Assange was charged with sexual assault under Swedish law, for multiple acts, one of which was having sex without a condom with a woman who did not consent to unprotected sex. However, most subsequent comment (especially from those supporting him) focused only on the one act (the sex without a condom one), ignoring the other sexual assaults in order to minimise the overall seriousness of the crime.
Rumors of sexually aggressive behavior have followed Assange for years. Inappropriate speech and comments, unwanted sexual advances and attention have been reported by many women.
In the geek community, many people admire Wikileaks, and some saw Assange's arrest as an attack on free speech. The same was true of many politically progressive commentators. Notably, Michael Moore supported Assange and dismissed the seriousness of the sexual assault. This led to feminist blogger Sady Doyle of Tiger Beatdown launching a campaign against Moore to get him to retract and apologise for his statements, with the tag #MooreAndMe.
Further reading Edit
- Swedish feminists debate rape and Assange (Ms. Magazine)
- Sady Doyle takes on Michael Moore (Ms. Magazine)
- On Progressives, Rape Apologism, and the Little Guy (by Sady Doyle)
- Dear Michael Moore at The Daily Kos
- #MooreAndMe linkfest (megpie71)
- Feminism, Asssange, rape charges, free speech, and WikiLeaks by Liz Henry
- Lessons learned from Julian Assange and Keith Henson (by Valerie Aurora)