If you follow me on Twitter (hint: you should) you may have noticed that I’m tweeting/retweeting a lot with the #MooreandMe hashtag at/about Keith Olbermann and Michael Moore. What’s up with that? Other people (See: Sady Doyle, feminist superhero/instigator) have posted extensively about why this matters so much, but I wanted to throw my two cents in.
I don’t promise this account is perfect, I am upset and tired, but I wanted to get it out on here. If you want the full, detailed story go check out Tiger Beatdown (linked above) & get it from the source.
As I’ve stated before, I’m not a victim/survivor of rape. I’m lucky. I know people who have been raped, and I know people who chose not to report it because they were afraid of how they would be treated afterwords. Of having their sexual history dragged out and examined under a microscope. Of being told they asked for it. One friend was raped by a long-term partner and wasn’t even sure it was rape because there was prior consent. Fundamentally, we are pretty shitty to people who report rape charges. What does this have to do with anything? Well, you may have heard, Julian Assange was accused of
“surprise sex” OH WAIT NO THAT IS NOT ACTUALLY A THING.
So what has happened?
The honey-trap has been sprung. Dark forces are at work. After what we’ve seen so far you can reasonably conclude this is part of a greater plan.
Oh wait, no, that is from Mark Stephens, Mr. Assange’s British lawyer, who has pretty clearly been reading some Tom Clancy novels before bedtime.
The charges are actually, as The Guardian reports:
The first complainant, a Miss A, said she was the victim of “unlawful coercion” on the night of 14 August in Stockholm. The court heard Assange was alleged to have “forcefully” held her arms and used his bodyweight to hold her down. The second charge alleged he “sexually molested” her by having sex without using a condom, when it was her “express wish” that one should be used.
A third charge claimed Assange “deliberately molested” Miss A on 18 August.
A fourth charge, relating to a Miss W, alleged that on 17 August, he “improperly exploited” the fact she was asleep to have sex with her without a condom.
So, that sort of sounds like rape, right? Actually, not so much “sort of sounds like rape” and more like “is very clearly rape to anyone who has been taught that no means no.” So, what’s the issue? How did Twitter/Michael Moore/Keith Olbermann get involved? I’m so glad you asked! The basic story is this: Michael Moore posted $20,000 towards Mssr. Assange’s bail, Keith Olbermann had him on the show to discuss it, and then things went TERRIBLY, TERRIBLY WRONG. Moore asserted that the basis of the charges against Assange was “a condom breaking” and referred to them as “hooey”. Olbermann didn’t correct him, despite that pretty obviously not being what the charges were. Also, both men retweeted an article to their followers that contained the identities of Assange’s accusers. Given that misinforming your audience and also outing the identities of people who bring rape charges are sort of a journalistic no-no’s I think the confusion is pretty understandable. You see, these two generally progressive men made mistakes. NBD, everyone does it, just acknowledge it. I mean, that seems like the reasonable thing to do, right?
What’s that? Instead you are going to refuse to apologize or issue retractions/corrections? Well then, I guess we are just going to keep clamoring @ you until you do. To date, Michael Moore has not responded to the #MooreandMe protest, while Keith Olbermann has alternately blocked protesters, issued a non-apology, shut down his twitter, re-started his Twitter, called people names, and blocked more protestors.
So, this is why your feed has been blowing up with my tweets about Michael Moore & Keith Olbermann. And, in case you were wondering, I am going to keep tweeting until it gets resolved. I’m going to tweet because this is a public way to call out the bullshit and the rape culture surrounding this case AND EVERY OTHER ONE. I am going to keep tweeting because it is a perfect example of why people don’t feel safe to report rapes. I am going to keep tweeting because we are getting trolls like this and Naomi fucking Wolf re-wrote the definition of consent. (In case you are confused, here is a real definition.) I am going to keep tweeting because I am angry and this fucking matters.
[END DRAMATIC RANT]
Since you made it to the end, I am assuming you are actually interested in what is going on. Here are two good roundups of pertinent articles/links and a compilation of trans-friendly rape survivor resources if you are feeling motivated/generous.
Now, because I am sick of this coverage & the media’s inability to differentiate between JA and Wikileaks, I am going to go watch “Beauty and the Beast” and pretend every time they say Gaston they are really saying Assange. It’s hilarious, I promise you.