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Shun Swedish Sex?

[reprinted from the blog of Scott Adams (the creator of Dilbert)]

Here’s a list of three things that you are unlikely to do, at least in this order:

1. Watch a Swedish movie called The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
2. Read about the Swedish sex charges against Julian Assange
3. Book a vacation to Sweden

I am always amused by the strange impact of unintended consequences. Julian Assange simply wanted to release some embarrassing information, have hot sex with a Swedish babe then have hot sex with an acquaintance of that same babe one day later. That’s just one example of why the Swedish language has 400 words that all mean “and your cute friend is next.”

But things didn’t turn out as Assange hoped. The unintended consequence of his actions is that he managed to make Sweden look like a country that’s governed by congenital idiots and populated with nothing but crazy sluts and lawyers. And don’t get me started about the quality of their condoms.

To be fair, I don’t know if Assange’s alleged broken condom is because the product was defective. We have good evidence that Assange has the world’s biggest set of nuts, so assuming some degree of proportionality, he’d put a strain on any brand of condom that didn’t have rebar ribs.

Assange had a lot of help making Sweden look like the last place on Earth that you would want to take your penis. The aforementioned megahit movie, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, makes the place look like a snow-filled ass cave that Jeffrey Dahmer lived in before he got a raise. (It’s a good movie otherwise.)

If you haven’t read any background about the so-called rape charges against Assange, you really should. Apparently Swedish laws are unique. If you have a penis, you’re half a rapist before you even get through customs. And if your condom breaks, that’s jail time. What I’m saying is that the Club Med in Sweden is a nervous place.

I was having a hard time making up my mind about Assange. On one hand, he might be hurting the interests of my country and putting people in danger. Death to him! On the other hand, a little extra government transparency might prevent more problems than it causes. Hero! It was a toss-up. Then Sweden turned Assange from a man-whore publicity hound into Gandhi. Advantage: Assange.

The one thing I know for sure is that I’m a fan of the hackers who are dispensing vigilante justice. Here’s another unintended consequence: The hackers could end up organizing over this issue and ultimately forming a shadow government of their own, if they haven’t already. I welcome my hacker overlords.

Prediction: The governments of the world can’t let Assange become a martyr. He would be too powerful. They’ll pressure Sweden to release him on some sort of technicality.



  1. regina wrote:

    Oh c’mon. He had sex with a woman, she said stop and he kept going. Just because they already were engaged in a sexual act it doesn’t mean he was entitled to keep going.
    “One woman said that Mr. Assange had ignored her appeals to stop after a condom broke. The other woman said that she and Mr. Assange had begun a sexual encounter using a condom, but that Mr. Assange did not comply with her appeals to stop when it was no longer in use.”
    It hurts that most people don’t even care about rape. Less then two percent of rapists are actually convicted. We live in a culture where women are constantly blamed for their own rapes because they were wearing short skirts, they were drunk, walking alone, married, they had too much make up on, they didn’t fight back hard enough, etc etc. We live in a culture of constant victim blaming where most rape cases are thrown out and most victims never come forward because they are never believed. We know Julian Assange is only being charged for rape because of WikiLeaks, but that doesn’t make what he allegedly did any worse. Had this been anyone else, it would have been another rape case thrown out. But you don’t have to engage in the cycle of victim blaming. It’s dangerous.
    Oh, his lawyers called it “sex by surprise.” That is pretty fucked up.

    Thursday, December 9, 2010 at 7:51 pm | Permalink
  2. Iron Knee wrote:

    Unfortunately, this is a two way street. One of the women also bragged to others about bedding Assange after the incident, and another complained because he promised to call but didn’t.

    I think it is possible to care deeply about rape, and still wonder if Assange is being set up for some other reason. He was originally accused, then the charges were dropped. He even got permission from the prosecutors to leave the country, then they suddenly issue an international arrest warrant for him. That too is pretty fucked up.

    Rape is difficult for a number of reasons, one of which is because sex is obviously a very private thing, and so most of the time it is a “he said” v. “she said” situation. This is even more difficult when everyone agrees that the sex was (at least initially) consensual.

    I agree with you that far too many rapists get away with it, and there is a tendency to blame the victim. But there is a huge leap from that to assuming that Assange is guilty without any proof.

    UPDATE: An opposing view from Naomi Wolf.

    Thursday, December 9, 2010 at 8:52 pm | Permalink
  3. Falkelord wrote:

    What’s really fucked up is that no one said anything about the rape charges until AFTER Assange was already famous the first time. He became world-famous after the release of the Baghdad airstrike video in June/early May. The girls didn’t file suits until August, well after he was already globally known. The rapes supposedly took place while Assange was on business in Sweden in early 2010, so why did they not report anything sooner? Probably because it wasn’t rape and now that Assange is worth something, they’re pissed off.

    Secondly, the prosecution changed its argument from “rape” to “sex while asleep” or “sex by surprise”, which, while technically rape, is also a much lesser charge. That’s like downgrading 3rd degree murder to manslaughter. Why would you change your charges? From a law perspective, it’s because you don’t have a case for the previous charges. They also have no DNA evidence, even though 2 separate condoms broke or were not used. Seriously? SERIOUSLY?

    Personally, I have no opinion on the matter. I think it’s ridiculous that the US is attempting to extradite Assange for no crime even being committed. He is the owner of a website, not the perpetrator of the files being released. Just because he owns it, you might as well be charging Jimbo Wales for creating the media package he used to build the site, as well as PRQ for hosting the goddamn site. The US has no actual charges other than classified files being released on his website and he didn’t stop them from being done so. If they want someone’s balls, they should be getting the fellow who obtained the files in the first place and not attempting to get some of this sweet Assange pie that everyone is suddenly interested in now that he’s famous and attempting real journalism.

    Here’s some food for thought, though. I’m not really sure how credible the raw story is, but if they have in-page links to other articles which relate and provide evidence, I’m willing to take that as credible. Keep in mind a simple google search of “assange rape” pulls up a few stories like this.

    Thursday, December 9, 2010 at 9:10 pm | Permalink
  4. This entry is fantastic. It reads like something I would have written, only better.

    Friday, December 10, 2010 at 12:53 am | Permalink
  5. starluna wrote:

    I agree with IK that it is possible to be deeply concerned about rape and still be skeptical about this whole situation. I do not believe you can divorce these allegations from the context in which they are occurring.

    If anything, any allegation of rape that turns out to be less than rape diminishes the seriousness of rape. I understand that many women believe that they have the right to disengage after consenting and beginning the sex act. I believe that context matters. As Falkelord stated there are different degrees of rape. Moreover, the accusation of rape has historically been used in the prosecution of individuals who belong to marginalized groups (Google Scottsboro Boys if you want to see an example) or to simply persecute individuals the state wants to silence. Unfortunately, that is exactly what this looks like here.

    As a woman and justice advocate, to equate what Assange may have done to, for example, the experiences of women in Sudan who were systematically raped by militia soldiers, simply demeans the gravity of rape.

    Friday, December 10, 2010 at 8:40 am | Permalink
  6. patriotsgt wrote:

    I agree with IK and Starluna on this matter. I’ve made my displeasure concerning Assange well known, but that is for his business dealings. It seems most suspicious that these allegations arose as his business dealings became controversial. It seems to me these ladies were coerced into bringing the stories to officials. I will hold my judgment on the matter until it has been properly discoursed in a court of law, although many of these types of charges are decided on he said/she said, perhaps there is evidence one way or the other to properly reach a just conclusion.

    Starluna – as to what women endure in Africa it is appalling. I wrote to my Senator years ago stating that US policies are racist against Africans and Asians. We stepped in to bring peace/justice to Kosovo and Serbia, yet watched as Pol Pot systematically killed 2 million and many African nations committed genocide and mass rape as a way too control populations. I told the Senator we assisted the European nations because they were white, and the others not. (never heard a reply on that one)

    Friday, December 10, 2010 at 9:03 am | Permalink
  7. jonah wrote:

    Apparently assange is a dick.

    Friday, December 10, 2010 at 9:33 am | Permalink
  8. PatriotSGT. Good. Our inconsistency world wide disgusts me.

    Starluna. I know where you’re coming from, but having been sexual assaulted (in second grade, but I was still to blame, of course *rolls eyes*) and having been date raped (late 30’s), I have to also say that creating gradations of “rape” can seem to diminish the significance of the sexualized violence many women have experienced. (I know you aren’t trying to imply that, but I want to make sure that no one gets the wrong impression.)

    As I said, I see where you’re coming from, but one too-easily drawn implication is that other sexualized violence is some how not-really-bad is frustrating.

    I know you don’t mean to diminish the significance of these other sorts of assualt, but I also know that there’s rhetoric out there that does diminish other sexual assaults (if it’s not “real rape” then it’s not really a bad thing).

    I don’t *at all* think you think that, but I also don’t want someone finding that rhetoric affirmed by your comment. I know you from reading you for a couple of years now: you’ld never suggest that anything other than “real rape” can be ignored.

    Oh, by the way, I don’t use the rhetoric of “rape survivor” because that defines me by what someone did to me. I’m me: I’m a writer, a cook, a wife, a PhD, an artist, a gardener, and so much more. What I’m not is a “survivor”: I am not someone who can be defined by what someone else did to me. My rapist, though, is a rapist: he did it, so he gets to be defined by it.

    IK: Agreed. This particular rape charge smells of cover-up. If the crime was committed, ok, he should be punished according to the laws of the relevant country. Still, like you, I’ve got my spidey-sense tingling on this one.

    Friday, December 10, 2010 at 9:43 am | Permalink
  9. Iron Knee wrote:

    Jonah, does it surprise anyone that someone like Assange has a huge ego? Who cares? This is like news that Gandhi was a jerk to his family, or the fact that Isaac Newton or Mark Twain or any number of famous people were generally assholes.

    I’m tired of people using character assassination against viewpoints they don’t like.

    If you’ve ever been involved in a non-profit organization, you would know that they are rife with internal politics. It is not surprising at all that some people inside WikiLeaks were unhappy and left. What wasn’t reported in that article is that WikiLeaks has publicly welcomed these new organizations, saying that the world needs as many whistleblower organizations as it can get, and is friendly and cooperative with them.

    Friday, December 10, 2010 at 10:32 am | Permalink
  10. jonah wrote:

    I’m not surprised he is a dick. Just pointing out the obvious so that he’s not elevated to god status.

    Friday, December 10, 2010 at 11:01 am | Permalink
  11. starluna wrote:

    ThoughtDancer – it is precisely because I take sexualized violence seriously that I am very concerned about these allegations. Whenever the accusation of rape is misused, it makes it more difficult for the larger society to take it seriously.

    In this case, according to public statements by the alleged victims themselves, what they experienced was not sexual violence. It has all the appearances of two women who are upset that they got screwed by a selfish jerk. I am well aware that reporting sexual violence often take months for many women who are traumatized by the experience. The delay in reporting the alleged rape does not appear, by their own public statements, to be related to trauma. And indeed, they almost seem to be enjoying the public attention. What is worse, for me, is that the state may be using these women’s self-absorption in their pursuit of Assange.

    I also take seriously the use of rape allegations in the persecution of certain groups of people. My prosecutor colleagues tell me that is not too infrequent where they get cases where white girls accuse black boys of rape under pressure from their fathers who hear that the two engaged in consensual sex but will not accept that. Moreover, allegations of rape are all too frequently prosecuted when the alleged perpetrator is a non-white male and the victim is a white female, but considerably less frequently when the perpetrator is white and the victim is non-white. This is very much the case in cases of things like “date rape” or “sex by surprise”.

    It is not the case that there is “real rape” and “not real rape”. However, violent rape is not the same as consensual sex in which the victim changed his/her mind 20 minutes into the sex act. Just like first degree murder is not the same as manslaughter. In both cases, a bad thing was done. But the context is different and in a just society, we should take into account the context in which the bad thing was done when deciding how to address or punish the perpetrator of that bad thing.

    Saturday, December 11, 2010 at 9:30 am | Permalink
  12. Starluna. Agreed.

    Like I said, I wanted to stop anyone from getting the wrong impression from what you said.

    Also, being able to delineate the logic behind calling a sexual act a rape, sexual assault, or such is important. Like you, and IK, I smell a rat with these accusations. The sexual acts they are describing don’t fit the definition of “rape” in the US, and from what little I’ve learned about Swedish law, I suspect they don’t fit their definition either.

    Sunday, December 12, 2010 at 12:36 pm | Permalink