Sweden, Julian Assange, Feminism, and WikiLeaks

A few hours ago the British court granted Sweden the right to extradite Julian Assange on sexual molestation and rape accusations. Assange in return called the accusations “incredible lies” and called Sweden “the Saudi Arabia of feminism.” Assange’s lawyers will naturally, appeal the British court decision. And naturally our joke that dating Swedish women was hard enough, it just got a bit harder for the men out there. The poor Swedish men.
Supporters of Julian Assange call this an attack on his personal rights and is a form of intimidation to push back his work with WikiLeaks. I wrote a few months ago that the Assange rape accusations are coincidentally coinciding with the Wikileaks release of thousands of diplomatic cables. Pickled herring are either suffocating prosecutors’ common sense or they are raising true false flags.

Whatever may happen, Sweden’s public image will take a battering as not the defender of women’s rights, but as the defender and ambulance chaser of questionable accusations. With violent crimes and petty theft crimes on the rise in Sweden, while solving cases remains flat, it is questionable as to the real intentions of the charges against Assange.

And perhaps Assange is a smart man who is making a farce of the Swedish justice system and did indeed commit these crimes. Like many rape cases, there is little proof and in this case, there is almost no proof of criminal intent. The women admitted, even posted online, of their escapades, held parties after the incidence and later on, accused him of non-casual acts. Burden of proof is limited and unlike Roman Polanski, Assange does not have a history of illicit relationships.

With national securities, defense departments, human rights activists, sexual rights activists in the ring, some Swedish feminists have joined in too, against Assange. The Swedish gender fight goes far beyond the standard dollar for dollar and entrance into the C-suites (executive offices); it’s moved towards the finer lines of feminine advertising, the right to be topless, and even the institution of a father walking his daughter down the wedding aisle. This case will be a litmus test to the strength of feminists in Sweden.

Though the legal system of precedence does not exist in Sweden, the eventual outcome of the case will be interesting to see the impact of the future of not just women’s rights but sexual rights.

9 thoughts on “Sweden, Julian Assange, Feminism, and WikiLeaks”

  1. Hi!
    Just want to comment on the “father walking his daughter down the wedding aisle” part. This has _never_ been a Swedish tradition. It has started to show up in resent years only due to the heavy influence from American movies. Actually a centuary ago, Swedish women didn’t even change their surnames when they got married, they kept their maiden name.

  2. Hi Ulrika,
    Good to know. The American wedding movies are so far from reality sometimes (well, the father does walk the daughter down the aisle) but as for the massive church wedding with zillions of flowers, not so much.

    Do you know how/why Swedish women began changing their maiden names? I bet Skatteverket has plenty of data when that happened.

    Dave, thanks for posting your article. It is a very good read. Folks be sure to read his article.

  3. I really don’t see what is so upsetting in this case. It really feels like no one has any clue of what he is being accused of, not even Assange himself cus he is too busy battering the juridical system of Sweden.

    He has not been charged with any crime yet, he is being called in for questioning in Sweden. In Sweden we have a practice that the prosecutor question the accused first, and then let him see the evidence held against him. After that the prosecutor will decide if she/he has enough evidence to charge him with any crime. And since he has refused being question he cannot see the evidence held against him. Since there are very little evidence held against him it’s likely that he wont be charged with any crime, but the prosecutor still has the right to question him before she decides to charge him or let him go.

    And to play the “he will be extradited” card is just silly. It’s close to impossible for him to be extradited to the US from Sweden since the US enforce the capital punishment. And the Swedish government has no say in an extradition, it’s the Swedish court that decides. In fact, there is a bigger chance for him to be extradited from the UK to the US since they are much closer allies.

    And Sweden should not be scared of enforcing it’s law just to loose goodwill from abroad. I also find it interesting that when Sweden is trying to enforce it’s law against rape victims we are a “crazy feminist nation”, and when the perpetrator isn’t found we are “the nation with the highest rape per capita and no one cares about the women.” Also, you cannot expect to travel to a country, commit a crime and say “hey, that’s not illegal in my country!”. Really? When in Rome, do as the Romans.

    I also find it interesting to call Sweden a crazy feminist nation, all just cus the women wants equal rights. I would personally never vote for FI, but I still think my mom should have the same salary as my dad, and my sister to have the same opportunity as me in life. Call me crazy but to me, that sounds fair.

  4. Assange can be extradited to the US for a crime that cannot give capital punishment (e.g. tax evasion, robbery, etc). How/what/if the US will extradite and for what is really the question. I’m not sure if treason is punishable by death, but if so, then Assange won’t be extradited. But since Assange is not a US citizen, he cannot be tried for treason. What the US wants is anyone’s guess.

    Sweden has the highest rape crime rate because its definition of rape is extremely broad compared to other countries. It’s no wonder then everyone is confused as to what the charges are/mean since most countries would not charge him will all the counts that Sweden wants to.

    I suppose the biggest problem is why, if these two women are accusing him that they partied with him, blogged about him, and even sent photos after the incident. That is curious.

    Plus that one of the victims posted an article about getting revenge really does not help her case: http://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?hl=en&ie=UTF-8&sl=sv&tl=en&u=http://www.samtycke.nu/doc/7-stepsrevenge.htm&prev=_t&rurl=translate.google.com&twu=1&usg=ALkJrhhr7fRcJOb3em71C18R6UFGyyyP8w
    Sadly though, it’s a reprint from some other website so if she meant to post this article (on the Christian brotherhood website) as a joke, it has gone awry.

    Found this to be a very interesting article as well: http://www.samtycke.nu/2010/09/fallet-assange-uppgifter-raderas-om-och-om-igen/

  5. Yes, but it is still the court that will decide if he is to be extradited, not the government. So it cannot be for any political reasons. Plus the UK has the right to stop the extradition from Sweden since they extradited him to Sweden from the UK. So then the courts in two different countries have to agree on an extradition to the US, and that seems highly unlikely.

    I must agree with you that the circumstance of this case seem very vague and I guess that is one of the reasons he has not been charged with any crime yet. He is still just wanted for questioning. And if he has nothing to hide, why all the fuzz? He’s obviously scared of something.

    Rambling about not having a fair trial in Sweden is just bogus, and I think everyone knows that. In fact, it’s so fair, that he cannot be charged with any crime before he sees the evidence held against him and no matter how rich you are you cannot be released on bail since everyone is equal to the law no matter the amount of money you have. And of course the prosecutor should be able to interview the suspect of a crime in the country it has allegedly been committed, without having to cross the globe, that is just common sense. Should Swedish prosecutors have to travel to a different country every time they want to conduct an interview? Or should they do as the accused pleases all the time? He has persistently refused being questioned at the police station, instead wanting the prosecutors to travel to remote areas in Sweden, or conduct the interview by phone (that would probably be a worthless interview if you cannot see how the accused react) or even in a different country.

    If he has nothing to hide he should come back to Sweden, prove his innocence and then he will be a free man to do whatever he pleases. If the women have been lying it will be revealed and they wont charge him with any crimes, instead the women themselves can be charged with crimes instead. I think people are so angry because everyone is equal to the law and he is getting no special treatment regarding his current “celebrity status”.

    If you got nothing to hide, then why run? Sweden has many times over been voted as one of the most democratic and fair countries in the world, so if he is not “safe” here, then he wont be anywhere.

    (Plus, I wrote almost exactly this sentence when we discussed the Swedish justice system in one of your previous posts: “Sweden has the highest rape crime rate because its definition of rape is extremely broad compared to other countries.”)

  6. It will be interesting. What a media circus awaits Sweden. I love what Wikileaks stands for and don’t care much about the persona of Julian Assange. I think the powers at be have been successful at shifting the spotlight from the content in the cables to the dirt on Assange. That being said, I do have one issue with one statement you wrote. According to a buddy of mine who lives in Australia, the press there has written about past issues Assange has had with women. So, indeed there may be some prior history there.

  7. Julian Assange has had his misogynistic moments. His okcupid profile was revealed in the Uk press. It spoke of wanting an erotic woman untarnished by western ideology. He also wanted someone younger than him whom he could lead in life.

    Being a misogynist does not make you a rapist. However, the south Africans travelled to the uk to question Shrien Dewani. Why treat Assange differently?

  8. Erik – ditto ditto ditto. If only Assange would speak to the prosecutor, then we wouldn’t have this massive media circus and speculation. Of course if that is his plan, then he’s pretty darn smart.

    Gabriel – Could you find those articles about Assange and women? I haven’t read anything here, except that he likes women a lot, which would be damaging to his reputation.

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