. not yet, perhaps not ever. but that’s what the judicial system is for. so let’s all just shut the fuck up for a little while with the assertions that it wasn’t “rape-rape”, that these women are trying to deliberately trap assange, that swedish laws are stoooopid and silly (”sex by surprise” – ha ha! sex without condoms is a crime – outrageous!), and slanging about the same old myth about women who withdraw their consent post-coitally and call the cops.

let’s just stop already. really. enough.

3 people like this post.


  • 1

    Comment by Inga

    8.12.2010 @ 20:56 pm

    I very much want to link to this via my facebook page…does that offend you? It isn’t meant to – I just feel kind of silly saying “Hey! This is so great I want to post it on facebook!” – what I mean is that you so eloquently verbalize exactly how I feel about this issue.

  • 2

    Comment by Jen

    9.12.2010 @ 23:52 pm

    ha! no, not at all )

    (btw, was thinking about you the other day (no, really! just the other day!) and wondering how you were doing! hope you’re well?)

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