Tag Archives: sweden

The Discrediting of Feminism as Collateral Damage of the WikiLeaks Affair

I am not going to start hypothesizing about the ongoing justice drama around WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Too much of that has been done already, perhaps too much to adequately assess the situation. They’ve all had their share in the discussion: Naomi Wolf, Jessica Valenti and Michael Moore. They all get a lot of things right – and a lot of things wrong. The left-wing progressives in favor of Julian Assange tend to misquote the actual rape allegations because it just makes so much more sense to disqualify a law that supposedly condemns consensual unprotected sex. Which it doesn’t. The feminist blogosphere likes to ignore all the shady details that have led to the Interpol search warrant, for example the fact that Assange was willing to remain in Sweden to testify and shed some more light onto the case, but was ignored and granted the right to leave the country. Before I get more caught up in the confusing amount of details – right or wrong, who knows? – there’s only one more thing to say: No matter how this case turns out, the feminist community can only lose.

Why is the feminist community at stake, you might wonder? Well, it probably has something to do with the fact that Julian Assange was accused of rape in a country that is well-known for being one of the most progressive nations in the world concerning gender equality, and that at least one of the alleged victims is known to be a radical feminist in her home country. Of course, in that case, the allegations must be false and the woman a liar…

Needless to say, feminism will be blamed, no matter what the outcome may be. I see only two possible scenarios:

  1. Assange is proven guilty and jailed, which sooner or later will most likely result in his extradition to the United States, a worst-case scenario for Assange and a threat to future whistle-blowers and truth activists. In that case, the feminist community will be blamed forever for being so ‘petty-minded’ about something so seemingly ‘irrelevant’ compared to the relevance of Assange’s global image as protector of the right to information and government transparency.
  2. Assange is declared innocent and freed, and feminism will be blamed for creating a culture that encourages women to lie about rape and sexual assault to have it their way, thus disqualifying rape survivors and feminist activists against sexual exploitation all over the world.

Can anyone please think of a third option with a better outcome?

Two more things:

  1. No matter what happens, WikiLeaks will continue, and so will OpenLeaks, and that is a good thing.
  2. Anyone remember Bradley Manning?
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News- and Blogwatch

Here’s what I’ve been reading this week:

Women now have a majority in the Swiss government. That is a huge achievement, especially considering that Swiss women were not allowed to vote until 1971! So I should be excited, right? Well, I am, except for this:

The new entrant to the Swiss cabinet, Simonetta Sommaruga, who is 50 and from the Social Democratic Party, had made a name for herself as a champion of consumers, rather than women’s, rights. “She is very credible for people from all parties — she is not a feminist or leftist,” said Lukas Godber,[…]. (NY Times, Sept.22 2010)

And this:

Nor does the realignment represent any broader shift toward gender equality in other areas of Swiss society, Mr. Lutz said. “Women are still underrepresented in Parliament,” he said. “They are not equal in society. They earn less. How many women do you see in leading positions in business?” (NY Times, Sept.22 2010)

The Sweden Democrats (SD), which are quite ‘Swedish’ but not that democratic, have been voted into the Swedish parliament, prompting another article on the rise of Europe’s far-right.

Women are leaving Wall Street.

La dialectique casse des briques has a detailed summary of a conference held in Paris about France’s expulsion of the Roma. Among the speakers were French intellectuals Luc Boltanski and Jaques Rancière.

After the suicide of yet another bullied gay teenager in an American suburb, advice columnist and gay activist Dan Savage has started a Youtube channel with the slogan ‘It Gets Better’, where everyone can upload videos telling LGBTQ kids and teenagers to hang in there because their lives will improve drastically after high school and small town bigotry. Watch the videos here.