Tagged: sex crime

Assange rape apologism hits NZ

On 6 January Gordon Campbell posted an article to Scoop entitled Gordon Campbell Reviews the General Response to Wikileaks.

Which would’ve been great if he’d stuck to discussing Wikileaks, and not decided to play Arbiter of How Swedish Law Works using massively outdated, debunked information.*

In the other incident, consent is reportedly not the issue – it is whether the act involved unprotected sex, which is a (minor) offence under Swedish law.


Detracting comments were made.  Detracting comments were mysteriously not published.  Ms Enid Tak-Entity commented on Maia’s post on the issue:

I wrote to Gordon providing the same information and he replied saying that he would be addressing this issue (though I’m not sure in what fashion).

Well, now we know.  Campbell has a new post up today which … well … I guess it clears things up, at least.

Many thanks to Tze Ming Mok for correcting my original précis … I’ve held off replying to Tze Ming until seeing the gist of Assange’s defence.


“Thanks everyone, I published outdated debunked information which feeds into a narrative of women as lying liars who lie and are also sluts, and that was bad, mmkay, but I just, like, wanted to tell both sides of the story.”  Which would be a noble journalistic gesture if the story weren’t Gordon Campbell published fucking lies.  Which is only relevant to Assange’s defence in that they’re the ones who started those lies off in the first place.

Then he quotes Bianca Jagger, noted Swedish law expert or something, whose comment boils down to “these women are lying liars and I know because they didn’t act the way I think rape victims are obliged to act” which is of course not in any way Rape Culture 101.  It can’t be rape, she wasn’t screaming and crying.  It can’t be rape, she’s screaming and crying too much to know what she’s saying.  It can’t be rape, she didn’t leave him.  It can’t be rape, she’d had sex with him before.  It can’t be rape, because rape culture insists that rape does not actually ever happen.

Bianca Jagger was also one of the people who tweeted about the accusers’ “CIA ties”, which definitely establishes her as a source of good, balanced information on this case, if your definition of “balanced” includes using phrases like “honeypot trap”.

Then there’s a nice big chunk of Assange’s lawyers’ statement, all reproduced without comment (because obviously there’s no journalistic imperative to question such fine upstanding people with no evident vested interest in spinning this case in any particular direction) and then … boom, suddenly we’re into “Wikileaks is awesome and I love Wikileaks and they are, like, so totes important!”

And apparently, again, Campbell doesn’t seem to have the first fucking clue that maybe juxtaposing “Assange’s lawyers say these charges are totes wrong” with “Wikileaks is important and vital and awesome” might have some pretty fucking clear implications about Assange being key to Wikileaks’ work, Wikileak’s work being so important and Assange thus being so important that we need to focus on the real story, and of course the “these charges are only getting laid now because of Wikileaks”.

And you know, that last one I might have some sympathy with, if I’d seen anyone manage to bring it up without simultaneously saying “anyway the women were CIA honeytraps and didn’t act the right way and Assange couldn’t rape anyone he’s so hot right now”, or seen anyone bring it up without implying that we should just ignore the charges because a political motivation must mean they’re false, no further investigation required.

Yes, it is possible these charges are politically motivated.  It’s also possible that Assange is a fucking rapist.  It’s also certain that he’s got lawyers who have outright lied about the case, about the accusers, and about Swedish law (I guess I should be thankful Campbell hasn’t repeated the old “sex-by-surprise” “$715 fine” bullshit).

So maybe a credible NZ journalist could do us all the fucking favour of not just spreading their side of the story without comment.

Here’s the comment I’ve made in response at Scoop, which stunningly seemed to get published straight away:**

I am baffled by this, Gordon.  In the first place, when you have been responsible for publishing false information about the charges against Assange, it is really, really interesting that you decided to not correct that false information “until you saw the gist of Assange’s defence”.  Why?  What does Assange’s defence actually have to do with you as a journalist correcting misinformation?

Further, you’re still downplaying the nature of the charges by using references which put scare quotes around things like “”express wish”” and which do not spell out in full what the allegations are – which directly buys into a narrative about women being fickle, women being demanding, it not being “real” rape if a man just pressures, persists, and ignores a woman’s wishes.

The fact that you spend the bulk of this column on the defence, not the charges, and that you’re quoting Bianca Jagger, who happily publicised the names of the accusers, and that you continue to link this to the work of Wikileaks after arguing in your first column that the charges against Assange should not reflect on Wikileaks, all makes it fairly clear where your priorities are:  defending everyone’s favourite progressive hero of the hour because his work is so much more important than silly women’s desire to have their wishes and consent taken seriously.

Why not just go sign a Roman Polanski petition while you’re at it?

Gordon Campbell, I am disappoint.

Bonus demerit points: publishing the detracting comments on the first post after making your new “see see I’m a good journo but here’s his defence in glorious Technicolor!” post?  How courageous.

Related reading:  Maia’s post at The Hand Mirror


*Thanks to Maia and Tze Ming Mok for links in the comments of Campbell’s first post.

**I assume their filter auto-mods anything with links, which is of course wonderfully convenient when people are trying to provide evidence of your misinformation, and totally doesn’t in any way open up detractors to accusations of just being hysterical feeeeeemales with no proof threatening another Great White Male.

#Mooreandme: make a difference offline too

Preach it, Sady:

No matter how much we can raise, it won’t be enough. But by donating, we demonstrate two things: First, that every rape survivor, every rape survivor, is exactly as important as this one WikiLeaks member (and keep in mind that the organization of WikiLeaks, no matter how you feel about it, could in fact keep going without Assange). Second, we communicate the same thing we’ve been saying all along, which is: If you are a rape survivor, we have your back. We care. We don’t care who comes at you, or how hostile the culture is to you, or who you are: We care about you, about your right to live in a world without rape culture or rape apologism, about dismantling rape culture and rape apologism, about providing you with the support and resources you need, about opposing those who would smear or endanger or hurt you, and just, basically, making sure that if you need a hand we will give it. We care about you.

We are going to keep pressuring Michael Moore (@MMFlint! #MooreandMe!) for an apology, an explanation, and a donation of $20,000. But we can help rape victims, too.

More background on #Mooreandme here and here.

I’m a privileged girl.  I have plenty of time to kill on the weekends watching hashtags and stirring up trolls online.

I can also make a difference in real life by contributing some of my disposable income – a byproduct of my unearned privilege as an educated, employed middle-class white person – to help support other victims of rape and sexual abuse.

I’m giving $40 to Wellington Rape Crisis.  And given the wonderful way that violence towards women and children tends to go up during the silly season, Women’s Refuge gets the same next payday.

I know many people cannot afford to contribute in this way – capitalism, ho! – but I can.  And if you can, let the world know that you too will stand up for rape victims and refuse to let them be shamed and silenced.

Unnamed teacher’s “reflective statement” leaked to II

The “reflective statement” required of an unnamed male teacher who was lightly slapped on the wrist with a wet bus ticket for saying things to Year 11 students such as “Bend over and I’ll take a photo of your tits” has been acquired by Ideologically Impure staff.  We reproduce it in full here.

Reflective Statement of A Fucking Tool

Over the past few weeks I have learnt many things in a mandated behaviour management course.

I have learnt that just like my former students I too can pass a course by showing minimal interest in its contents, not visibly falling asleep or texting my mates, and memorising the model answers from last year’s class.

I realise I have made many mistakes.  The comments I made to students were inappropriate and in any just society would have seen me cast out from the teaching profession because I am clearly a lecherous fucking douchebag.

However, I have been given a second chance and I am grateful for that.

In future, I will change my ways.  I will only sexually harass students who are really vulnerable, or whose word and dignity will be completely discounted because they’re ratbags.  I will be more menacing in my approach and ensure my victims are too scared of the consequences to rat me out.

My blunt approach, in asking a student if she was a virgin, was absolutely wrong.  From this day hence my come-ons and harassment will be more subtle, quieter, vaguer, relying on societal indoctrination to make my victims question if I actually said what they thought I said, or believe that it must be a misunderstanding and they’ll just get into trouble if they make a fuss.

I believe I have changed.  I am no longer a man who will be caught sexually harassing fifteen-year-old girls over whom I have authority.  I promise to make amends to the teaching profession by encouraging an atmosphere of silence and intimidation amongst all pupils in my care.  To the other teachers at my unnamed school, I can only vow that they will never have to face a pupil telling them about my actions, because none of those bitches will talk if they know what’s good for them.

Finally, I want to thank the Teachers’ Council for unleashing me upon the teenaged girls of New Zealand once more.

Fucking scarequote “consent” what the fuck Jezebel?

I’m really just too flabberghasted by the fact that this opening paragraph from a Jezebel article (others have linked, I shall not give them direct traffic) is apparently serious, and got all the way to publication, to really say anything:

Having just returned from living in Paris, I feel more convinced than ever that America gets many things wrong about sex. Right there near the top of the list is our attachment to the idea of consent.

Emphasis mine, though this level of fail doesn’t really need it.

Fortunately, other fantastic stroppy people have it covered.

Apparently “Edward Pasteck”* wants to continue writing! I can only wait with bated breath for his musings on how [different ethnic/national group] women are so [blatant sexual stereotype] and could definitely teach [those bitches who won’t sleep with him] a thing or two about fluffing neckbeards’ egos.


*Whose “book about love he wrote while living in Paris” is sure to provide your correspondent with oh, so many more opportunities to cuss like a lady.

I am a woman and I enjoy sex

So, Stephen Fry has happily joined the list of People I Have Formerly Idolized Who Commit Massive Fucking Fail.

The brilliant trio of Boganette, Pickled Think and Not Emily have already directly address his comments, so I’m not going to repeat what they’ve said very well!

There’s just a tiny thing I need to get off my chest.

Of course a lot of women will deny this and say, ‘Oh, no, but I love sex, I love it!’ But do they go around having it the way that gay men do?


Long answer?

I enjoy sex.  I think sex is really fun.  I have had one-night stands and pre-arranged rendezvous and experimental fooling around and naughty little encounters in semi-public places.

Sex is, frankly, fucking awesome to me.

And now that I have said that, Mr Fry?  Now I am vulnerable to accusations from my political and personal opponents – I have particularly high hopes of the prolifers screaming about my desire to sleep around with no consequences, but there’s plenty of other types who will seize on the paragraph above as a symbol of my immorality, my lack of ethics, my terribly casual attitude about The Sacred Gift of My Vaginal Canal.

Now, Mr Fry, the pseudonymity of my blog is paramount; because it is simply not socially safe for me as a young woman to say the things in the above paragraph.  Not just because my family would be shocked, or my coworkers would give each other meaningful glances across the breakroom.

Because, Mr Fry, do you know what happens to women who openly state they enjoy sex, who act in an overtly sexual manner, who admit to casual sex?

If they get raped, their rapist walks free.

Because a woman saying she enjoys sex is obviously always up for it.  And a woman who’s had casual sex in the past must not be fussy about who she fucks.  And a woman who flirts is just “sending the wrong signals” and completely gives up her right to say “no”.

Now, I’m the kind of cranky, defiant angry-feminist-blogger who is willing to take that risk in order to change the world teaspoon by teaspoon.  But it should not come as a surprise, especially to anyone who is a member of a marginalized group whose sexuality has so often been used to oppress them, that others feel too threatened to do the same – or may not even realise it’s an option.

On a side note, the other Massive Fucking Fail of the above quote?  Besides the wonderful generalisation that all gay men are running about having casual sex with multiple partners left right and centre?  Is the immediate equating of “likes sex” with “has it with everyone”.  Guess what?  Much as it’s none of your fucking business, my “number”?  Is hilariously low.

Gee, I guess I must not really like sex at all and just be putting out for the security of a relationship.**  Thanks for dictating my own mind and experience to me, Almighty Man!


*As others have pointed out, apparently Stephen Fry has never encountered that most elusive of creatures, The Lesbian.

**Fry’s further obliviousness to why women may feel they have to be in monogamous heterosexual relationships in a patriarchal society?  I am disappoint.

Sports teams as avatars of Janus

Remember, kiddies: [insert sports team here] are national heroes, veritable gods among mortals, brilliant role models for our kids.  Exhibit A.*

Unless they’re accused of sexual assault, in which case they are dangerous animals pumped up on testosterone and thuggery and any sensible woman should avoid them. Exhibit BExhibit C.


*I don’t mean to hate on Stuart Nash at all, it was just the perfect example for this particular cultural paradox.

Two quick links on rape culture and what YOU can do with an absolute minimal effort on your part

From Hoyden About Town direct, two very simple ways to stop the sexual predators who yes, you do know and are friends with from committing rape:

Refusing to affirm speech that is abusive of women and supportive of rape culture is a mitzvah, because that shit is wrong whether the person saying it is a rapist or not, and if people are “just” saying it without thinking it through then this might make them rethink and stop doing that, which will do them and the people around them nothing but good.

And via the Hoydens, at abyss2hope:  Seven Simple Responses Which Help Support an Anti-Rape Culture.

When someone says, “The only way to prevent sexual violence is to teach girls and women how to avoid danger,” respond with, “And I suppose the only way to prevent gun crimes is to teach people how to dodge bullets.”

It’s sex, Jim, but not as we know it

Hoyden About Town has another post up in their depressingly-long-running series entitled “It’s not sex, it’s rape” – reporting the nigh-countless occurrences of sexual assaults being described as “having sex”.  Lauredhel includes a link to the fairly comprehensive and highly-recommended Pulling the Plug on Rape Culture One Word at a Time post at The Curvature:

What incorrectly using the word “sex” in cases of rape does is cast a shadow of doubt over the accusation.  The phrase “the defendant had sex with the woman” does indeed assume innocence for the defendant, but does not afford the alleged victim the same courtesy.  Her version of the events is entirely erased – and it also presents the “sex” as an objective fact, though the victim certainly might not view it as such. As far too many people don’t get, rape is not merely sex, but an act of violence – and this wording erases that as well.

Cara talks about how referring to things as “sex” and not “rape” implies consensuality, it implies that what occurred was just sex, not an act of violence – but on reflection, I realised there was a whole other, fairly grotesque, narrative in play.

To wit, that “had sex with a woman” may as well read as “had sex with a mobile vacuum tube“.

Continue reading

Down Under Feminists’ Carnival: I learned the truth at 17, that love was a patriarchal construct keeping me down

It’s that time of the month again – carnival time!*


Here it is, people, Volume XVII of the DUFC, containing the very best of Southern Hemisphere feminist discourse for the month of September.

Ten Simple Rules for Surviving Patriarchy

1. Mess Up That Dominant Paradigm Good And Hard

Boganette is leading the charge here with her sheer audacity in letting people know she isn’t going to change her name on marriage.  Gold star for the bonus cognitive dissonance caused by having a male partner willing to take her name!  It’s just not right!

Chally needs to you understand that you cannot actually be that progressive if you refer to things as “lame”.

In A Strange Land destroys Greg Sheridan’s reasoning why women shouldn’t be allowed in frontline combat positions.  I’m just amazed he didn’t raise the extra cost involved of shipping manicurists to warzones.  Then she takes on gender essentialism and what “woman” means.

2. Speak Truth to Power/Bigotry/Douchebags/Patriarchy

Just in case there were any concern that feminists just don’t talk about important issues enough …

Lauredhel reports on a Canadian study about the actual risks of injuries to mother and baby in homebirths vs hospital births.  Jo Tamar provides some analysis of why, despite the facts, doctors still prefer hospital births.

Spilt Milk writes an open letter to Kyle “Trigger Warning” Sandilands, whose work I am eternally grateful has never made it over the Tasman.

Chally reminds us that there are many different ways to be an activist.

Julie at the Hand Mirror reports on the Roundtable on Violence Against Women’s factsheet, released in response to the sentencing of Clayton Weatherston; and Anna takes on the odious CYFSWatch.

3. Break Down Controlling Narratives

shinynewcoin takes apart the notion of being “high maintenance” and the way it punishes women for doing what they’re supposed to.

Blogger on the Cast Iron Balcony draws a fantastic comparison between men’s and women’s “risky” behaviour.

Richie dissects the good old “But I didn’t meeeeeeeeeeeean to!” line.

Lauredhel says yes, “these things” did happen in your day, you just said “boys will be boys”.

4. Don’t Forget The Men

Feminists are often criticised for making it all about the chicks and not caring about the poor oppressed suffering men.  There’s something in that.

We should definitely care about the men who get to have parental-celebration barbeques while women-parents shop, as documented by Fuck Politeness.  And we would be terribly remiss not to care about fathers getting governmental thank-yous for having the balls to financially support their own children, as brilliantly savaged by shinynewcoin.

Boganette has a Public Service Announcement about how it’s not your period that broke up your relationship, it’s the fact your boyfriend was an asshole.

5. Eat, Drink, Wear a Size Blah and Be Merry – or don’t

Chally links to an online feminist bookclub.

Boganette would be most delighted if you could not tell her she’s lost weight, asshole.  PodBlack Cat doesn’t drink, and has not been stripped of her Aussie citizenship for it.

Boganette and News With Nipples both cover the report which shows some women drink before sex due to self-esteem issues with their bodies.  Boganette is full of scorn, NWN wonders what the connection is with the study’s funders, Femfresh (for all your labia-deodorant needs),

6. Be Inspired By Women Who Rock

The Hoydens About Town presents an obituary of Barbara Moore:  Feminist, Lawyer, Writer & Grad Student of the University of Melbourne.  Bloody powerful stuff there.

Godard’s Letterboxes has the mighty Sarah Connor at #3 on their Top 100 Sci Fi and Fantasy Women list.  So far, so kickass, but if there ain’t a Servalan or an Ivanova showing up shortly there shall be a reckoning.

7. Have Kids and Consign Yourself to the Fight Against Gender Stereotyping and Societal Expectation

This is clearly a big issue of our times, and that’s just going by how often it crops up in the Australofemiblogosphere.  Heck, it starts before the bub even arrives!

Two posts on breastfeeding laws in WA: Lauredhel celebrating the likely law change, and girliejones explaining that yeah, she WANTS the freaking symbolism.

Godard’s Letterboxes has boys, not aliens.  blue milk has a boy and a girl – clearly the perfect sample for making wide conclusions about inherent gender differences.

Wildly Parenthetical wonders what’s so great about having a normal childhood.  Made in Melbourne sees people comparing the pole-dancing doll to the breastfeeding doll and is perplexed. Tor notes that the lovely paradox of performing femininity hits you good and young.

Lauredhel struggles with the eternal question, “How can feminist mums avoid being humorless childhood-ruiners?”

8. Celebrate Suffrage Day

September 19 was Women’s Suffrage Day in NZ.  Anne Else used the occasion to savage Chris Trotter’s waxing lyrical about the NZ Labour Party getting its manliness back on – apparently those 9 years in power under a woman leader were the worst thing to happen, or something.

In A Strange Land reprints the Women’s Christian Temperance Union’s reasons why women should get the vote, and Homepaddock features a cartoon from the era – why my househusband isn’t in the kitchen cooking my dinner right now is my question!

9. Refuse to Give a Fuck About Artistic Careers

In A Strange Land looks at the concept of moral luck, and about sums up the Polanski argument for me:

I don’t care how great a filmmaker he is. The fact is that he was convicted of raping a thirteen year old child, and he fled from justice.

An Irritating Truth gives good tips on how to be a socially-acceptable sex offender.

10. Remember, Little-p Politics Matter

The policing of trans people’s gender presentationBeing a feminist in the open-source worldThe wider issues about “right to die” arguments – like the limited options people may be givenThe dominance of the male voiceThe wording of and assumptions underlying “scientific” surveysWhether privileged people’s “choice” trumps basic cultural sensitivity.  And why fear of genital mutilation doesn’t warrant refugee status in Australia.

That’s all she wrote!  Remember to submit your posts for the next edition of the Carnival, being hosted by Jo over at WallabyETA at Jo’s request:  The theme is Carers’ Week / Caring.  See her comment below for more info!

And if you’re ever at a loss for some good reading material, check out my own DUFC Contributors’ List (soon to be updated with this month’s new additions, I promise!).

Next time on Ideologically Impure:  savaging critique of the “posts” that didn’t make it into the Carnival, largely due to being horrible spam.

*Remember, boys, if you don’t actually want to know the details of my menstrual cycle, you are free to (a) not ask and (b) not ascribe my annoyance at you to it.