[Pt I of Debate]
Late last month, two important figureheads of the third wave feminist movement, Naomi Wolf and Jaclyn Friedman, were invited on Democracy Now to discuss the recently alleged rape charges facing Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. The discussion quickly turned into a heated battlefield as Wolf and Friedman debated issues surrounding women’s moral and sexual agency, as well as the sketchy and controversial politics involved in the rape charges brought against Assange. This talk was hot indeed! And it offers an important example of the debates and conflicts that still splinter women within the feminist community as a whole.
I’ve taken the time to speak with many women and men about this debate, and have received a range of different responses. Some felt that Naomi Wolf sold out her feminist status by defending Julian Assange against these rape charges and “blaming the victims.” Others felt that it was Jaclyn Friedman who faltered by being caught in her own trauma issues and unable to grasp the larger picture. Still others felt torn between both positions and unable to make a final decision, feeling that both Wolf and Friedman made important points…
What do you think??
In offering your response, remember to work at keeping the dialogue civil and diplomatic, as these are tender issues. I’ve seen some gross name-calling and attacking of these two women happening on other feminist forums and I’d prefer this to be a productive discussion if there is an interest for it. [Editor's Note Chris: Br. Olen's article on Unearthing New Norms of Online Conversation lays out our editorial policy at Beams & Struts with regards to commenting. We appreciate in advance respecting those norms.]
[Pt II of Debate]