Sunday, 19 December 2010

Assange sex case full data

The Guardian (UK) published full information on the exact basis of the Swedish sex charges against Julian Assange (Wikileaks) who has recently been released from solitary confinement in the UK.
Mr. Assange is still on tightly controlled bail in the UK pending possible extradition but until now no clear information has appeared about the basis of the charges. The account that follows is excerpted from the Swedish prosecutor's (leaked) records.
See the full Guardian account Here I give the most pertinent excerpts plus a balanced gender analysis.

Miss A "tried to put on some articles of clothing as it was going too quickly and uncomfortably but Assange ripped them off again". Miss A told police that she didn't want to go any further "but that it was too late to stop Assange as she had gone along with it so far", and so she allowed him ..."

"[S]he had tried a number of times to reach for a condom but Assange had stopped her by holding her arms and pinning her legs.
" Assange then released her arms and agreed to use a condom "

[Miss A also alleges he somehow deliberately tore the condom.]
Miss A held a party for him on that evening "
Assange was still staying in her flat but they were not having sex because he had "exceeded the limits of what she felt she could accept" and she did not feel safe.

Miss W told police that though they started to have sex, Assange had not wanted to wear a condom, and she had moved away because she had not wanted unprotected sex. Assange had then lost interest, she said, and fallen asleep. However, during the night, they had both woken up and had sex at least once when "he agreed unwillingly to use a condom".

Early the next morning, Miss W told police, she had gone to buy breakfast before getting back into bed and falling asleep beside Assange. She had awoken to find him having sex with her, she said, but when she asked whether he was wearing a condom he said no.
"According to her statement ... "she couldn't be bothered to tell him one more time because she had been going on about the condom all night.

Miss A did what many of us women do far too often by cooperating with sex which was not 100% welcome. We women do that when we don't fully want it because
a) we have not freed ourselves from the idea we ought to do as he wishes; or
b) we are deeply reluctant to rouse male anger once sex has got going; or
c) because we are simply having mixed feelings of like/ not like.

This is a difficult area but ultimately it's up to us women to learn to be more assertive. Unless we are definitely under threat and too intimidated to speak or move away, we should do just that. If we are intimidated into silence we need to get away from the man completely, which only leaves the case of compliance in fear of our life or injury then or later, to count as rape.

That she temporarily had her legs pinned is worth consideration but extremely ambiguous. It could have been horseplay, or pushiness by the man. Miss A later used the word "violent" to a friend about it. Chatting with a friend is not like legal court evidence so it was a loosely used word. It is certainly too strong a word for something that apparently left no injury.

The crucial item here is that the man stopped before the forcefulness went too far. After both expressed their differences he did as she wished.

Allowing the man to stay in her flat with her for the rest of the week, but without sex, suggests Miss A did in fact retain control of her situation, and was not living at the mercy of a rapist. The later part of the account then makes it clear that what she really wanted was for him to leave, but she did not say so.
Most women will find such insensitivity familiar and infuriating while most men will find it a normal misunderstanding, Assange did not pick up on her wishes telepathicaly.

Miss W had a lover unwilling to use a condom. Ungentlemanly but then many men are.
She couldn't be bothered to insist on a condom in the morning when she was by her own statement "half-asleep." If she couldn't be bothered she can hardly complain later.
Possibly again those difficult mixed feelings muddled things.

It was up to her to insist on her own wishes. It is not up to another person to obey us in our wishes every time and give us a gift wrapped (sex) package of exactly what we want. They have wishes of their own and differences in desire need constant negotiation.

We women must be more assertive about what we want - and more honest with ourselves about our mixed feelings. We cannot rely on others to protect us with gentlemanly polite behaviour levels, especially if we don't know each other well. If we are half reluctant half involved it its up to us to choose the half we act on.

One problem seems to be that the man concerned appears to have been totally focused on the political activism to at first realise that he had offended the women.
It is understandable that this was hurtful and annoying to them. It's an uncomfortable stereotype that a woman is waits on the side until the man has time and attention for her. Byron proclaimed "Man's love is of man's life a thing apart,: 'Tis woman's whole existence" but that was 200 years ago. Westernised people have assumed different attitudes lately.

On his part, much preoccupied, Assange quickly assumed their uproar was a CIA "honeypot" trap. This was a reasonable assumption, something predictable in the life he was then living politically. He has said that he and his organisation is under constant attack to the point where 85% of their budget goes on the attack problems, whether hacking or legally. Many commentators have since agreed with him that this Swedish case is politically driven.

He seems therefore not to have taken the women's complaints seriously even when the prosecutor's office first became involved (although he did do what was legally required of him). It is regrettable but understandable that he brushed the women's complaints aside. In his view he had not been violent or dominating.

He had argued, been pushy and persuasive, but in the end each time the woman insisted, he'd done as she wished. When she didn't insist he did as he preferred.
Therein lies the lesson.

There is no rape here and no assault. There may be a combination of a pushy man reluctant to wear a condom, who did it only when the woman pushed him to; and on the other hand women who were not strong enough and insistent enough to make it clear to him what they wanted, every time. Being aggrieved that they were somewhat like groupies, and he was far more interested in his work than in them, could not have helped.

Negotiating, "sorting it out" can be a bit rough and requires a lot of insisting unless we deal with weak people (who then get back at us indirectly). Deal with it.

Based on an article first submitted to OpEd News shortly after the Guardian data was freshly released Dec. 17: submission is now out of time limit.


  1. "It is not up to another person to obey us in our wishes every time and give us a gift wrapped (sex) package of exactly what we want. They have wishes of their own and differences in desire need constant negotiation."

    Interesting summary. The above can be applied to a lot of other aspects of life. Your co-workers, your relationship with your parents and children etc etc. One can think that people should be smart enough to pick up your intentions, but you can't count on it. Being a total jerk without telepathic skills isn't illegal though - yet.

  2. Thank you Matte.

    One can think that people should be smart enough to pick up your intentions, but you can't count on it. Being a total jerk without telepathic skills isn't illegal though - yet.

    A key item that women learn in assertiveness is to SPEAK OUR DESIRE. Whether for a certain kind of sex, to be let alone, for information, for listening, for a rise in pay ....

    Women are generally much faster and better at reading body language. It's a skill that other subordinate groups in society share - slaves, Blacks, gays. If your safety and survival depends on reading master's body language you get good at it!

    There are likely I think to be connections too which caring for small children who don't have spoken language./ So we learn more nonverbal signals than most men do.

    Finally what is much overlooked is the vastly superior female smell sense. It's 100 times stronger than a man's and smell carries a lot of information about how someone else is feeling. (strange how society wants us to suppress our natural clean smell!)

    In the end I always say that telepathy is great - when it's working. But if somneone doesn't seem to get the message TELL them in words.
    Repeatedly if necessary.
    If it's important be ready to back it with action. They'll feel the determination and surprisingly often give way.
    Occasionally you get a mega struggle of course.

    My dear John once told me that it was like women walk in a jungle crowded with social signals. So when big things happen it rarely surprises them.
    Men walk a desert that suddenly erupts into a storm. Why didn't she say so, they say, why didn't she warn me. Of course sometimes this is said dishonestly but very often it is quite real.

    It appears Assange was walking a male desert and a female storm erupted.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.