At least online, talking about Julian Assange has become an almost unbearable task. Anna North from Jezebel explains why:
Seriously, do you want to have a Terrible time? Mention rape allegations against anyone with a popular following, whether it’s Roman Polanski or an athlete like Ben Roethlisberger. Watch as people you ordinarily like and respect bend over backwards to explain to you how their hero could not possibly have done something like that. Watch as they then bend over even further, to tell you either that a) that person’s accuser must obviously be untrustworthy because she was drunk or not a virgin or wrote a feminist blog or b) that whatever the hero did cannot possibly be rape because a hero would never rape anybody, because he is a hero! And just keep watching as all these people you once thought of as fair-thinking are forced to chip relentlessly away at their conceptions of consent and basic human rights, all to protect and excuse the person they think is awesome.