Rape, Assange, Wikileaks and a Reminder to Wear Rubbers While in Swedes

Tarring & feathering

“Rapist” is one of those words that evokes a guttural, unwelcome, sudden, extreme and violent response, and for the past  few months, pretty much that’s what the media been calling Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, making him seem super icky and creepy. However this interview in the Guardian gives perspective on Assange and Wikileaks.

I can’t believe I need to say this, but we need to examine with tweezers at the Swedish law Assange is alleged to have violated. James D. Catlin, the Melbourne barrister who represented Assange in London, wrote

Apparently having consensual sex in Sweden without a condom is punishable by a term of imprisonment of a minimum of two years for rape….Now, three months on and three prosecutors later, the Swedes seem to be clear on their basis to proceed. Consensual sex that started out with a condom ended up without one, ergo, the sex was not consensual.

Consensual sex without a condom is rape? Well, in Sweden, if there’s no condom, it is.

I spent ten–celibate, in case you were wondering–days in Sweden this summer and wonder how many bands and attendees at the rock festivals knew this “condom or it’s rape” law. I hope it’s info that gets added to their tourism packets. I guess now all Swedish citizens are aware of this quirk as well.

I’m all for using condoms until everyone is tested and trusted, but this  Swedish law is intrusive, repressive and downgrades rape–forced sexual intercourse–to a level with

You’re hot, the rubber broke and the drugstore is closed, oh let’s do it anyway…

Rape is very serious for the victims and those around them, that’s a given. And rapists who don’t use condoms should have an enhanced penalty added.

But to falsely accuse someone of rape because of consensual rubber-less sex is really loathsome behavior which makes all woman look bad and re-victimizes those who have been assaulted and violated.

Later after bareback mounting, Anna Ardin, one of the two women, threw a party for Julian Assange at her apartment, while the second woman Sofia Wilén tweeted and texted about her sexual activities with Assange. They were not all upset and freaked out, either. Think more “Sex in the City” than “Without Her Consent” which starred Bebe Neuwirth as Melissa Gilbert’s attorney Gloria Allred in a based-on-the true-story Lifetime Movie.

Ardin, a gender equity officer at Uppsala University who should know something about communication, boasted on Twitter about the intelligent people she was hanging out with. (Um, euuwww, really classless). And then tried to delete her tweets.

Assange’s solicitor writes:

In the case of Ardin it is clear that she has thrown a party in Assange’s honour at her flat after the “crime” and tweeted to her followers that she is with the “the world’s coolest smartest people, it’s amazing!”. Go on the internet and see for yourself. That Ardin has sought unsuccessfully to delete these exculpatory tweets from the public record should be a matter of grave concern. That she has published on the internet a guide on how to get revenge on cheating boyfriends ever graver. The exact content of Wilén’s mobile phone texts is not yet known but their bragging and exculpatory character has been confirmed by Swedish prosecutors. Neither Wilén’s nor Ardin’s texts complain of rape.

This was a classic honeypot set up: Attractive, willing woman  flirt with international man of mystery. Assange should have known better, like has he not read James Bond? Or even the Hardy Boys?!

Okay, back to the main point: Because there was no condom it was rape.   Uh, that’s a little to nanny state in the bedroom. Sorry Sweden, but this is pretty embarrassing for you.

In the 1990s I was in a couple situations I wouldn’t classify as “rape” but they were definitely less consensual and moved faster than I would have preferred, though the men in each case prolly thought they were being all suave. I pretty much closed my eyes and thought of England and chalked it up to

I won’t have my face broken or be killed and I don’t have to ever see them again, but ugh, I am a moron.

I was not amused about what I’d gotten myself into–without drugs or alcohol, mind you– and recognized my part in it. Hardline feminists might call these situations rape; I call it very poor character judgment on my part, miscommunication and a lot of naivite.

I have encountered women and men, close friends and acquaintances, who have been raped, whose lives were cruelly altered by the actions of others, who have been stalked and beaten, brutalized, assaulted. Anna Ardin and Sofia Wilén had consensual sex without condoms which is a technical foul. Then, barrister Catlin writes:

neither Ardin nor Wilén complained to the police but rather “sought advice”, a technique in Sweden enabling citizens to avoid just punishment for making false complaints. They sought advice together, having collaborated and irrevocably tainted each other’s evidence beforehand. Their SMS texts to each other show a plan to contact the Swedish newspaper Expressen beforehand in order to maximise the damage to Assange. They belong to the same political group and attended a public lecture given by Assange and organised by them. [emphasis mine] You can see Wilén on the YouTube video of the event even now.

And it took Swedish prosecutors three times to figure out how to take the case.

After admittedly consensual sex Anna Ardin and Sofia Wilén went to Swedish authorities to report that sex with a Very Important Leaker ended without a condom, which as Kirk Murphy points out

just happens to be the pretext for Interpol to issue a “Red Notice” informing the world’s police forces of charges against Julian Assange.

And violate rape victims again.

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Lisa Derrick

Lisa Derrick

Los Angeles native, attended UC Berkeley and Loyola Marymount University before punk rock and logophilia overtook her life. Worked as nightclub columnist, pop culture journalist and was a Hollywood housewife before writing for and editing Sacred History Magazine. Then she discovered the thrill of politics. She also appears frequently on the Dave Fanning Show, one of Ireland's most popular radio broadcasts.