David J Smith
David J Smith

Maybe Malema was right about raped women

Remember when Julius said that a woman who stays for breakfast and asks for taxi fare obviously enjoyed herself? Basically implying that the girl who accused Zuma of rape was a lying slut. Do you remember that? Do you remember how we all got angry with him? And said that in a country where women get raped all the time he shouldn’t be saying things like that. Do you remember how we accused him of abusing the rights of women, of being a misogynist pig?

The only reason I ask is because we all seem to have forgotten that we said that. We seem to be going back on our words. And as honourable people, as people who don’t condone duplicitous behaviour, I thought we needed to remind ourselves of that moment. Of that time when we didn’t like men who raped women. Of that time when we took the word of a woman over any claims of a political plot. Not because she was naturally right, and the man was naturally wrong, but because we wanted to be fair to her.

In Sweden there are two women who have a similar story. One who alleges she was coerced in sex without a condom and another who alleges she woke up to a man on top of her having non-consensual sex with her. Both of them are from the world of politics, just like the girl in the Zuma case. There are also allegations of a political set-up surrounding the case, just like in the Zuma case. But in the Zuma case we wanted the trial to go ahead. We wanted him pinned to the cross. We applauded Zapiro when he drew a cartoon of justice being raped. We all screamed for Mr Zuma to be taken down. We were all willing to back the girl.

But in the Swedish case we are refusing to even hear a word from these “dirty bitches”. We have accused them of being whores working for the CIA. We backed the hackers who attacked the website of their lawyer. We cheered as they shut down the website of the Swedish prosecutors’ office. We have said they didn’t complain in the morning about the rape, so they must be lying.

So maybe Julius was right. Maybe we need to apologise to him, and tell him, yes, we got it wrong. They are just women scorned. Lying, scheming harlots. And at worse it isn’t rape-rape, it’s just surprise sex, and who hasn’t surprised a woman with sex before?

  • http://www.1sttime2010.wordpress.com Jennifer Thorpe

    If I could reach down the internet and do a celebratory dance at your genius I would. Everything that people are saying about these women now confirms what you’ve just said. I think this summary confirms the essence of the point:

    “It does so much harm to so many women, the idea that there’s a way that rape victims act. It’s not just some idea that you’re spinning off into cyber-space. It’s something that women who are going through trauma have to struggle through – their own, and other people’s expectations of how they should be behaving. And it doesn’t stop – the idea of the acceptable behaviour of a rape victim gets used as a weapon again and again.” http://bit.ly/RapeMyths

  • Dave Harris

    In one SINGLE brilliant move you just CHECKMATED all those Julian Assange fans out there and all those Malema haters!

    You da man!

  • Siobhan

    The delay in charging Assange naturally raises suspicions as to the motives of the complainants. Assange’s extreme notoriety and the danger that he might attract or inspire imitators has world governments on tenterhooks.

    Although most of the cable traffic revealed thus far has been either trivial or confirms what politically saavy news readers already suspected, there could be more serious leaks out there and that is what all governments have in common–the desire to control the flow of information. Make no mistake; these are the biggest players in the world and they have the means to ‘bring anyone down’ by discrediting them–or worse. Remember that Olaf Palme was murdered in Stockholm under circumstances that even now smell ‘fishy’.

    The truth is we don’t KNOW anything about the validity of the allegations against Assange. What we do know is that the most powerful people in the world are aligned against him and united in wanting to silence him–permanently.

    This case isn’t about alleged rape. It’s about freedom of access to information without which genuine democracy is impossible. The trivial nature of most of the revelations–many of them already public knowledge when they were classified!–confirms what political skeptics have always suspected: most of the information categorised as ‘Classified’ should not be. The rule seems to be: better to Classify too much than too little. The problem is, bureaucrats lose the ability to distinguish between the important and the trivial.

    Time to think again…

  • Grant Walliser

    Thats the scary thing right there, Dave. Zuma may or may not have been a rapist and Assange may or may not have been a rapist. Both scenarios, the power-hungry, sexually aggressive man and the seductive woman of entrapment for hire, are equally possible and damned hard to prove either way. So we let our emotions swing to the outcome we prefer based on the social mood of the time and the public image of the person in our particular social group.

    Rape is scary both ways. For men, particularly when it hits the public domain, you are tried by media while the woman stays anonymous. If you are a rapist, fair enough, but if you happen to be innocent…

  • http://why-we-are-white-refugees.blogspot.com/ Andrea Muhrrteyn

    Not sure who your ‘we’ is…. but it sure isn’t me. You may do the things you describe by those you refer to as ‘we'; but I never did.

    Of course to people like you, people like me dont exist; we are simply irrelevant and not worthy of our opinions, cause only the ‘we’ in your story are allowed opinions and perspectives; the rest are non-existant!

  • William Smith

    Great take on this issue. The difference is that the Zuma case contained no ‘U.S. bashing’ element. Any opportunity to do this seemingly transcends rational analysis for most people. Assange is absurdly revered, whereas he is just a super-narcissist as well as a common thief.
    The power of these ‘red-herrings’ to mislead masses of people is always frightening.

  • Judith

    Two scenarios – one against a powerful man another against a deliberate chaos builder and not powerful by way of backing and political position. Rape is possible in each case. In both cases, men are speaking strongly for the male’s innocence joined by a number of women as well. How does due process work in these circumstances? I don’t believe that it can or does. And no-one actually wins

  • possum

    I’m a feminist from way back and I don’t think what either man did was rape in the sense that you’ve got a case to answer in court. Zuma inflicted his attentions on a reluctant woman, and she submitted as many women do when confronted with the powerful and was later persuaded to pursue the case for political reasons. The two women in Assange’s case willingly and eagerly gave in to his attentions, and when he showed himself to be a bit of a chop, got together and presumably under the influence of an interested party decided to pursue the case for political reasons.

    This isn’t about rape or rape-rape or even rape-lite, this is about cutting off Assange’s balls, and those two women are hellbent on doing just that, and they’ve got powerful people (all men) behind them. I hope they’re proud of themselves, they’ve struck a proud blow for feminism when the word “rape” becomes a euphemism for “well he didn’t buy me flowers the next day”.

  • gersie dee

    great read!

  • Leon

    Never thought that I would share any of Dave Harris’ sentiments, but David: “You da man!”.

  • Chico

    “We applauded Zapiro when he drew a cartoon of justice being raped.”

    Zuma’s rape of Lady Justice is a metaphor for his evading corruption charges. It was not a symbol of him as a rapist, since he had already been acquitted of rape—everyone knew and accepted the verdict. “We” applauded the accuracy of the metaphor for its truth-content.

    There is no symmetry whatsoever between Zuma and Assange. One has had more than 700 corruption charges against him suppressed, has attained political power, and has used the cover of political power to operated in the dark to benefit himself and his cronies (eg Sheik).

    The other has not sought political power at all, other than the power that comes from exposing what politicians like Zuma try to hide.

    Imagine the potential WikiLeaks information that there is likely to be about Zuma and his shady operations—starting from his struggle days (did he ever arrange for people to be murdered?) through to his condom-free sexual exploits in an HIV/AIDS-ridden society.

  • MLH

    I know too little about Assange to consider judging him and if I judge Zuma, it’s certainly not on the subject of rape. The latter leaves a bad taste in my mouth: his quest for his day in court (which once given he repudiated); his shoddy sexual liaisons; his seeming inability to lead his management team, now those aspects of his character I certainly do judge.

  • George S

    Chico

    You’re spot on; just shows how short-lived our memories are. Zuma is all about himself whereas Assange has governments and corporates rallied against him as they fear his liberating influence on the public mind. Yes, there is hypocrisy in the way the public deals with the allegations of the women but for me at least it doesn’t discredit the great work Assange has been doing. About Zuma, I couldn’t care less any way.

  • Kalahari Doringboom

    So typical of Dave Harris to have missed the boat on this thought-provoking post.

  • alistair

    Well said Possum!
    A great post.

  • http://storycatcher.info/scribbles Aernout Zevenbergen

    Hmmm….
    Thanks for showing me a mirror Mr. Smith!

  • Hugh Robinson

    ARE YOU TRYING TO SAY THAT ZUMA is THE ANGEL WHEN WE ALREADY KNOW HE HAS A PECHANT FOR DAUGHTERS OF FRIENDS? Do not insult our memory or intelligence.

  • Jean Wright

    Odd that Assange is in prison (solitary) for his ‘own protection?’ and Dewani is out on bail….
    Interesting article and a diffficult problem.

  • Liza

    The solution to this difficult problem is very simple. If any person brings forth allegations of any legally punishable wrong doing, they must be tried in court. Irrespective of who they are.

    What I keep hearing here in Australia is that these allegations have already been taken to court in August, and have been dismissed by said court for lack of evidence. Now that WikiLeaks is such a big story, these charges are being resurrected. That I find suspicious. The question is, do we trust the judicial system in this case? I would like to think that we can. I could be wrong.

  • X Cepting

    I find the timing of the two ladies in question rather odd, why wait for the precise moment that Assange has the balls of the world in his hand to come out with those preposterous claims. More like the Swedish tried to find dirt rather desperately to prevent more cables being revealed. Wonder why? It’s rape because he didn’t use a condom even if it was consensial? Whatever next? (Agree with you possum, these women give women a bad name).

    Agree with those who say that there is absolutely nothing in common between Zuma and Assange.

  • http://www.lezgetreal.com Melanie Nathan

    sorry the comparison does not work for me – what am I missing – do I not write enough about the brutality of rape? Do I not shed a tear at the memory of calling women “girls” – I guess I have been gone too long – not sure where you are coming from – except the post remains senseless in the face of the real stories – in SA – left to overseas media to publish – if you dare read this – http://lezgetreal.com/2010/11/lesbian-corrective-rape-victim-has-her-day-in-court/ melanie nathan

  • Zaharian

    You can do all the Assange bashing in the world but the reality is that Wikileaks is the most important political shift since the death of communism.

    Governments around the world (and especially in SA) will never again be allowed to pull the wool over their electorates eyes and muzzle the media again and this is scaring the siht out of them!

    Start unjust wars or steal money again and the world will find out in real time!!

  • Lesego

    I think it doesnt require a rocket scientist to differentiate between these characters of which one is black and one white. And by saying that “Do you remember how we all got angry with him?” and mentioning “we” for I don’t know how many times, I think by “we” you were meant to say white South Africans who obviously never approved of a black government rule.

  • Lesego

    “everyone knew and accepted the verdict”

    You are lying Chico.

  • http://www.thoughtleader.co.za/davidjsmith David Smith

    Double standards is my point. We apply one set of rules to the people we like and one to the people we don’t. Zuma was an “enemy” so we called him a rapist. Assange is a “friend” or “ally” so we say he has been framed.

    If the point of wikileaks is honesty and a lack of duplicity in our dealings, we have failed the first test.

  • X Cepting

    @Lesego – You are being colour sensitive again, no-one else brought race into it.

  • Lesego

    “@Lesego – You are being colour sensitive again, no-one else brought race into it.”

    X Cepting on December 13th, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    Should i’ve waited for someone to do it first? Anyways, I had to mention this fact that all whites are trying very hard to ignore. Although we all understand that David Smith over there who described Zuma as the “enemy” actually meant “the black government”, one has to tell it as it is.

  • Chico

    @David Smith:

    But you’re missing the point. We are not applying double standards. There is no symmetry. You keep saying “we”. I don’t know whether or not Assange is or is not a rapist. That is for the court to decide. I took the same view of Zuma before his rape trial and accepted the trial verdict.

    I like (in large measure) what Assange has done in respect of Wikileaks. I hate what Zuma has done in terms of escaped his corruption charges, incompetently governed the country, set pathetic standards of morality in sleeping around, etc. None of this relates to the rape issue.

    I want to apply the same set of rules to all concerned. If you are accused rape, go to trial and let a court decide. If you are accused of corruption, go to trial and letter a court decide. Where are the double standards?

    It is Zuma and his camp alone that practice double standards.

  • Haiwa Tigere

    You Chico have no double standards. In fact you are saying Asange should go to sweden to face his accusers.The rest of the world however are saying free asange now.They have the double standards.
    Jean wright:-you got a point there. dewani out on bail for alleged murder most foul Asange in jail

  • X Cepting

    Assange has agreed to fully cooperate with the justice system in Sweden and it is “alleged rape”. Why would anyone want to compare him to Zuma? The two situations have nothing in common. Sleeping with the daugther of a friend when you are a powerful (married) politician simply cannot compare to two alleged cases of technical rape that started off as consensual sex between consenting adults and the accused just an ex-hacker turned knight of free speech, not a thief as someone pointed out, he stole nothing.

    @lesego – And now you are generalising, grossly. It does not lend weight to the point you are trying to make, quite the opposite.

  • Scarface

    I suspect you like to be controversial – the heading attests to that.

    I support Wikileaks, not necessarily Assange but he is the face of Wikileaks. Not once have I thought ill of the women. In fact, I don’t think anyone know who they are – I don’t. If you do some digging, you will see that Assange’s Legal team has been denied any information – in fact, no legitimate charge has been laid and no Docket exists for him to defend himself. In fact, he is being locked up in a foreign country on a suspicion.

    My word, you are naive in looking for attention. Does the enormity of the rape of justice not glare at you? Attacks have been against the Swedish Prosecutors – I ask you humbly to please post links to where the “victims” have been attacked.

    I reckon you have lost touch.

  • The Okey

    @ Lesego
    Sumtimes black South Africans are way to quick to make things black n white. To say that “we” was white South Africans only is to say the “all” black south Africans vote ANC. “Some of us” DO have our own brains and can be objective beyond the color line, don’t turn a blind eye every time “our govt” screws up and do not criticize simply coz its “our black govt. Take the blinkers off please!!

  • Lesego

    “Sumtimes black South Africans are way to quick to make things black n white.”

    The Okey on December 15th, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    I found an oxymoron between your comment and its motive.You are clearly racist yourself. Besides, whites like to form countries based on race and blacks spend most of the time trying to stop that. I doubt if you whites ever would abolish apartheid without resistance.

  • The Okey

    @Lesego.
    Clearly u didnt read properly….so lemme clarify this : I AM BLACK!!

  • Lesego

    “@Lesego.
    Clearly u didnt read properly….so lemme clarify this : I AM BLACK!!”

    The Okey on December 21st, 2010 at 11:49 am

    Pshht! You think now that you’re black it makes you statement “Sumtimes black South Africans are way to quick to make things black n white.” any sensible.