By Noni Sproule
Yesterday a high court decision regarding the Julian Assange extradition was handed down. It was found that he should be exdradited to Sweden to face the sexual assault charges brought in 2010. It’s been two years and only now has it been ruled that he should face these charges.
The treatment of these charges by the left has been one of the most disappointing parts of my time in political activism. The left have been the biggest advocates for Assange, not only in his right to free speech, but in their unwavering belief that these charges were made up.
It was the left that thought it appropriate to label these women liars, to publish their names on the internet and, following that, in the mainstream media.
I cancelled my subscription to Crikey! Following their decision to allow Guy Rundle, a poster boy of the left, to publish the names of the women making the allegations of sexual assault. His reasoning being that they were ‘readily available on the internet’.
I remember the first time that a motion was put to National Conference of the National Union of Student’s in 2010. It included the lines ‘that all charges be dropped immediately’. Without trial, without due process and going against everything that feminist’s have fought for these past hundred years.
I was horrified to see that this motion was being put up by members of the left. Thankfully it never became NUS policy. To think that we as a body, which contained a women’s officer who continued to fight for the right of women to be believed when they made reports of sexual assault, was being asked to dismiss allegations of sexual assault out of hand because the perpetrator was a champion of free speech was abhorrent to me.
It was said by a conservative member of the conference that they were always pleased to see Assange matters debated, because they always enjoyed seeing the left stand up and defend rapists. I would not go so far as to say that’s what they were meaning to do, but what they were willing to do was dismiss the allegations of sexual assault. The left at all levels of politics seem to be willing to throw out due process and a right to a fair hearing in favour of clearing the name of their hero.
Let us remove Assange from the equation and look at what we believe as a movement. We believe that every person has a basic human right of bodily integrity, and it is this right that is most frequently denied to women. In this instance, there were who women who were making allegations of sexual assault against Assange, that he denied, he should have to face those charges.
Women who are brave enough to come forward with allegations like these, particularly against a high profile person, do not deserve to have their name’s dragged through the mud. In almost every country in the developed world it is a requirement that the names of rape victims are not made public. It is believed that they have suffered enough humiliation when they were sexually assaulted, when they had to make the first report and then the second and the third, when they had to stand before a court room and describe what happened to them over and over.
They are open enough, naked enough as it is, their names are not mentioned by the media. The left have been responsible for completely ignoring this and they stripped them of their dignity once again, to call them liars.
So willing are the left to believe Assange, believe the man, that they have taken to minimising the charges, I read an article once when Rundle said that the sexual assault laws ‘read like something written by the Monash women’s department’. Which is to say, I can only assume, that it favoured women rather than men. As sexual assault legislation never really should. He needn’t have worried because these women were put in their place by the left wing media. This was not even ‘real rape’.
This was waking up with someone ‘having sex’ with you (Sex without consent is rape) and asking someone to put on a condom and then them continuing without one. Not real rape, certainly not the perfect rape we would require for a champion of the left.
As a movement it is our responsibility to stand up for the rights of Women to report rape, to be believed when they make a report and to have their rights not further taken away throughout the process. We owe that to every woman, no matter who they make allegation against. These are left wing values and feminist values.
I’m the National Women’s Officer. Generally I don’t put my name on my articles but it’s been requested that for most controversial posts it is made clear that they are my opinion alone and not that of the National Union of Students. So, this blog is my opinion alone and not the view of the National Women’s Department or the National Union.