While I believe much of what is happening to Julian Assange is political; and while I find it noteworthy that neither woman came forward until she found out there was another woman; this case gives me the opportunity to comment on and define rape.
Even though we are dealing with a foreign country, Sweden, the definition of rape is still the same: unwanted or unknown intercourse.
Unwanted would be were a woman says no and she is forced into intercourse either by someone she knows or someone unknown to her. Rape CAN occur even between a boyfriend and a girlfriend, 2 strangers who have already had consensual sex, and in some regions a husband and a wife.
Unknown sex occurs where the victim has passed out or is asleep (as is the situation with Assange). In this situation the area is a little more grey. Husband and wife/boyfriend and girlfriend – - probably somehow acceptable (see also legal), casual acquaintance/casual encounter more than likely NOT okay/legal. Meet a girl at a party, she passes out, you have sex with her – - in many regions you have committed a rape AND I AGREE WITH THIS POSITION.
A 3rd area of rape is Statutory Rape. This is where any person has intercourse with another person under the age of 18 (in most areas of the United States) and as low as 16 in some regions/countries. A boyfriend and girlfriend both aged 15 having consensual sex could result in a prosecution of Statutory Rape – - not likely, but it can happen. We see prosecutions for this crime more when dealing with a man over the age of 18 have sex with a girl usually under the age of 16 (even if the law says the cutoff is 18 not 16). I do not consider Statutory Rape and act of rape since it is almost always consensual. And many provinces term it Unlawful Sex as opposed to Statutory Rape since the word “rape” usually has very specific connotations – - especially in the legal realm. I’m still NOT okay with men over 18 having sex with girls under 18, but I’m also not okay with terming them rapists.
Is Assange guilty of the charges? I’m not sure. He does not seem to argue that he was having sex with these women and in Sweden, unprotected sex when one party has requested protected sex, is also considered an act of rape – - so he may very well be guilty. Is this politically driven? HIGHLY LIKELY. But breaking the law is breaking the law and the mere fact that 1 person is prosecuted for the exact “crime” that someone else was not prosecuted for, does not make commission of the act okay and/or legal. Think of it like speeding – - just because everyone is doing it does not make it okay nor does it mean you can’t, or won’t, get a ticket.
That’s it for today.