I don't want to talk about the mess surrounding Julian Assange and the rape charges against him. I never met the man. I never read Wikileaks. I have no idea, really, what kind of person he is or what he does in his spare time, though I've heard enough to where if I ever met him I would make sure not to be alone with him.
I'm still examining my own beliefs about who has the "right" to do what -- though obviously, obviously everyone has the human right to not be raped --, and what I think about his alleged actions, and his accusers' alleged actions, and his defenders' alleged actions. I don't actually have the information I need to begin to understand what "really" happened. (I don't know of a place I could really get this information, either; everyone seems to be calling everyone else a liar.) I know that even being as neutral as I am -- I don't think true neutrality is possible -- is a choice, and that a lot of people on both sides see this choice of neutrality as a betrayal. I think my line wouldn't please anyone; my line doesn't please me and it will probably move. It is a betrayal, maybe; civil rights and human rights shouldn't be negotiated and compromised and there isn't a lot of space for neutrality on them.
I'm not going to rattle on and make my very confused feelings about this into a whole post. I think that would be a betrayal. This isn't about me. But I'm also not ignoring it.
There seem to be so many reasons why this case is a Bad Example, and we should be fighting over a Good Example, if we want to fight rape culture. (In a lot of ways, the Roman Polanski case was a Good Example; it certainly seems far less ambiguous.) Maybe, though, a bad example is the best kind of example. I know it's pointed out a lot of my own prejudices to me.
I do want to point you somewhere, to people with more bravery and more conviction than I have right now. Some very, very, brave women are taking a stand on Twitter, and making this case an example, and using its publicity to fight rape culture. You should read about what they're doing here, but please, count this as a trigger warning. The link goes to the first blog post explaining the protest; a lot has happened since then that you can read about on the same blog. The protest has been going on for four days now. The latest posts and updates are especially powerful, and therefore get an especially strong trigger warning.
There are a bunch of ways to get involved in that protest, whether you're on Twitter or not; some of them -- and some supporting arguments for the protest -- are here, and there's a trigger warning on that too.
I don't know what Assange did or did not do. I can't imagine anyone accusing him for fun. I know that rape culture is more pervasive than I can describe, and that any ideas I have about Assange will be colored by it. I'm trying to figure out what that coloring is doing to me.
What's it doing to you?