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

#mooreandme – more on why rape matters

by Jen at 9:22 pm on 22.12.2010 | 1 Comment
filed under: like a fish needs a bicycle

so in case you’ve never heard of #mooreandme, here’s the background: lots of “progressive” people in the u.s. media have been involved with discrediting and dismissing the rape allegations against julian assange.

one of them was michael moore. he went on keith olberman’s left-wing talk show, and the two of them laughed at the rape charges. they said it was just about a “broken condom”. (which it definitively is not.) moore called them “hooey”. he went on the bbc and did the same.

and sady doyle (who’s been pretty much the only feminist blogger i regularly read any more) took them on via twitter. she launched a campaign via the #mooreandme hashtag. she kept people tweeting at them (and donating to rape crisis centres) for seven straight days.

in a medium which is as fleeting as twitter, in a medium where hashtags regularly feature insulting misogynist crap, she kept thousands of feminist tweets flying at the brick walls for a week straight. day and night i would check the hashtag and see people from all over endlessly asking olberman and moore for public corrections and apologies, to acknowledge the seriousness of the allegations and the way in which they dismissed them. and when it came to light that michael moore would be interviewed by feminist and progressive television journalist rachel maddow, she began tweeting at her to enlist her help in getting moore to acknowledge the issue.

and sady not only got them to acknowledge it – she got them enlisted as allies. michael moore went on the rachel maddow show and said:

“Every woman who claims to have been sexually assaulted or raped has to be, must be, taken seriously. Those charges have to be investigated to the fullest extent possible,” Moore said. “For too long, and too many women have been abused in our society , because they were not listened to, and they just got shoved aside. . . .So I think these two alleged victims have to be taken seriously and Mr. Assange has to answer the questions.”

keith olberman said:

“Assange attacks the women (in a “tizzy”), prosecutors, compares himself to victims of anti-semitism: http://bit.ly/guvMSJ (AFP): “In an interview with The Times (of London) on Tuesday, Assange compared WikiLeaks’ ‘persecution’ to that endured by Jews in the US in the 1950s.” Actual Times piece is behind Murdoch paywall. Way to burn away more of your support and make yourself look like a misogynist at best, Pal. And no, the irony of ME tweeting this is not lost on me, #mooreandme”

they have *come around* to understand that when the question is (as rachel maddow put it):

“Can your suspicion about the forces arrayed against Julian Assange and Wikileaks — your suspicion about the timing and pursuit of these charges — coexist with respect for the women making these accusations against him and with a commitment to take rape allegations seriously, even when the person accused is someone that for other reasons you like?”

the answer must be yes. the only answer is yes. because to do otherwise is to contribute to the pervasive culture which makes it harder for all rape victims everywhere to report their rape. and when you are a prominent media journalist, when you consider yourself a political progressive, when you are a caring human, you have an obligation to avoid doing that.

sady doyle, at the considerable personal expense of death threats and rape threats and online harrassment and defamation, kept us all going with her persistence and passion for truth in the face of so many lies, so many obstacles, because:

“This happens, this happens OVER and OVER and OVER again, EVERY TIME. It’s not about Julian Assange. He isn’t a special exception. The way this case has been treated is not even unusual. This happens EVERY TIME a woman reports to the police that a man with a lot of fans and a lot of people in his corner has raped her. EVERY FUCKING TIME. They bully her, the people in charge bully her, his fans bully her, the media bullies her, until she agrees to fucking go away, so people can keep pretending that it never happened. So that it can disappear. So that women just agree to SHUT UP and MAKE IT EASIER FOR PEOPLE TO RAPE US AND GET AWAY WITH IT.”

this isn’t about julian assange. it’s not even about michael moore, or keith olberman. it’s about the women who report rape and are made to shut up and go away, and the ones who are too afraid of being told to shut up and go away to report it in the first place.

thank you, thank you, thank you sady. you’ve personally restored a little of my faith in humanity today. rape matters. it matters to women, and it should matter to the media too.

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    Comment by Inga

    24.12.2010 @ 15:35 pm

    Hey Jen – Another great post. Merry Christmas! Will email you as have been thinking about you….

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