Monday, December 27, 2010

The 'Saudi Arabia of Feminism'

Trigger Warning: Talk of sexual assault. 

"Mr Assange regards himself as a victim of radicalism. 'Sweden is the Saudi Arabia of feminism,' he said. 'I fell into a hornets' nest of revolutionary feminism.'"

This article irritated me, but those two sentences made me hear a boiling kettle in my head. For those who don't know, Mr. Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, has been charged by two women with sexual assault. One(Miss A) claims that she consented to sex with the condition that he wear a condom, and believes he damaged the condom, the other(Miss W) slept with him willingly, went to sleep, and woke up to find him having sex with her. The latter is flat-out rape. If she was asleep, she could not consent, and sex without consent is rape, in my opinion. It doesn't matter if she slept with him the night before, it's rape. Additionally, she'd also asked he wear protection, which he did not when having sex without her without her permission.

In Sweden, having unprotected sex with someone who asked you to use protection is a crime. In fact, you could probably persecute for that in several other countries.

Also, in describing how Mr. Assange met with Miss W, the article included the oh-so-relevant point that she wore a revealing top. This intimates that Miss W met with him with the intent to flirt with, or sleep with him. Which doesn't make it okay that he'd forced himself upon her while she slept. It was totally irrelevant, disrespectful, and rude to include.

But, back to the quote that irritates me so much.

I'll address this in chunks.

"Revolutionary feminism." The idea that it is in any way 'revolutionary' that you're not allowed to have sex with someone unless they know what you are doing and are okay with it, is absolutely outrageous. And the insinuation that this kind of law is in any way outrageous or over the top, the way the word choice of 'revolutionary' does, is manipulative, rude and patronizing.

"The Saudi Arabia of feminism." In Saudi Arabia, women of all ages are required to have a male guardian. Those guardians are needed to give permission for marriage, divorce, travel(if they're under the age of 45), education, employment, banking, elective surgery, and much more. They make up to 5% of the workforce, one of the lowest rates in the world, which conflicts with their seventy percent majority of university enrollment. Women can't drive cars, some rooms in family homes have seperate entrances for the genders. They cannot vote, or run for office.

And in Sweden, they can charge people who damage contraceptives without their knowledge during sex, and people who have sex with them while they sleep, unable to consent.

It is DEPRESSING, that someone could say something so outrageously stupid.

"A victim of radicalism." Yes, you're the victim, you who (allegedly) saw a sleeping woman, knew she didn't want you to sleep with her without a condom, didn't wake her up, didn't put on a condom, and  proceeded to sleep with her without waking her up, yes, you are the true victim here. [/sarcasm]

As an aside, I do like WikiLeaks, to an extent. I believe that there should be more openness between a government and it's people, and that the people should know more about what the government does on their behalf. But I detest the alleged actions of Mr. Assange, I am made angry by his words and attitude, and I am in disbelief that the opposite of a man having total control of a woman's life is a woman wanting full consent and alertness in her sexual activity.

No comments:

Post a Comment