In numerous wars and genocides, women’s bodies have served as battlegrounds between conflicting cultures and nations. Used as a tactic of control and oppression, the act of rape transforms women’s bodies into political weapons, reinforcing skewed male-female power relations and reaffirming the very powerful existence of patriarchy. As women suffer these atrocities worldwide, the media also plays an intricate role in perpetuation of women’s bodies as ideological battlegrounds.

As WikiLeaks Founder, Julian Assange, walks the tightrope of “hero” and “criminal” for publishing government secrets, somehow the two women who are accusing him of rape also are becoming “fair game” for critique by the media. In this case, I argue that it should be a conflict of interest to lattice sexual assault and international politics. Yet, countless left-wing media pundits have transformed these women’s bodies and alleged experiences into a battleground for the defence of Assange’s political innocence.

Is it acceptable for rape allegations against political heroes to be coined as conspiracy? Why are male public figures automatically presumed the “victims” of deceitful women crying rape?

Perhaps, Assange’s rape allegations interfere with his image as a political idol. Yet, this “interference” causes me to reflect on the numerous Black male leaders renowned for fighting racial injustice but also allegedly abusing women. Just think, Malcolm X is still praised despite having had allegedly beaten his wife. Not to suggest that these two figures or their alleged crimes are identical, but it goes to show that gender atrocities don’t kill the respect for male political heroes. Indifference trumps the potential truth of these women’s experiences, and the images of these men remain polished.

False allegations always linger as a possibility. Undoubtedly, there are women who lie about being raped. However, this should not be promoted as the norm for allegations against male public figures. These men are human like anyone else. Public status does not make one immune to criminal activity. Limited “evidence” and “insubstantial” personal testimonies often cause women to lose when trying to “prove” that an atrocity was committed against them.

When will the public’s discussion shift from the idea of “conspiracy” to the harsh political reality of many female rape victims? The courts still lack systematic effectiveness when trying to bring consequences to many rape perpetrators, and tend to be weaker operators when dealing with male public figures.

In 1995, Amnesty International wrote, “The use of rape in conflict reflects the inequalities women face in their everyday lives in peacetime. Until governments live up to their obligations to ensure equality, and end discrimination against women, rape will continue to be a favorite weapon of the aggressor.”

Here’s a contemporary remix: the assumption of rape as a political conspiracy reflects the inequalities that women face in their everyday lives. Until the media outlets live up to their obligations to advocate for potential female rape victims, promote gender equality, and end discrimination against women’s experiences, denying rape will continue to be a favorite political weapon of individuals who don’t mind the violation of a woman’s vagina as political game play.

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  • Adamantine

    Thanks so much for this post.

  • Yvette

    @Adamantine. Wow those women must have been sooo traumatized. I mean distressed to the point where they went on Twitter the very next day to brag about having sex with Assange. They truly sound damaged from this incident, therapy for years I’m sure. Additionally the D.A. dropped all charges and dismissed this until Assange became a “high alert terrorist” wanted all over the world in relation to Wikileaks. No this is a political conspiracy. We need Assange in our world much more then two women who cry “great sex” until they find out he was bedding both of them only to change their stories to Rape, then change it again to Unexpected Sex. Nor do we need women who write books about how to get back at cheating boyfriends using this very same method. Naomi Wolf was right on point. Let’s begin the manhunt and re-open Sweden’s legitimate rape cases.

    • Dianne

      I am pretty much with Yvette on this one. Although she is having to take her time. Her tone indicates to me that she knows the issue with these women. It was clearly specified when the Assange case broke and people took sides about his actions as opposed to our State Department and the Diplomats and Embassies of numerous countries. As more was recently revealed we have had the entrance of Karl Rove and his buddy who resides in the UK making arrangements for these two over-age sweeties to attend a conference in Sweden which Julian Assange just so happened to be attending. If the buddy of Rove took care of their passage to Sweden for whatever reason, we might assume that they were unaware of the changes in the cultural climate of Sweden when each one of them introduced herself to Julian Assange at the conference and purportedly unaware of the other until both had been laid by Julian. The latter of the sexually liberated women didn’t like being ignored by Julian who was apparently less interested in maintaining a friendly relationship with her as he was already on friendly terms with the other before her.

      That stumped Jenny come lately who wanted to know why she was getting the cold shoulder after she had been so nice to Julian. She was a bit of a thinker though and decided to find out more about other visitors to the conference and where they came from, in an attempt to identify her competition. Remember this is her story as separate from “the Winner”, we could call her Judy if you like or Judith. But were the “girls” really individual and separate guests at the conference? Jenny says so but now that they had met they did conspire and in the guise of innocence asked the local police questions about the current laws which seemed so different than what had once existed in freewheeling Sweden, if you’ve ever been to an Ingmar Bergman movie.

      Learning of the possibilities compared to the impossibilities, they now came up with crimes actually considered by the Swedes and thus improved their story of what had taken place to the one,and then to the other, which thus gave Julian the shock of his life. He’s not as suave as people would care to believe on the grounds of pulling this really big stunt that offends everybody more than sex. A Crime against the primacy of the State, in fact numerous States. Ordinary folks think he must be some suave and brilliant genious. However, he’s just not very together about what makes women do the things that they do? Ask his mother; no wonder she is worried about him. It has come to light that Assange is a bit of a dork where females are concerned. I do not find this hard to believe; ask yourself when is the last time that you haven’t met one? Are you beginning to catch on? Men can’t be geniuses about everything.

      It is not that Julian Assange does not know the seriousness of the situation that he is in. I watched and listened carefully how he talked man to man with utterly friendly David Frost who was by now feeling sorry for the youngster. I had originally heard something about Julian being 50 or something, but then this amount of time was cut back allowing he was somewhat younger after all .

      He is seriously under “house arrest” as a guest. Meanwhile Judy and Jenny have not entirely covered their trail of silly deeds done at one time or another, which categorically put them up against similar difficulties as Julian as. Will anybody believe any of them as the leaks keep making everybody look leakier. If my suspicion is correct about what I have been able to follow so far, one of the “girls,Judy, is older than Julian; Jenny may or may not be but she is younger than Judy. Like a very average man, Assange did not find anything unusual what so ever about being entertained by two different women in a row before making up his mind which he would enjoy having a second helping of; and, one should consider that women are not immune to the same modus operandi.

      This is a good soap opera but, what i hear in this column is the same whatever it is that Americans have about being righteous that annoyed the hell out of me when Old Man Polanski got their goat. There is so much that Americans do not take into their consideration due to lack of experience in reality. So once again we have got something to complain about. We certainly thought we knew what we were complaining about that was done back in the 1970s by a Polish war orphan who was floundering after the violent death of his wife and unborn child as well as his friends . Now we are complaining about the average man on the street who has been behaving like a genius since childhood but, since he is British, we are not altogether sure if he has yet determined if his sexuality is as hetero as we suppose or why else would he have gotten into so much trouble? I witnessed Sir David Frost having his doubts but he sympathized. Karl Rove doesn’t really give a damn. Now if you would like to have your political party identified according to your concern for Assange sexuality above and beyond problems with the privacy of our international relations, I can’t guarantee a thing about there being any difference in the conduct of Republican men compared to Democrats. Can you?

      When I heard that Elizabeth Edwards Last Will and Testament was read today by her eldest daughter as executor and that Elizabeth left nothing to her former husband,John Edwards, now that made perfect sense.

  • Teresa

    If you can’t get Assange thru the Espionage Act then 2nd resort is always the bogus rape charges. They come at the most convenient of times. The goal is to completely disparage his character so nobody will believe him when he says America has initiated a new war in Yemen. And when he shows photos/video of dead innocent women and children in Iraq that we slaughtered, they’ll say “he’s a rapist he probably forged them. don’t believe anything he says!”

    But I’m still confused… these girls had wild sex w/ this guy, went to sleep and he tried to wake them up and initiate sex again? If that’s a crime then I’m sure as hell guilty too with plenty a men. I thought that’s usually what sex and spending the night entails….multiple occurences of sex in between sleep. I know these women are getting paid off somehow

  • Holy hell, Lady!

    Looks like you opened Pandora’s Box! *lmao*

    Great job on finding such an amazing topic to write about, it is one I’ve been thinking on for a while.

    I haven’t come to conclusions, but here are some of my concerns:

    1. Julian Assange released the following statement “[the cable archive] has been spread, along with significant material from the US and other countries to over 100,000 people in encrypted form. If anything happens to us, the key parts will be released automatically. Further, the Cable Gate archives is in the hands of multiple news organisations.” This, to me, sounds like a threat — which translates into a terrorist method of thinking (i.e. If you do this, then I will do this). The reason this method of thinking is so problematic is because the accused will often utilize such threats in an effort to escape from increasingly severe legal infractions. For examples of how poisonous this train of thought can be, take a peek at language utilized by Saddam Hussein and also Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. I’m not judging Assange, nor am I saying he doesn’t deserve a fair trial (I am a supporter of human rights, I believe all human beings have a right to a fair trial by a jury of their peers in a court of law). However, that being said, within the context of that fair trial, if evidence arises that supports the charges, any consequences thereafter must be endured.

    2. I willingly acknowledge the actions of the women involved are not sound. It seems their integrity does leave much to be desired. However, if a prostitute cries rape, does he/she not deserve a fair trial simply based upon the grounds that he/she is a prostitute? In as much as Mr. Assange has definitely released some fishy statements regarding himself and “his people” (his words, not mine), but still deserves a fair trial — so, too do these women deserve the right to state their grievances in the court of law and present evidence to support those grievances.

    3. Mr. Assange had to have known upon releasing this information, the kind of international turmoil he would cause. He also had to have known the consequences he would suffer. I’m not saying it’s right or wrong, but the man’s gonna have to pay the piper once in a while for airing Uncle Sam’s dirty laundry.

  • P.S. And by “thinking on for a while” I mean, your piece was so compelling, it literally took me a few days and a couple of reads to even begin to formulate what I wanted to say. AMAZING!