Sunday, September 02, 2012

Sweden - Assange: Saying It Like It Is: Naomi Wolf

I think of all the articles that have been written about the skulduggery (or the apparent lack of ) that surrounds the Assange case, there isn't one better in telling us that something is rotten in the state of Denmark Sweden, than this article by feminist Naomi Wolf.

I don't think there is much I need to add, other than perhaps, to mention the startling difference between the style, and let that include honesty, between the style of Wolf's reporting and that of your typical hack whose drivel reflects only that of the editor's/owner's party line.

Oh! and I think I shall decorate the post with a few journo related graphics that have featured in posts past.

Sweden’s Other Rape Suspects
By Naomi Wolf
Aug. 31, 2012

NEW YORK – It is difficult for me, as an advocate against rape and other forms of violence against women, to fathom the laziness and willful ignorance that characterize so much of the media coverage of the sexual-assault allegations against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. To report that we are simply witnessing Swedish justice at work, one must be committed to doing no research – not even the bare minimum of picking up a phone. In fact, we are witnessing a bizarre aberration in the context of Sweden’s treatment of sex crime – a case that exposes the grim reality of indifference, or worse, that victims there and elsewhere face.

If I were raped in Uppsala, where Assange is alleged to have committed his crime, I could not expect top prosecutors to lobby governments to arrest my assailant. On the contrary, “ordinary” Swedish rapists and abusers of women should assume that the police might not respond when called. When I tried the rape-crisis hotline at the government-run Crisis Center for Women in Stockholm, no one even picked up – and there was no answering machine.

According to rape-crisis advocates in Sweden, one-third of Swedish women have been sexually assaulted by the time they leave their teens. Indeed, according to a study published in 2003, and other later studies through 2009, Sweden has the highest sexual-assault rate in Europe, and among the lowest conviction rates.

When I reached the Stockholm branch of Terrafem, a support organization for rape survivors, a volunteer told me that in her many years of experience, Sweden’s police, prosecutors, and magistrates had never mobilized in pursuit of any alleged perpetrator in ways remotely similar to their pursuit of Assange. The far more common scenario – in fact, the only reliable scenario – was that even cases accompanied by a significant amount of evidence were seldom prosecuted.

This, she explained, was because most rapes in Uppsala, Stockholm, and other cities occur when young women meet young men online and go to an apartment, where, as in the allegations in the Assange case, what began as consensual sex turns nonconsensual. But she said that this is exactly the scenario that Swedish police typically refuse to prosecute. Just as everywhere else, Sweden’s male-dominated police, she explained, do not tend to see these victims as “innocent,” and thus do not bother building a case for arrest.

She is right: According to a report by Amnesty International, as of 2008, the number of reported rapes in Sweden had quadrupled in 20 years, but only 20% of cases were ever prosecuted. And, while the prosecution rate constituted a minimal improvement on previous years, when less than 15% of cases ended up in court, the conviction rate for reported rapes “is markedly lower today than it was in 1965.” As a result, “in practice, many perpetrators enjoy impunity.”

Until 2006, women in Uppsala faced a remarkable hurdle in seeking justice: the city’s chief of police, Göran Lindberg, was himself a serial rapist, convicted in July 2010 of more than a dozen charges, including “serious sexual offenses.” One victim testified that she was told her rapist was the police chief, and that she would be framed if she told anyone about his assaults. Lindberg also served as the Police Academy’s spokesman against sexual violence. The Uppsala police force that is now investigating Assange either failed to or refused to investigate effectively the sadistic rapist with whom they worked every day.

In other words, the purported magical Swedish kingdom of female sexual equality, empowerment, and robust institutional support for rape victims – a land, conjured by Swedish prosecutors, that holds much of the global media in thrall – simply does not exist.

(I think you need to be of a certain age to appreciate this one.)

In the Assange case, the Swedish police supported the accusers in legally unprecedented ways – for example, by allowing them to tell their stories together and by allowing testimony from a boyfriend.But other alleged victims of gender-based abuse, sometimes in life-threatening circumstances, typically receive very different treatment.In particular, according to WAVE, a pan-European consortium of service providers for rape and sexual-abuse survivors, when migrants, who comprise 13.8% of Sweden’s population, report rape and abuse, they face high systemic hurdles in even telling their stories to police – including longstanding linguistic barriers in communicating with them at all.

Likewise, Swedish intake centers for victims of male violence are woefully underfunded – like all support services for rape and abuse victims across Europe and North America – leaving many women who face threats to their safety and that of their children waiting for unavailable places in shelters. When I emailed the Rape Crisis support institute in Uppsala, listed by the global rape-crisis organization RAINN, I received an automatic reply saying that the facility was temporarily closed.

So, for most raped Swedish women, the shelters are full, the hotlines inactive, and the police selectively look the other way – that is, unless they are busy chasing down a globally famous suspect.

We have been here before. Last year, when my left-wing colleagues were virtually unanimous in believing the New York Police Department’s narrative of a certain victim and a guilty-before-due-process rapist, I made the same call – to the local rape-crisis center. There, Harriet Lesser, who works every day with victims whose alleged attacker is not the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, confirmed that the official support shown for the victim – in advance of any investigation – was indeed unprecedented.

Let me be clear: I am not saying that Assange, much less Dominique Strauss-Kahn, committed no crime against women. Rather, Assange’s case, as was true with Strauss-Kahn’s, is being handled so differently from how the authorities handle all other rape cases that a corrupted standard of justice clearly is being applied. These aberrations add insult to the injury of women, undefended and without justice, who have been raped in the “normal” course of events – by violent nobodies.


herself said...

You are so right and so good. I love your blogs. Thanks for the did cop eat M. Are you reading Blacksmith Bureau (JB)?

Himself said...

Ah yes that one; as featured on Portuguese television as it happens.

Some program maker or other used it as a backdrop when there was a talking heads thing on the Maddie case.

Anonymous said...

Himself said...

Thanks Chuck, I haven't even had the retweet notification yet. (email)

Anonymous said...

"The idea that you should be able to make such accusations to the media – I don’t mean privately in court – that you should be able under your own name to make such media accusations and nobody should be allowed to reply to you and nobody should be allowed to use your name, even though you put it yourself in the newspapers, is sort of Kafkaesque. I actually cannot understand for the life of me why I ought not be allowed to use it when she openly puts it in the public domain herself."

I know very well I cannot judge the rape issue, but please don’t let Anna Ardin set an example. For me she has lost all credibility, let’s worry about the real atrocities.

As for the possible honey trap thing, not AA’s idea I think, at least not from the outset. IMO, AA just has/had the hots for "intellectuals", the power eroticizes thing so to speak. The disillusionment, cool and smart people are just ordinary people, fucking hormones and the art of relativity. She’s an idealist, without doubt. We’re all romantic, aren’t we.

But what do I know, I’m just an ordinary female anon having no bad experience with men. That doesn’t mean that I don’t know and see terrible things that can happen to other women.

True love and common sense, the best starting point to make a change. I’m so romantic. M

By the way, powerful blog H.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Himself said...

Good morning Chuck.

I'm starting to go through your stuff now, so all in reverse order.

Not a bad article I thought and yes, the coverage of personality is detracting from the information contained in the releases.

But it is at this point and starting with this talking point, that the article comes into its own.

Mistake 1: An ill-founded belief in US fair-play and justice

I have just fell out of bed, so I shall come back and read this again.

Himself said...

Well what can I say?

Even allowing for a different culture and language, it all sounded terribly contrived, cop fiction at its best, I might make so bold.

What I might tend to believe however, Julian Assange, no great shakes in bed. Perhaps it's his Australian DNA coming to the fore. Finesse being a rather vague trait in the antipodes.

I have been all over the place though, following links in the comments, just a few of them below.

But I did smile when I came across this one.

Don’t know about you OldMark but I’ve reached that age where I couldn’t even contemplate a condom.

Me too old lad, I know just where you are coming from.


Himself said...

Pray forgive me Maren, but I'm having trouble differentiating where the text ends and opinion, yours begins.

It may seem obvious to you, you wrote it, but sitting at this side it's not always quite so obvious.

And some comments that get left here, well you just don't know what to make of them. (or the writer)

For instance:

If I might make so bold as to offer a quick lesson in HTML?

at the start of a text, with this at the end will convert plain text into italics.

In fact I have a post somewhere on simple HTML, give me a moment.

Here you go. I'm open to questions.

Himself said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Himself said...

at the start of a text, with this at the end will convert plain text into italics.

It won't make sense to you, even though I left gaps where they shouldn't be in order to demonstrate, blogger decided to convert it anyway.

Anonymous said...

Hi Himself.
Hopelessly tech illiterate I fear, but I shall look into it. Thanks. Maren

Himself said...

I'm not asking you to use it Maren, it's there if you wish to avail yourself of it.

Plus the fact, it's nice when you are in charge of things, not your PC.

I'm only self taught Chuck, and it took long enough I can tell you.

And I'm not one for change, blogger has a new interface which I have put off using for months now, but it would seem I only have a few days left before it's forced upon me.

Call me a Luddite, that's OK.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...


Himself said...

Way to go! you're in charge.


Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

J'Accuse: Sweden, Britain, and Interpol Insult Rape Victims Worldwide
by Naomi Wolf
December 13, 2010

Anyone who works in supporting women who have been raped knows from this grossly disproportionate response that Britain and Sweden, surely under pressure from the US, are cynically using the serious issue of rape as a fig leaf to cover the shameful issue of mafioso-like global collusion in silencing dissent. That is not the State embracing feminism. That is the State pimping feminism.

Himself said...

Doesn't the reality read an awful lot worse than the perception, particularly in the new sanitised term "sexual assault."

I had that experience when I started reading about yer man in Auschwitz.

I have only read about a half of it so far, it's not something you can read in one go. But what kind of fellow was he that he not only volunteered his way in, but endured such a harrowing existence, and suffered such deprivations for the sake of his mission?

A better man than I Gunga Din.

Anonymous said...

Himself said...

Good morning Maren, you are well I pray?

Not a bad article, worthy of a tweet.

All the Ardin stuff, I'm sorry but I can't find enough interest to translate it.

Winter has arrived this weekend; and the Netherlands, the same I guess?

Anonymous said...

Hello Himself,

Winter has arrived.

An impression.

Lovely weekend. Maren xx

Himself said...

And you too m'darlin'

It's chilly enough I grant you, and I still have to trek out on the bus once I hear my car is fixed.

This little peninsular that I live on, well almost, is blessed in a way, we seem to be spared most of the snow, whereas twenty miles inland can be knee deep.

Just a geographical quirk I guess.

I have three very sturdy girls at the moment, legs like tree trunks, I think they are going to make very fat ladies.

But I have shone proper light on the situation this time.

Anonymous said...

Snow blanket.

Himself said...

Thanks Chuck, but sad to say it's nowhere near as picturesque as shown.

In fact that spot owes me a wing mirror. If you look at the back of the picture, the road gets really narrow between the two buildings. Not forgetting when they were built the road would have only been a cart track.

Anyway, only the day after fitting new wing mirrors, I'm squeezing through there, but somebody had put their green bin by the roadside.

No room for two cars, one bin and one wing mirror. Blew it right off, not a day old.

Stalmine,the village in question, sits atop the old saltmines, in searching for a link or two, I came up with this:

But the video is no longer working, but this is it below.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the links.

Anonymous said...

1950s Tips

According to Coupe's Old Almanac in 2013 there will be a newsletter called Face Book, where idiots tell people it's snowing where they live.