I’ve got a piece in The American Prospect today, about why how we talk about the rape charges against Assange (or any rape charges in the media) matters:
This week, as WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was taken into custody by Interpol on charges of sexual assault, and pundits right, left, and center got busy painting the accusations as frivolous and the accusers as lying, scheming sluts, I joined a small but dedicated chorus of feminist voices calling for a serious inquiry into the charges. We didn’t do it because we support government secrecy or because we agree with the vicious international campaign to silence Assange. We didn’t do it because we’re masochists who like to get into fights on the Internet. We did it because once rape charges break into the news cycle, lives depend on what gets said about them.