Saturday, December 11, 2010

He makes promises he doesn't keep







Beat down in the market, stoned to death in the plaza
Raped on the hillside under the gun from LA to Gaza
A house made of cardboard living close to the rail
Somebody's mama, somebody's daughter
Somebody's jail
And I feel the witch in my veins
I feel the mother in my shoe
I feel the scream in my soul
The blood as I sing the ancient blue
They burned in the millions
I still smell the fire in my grandma's hair
The war against women rages on
Beware of the fairytale
Somebody's mama, somebody's daughter
Somebody's jail
-- "Somebody's Jail," written by Holly Near, first appears on her Show Up
As with Tuesday's snapshot and Wednesday's snapshot, and Thursday's snapshot we have to deal with the attacks on two women over rape charges. Maia (The Hand Mirror) explains, "The charges are actually really clear cut: he had sex with one woman while she was asleep, and he didn't stop when another woman said stop. It doesn't require a very in depth and complex understanding of consent to understand that that is rape. But there is a constant narrative that anything other than stranger rape where force is used is somehow a lesser form of rape. That narrative is really damaging to rape survivors." wiki leaks observes, "But Assange's status as embattled warrior for free speech is taken as giving permission -- by those on the left as well as right – to indulge in the basest slut-shaming and misogyny. It's terrifying to witness how swiftly rape orthodoxies reassert themselves: that impugning a man's sexual propriety is a political act, that sexual assault complainants are prone to a level of mendacity others are not (and, in this case, deserving of the same crowd-sourced scrutiny afforded leaked diplomatic cables), that not all forms of non-consensual sex count as 'rape-rape'." Amelia Gentleman (Guardian) speaks with the attorney of the two women, Claes Borgstrom, and reports:
In an interview at his fifth-floor office in central Stockholm, he continued: "What is going on now is very, very unfair to them because they are being pointed at as if they have started a conspiracy against Assange and WikiLeaks, and that is not true. There is nothing wrong with their reputation and they have done nothing wrong in going to the police. What they are going through is unfair and absurd."
He questioned whether the women would have pressed charges had they known in advance how their reputations would be attacked. "If they had known what was going to happen, maybe they would not have gone to the police at all … I would not have done it," he said.
Esther Addley (Guardian) observes, "Rarely can there have been a rape case where the personal details of the alleged victims have been so eagerly sought out by so many. "Is [Miss A] a lesbian?" asks one blog, accompanying its text with photographs of Miss A alongside another woman. 'If [she] is gay, and she sleeps with Assange, that's a contradiction. So, I'm inviting the blogosphere to look for the evidence. Be a WikiSleuth! There must be a lot of people who know about [Miss A] and her behavior. Speak up!" And the tarring and feathering has come from all over including Coward Matthew Rothschild. Matty who wants Russ Feingold to run for president . . . except when he doesn't. (We'll be ripping apart his latest 'reasoning' at Third.) Matty who wants to hurl the c-word at women in 2008 but was too cowardly to be upfront about his sexism so he hid behind The Weekly Standard. Matty who questioned the women and declares himself a Socialist and is CEO of The Progressive. Our 'friend,' women's 'great friend,' Matty Rothschild who wanted to insist this week "I take all allegations of rape and sexual misconduct seriously" seconds before adding that the alleged behavior of the women just struck him as fishy. Maia (The Hand Mirror) explains the harm that's being done:
But I think that defenders of Julian Assanger do the most damage when they construct a way that rape victims behave and imply that the woman involved isn't acting like a rape victim: she tweeted about him, or she seemed happy, or she saw him again.
I lose it at this point. There is no way that rape victims act - there is no way that rape victims don't act. Seriously. If you don't know this then you have no right to say a word about rape.
It does so much harm to so many women, the idea that there's a way that rape victims act. It's not just some idea that you're spinning off into cyber-space. It's something that women who are going through trauma have to struggle through - their own, and other people's expectations of how they should be behaving. And it doesn't stop - the idea of the acceptable behaviour of a rape victim gets used as a weapon again and again.
Most rape myths are about women, about attacking suvivors of rape, discrediting them trashing them - and there's been a lot of that. But some are about men
John Pilger said that he had a very high regard for Julian Assange. And? The rhetorical rapist - the scary man, who no-one holds in high regard - is a weapon that is used against actual victims of rape all the time.
And what is most ridiculous about this spreading of rape myths by left-wing supporters of wikileaks is that these myths are completely unnecessary to stand in solidarity with the wikileaks project.
It is states and companies that are attacking Wikileaks and Julian Assange, not two women. It is perfectly possible to criticise the actions of prosecuters, interpol, judges and government's without invoking rape myths.

We've seen the sexism of the left yet again. You get the usual women who operate as instruments of patriarchy, women who either have done nothing for women's rights (Naomi Klein would fit in here) or who lost interest in feminism long, long ago (Naomi Wolf). They need these women to hide behind. They've rewarded these _____ _____ types for years because those women only fawn over them and never 'make trouble' by noting, for example, their sexual harassment practices. And the men form a circle whenever they fear one of them might be held accountable for something that, let's be honest, is fairly common behavior for the males at the top of the power pyramid. Cute phone call this week from the friend of a media 'god' who wanted to know if I was planning on outing him for his attempted rape some years and years ago? (Newsflash, Rebecca outed him at her site back in 2005.) I bet there are a lot of conversations like that, a lot of men on the left sweating it out, and I bet that has a lot to do with the attacks on these two women. Attack them and, hopefully, scare off all women. The attacks send a message and it's damn hard to believe that the message is unintended.
It's similar to their attacks on Hillary Clinton and it's the same gang. People like Danny Schechter, for example, who repeated sexist attacks on Hillary at his website and then, when Ruth was calling him out -- RIGHTLY her website because he bills himself as a media critic but managed to go the whole year and after without ever noticing the sexism, Danny suddenly cared and rushed forward with e-mails. (Ruth never told me and I never asked. It was obvious that Ruth was doing a hard hitting series and that only one person -- Ruth didn't name the man at her website -- had a vested interest in attempting to derail Ruth's series.) So Ruth calls him out and the best he can offer is that if Hillary didn't call it out (she did call it out) then why should he? If you're going to call yourself a media critic, it's incumbent upon you to call it out. Not that we expected it, we've certainly gotten a ton of e-mails filled with allegations of sexual harassment and sexism in hiring, retaining and pay at Media Channel. [Sidebar: Ava and I were not paid when Media Channel reposted our article. I've never discussed that here and I'm not sure I've discussed it at Third. We have no business relationship -- and have never had any business relationship -- with Media Channel. Had we been asked about our article being reposted, we would have said no. We would have said no because (a) Media Channel is notoriously sexist and (b) they have received Soros money and we didn't want to be tainted with blood money. Repeating, "Friendly faces aren't who we meet" was written -- by Ava and myself -- for Third and published there. We were never asked about it being reposted. The first we knew of it was when e-mails arrived at Third. And it did nothing but cause us problem -- with women who've suffered from Media Channel's work practices and with those who rightly decry the blood money Soros amassed. And in this sidebar, you've got a pretty telling comment on the sexism of Media Channel. Without ever contacting us, Ava and my work -- the work of two women -- was reposted in full at a site that seeks donations and we were never thanked or notified. Is that really how they would have treated two men? No, it's not. And that's not a whine for money. Ava and I both will never, ever hurt for money. It is noting that our work product was used without our permission, without notification to us and distributed on a site that seeks money for the work 'they' (the 'mens') do. It's very telling and jibes completely with the stories Danny's ex-girlfriends been informing many women of.]
While we have tried to avoid that topic, Ava and I called out Danny's bulls**t that Tina Turner owed Ike something. Tina (whom I know and love) owes Ike nothing. He was a terrorist. It's cute the way these Danny Schechter types whine about abuse except when it's done to women. And what's he done all week? Passed on false information. When Judith Miller did that, he was outraged. But he thinks as long as he quotes false information from others (presumably from others, his new layout makes it impossible to tell when he's writing or when he's quoting) it's okay and his hands aren't dirty. He's quoted disgusting trash and linked to false trash attacking the women. As late as yesterday, a whine that no one would even say what the charges were. Uh, charges were reported Tuesday by many outlets including the Guardian which live blogged the court appearance. That's a fact that and facts aren't as easy to bend so liars ignore them. And December 8th, Danny pimped: "Roman Polanski, who during his Hollywood time recongizably raped a minor who later forgave him."
What the hell is that? Is murder dependent upon what the victim may have thought of the attacker? Then why would rape be?
I know Roman. I have no respect for him, but I know him. And he damn well knew what he was doing. But it's cute the way murder is 'real crime' and rape is just a 'so-so crime' that can be dimissed for any number of reasons. Torture's the same way. If we're talking about it under the Pinochet regime, it's torture and unspeakable. If it's a man torturing his girlfriend,lover, wife, it's fine and dandy and understandable and a personal matter. As Marlo Thomas has so often noted, before the second wave of feminism, domestic abuse didn't even have a name. That's the world that the attackers on the women promote: When victims didn't speak out.
And I just mentioned Pinochet. Augusto Pinochet is a War Criminal. And a US-backed one. The US-backed and funded coup that brought him into power -- and assasinated Salvado Allende and Chile's hopes of a free society -- launched non-stop torture. It's funny that so many lefties overlook the way women were targeted specifically. The easiest starting point? Women being attacked by the junta's military for wearing pants. They were forced back into dresses. It's not that different from what's taken place in Afghanistan or what they've pretty much succeeded in doing in Iraq -- instute clothing 'purity' for women. But don't look for Danny Schechter or burqa loving Naomi Wolf to tell you about that. After all 'real problems' are the ones that effect men only. What was done to the women of Chile was far more brutal than our 'brave' left ever wants to talk about.
But women are always under attack, even from our 'friends.' And women are always expendable. That's the history in the US. Wait for the vote, wait for ERA, take a hit for the team, again and again and again. Rape is a real crime. Julian Assange may or may not be guilty. I have no idea. I've expressed my hope that he's not. I've not attacked him. It's a shame that so many feel attacking is the way to go when it comes to women. It's not cute, it's not funny and it hurts women. Again, read Ann's "This rape survivor says: Naomi Wolf, go f**k yourself." And if this is still an issue come Monday, we'll note what the attackers don't want noted but the past can be a portent.

RECOMMENDED: "Iraq snapshot"
"Little honesty in war coverage -- and little coverage"
"Limited voices, limited citizenship"
"I Hate The War"
"My Cousin Maliki"
"Fajita Soup in the Kitchen"
"UK students don't take it lying down"
"Kiss my Black ass, Matthew Rothschild"
"Tom Hayden's dead chickens come home to rest"
"So glad the week is over"
"Terry Gross and other disgusting things"
"oh tony blair, you big liar"
"full of hot air"
"Yes, C.I. is correct"
"Cougar Town"
"Net Neutrality"
"Dirty day"
"Matthew Rothschild patronizes Black people"
"Harry plays more games"
"The Big Sleep"
"Understandable but it drops the ball"
"Steve Burns is an idiot"
"Idiots of the week and Fringe"
"Dems fight back, is this for real?"

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