Some days being a libertarian is kind of tempting - Tactical Ninja
Dec. 9th, 2010
10:15 am - Some days being a libertarian is kind of tempting
OK, so I've spent the last couple of days getting up to speed on the WikiLeaks thing. It was helped along by Assange's arrest bringing a whole new angle to the story. And if I have one thing to say, it's this:
Don't get too hung up on Assange.
From what I understand, WikiLeaks will continue to do what WikiLeaks does whether he gets convicted or not. Whether he is innocent of the charges or a scumbag who assaults women is irrelevant to the value of the work he's done, and his work is now in a position where it can carry on without him.
I am, however, wondering how likely it is that anyone else who's been accused of having non-consensual sex with a woman/women and then left the country is being pursued with such vehemence by Interpol. Yes, I smell a rat. We all do. And as a woman who, like so many other women, has been a victim of not-rape, actual rape and oh-shit-that-was-rape-but-I-didn't-reali
It seems to have made him a martyr to all his stans and the first thing that has happened is those who believe he can do no wrong started defending him and either saying the women are lying, or minimising the accusations. Neither of these is helpful to all the other women who have the same story but it's not regarding someone that governments want to get their hands on, so nobody cares. Women do not need more fuel for the "Women lie about rape all the time" trope. No really, we don't. We also don't need governments to suddenly start caring about our sexual rights when they have an agenda, because all it does is show us how little they care the rest of the time. And if it does turn out to be a honey trap, as some people are implying, they have just set back women's right to bodily autonomy by about 50 years. Cheers, governments.
And you know what? Whether he did it or not, whether you consider non-consensual sex to be rape or not, whether it turns out to be a $700 fine or a jail term or walking free, these charges make absolutely no difference to the contribution he's made to the world through WikiLeaks. They matter to the women involved, they matter to women in general, but do they make any difference whatsoever to your opinion of WikiLeaks and what it does? Do you really think the governments involved care about those women? Or do they just want to get their hands on someone who's a thorn in their side and are using the first opportunity he's given them? And does it matter what kind of person he is, really? Because right now he's a political football who can't really do anything except stir up emotion in people through the way others act towards him, and WikiLeaks is doing its work anyway and will continue to do so regardless of the outcome of the charges. He is no longer the thing that makes it happen.
As I said to someone else this morning, history is full of brilliant men doing great works who also treated women like shit. The two things are not mutually exclusive.
So I'd suggest that rather than being all up in arms about what's going on with Julian Assange, people look at what's going on with WikiLeaks itself, and what sort of political machinations are going on outside of where our attention is currently being focused. Because that is probably a more important thing to keep your eye on.
And I'm still taking bets on when the first leak will come through that exposes goverment plotting and collaboration aimed at stopping WikiLeaks.
Something that's really making me go *grr* this morning, much closer to home, is this: NZ's Parliament passed a bill last night that removes prisoners' right to vote. Yep, that's right folks, if you get convicted of a crime that carries a jail term, you're not a citizen any more. This means those thousand people per month who the Deputy Police Commissioner was bragging about incarcerating on cannabis offences earlier this year are not citizens any more. You get no say in the leadership of the state that incarcerates you. Awesome. I have three questions:
1. What is this supposed to achieve and how is it supposed to benefit anyone and in what way?
2. Of the reasons we have prisons, which of them does this one serve?
3. How many of the people currently incarcerated do you think were likely to vote for the current government, given the likely demographics involved?
Fucking fucking fuck. What the fuck kind of goverment is this and where exactly are they trying to take our country?