No need to know known unknowns

I am quite well suited to journalism and research because I’m nosey. I like to ask questions and find things out. And I’m well suited to blogging because I’m opinionated and like the sound of my own voice. So I find it rather odd that there are some things I don’t feel the need to have an opinion about.

Like whether Julian Assange is a rapist. I don’t know if the charges against him are true or false, because I simply don’t have enough information to make that decision. And – strangely, considering I’m an opinionated feminist – not having an opinion on that doesn’t bother me at all. On the issue of consent and whether it’s “rape” or “rape rape”, I want to quote a comment that kimsonof left here:

Consent was predicated upon the use of a condom. When Assange allegedly deviated from this condition, consent was no longer present. Thus if the alleged victims are accurate in their claims, it is rape in any jurisdiction including ours. Consent needs to be continuous.

That is spot on. And frankly, it needs to be a part of a national advertising campaign.

As a quick digression, Assange doesn’t actually present a problem for feminists, and the media commentary saying he does is yet another excuse to say there’s something wrong with feminism. You can support WikiLeaks and still demand that Assange goes to court to face the charges against him, because the two are unrelated. The rape charges arise from his private behaviour – unlike Mark McInnes’ sexual harassment of Kristy Fraser-Kirk at work functions which wasn’t taken seriously by the company. (Hey Lexy, can you link to that great WikiLeaks-ain’t-so-great article you were telling me about?)

And while I’ve got this high-horse saddled up, the thing about people saying “feminism is stupid so nyerrh” is that it’s sneaky. If they said that women should not have equal rights and opportunities to men, people would be lining up to tell them that only anachronistic arseholes hold that view. So instead, they use the f word – feminism – to hide what they’re really saying.

Anyway, back to not needing opinions on things I probably should have opinions on. I don’t know if Keli Lane killed/sold/gave away Tegan. I don’t have all the facts – I wasn’t in court and I didn’t follow the story – so I know that any opinion I form about it will be ill-informed. And I’m perfectly ok with that. But I find it quite frightening that we don’t need a unanimous verdict to convict someone of murder in a case where there is no body, no witnesses, and only circumstantial evidence.

The other frightening thing about this case is all the mother guilt/worship that’s going on in the mainstream media: “how could a mother do that to her child?”, “the strongest bond is between mother and child”. What utter bullshit. Firstly, it trivialises the relationship fathers have with their children. Secondly, it perpetuates the belief that only women can care for children and women only want to care for children, so women will continue to face a career disadvantage – men who leave work early to pick up the kids are called “great dads”, but women who do the same are “lacking commitment to the company”. And those who put their young kids in daycare so they can go back to work are “bad mothers”. And thirdly, like many people, I don’t have a good relationship with my mother. She wouldn’t kill me, but to say that the bond between us is the strongest of all is laughable.

12 responses to “No need to know known unknowns

  1. There is one main thing that distresses me about the Assange matter is – the man has not been ‘charged’. The fiasco relates to allegations and the process undertaken by Sweden is extraordinary in both legal and political terms. The warrant relates only to questioning about the allegations (to which his lawyers have sought to facilitate with the prosecutors, to no avail).

    The oddity has been further exemplified by the most recent bail application of today and the success in a UK court only to be scuttled by an appeal from Sweden that refuses to acknowledge the rule of law has been played out (and ensure a man facing no charges against him does not remain in solitary confinement).

    Countries do not generally issue international warrants based on allegations of rape. Why now? Why him? Why not for every such allegation? Wonder what the world would look like for women if that was actually the case. This is very interesting considering your last post NWN re the cops in NSW and the research reporting how perspectives affect the operation of the Police Force when investigating rape allegations in Australia.

    • Exactly. Why the big fuss over him and not Roman Polanski? Although, I guess that one’s easily answered – Sweden vs the US.

      • I wouldn’t piss on Polanski if he were on fire and that extends to the cavalcade of celebrities who last year declared that what he did was okay as he is a ‘brilliant artist.’

        • I still don’t understand why people would put their names to a petition that says it’s ok to drug and anally rape a child in your care if you’re a creative person.

          • I don’t know but I can proudly say that on principle I have never viewed one of his films. His supporters at the time and now reckoned that what he did was ok as ‘loving’ another person of that age was OK in France. I checked with my sister in law who lives in Paris and she is sceptical about that however she is quite certain that the drugging and sodomising part would have had him close to the guillotine.

    • Janine they cannot charge him until he is in Sweden hence the extradition. Countries do extradite people to answer rape accusations and how do you figure that an appeal is failing to acknowledge the rule of law when the rule of law allows for a party to a matter to apply to have that matter reviewed when they believe the judge has erred?

  2. On the Lane matter I will say this: Whilst I had a feeling in my gut that she had killed her baby, I don’t think any of the evidence reported in the media could support such a conviction. Either the jury had access to information we did not, or they all read the DT religiously.
    As for that blight on justice which is the majority verdict; thank you NSW Labor.

  3. Kim, you are only looking at the problem from your side, your mum loves you dearly and has done since the day you were conceived.

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