no means no

Soubriquet and I recently discussed the legal troubles WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange currently faces. Ecuador has granted political asylum to Assange, who is staying at the London embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he faces sexual offense allegations.  Our discussion led us to debating the nature of the sexual allegations with a Swedish woman with whom Assange  had spent the night participating in consensual sex.  The next morning, in the midst of consensual coitus, the woman in question realized Assange was not using a condom / or the condom broke (?) and she asked him to stop.  Assange did not stop.  As a woman, myself, I believe no means no.  Even if it is 'no' in the midst of sex.  Even if we fucked all night, or all last week, or have been lovers for months, years.  No still means no.

Let's make this very clear:

Any questions?


J Cosmo Newbery said...

Can't disagree with that.

soubriquet said...

But what I was asking, is what is the appropriate level of response to the circumstance.

Would it, with a lower-profile figure, have been deemed appropriate to mount extradition proceedings?

On reading through many pages of reports, what I find is that both women boasted to friends of their intimacy with J.A., and no suggestion of rape was made.
On comparing notes, they both discovered they had had unprotected sex with him. One via a torn condom, one with no condom. Both became concerned that if he was sexually promiscuous, then they might have potentially been exposed to AIDS, or another STI, and they wanted him to go to an STI clinic for testing, but couldn't get in touch with him.
They then went to a police station, and enquired, without any allegation of rape or assault, whether he could be forced to have an STI test under swedish law.

Both women had bragged to friends about their sexual liaison with Assange. Both had tweeted and messaged about him. No allegations of rape or coercion were made in the days following their sexual encounters.

When they failed immediately to get agreement from him, and after he agreed, but the clinic was closed, they sent texts discussing getting "revenge", and getting 'financial compensation' from him for putting them at risk. All these texts and tweets were later deleted, but their existence is agreed by the swedish prosecutor's office.

Somehow, the consentual sex, well after the event, became rape, because Assange failed to give them evidence to show there were no STIs present.

I don't like Assange as a person, but I'm inclined to feel that he's being railroaded for political reasons.
If he'd agreed, straight away, to give woman number 2 proof that he had no STI, then, according to her own statements, there would have been no problem.
Woman number 1 had no problem, unti woman number 2 told her she and Assange had had unprotected sex and she feared Assange might have AIDS.

soubriquet said...


goatman said...

I think "midst" is the operative word here!

red dirt girl said...

Soub ~ I appreciate you providing the back story to the conversation we had, because yes, we did discuss the events and talked about culpability and the fact that Julian is notorious and was this being blown out of proportion by the press and authorities because of his WikiLeaks actions .....

However, for me, this post was NOT about Julian Assange's case - it was only referenced for context. What I want to make clear in this post is the fact that no means no - no matter what the situation, no matter whether you are in the midst of consensual sex, no matter ... what! No is no. And men AND women need to understand that. When one partner withdraws and stops, the other partner does not have the right to continue, coerce, bully or force. All I'm pointing out is that there is a boundary and when the boundary is crossed, then yes, it is a sexual offense.

I skimmed through parts of the interviews in your link and it is difficult to ascertain if a clear no was indicated by either woman. They felt uncomfortable, they squeezed their legs together ... this is a gray area. However, both told Assange that they did not want to have sex without a condom. And apparently, at least with one, he did. He crossed that boundary. I call this a sexual offense.

Extradition?? Political assylum in the Ecuadorean Embassy ??? this is blown way out of proportion.

At the very least, Assange should be tested again for HIV and any STI's and pay for the women's tests as well. Beyond that, I cannot say as the case is quite muddled with all the media hype and attention.

I want men and women to know that there are consequences when you cross that boundary of willingness into the land of non-willingness. No person has the right to force or coerce sexual relations with another person. If they do, it is a sexual offense.

That's all I'm stating here.


red dirt girl said...

goatman ~ can you elaborate on 'midst'?


goatman said...


This seems like more than merely academic with you. Being a pretty girl, yourself, you may have had personal acquaintance with this? Not having been a pretty girl myself, I have no direct knowledge of the pitfalls and tipping points of the mating ritual.
Yes means yes!

red dirt girl said...

goatman ~ Yes, this is personal for me. AND I am the mother of a pretty 17 year old daughter. I want her to know that she has the right, the ability, and the law to back her up if she decides AT ANY POINT in the mating dance that she no longer wants to participate.

No one should be forced or coerced into sex, male or female. This is one of those 'areas' in life in which I am definitely black or white about - no grey areas here.


Relax Max said...

I thought your blog was about poetry. Can you do this? :)

red dirt girl said...

Hi Max :)

Occasionally I do slip up and post personal rants ...

I promise to return to poetry!!