Today in Feminist Rape Apologia

[Trigger warning for sexual assault, rape apologia.]

Feminist Naomi Wolf has written a piece arguing that the women accusing Julian Assange of sexual assault ought to be named.

(The headline says they "deserve" to be named, which is certainly an interesting word choice; as a contributor to Comment is Free, however, I know that it was not a choice made by Wolf. I'm extremely curious to know which editor inserted that particular bit of vituperative judgment into the headline.)

There is so much wrong with Wolf's piece that I could literally spend the next three hours deconstructing and rebutting it, but that is time I'm simply not willing to invest responding to a concern troll.

I'll simply note that her premise is intrinsically flawed as it's based on the erroneous assumption that we shield accusers because of some antiquated notion that rape is shameful. We do not. We shield accusers because survivors are routinely revictimized by rape apologists.

If Wolf's got a problem with the fact that we need to protect the anonymity of people (not just women, by the way) who allege sexual violence, then she needs to take it up with the jackbooted enforcers of the rape culture who pour out of the woodwork to try to silence rape victims every time one of them has the temerity to speak.

And as for her contention that treating rape as shameful and its survivors as "damaged goods" has gone the way of whalebone, I encourage Wolf to spend some time speaking to raped daughters of Good Christians (just for a start) and see how many of them, of us, feel the shame of parents' silence—and, fuck, visible disappointment—wrapped tight around their midsections like a whalebone corset that will never go away.

[I will continue tweeting other reactions to this piece.]

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