Assange and The ‘Masculinity Test’

Posted: March 1, 2011 in Masculinities, Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

I am sure he is a jerk. Possibly worse. He is most certainly a narcissist, an egoist.

But I find the way this man is being used by various groups, various interests, to hammer home their version of ‘what makes a man, a man?’, quite disconcerting.

According to Liberal Conspiracy, Assange did an interview with Private Eye in which he said the Guardian ‘failed’ his ‘masculinity test’ in the way they dealt with him and the rape accusations story.  That is obviously a ridiculous way of portraying a newspaper’s editorial policy. Even if I did find some of the Guardian’s reporting of the case pretty pathetic. I wouldn’t call it ‘unmasculine’!

And yet, there are people- feminist, ‘liberal’ people on the whole, who are somehow trying to say that Assange himself is ‘unmasculine’ because ‘real men don’t rape’, because he is a lecherous ‘creep’. Because he is obviously guilty of something.

Someone on twitter today wondered what the ‘questions’ would be to Assange’s ‘masculinity test’

‘Do you think ‘no means no’?’ quipped someone else, quick as a flash.

I said to a feminist columnist I hoped she wasn’t going to write about Assange (I am tired of the discourse of ‘rape’ it is reproducing over and over).

‘You love him. You want to marry him!’ she teased, as if we were teenage girls at school, ribbing each other about the school Pick Up Artist.

Then there’s the jokes comparing Assange to other ‘disgraced’ men in the media at the moment, such as Charlie Sheen, John Galliano and Colonel Gadaffi. As if they are all just laughable, pathetic creatures. Pathetic men.

‘I imagine being touched by the Holy Spirit feels a lot like drinking a psychic cocktail made of Assange, Sheen and Gaddafi’ went one tweet.

‘At least Assange knows he can get discounts on suits for his next court appearance from Galliano’ went another, tying in Galliano’s anti-semetic rant with Assange’s more oblique references to ‘Jewish conspiracies’ in the media in the process.

And here is  a pictorial representation of a parody of the ‘Masculinity Test’ which is bound to become comedy legend before the week is out:

I just don’t find this stuff funny. Especially because, if anyone ever dares to ‘make light’ of ‘rape’, to make ‘jokes’ that refer in any way to sexual violence or non-consent (Keys springs to mind and the hellfire and damnation he received for saying ‘I’d like to smash it’, as does Brian McFadden’s new pop song, in which he says he wants to ‘do some damage’ to his girlfriend when she’s drunk), they get it in the neck from feminists and their allies. They get called ‘misogynist’.  But are these jokes against Assange misandrist?

I don’t have any interest in this person as an individual. Some of the details that have been published of the accusations against him have given me serious pause for thought, as basically the incidents described sound pretty similar to quite a few situations I have been in, in sexual relationships/encounters with men. But I never thought of my experiences as ‘rape’. It’s made me a bit depressed in a way. It’s reminded me that quite often, sex between men and women can be a battleground, a site of power and conflict, and not in a ‘good’ ‘consensual’ way. Thats life.

But I have even less interest in this creation of a comedy ‘idiot’ man figure. A man who isn’t a real man. Not like those decent upstanding men that we all know and love and marry. Not a Guardian-reading, tweeting, father of two, who does the school run and makes risotto for dinner. You know the kind of guy. The kind that would probably find me pretty unpalatable as a ‘woman’.

I don’t like Assange. But somewhere, somehow along the line, I have come to feel for him.

Is that allowed?

  1. Lamia says:

    Poor Saint Julian. He shows himself yet again to be a boorish heterosexist jerk with his juvenile snipe that his opponents are effeminate, less than men. But apparently he’s the victim of sexual smearing in all this. Incredible.

    He’s a sexist and homophobic wanker who doesn’t deserve a second’s pity.

  2. Stefan says:

    Poor Saint Lamia (post 1). You show yourself yet again to be a boorish heterosexist jerk with your juvenile snipe believing every unproven sneer without turning on your brain the least. But apparently you’re the victim of another smear in all this. Incredible.

    You’re a sexist and heterophobic bitch who doesn’t deserve a second’s pity.

    Still you have mine. Very much so even. My 2-year-old daughter knows already, that building a tower needs _much_ more skills and knowledge than tearing it down (not denying that tearing it down can make a whollotta fun).

    Not getting the connection of the two? thought so 🙂

  3. I think Assange has failed Lamia’s ‘masculinity test’ which rather proves my point…

  4. Stefan says:

    Quiet Riot Girl: YOU fail to read the original sources: 1. The full details of the sexual assault accusations by the women themselves (including female police officers and other interrogators as well as Assange’s answer as published on the internet), cause THEY, those women, should foremost be heard, no? (& add the opinion of well accepted 3rd generation feminist Wolf about the matter to it…), 2. Assange’s defence to the jew smear as published in his (longer) tweets (> always hear both sides, then make up your mind, no?) and 3. The FULL article of Public Eye and what Assange really said in full (eg school girl chatter) as far as the writer remembers at least (he didn’t take notes obviously). Then come back and argue with me like a mature woman (that you are, no?).

  5. Lamia says:

    Quiet Riot Grrl,

    I don’t have ‘a masculinity test’. Anyone who invents one, let alone measuring others as failing it is obviously someone with a big ego but little confidence in their own masculinity.

    Assange comes across as is a sleazy sexist who has hilarious delusions of being some sort of gift to women, and is also homophobic cock like his slavish follower Stefan. Whether that makes either of them more or less ‘masculine’ I neither know nor care.

    • typhonblue says:

      Women don’t have a ‘masculinity test’?

      Then how come I hear so many women telling men to ‘man up’ or ‘be a real man’ or that they’re ‘not men.’

      • typhonblue says:

        Realized that this post doesn’t make sense.

        Somehow I read Lamia saying ‘I don’t have a masculinity test’ as ‘women don’t have a masculinity test.’

        Er… sorry. Carry on.

  6. Stefan says:

    (Not soo 😉 Quiet Riot Girl: I just re-read your blogpost. And even though I critisized you, I find your writing a good, worthwile reading. Now, I’m a man, but on a purely human base I can very much relate to the last part of your post. I – personally – believe you can very well trust your feelings. Don’t let others (whomever, not even me…) make yourself believe, your heart wouldn’t know up from down, right from wrong… You have come, along the line, to feel for Assange? Is it possible you’ve had similar experiences in your life as he is living through right now (regardless of their exact content)? Has your heart ever lied to you? You are the only one who knows the true and honest answer to those questions. For good.

  7. emirjame says:

    This is very instructive – interview with Assange just after the second time he was accused:
    This is the interview on the Expressen page: with advertisement, but also with better quality image:

  8. Felicity says:

    Why would decent men find you unpalatable as a woman?

    • because I think Felicity a lot of ‘decent’ men like women to fit into certain moulds, you know, feminist, responsible, moral, not into pornography or supporting sex workers or chatting to lap dancers, or finding some value in taking Assange’s case seriously, or not writing off Sarah Palin as a ‘mad bitch’… etc etc

  9. Christopher says:

    Don’t feel too bad for yourself Lamia. There are plenty of women who write letters to jailed rapists, child abusers, serial killers etc. They find them and their crimes glamorous, even though they hate themselves for feeling that way. Sociopaths have that effect on people, especially lonely females.

    But at least Assange can be partially forigiven. After all, he has reformed the American military and ended the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan through Wikileaks.

    Or has he just released some low grade diplomatic cables that tell us nothing we didn’t know already? Italy is corrupt; Russia run by gangsters, US helicopter pilots sometimes kill innocent people. Startling news. Fight the power!

  10. Clarence says:

    Yep, nothing to see here, folks move along, because it’s every day that someone wanted for questioning (rather than actually being charged with something) is extradited from one country to another.

    Needless to say, I ‘ve read tons of stuff on this over the past 4 months, and I think its almost assuredly bullshit. Alas, one can’t prove it because so much is not getting out, esp why they feel they can’t just question this guy over the phone or something rather than trying to get him over to Sweden, and, without charges throw him a Swedish jail for however long it takes till they make up their minds.

    As for how important those cables are, that one commenter brought up: so far they haven’t went through all of them there are over 100 thousand, and often it’s important to confirm a suspicion. The US government has been having a 4 month long hissy fit about those cables as it is.

  11. John says:

    This blog is coming in at the tail end of a lot of shonky ‘reporting’. The original story was from Ian Hislop, of Private Eye. Hislop has withdrawn his claims, according to The Guardian – see below. I’m looking forward to the various sites who extensively commented on Hislop’s claims now properly analysing whether this story ever deserved any attention.

    What I find surprising about The Guardian’s announcement of Hislop’s withdrawal is that it appears in the sub-heading (where it may be easy to miss), but there is no detail of when or why Hislop withdrew his article. Surely Hislop’s withdrawal deserves at least a tiny fraction of the analysis given to the contents of what was withdrawn… Now _that_ might be real news.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s