Here we go again. There’s plenty to hoist your eyebrows when a professional whistleblower ends up suddenly wanted very desperately for sexual assault charges that were first brought against him months ago. But don’t let questions about possible government conspiracies derail you from the important thing: Assange is a liberal, and therefore can’t be a rapist, because liberals don’t do that sort of thing. Yes. Repeat that to yourself while bashing your head against the wall each time. No, don’t stop. Keep doing it. Can you still hear me? Then keep going.
By Sunday, when Keith Olbermann retweeted Bianca Jagger’s link to a post about the accuser’s supposed CIA ties — complete with scare quotes around the word “rape” — a narrative had clearly taken hold: Whatever Assange did, it sure wasn’t rape-rape. All he did was fail to wear a rubber! And one woman who claims he assaulted her has serious credibility issues anyway. She threw a party in his honor after the fact and tried to pull down the incriminating tweets. Isn’t that proof enough? The only reason the charges got traction is that, in the radical feminist utopia of Sweden under Queen Lisbeth Salander, if a woman doesn’t have multiple orgasms during hetero sex, the man can be charged with rape. You didn’t know?
“Rape-rape?” Whoopi Goldberg’s cutesy term for what she felt Roman Polanski did not do to his drugged, thirteen-year-old, non-consenting victim has resurfaced.
We’re not talking about people questioning the merits of the case. They’re reaching far and wide to find ways to rationalize how Assange can’t actually be guilty of rape because it doesn’t fit their personal narrative, in which liberals fighting for good causes can’t be rapists. Don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying Assange is or isn’t a rapist. How the hell would I know? I am merely saying he could be. That concept should be obvious. Instead, it needs an article over 500 words, apparently.
This is so important to understand if you actually want to reduce rape rather than just blither about it until it’s Your Guy getting accused, and then switch sides. Rapists can appear very ordinary – or very extraordinary. Many rapists are particularly suited to achieving high status and positions of authority because trampling others to get what they want does not cause them to lose sleep. Many rapists realize that if they inhabit the right positions of authority, their communities will never believe they could be rapists – it’s the perfect “hiding in plain sight” cover! Many rapists are great actors, capable of pretending to be truly kind, decent – even feminist – until they get a victim where they want her/him.
And some rapists are actually sincere about their liberal beliefs. You know how sometimes people surprise you? Like, your favorite green frugal hippy friend turns out to be in favor of stopping Mexican immigration to the US or something? Well, sometimes people really want to save the planet or do something good and they think certain individuals lack the right to deny them sex. People are complicated like that.
Any liberal who refuses to get this is not really concerned about women, women’s issues, rape or rape culture.