Well Jaclyn, let me say that I'm very very offended that you're suggesting that I'm blaming the victim. In fact, it's because of my twenty three years of supporting rape victims, of working in rape crisis centres, traveling around the world to report more than any journalist I know - which in a way I've been very blessed to have the chance to do so - from Sierra Leone to Bosnia to Ireland to the United Kingdom interviewing people who support rape victims and work with the legal system: it's because of that I'm raising my voice about these very ambiguous and corrupt allegations.
First of all, let me just correct you - and Jaclyn, these - the Guardian account which is based on leaked original documents doesn't say that he had sex with either of these women without their consent. The reason I'm hearing from rape victims across the world who are emailing me saying 'I'm a rape victim, thank you for standing up to put these charges in context' is that this is the only case I've ever seen in twenty three years of supporting rape victims which is based on multiple instances of consent.
If you read these allegations, 'he took off Miss A's clothes too quickly for her comfort, she tried to tell him to slow down, but then - quote - she allowed him to undress her. This is what the report says. The second woman says 'she woke to find him having sex with her, when she asked him if he was wearing a condom he said no, quote according to her statement she said 'you'd better not have HIV, he answered of course not, quote she couldn't be bothered to tell him one more time because she'd been going on about the condom all night, she'd never had unprotected sex before'.
So if you're going to treat women as moral adults and if you're going to take the issue of rape seriously, the person who is engaging in what he thinks is consensual sex has to be told 'I don't want this'. And again and again and again these women did not say 'this is not consensual'. Assange was shocked when these were brought up as complaints because he had no idea that this was not a consensual situation. Miss A kept Assange in her home for the next four days and threw a party for him.
So because I take rape seriously, because I'm aware that in twenty three years - you know, in Sweden which has been criticised by Amnesty International for disregarding rape, for letting rapists go free, because you have a better chance in Sweden if you're a rape victim of - you know - dying in an accident or getting breast cancer than having a serious rape allegation prosecuted or getting any kind of legal hearing, according to Amnesty International's report 'Case Closed' - it's because of that I know that these charges are utterly utterly atypically handled.
In twenty three years I've never seen any man in any situation this ambiguous, involving this much consent, have any kind of legal process whatsoever. And all over the world women who've been gang raped, brutally raped, raped in alleyways, pimped, prostituted, trafficked - you know - the rapists go free.
So yes, this stinks to me and yes it's about politics. Because really this is about a journalist who has angered the most powerful and increasingly brutal nation on earth, and it's about all of us who are journalists being dragged into a dangerous situation because of criticism of a government.
Footnote: 'Dear Interpol'
As a longtime feminist activist, I have been overjoyed to discover your new commitment to engaging in global manhunts to arrest and prosecute men who behave like narcissistic jerks to women they are dating.
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.
Both alleged victims are also upset that he began dating a second woman while still being in a relationship with the first. (Of course, as a feminist, I am also pleased that the alleged victims are using feminist-inspired rhetoric and law to assuage what appears to be personal injured feelings. That's what our brave suffragette foremothers intended!)
Thank you again, Interpol. I know you will now prioritise 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. I also have firsthand information that John Smith in Providence, Rhode Island went to a stag party - with strippers - that his girlfriend wanted him to skip, and that Mark Levinson in Corvallis, Oregon did not notice that his girlfriend got a really cute new haircut - even though it was THREE INCHES SHORTER.
Terrorists. Go get 'em, Interpol!
If I am able to reveal what I know, everyone will realise this is all a charade. If I could tell the British courts, I suspect it would make extradition a moot point. - Björn Hurtig