Ah, George Galloway. How much of a platform would you have had to defend Assange from if you hadn’t been on Celebrity Big Brother a few years ago, been hypnotised and made cat noises? Would you be seen as some kind of (vaguely) loveable buffoon like Boris? Or would the views you expressed in your podcast have come to light far sooner if another alleged rape case had come up in this country?
I feel I should point out my position on the Assange case (at this point I’m rather glad to be female, because my boyfriend has been called a “rape apologist” by women on twitter for telling people that presuming guilt can lead to a mistrial, and the man walking free). Obviously, I believe he should stand trial in Sweden for the crimes he is alleged to have committed in their country. Having read the statement from his own lawyer, which appeared to be a summation of the charges laid against him, the charges look pretty horrific. Particularly the charge laid by woman B, who Assange is alleged to have pinned down and pried her legs open to gain penetration into her.
However, I don’t believe the UK have any right to gain entry into the Ecuadorian Embassy to arrest Assange to extradite him to Sweden. The reason he has not answered these charges appears to be his fear of Sweden extraditing him to the USA to face trial over his Wikileaks site. If Sweden could give him some concrete answers as to his extradition, I’m of the opinion he would be there to face trial.
Anyway, this blog post isn’t about Assange. It’s about Mr Galloway, who I’m undecided as to email tonight over his viewpoints.
Now, Being Asleep Is Now Seen As Consent
Mr Galloway in his Good Night with George Galloway podcast, he defended Julian Assange, saying that as the woman had given prior consent and had sex with him prior to falling asleep, Assange was not raping the woman when he penetrated her whilst she was sleeping.
My views on this are that you are at your most vulnerable when you’re asleep, you can’t do anything to protect yourself. Galloway on the other hand, said “I mean, not everybody needs to be asked prior to each insertion.” This may be true if you’re just changing position, but come on now. During how many one night stands have you woken up to the stranger penetrating you? In my case, never. I’m sure that’s pretty much the case for most people.
A magistrates court here in the UK has said that “What is alleged here is that Mr Assange ‘deliberately consummated sexual intercourse with her by improperly exploiting that she, due to sleep, was in a helpless state’. In this country that would amount to rape.” And I’m pretty sure that in Sweden, the law is fairly similar.
In his broadcast Galloway said: “Some people believe that when you go to bed with somebody, take off your clothes, and have sex with them and then fall asleep, you’re already in the sex game with them. It might be really bad manners not to have tapped her on the shoulder and said: ‘Do you mind if I do it again?.’ It might be really sordid and bad sexual etiquette, but whatever else it is, it is not rape or you bankrupt the term rape of all meaning.”
Bankrupt the term of all meaning?! Come on to fuck. If you want a round two with someone you’ve taken to dinner and gone home with, you damn well better ask them if they fancy it. It’s not bad sexual etiquette, what is alleged is abuse of that woman’s trust. I bet she’s scared of going to sleep with a partner now in case she were to wake up to it again.
I just can’t believe that all this talk of rape, and morons defending the perpetrators (in Assange’s case, alleged perpetrator) has come up all at one time. It’s like feeding time at the idiot zoo.
- George Galloway: Assange is only accused of “bad sexual etiquette” (newstatesman.com)