Thursday, February 10, 2011

Blogger Accuses Time of Anti-Woman Bias

[TW: Sexual assault; discussions of domestic violence]

From Time:

"Despite its high levels of gender equality in the workplace and political sphere, the country has by the far the highest level of reported rape in Europe and one of the lowest conviction rates, a fact that has led to criticism from Amnesty International and the UN. That criticism, in turn, has led to soul-searching in the Swedish criminal justice system as to whether Swedish police and prosecutors are failing vulnerable women."

Despite this situation, Time chose to frame the story containing this tidbit of information as follows.

Headline: "Courtroom Conflict: Julian Assange's Prosecutor Accused of Anti-Men Bias."

From the first paragraph:

"Monday, a retired female judge accused the female Swedish prosecutor attempting to extradite Assange of having a 'biased view' against men." [emphasis added]

Of what relevance is the prosecutor's gender? Oh, right. Women who try to hold men accountable in a rape culture must hate men.

Of what relevance is the gender of the person making the bias accusation? Are we to infer from the retired judge's noted femaleness that her claim about the prosecutor's anti-man bias is more credible than if she were a man? I contend that part of being a woman living in rape culture is that we are finally seen as Totally Objective Observers only when doing so perpetuates rape culture.

The article quotes another lady:

"She seems to take it for granted that everybody under prosecution is guilty. I think she is so preoccupied with the situation of battered women and raped women that she has lost balance."

Until there's actual evidence of malicious prosecution, as opposed to gossipy accusations of "bias," I don't expect "female prosecutors" to wear kid gloves and coddle people accused of rape. I also don't see a "preoccupation with the situation of battered women and raped women" to be a negative trait in the people charged with prosecuting those who beat and rape women.

I have an observation:

The prosecutor's alleged anti-man bias is but an accusation, not a supported fact. It is an accusaton demonstrating the sad truth that those who seek to hold men accountable and to counter male sexual entitlement seem to take it for granted that everyone doing so is a man-hater who just isn't seeing things Rationally and Objectively.

I have another observation:

Sweden has "by the far the highest level of reported rape in Europe and one of the lowest conviction rates." This statement was made not as an accusation, but presented as a statement of observable fact. Some people are raping other people and getting away with it to an alarming degree.

But why is the really big take-away from the article how the "female prosecutor" might, or might not, have an anti-man bias?

If I were in charge of shit, like say Time, I'd start looking into that connection.

No comments: