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Naomi Wolf – Anti-Feminist of the year

Her eyes are blue because she's a quart low

Just when you think she’s plumbed the depths of stupidity, she grabs a shovel and starts digging:

Why is Rape Different?

As Swedish prosecutors’ sex-crime allegations against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange play out in the international media, one convention of the coverage merits serious scrutiny. We know Assange by name. But his accusers – the two Swedish women who have brought the complaints against him – are consistently identified only as “Miss A” and “Miss W,” and their images are blurred.

News organizations argue that the policy is motivated by respect for the alleged victims. But the same organizations would never report charges of, say, fraud – or, indeed, non-sexual assault – against a suspect who has been named on the basis on anonymous accusations. In fact, despite its good intentions, providing anonymity in sex-crime cases is extremely harmful to women.

The convention of not naming rape accusers is a relic of the Victorian period, when rape and other sex crimes were being codified and reported in ways that prefigure our own era. Rape was seen as “the fate worse than death,” rendering women – who were supposed to be virgins until marriage – “damaged goods.”

Virginia Woolf called the ideal of womanhood in this period “The Angel in the House”: a retiring, fragile creature who could not withstand the rigors of the public arena. Of course, this ideal was a double-edged sword: their ostensible fragility – and their assigned role as icons of sexual purity and ignorance – was used to exclude women from influencing outcomes that affected their own destinies. For example, women could not fully participate under their own names in legal proceedings.

Indeed, one of the rights for which suffragists fought was the right to be convicted of one’s own crimes. Nonetheless, even after women gained legal rights – and even as other assumptions about women have gone the way of smelling salts and whalebone stays – the condescending Victorian convention of not identifying women who make sex-crime charges remains with us.

That convention not only is an insult to women, but also makes rape prosecutions far more difficult. Overwhelmingly, anonymity serves institutions that do not want to prosecute rapists or sexual harassers.


It is wrong – and sexist – to treat female sex-crime accusers as if they were children, and it is wrong to try anyone, male or female, in the court of public opinion on the basis of anonymous accusations. Anonymity for rape accusers is long overdue for retirement.

I guess it never occurred to Naomi that the thought of having their names publicized would deter many rape victims from reporting the crime to law enforcement. Rape isn’t quite the same thing as getting your car stolen or your home burglarized.

This is actually hard to write a reaction to because it’s surreal. My first reaction was “She didn’t really say that, did she?” I had to check and make sure this wasn’t a spoof by The Onion.

But then again it’s not like Naomi had any feminist credibility left to lose.


The Guardian has reprinted Naomi’s inanity.

45 Responses

  1. Rape victims’ names are withheld from the public. They are fully known to t police who receive complaints, to the prosecutors who bring charges and to members of the trial court. That is a degreee of privacy, not anonymity.

    • That is a degree of privacy, not anonymity.
      I agree. Naomi’s nuts!

    • Seems like the names of victims of most crimes are withheld (at least around my area) and the names only of those charged with a crime are released.

  2. I’m all for victim privacy; however, when those that falsely accuse anybody of any crime are discovered to have been lying…I’m also all for public disclosure of those scum as well as the knee jerkers who assume the guilt of the accused without knowing squat about the facts.

    • …I’m also all for public disclosure of those scum as well as the knee jerkers who assume the innocence of the man accused without knowing squat about the facts.

      • Yeah…that old innocent until proven guilty is such a pain.

        • If your neighbor was accused but not convicted of child molestation would you let him babysit your kids?

        • Which is why he needs to stand trial before people make assumptions about the scum (presumably the women) who are falsely accusing him.

        • oh come on Jay, you know that even if Assange was found guilty you would think he was railroaded.
          When women bring false charges of rape it is generally to soak a rich guy for money or vindictive due to a bad break up etc… neither of those cases apply to Assange, so whats the angle? Most women, the overwhelming majority who accuse someone of rape, were raped. I don’t know if the guy is guilty but he is really creepy and a misogynist.

          • You don’t know me very well, Teresainpa. In any case…I agree with you that he’s a misogynist and a creep. Neither of which are crimes, and certainly neither of which I’m willing to be held accountable for simply because of my gender. Some men are assholes…not all. Some women are assholes too…not all.

          • Do you think he’s scum.

      • How can we, who were not there, ever know the facts?

        If ASSange is convicted, I will wonder if he is actually innocent, but if he is acquitted, I will wonder if he is actually guilty.

        I don’t see how we can ever know what happened as hard facts, rather than simply choosing to believe one side or the other. 😕

    • His accusers didn’t flee the country. He did.

    • Lying under oath is perjury and is a prosecutable offense. There is no anonymity for an accused perjuror.

      • I think if someone makes a false accusation of rape, sexual assault or child molestation they should be severely punished.

        I’m talking about the cases where there is proof they lied.

        Back in the 80’s California had lots of cases where child abuse and molestation charges were raised in custody disputes. Then we passed a law that said if someone lies about abuse and/or molestation in a custody dispute that it should be presumed that giving them custody was not in the child(ren)s best interest and that they should have to pay the other party’s legal fees

        Accusations of abuse and molestation dropped dramatically.

    • I rarely find myself wanting to call women scum.

  3. HNY 😛

  4. Good grief, I thought maybe I started drinking too early and had to reread….WTF is her problem?

    Anyhow.. Happy New Year everyone at TC!!

  5. If a man had written that piece, he would be rightly labeled a blatant sexist. I think Naomi is losing it. She was always more attention seeker than feminist.

  6. So how did she get the title of “feminist”? I guess when liberal feminism stopped being pro woman and put the needs of women behind black men, gay men and any other really loud interest group. I don’t know who makes me more sick, Naomi, the media who publish her with the title of “feminist” or the liberal “feminist” orgs who don’t call her out and loudly provide a real feminist opinion.

    • to me she seems like the typical person who was educated beyond her ability to use it intelligently.

      • I’m wondering if there isn’t some monetary motive involved here.

        I could see where there might be a market for a woman with some feminist cred to take these kind of positions in the media.

        Camille Paglia made a career out of it.

        • you may have a point there.

        • I think she might be looking for a job from Oprecious. The dumber you are, the more likely a job offer. Or the easier you are to sell out, the better the job offer you get. ie Obama and President.

      • She’s had a privileged life in any case. I never thought she was that smart.

  7. Happy New Year everyone!!!

  8. What can you expect from a woman who wore a hijab for a day while visiting the safest place in the Middle East she could find, and then described the experience erotically.

  9. Ms. Wolf’s comments are inane. Just because she would not mind her name being public, does not mean other victims feel the same way. Rape victims are talked of in way that robbery victims (for example) are not.


  10. omg, Naomi is so full of sh*t. The reason they don’t print rape victims (or accusers, etc) names is NOT because of the freakin’ Victorians. What, did she hear Obama making stuff up about about Social Security and think it was the opening of historical revisionism season? Or is she looking to become the next Camille Paglia?

    Feminists in the 70s and 80s fought for rape shield laws which would bar newsmedia from revealing rape victims names so they wouldn’t have their sexual histories and other totally irrelevant, sexist, and harmful sh*t thrown at them, and to protect them from the kind of harassment the accusers in Sweden are going through now. Oddly, they thought that rape victims might be reluctant to report rape otherwise.

    Many states enacted laws which barred newsmedia from publishing victims’ names, but the SCt overturned them based on the 1st Amendment. However, many outlets adhere to their own voluntary policy of withholding the names. (not Olbermann, who tweeted at least one of the victims’ names, what a a guy!).

    Here’s the thing — I REMEMBER all this from the debates in the media at the time. And Naomi is older than I am.

    Violet had the best headline on Wolf:

    Naomi Wolf to serve as new spokesmodel for Ladies Against Feminism

  11. Happy New Year Conflucians!

  12. Reading this makes you wonder if freedom of speech is overrated!

    • Wonder who first started saying STFU online. Probably the fauxgressive kids. Something to be thankful for. 🙂

  13. Freedom of speech is not overrated. Being considered innocent until proven guilty is not overrated. What does seem overrated is Americans respect for the US Constitution, including the Bill of Rights.

    Happy New Year.

  14. Well since one of these “rape” allegations involves the use of a condom with a hole in it, and the other involves Mr. Assange going after “seconds” without a condom, it’s tough to see that there was much force involved. These ladies were not prone to argue when they got in bed with Mr. Assange.

    So some extent the arguments about not revealing the names of innocent victims who were aggressively set upon by a stranger go by the board here.

  15. I find Ms.Wolf difficult to love.

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