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Writer, opinionista, essayist, perfumista, picker-up of unconsidered trifles, contributor to all sorts and conditions of publication from the Daily Mail to New Humanist, devoté of Pliny Maior, author of The Chronicles of Bargepole, Big Babies and Lost Worlds, currently working with the great Mike Stoller (of Leiber & Stoller) on a musical about Oscar Wilde. Teach the occasional spot of Tragedy to keep my eye in. Pilot, harpsichordist, cook, photographer, red-hot lover  and self-deluding old goat.

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    Thursday
    Dec092010

    Women Against Rape Perplexed

    Excellent letter in The Guardian today from Katrin Axelsson of Women Against Rape. She writes that

    Many women in both Sweden and Britain will wonder at the unusual zeal with which Julian Assange is being pursued for rape allegations [ . . . ] Assange, who it seems has no criminal convictions, was refused bail in England despite sureties of more than £120,000. Yet bail following rape allegations is routine.

    She also reminds us of the

    long tradition of the use of rape and sexual assault for political agendas that have nothing to do with women's safety. In the south of the US, the lynching of black men was often justified on grounds that they had raped or even looked at a white woman.

    Rape is about abusing the integrity of an individual by force and/or deception. The Assange business is about abusing the integrity of the law by force and/or deception.  Since the law (theoretically, at least) exists to protect the individual, the Swedish Courts would seem to be guilty of a far more serious abuse than the ones Assange has not even yet been charged with.

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