Monday, December 20, 2010
My goodness, a lot has happened since my original post about the rape charges against Julian Assange. We now have great in-depth articles from The New York Times and The Guardian. The new articles, with information from the actual police report, are a lot clearer about the charges. To wit:
The details of their sexual encounter that night were redacted from the copy of the police report obtained by The Times. But The Guardian reported Saturday that Ms. A told the police that Mr. Assange had stroked her leg, then pulled off her clothes and snapped her necklace. The report quotes her as saying that she “tried to put on some articles of clothing as it was going too quickly and uncomfortably but Assange ripped them off again.”
According to The Guardian, Ms. A told the police that Mr. Assange pinned her arms and legs to stop her from reaching for a condom. Eventually one was used—but, she told her police interviewer, he appeared to have “done something” with it, resulting in its tearing.
Does that sound like “consensual sex where the condom broke” to anyone out there?
Yeah. Thought not.
I don’t have to recap everything in detail, I don’t think. If you’re reading this, you’re probably aware that Michael Moore bailed Julian Assange out of jail, and that he and Keith Olbermann engaged in a bit of laddish rape apologism. (Info here.)
And you’re probably aware that the awesome Sady Doyle has struck back.
Sady says, “So now I’m outside the tower and I’m telling you, Michael Moore, I’ve known you my whole life, my mom showed me your movie to prove that it was a good thing to stand up to the bullies, we watched every episode of TV Nation together, I got to stay up late, I was in high school when Columbine happened and I was eighteen years old and voted in my first Presidential election and I watched everything get taken away, and you were what hope looked like. Michael Moore, I’m outside the tower, we all are, and I know because I’ve talked to my friends about it that I’m not the only one who had this happen. I’m not the only one you meant this much to. We’re outside, all the people who relied on you, and we’re asking you just to come down. Just to talk. Just to prove that these little voices matter, that you really did mean it, that you should wait outside Roger’s office because for a man to do all that damage and not speak to a sufferer of it is a terrible thing, for a person to wait outside for the man in the tower with just his one small voice was the right thing to do, I’m just asking you, we’re outside, come down. We sound angry. We sound angry because we are angry, because you did a bad thing, several terrible things, over and over again and on TV, and you should apologize. And I mean, Keith Olbermann, honestly, didn’t mean that much to me. I didn’t expect anything better from him. But from you. But from Roger & Me… We’ve been standing outside all day, I’ve been called a whiny bitch and a liar and stupid and an insult to real rape victims as though I was never sexually assaulted my own damn self, I’ve been told to “fuck off and die” with like five exclamation points, I’ve been asked why I’m not “in the kitchen” because that’s always new and witty, I’ve been called so many names, all day, and it’s cold and I can’t sleep, and I’m still waiting. So please, please, please prove that you believed that story. Prove that we were right to believe it with you. We loved the story, we needed the story, please, please, make the story end better this time. Make Roger come down. Please, please, please come down.
“I mean, he’s coming, right?”
The Twitter protest #mooreandme is on its sixth day as we speak, and shows no signs of slowing. I have no idea how many of us are outside Moore’s tower, but we’re not going anywhere. Some of us are getting threats, but we’re not going anywhere.
At this point, the confidence that Moore will realize how wrong he was is not high. (Slightly higher for Olbermann, as he has at least acknowledged our presence.) But we’re here anyway, and this has become not just about telling Moore and Olbermann that they screwed up, but about so much else.
#mooreandme is about standing against lies, against misinformation. It’s about standing for and with survivors of rape and sexual assault. It’s about finding ways to help - witness the tweeting about trans-friendly rape crisis centers to donate to. It’s about being truly progressive, and how you can’t do that without being against rape and rape culture.
Some of us talk about rape all the time. Some people in #mooreandme have never talked about it before. Never.
Some people have been waiting for years to say these things.
And we’re listening.
We are here. We are outside the tower, and we are not going away. We won’t shut up and we won’t give up, no matter how many trolls and threats and crap we have to deal with.
We just want to talk, Michael Moore. About why repeating misinformation and myths is dangerous. About how incredibly low the incidence of false accusations is (St. John’s Law Review (Hecht-Schafran, L. (1993) cites a 1.6% false accusation rate (below car theft) ). About how the way you laugh off accusations makes it so much harder for rape victims to come forward - how it contributes to the message that society gives them that they will not be believed.
We are down here, Mr. Moore, because we want to believe that you just don’t know - that you didn’t set out to propagate rape culture. We’re willing to attribute this to ignorance instead of malice, Mr. Moore, and we are willing to talk to you about how you can do better, because we want to believe that you want to do better. We want to believe that no one would engage in rape apologism on purpose. If you didn’t know any better, that’s okay - we can fix that.
Just come down and talk. Come down and listen.
Because every day that goes by with no response from you makes is more and more likely that you know what you’re doing, and you don’t care. And no matter how you feel about people telling you you’re wrong, Mr. Moore, we don’t want that to be true. We want you to care.
So come down from the tower. And until you do, we’ll be here. We’re waiting. We’re not going away.