Dec 22

Wikileaks and rape

So much has been said on this subject, but I can’t stop watching what has been going on with this case.  Or, I suppose, comment on it.  I am horrified and feel a lump of disgust for all of those people out there who are making light of the accusations of rape against Julian Assange.  It disgusts me, but doesn’t surprise me.

I had a good friend in college who was raped one night at a party. Actually, I’ve had plenty of female friends who have been raped by men at parties, but I want to focus on her for right now.  I was at that party, my friend was drunk and had been flirting with this guy all night because she thought he was cute.  She was also pretty religious and did not want to have sex outside of a relationship where there was a possibility of marriage.  At some point (not too clear because we were all drunk), she started passing out and he took her back to his room, because it was his party. We knocked on the door, then pounded on it.  We shouted through it for him to get her out of there, and then just sat in front of the door.  Eventually, because I don’t think we realized what was going on, we left for the dorms.

The next day, he dropped her off at the door, and we all asked her what happened.  He had sex with her while she was semi-conscious, although she hadn’t wanted to have sex with him and had said so.  She never called it rape, never accused him of anything and even went out on a few dates with him after.  I believe she did it to convince herself that she had liked him, that she had consented even though she hadn’t. And frankly, what would she have been able to do if she had called it rape?  Everyone saw her flirting with and kissing him.  Unless they knew her, they wouldn’t have thought for one second that she hadn’t consented.  Even her friends, who were with her, didn’t consider it.

The rest of the year, I watched my funny, outgoing friend completely disintegrate. Personality changes, the whole bit.  Except, she didn’t change in the way we all want our victims to do it.  Instead, she started sleeping around to the extent that whole fraternities banned her from their premises.  She slept with that guy’s roommate.  She was mean and callous and plenty of other women hated her as she went crazy.  And I still didn’t realize what it was until years after, until other women I knew on campus (and off) had been raped while drunk, while drugged.  Raped by friends, raped by boyfriends, raped by classmates.  Attacked only because these women had the bad luck to be caught in a room or a party with a rapist.  That’s all, just bad luck.

No woman I know (including my friend) who was raped has ever come forward.  Not one.  And it’s because of the shit going down right now.  It’s because if you do come forward, no one will believe you.  They will just say it’s your fault, or that you’re lying, or some other excuse so that they don’t have to deal with the fact that someone they like, may be friends with, is a rapist.  Because people like Keith Olbermann and Michael Moore who have made their careers on speaking for the “little guy” outed the names and other information about victims and took their own sweet damn time making the smallest effort to correct that mistake.  While I’m glad that Michael Moore went on television to say that accusers should be taken seriously, I was left with the feeling that he wanted a cookie.  Thanks for not being completely pro-rape, dude! Here’s your life supply of Turtle Wax!

Am I suspicious of why Sweden wants Assange?  Of course!  I feel like they are extraditing them so they can find something to put him away with.  It’s the only reason that I think they are taking allegations seriously, when no other government cares about 50% of their population being at risk for sexual violence.  Do I think he raped those women? Does it matter? As much as I support Wikileaks, I feel like the important thing is that these women are in the crosshairs, and everyone wants a piece of them, whether it is them dead and gone, or used as a political tool.  I hope they are safe.

In any event, because of this, I donated to RAINN (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network).  Through Dec. 31, all donations will be matched.  Please consider donating, because they deliver hope and support to women who oftentimes aren’t getting it anywhere else.

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