Mr. Assange is still on tightly controlled bail in the UK pending possible extradition to Sweden, and possibly the USA. Until now no clear information has appeared about the basis of the 'sex charges." The account that follows is excerpted from the Swedish prosecutor's (leaked) records.
Many commentators on the 'sex charges' have already considered that the case is flimsy and politically pressured.
Miss A "tried to put on some articles of clothing as it was going too quickly and uncomfortably but Assange ripped them off again". Miss A told police that she didn't want to go any further "but that it was too late to stop Assange as she had gone along with it so far", and so she allowed him ..."
"[S]he had tried a number of times to reach for a condom but Assange had stopped her by holding her arms and pinning her legs.
" Assange then released her arms and agreed to use a condom "
[Miss A also alleges he somehow deliberately tore the condom.]
Miss A held a party for him on that evening "
Assange was still staying in her flat but they were not having sex because he had "exceeded the limits of what she felt she could accept" and she did not feel safe.
Miss W told police that though they started to have sex, Assange had not wanted to wear a condom, and she had moved away because she had not wanted unprotected sex. Assange had then lost interest, she said, and fallen asleep. However, during the night, they had both woken up and had sex at least once when "he agreed unwillingly to use a condom".
Early the next morning, Miss W told police, she had gone to buy breakfast before getting back into bed and falling asleep beside Assange. She had awoken to find him having sex with her, she said, but when she asked whether he was wearing a condom he said no.
"According to her statement ... "she couldn't be bothered to tell him one more time because she had been going on about the condom all night.
See the full Guardian account http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/dec/17/julian-assange-sweden
Miss A did what many of us women do far too often by cooperating with sex which was not 100% welcome. We women do that when we don't fully want it because
a) we are deeply reluctant to rouse male anger once sex has got going; or
b) we have not freed ourselves from the idea we ought to do as he wishes; or
c) because we are simply having mixed feelings of like/ not like.
This is a difficult area but ultimately it's up to us women to learn to be more assertive. Unless we are definitely under threat and too intimidated to speak or move away, we should do just that. If we are intimidated into silence we need to get away from the man completely, which only leaves the case of compliance in fear of our life or injury then or later, to count as rape.
That she temporarily had her legs pinned is worth consideration but extremely ambiguous. It could have been horseplay, or pushiness by the man. Miss A later used the word "violent" to a friend about it. Chatting in a relaxed setting with a friend is not like legal court evidence so it was a loosely used word. It is certainly too strong a word in formal usage for something that apparently left no injury.
The crucial item here is that the man stopped before the forcefulness went too far. After both expressed their differences he did as she wished.
Allowing the man to stay in her flat with her for the rest of the week, but without sex, suggests Miss A did in fact retain control of her situation and was not living at the mercy of a rapist. However the later part of the account makes it clear that what she really wanted was for him to leave, but but she did not say so. With an insensitivity that women will find familiar and infuriating, but many men will find a normal misunderstanding, Assange did not pick up on her wishes telepathically.
Miss W had a lover unwilling to use a condom
Ungentlemanly but then many men are like that.
She couldn't be bothered to insist on a condom in the morning when she was by her own statement "half-asleep." If she couldn't be bothered she can hardly complain later.
Possibly again those difficult mixed feelings muddled things.
It was simply up to her to insist on her own wishes. It is not up to another person to obey us in our wishes every time and give us a gift wrapped (sex) package of exactly what we want. They have wishes of their own and differences in desire need constant negotiation.
On both cases it is clear that we women must be more assertive about what we want - and more honest with ourselves about our mixed feelings. We cannot rely on men being protective and gentlemanly.
One problem seems to be that the man concerned appears to have been totally focused on the political activism so he did not realize that he had offended the women. Many women might sympathize that it does take a lot to get the message across but most of us don't need extradition to do it.
It is very understandable that this dismissal of their feelings was hurtful and annoying to them. It is an uncomfortable stereotype that a woman waits on the side until the man has time and attention for her. Byron typifies the attitude in "Man's love is of man's life a thing apart; 'tis woman's whole existence." but Byron was writing 200 years ago. Westernized women (and some men) now see things differently. Assange, much preoccupied, too quickly assumed their uproar was a CIA "honeypot" trap, something predictable in the life he was then living politically.