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Assange Rape Allegations and the Left’s Abandonment of Women’s Rights

Moderate feminists should open their eyes as to just how far women’s rights have slipped down the left’s traditional pecking order of causes.

by
Mike McNally

Bio

January 15, 2011 - 12:13 am
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But despite the elaborate posturing of Wolf and her fellow leftists, neither the details of what went on in those women’s bedrooms, nor the wider issues of rape laws and anonymity, are of the least interest to them. It’s all simply a smokescreen to obscure their real motive, which is to prevent Assange’s extradition from the UK to Sweden, or undermine the case against him until it collapses. And if Assange should be convicted, destroying the characters of his victims will at least allow them to maintain that he’s the victim of a conspiracy, and that his guilt should not detract from the nobility of the Wikileaks project.

Their positions have nothing to do with the facts of the case, and everything to do with the political ideology of the accused. The intent behind the current round of revelations from Wikileaks is essentially anti-American and anti-Western (even if many of the disclosures don’t actually serve that end) — and for the left, the anti-American, anti-Western project comes before all else. Women, like blacks, gays, and other “interest groups,” are only useful insofar as they can be exploited to advance the greater cause. The feminist movement, for example, has proved invaluable for undermining the traditional family and expanding the availability of abortion; blacks, for enabling liberals to expand the welfare state and thus the reach of government in the U.S., and for perpetuating self-destructive notions of white guilt.

But when a group is no longer helpful to the left, it is cast aside, and Assange’s accusers are being sacrificed to safeguard his image as an unimpeachable seeker of truth and justice. Any interest group can be similarly discarded at any time. The left is big on animal rights too, but if Michael Vick were a prominent figure on the left, Wolf would by now have written several articles explaining why the occasional fight can help to keep your dog active and alert, and comparing the prosecution of Vick with the fate of Martin Luther King, Jr..

Campaigners for women’s rights shouldn’t be surprised by this turn of events. Leftists have in recent years made clear how little importance they attach to the freedom of women around the world by resisting moves by Western governments and moderate Muslims to outlaw the burka. Not surprisingly, Naomi Wolf has been busy in this respect too. Again, the logic is simple: those who enforce the wearing of the burka are Muslim extremists, and Muslim extremists are at war with the United States; therefore Wolf, and the rest of the hard left, are compelled to support them.

And anyway, liberals and leftists have never had a problem excusing the mistreatment of women by their leading men, whether it’s Teddy Kennedy leaving his date to die in a submerged car, Bill Clinton exploiting a young intern and lying about it under oath, Nelson Mandela beating his wife, or Roman Polanski drugging and raping a 13-year-old girl. The status of a leftist icon is the ultimate Get Out of Jail Free card, both in terms of reputation and, sometimes, literally.

It’s important to note that many decent liberals have spoken out against those who are making light of the allegations against Assange and attacking his accusers, while expressing full or qualified support for the activities of Wikileaks. But far too many on the left take the view of Whoopi Goldberg, discussing the Polanski case on The View:

I know it wasn’t “rape” rape. I think it was something else, but I don’t believe it was “rape” rape.

What she was trying to say was: there’s rape, and there’s rape by liberal-left icons. There’s a big difference, don’t you know.

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Mike McNally is a journalist based in Bath, England. He posts at PJ Tatler and at his own blog Monkey Tennis, and tweets at @notoserfdom. When he's not writing about politics he writes about Photoshop.
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