Why Julian Assange is being mocked for his tweet on feminism and ‘predatory sleaze bags’

Social media users are calling out the irony of Assange tweeting about feminism.

world Updated: Oct 22, 2017 18:14 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Julian Assange,WikiLeaks,Harvey Weinstein
A file photo of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. (REUTERS)

In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal and the resulting #MeToo movement, many high-profile men have taken to social media to share their stance. On Saturday, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange added his voice, tweeting about male feminists. But Assange’s tweet was anything but well-received.

Assange, who is one of the Twitter users randomly chosen to test out the 280-character feature, used his additional space to put out the following tweet regarding Weinstein: “Women, I will let you in on a male secret. Men know that constantly self-proclaiming male ‘feminists’ are often predatory sleaze bags. They are intensely disliked by other men because of their manipulative qualities and not, in general, because they are viewed to be sex traitors.”

The tweet received more than 12k retweets and 31k likes, as well as some support.

But commentators on social media blasted Assange for two reasons.

First, Assange stands accused of rape and molestation. In August 2010, the Swedish Prosecutor’s Office issued an arrest warrant for Assange, and a Swedish court subsequently denied him citizenship. Assange maintains that the allegations were “without basis”.

He has been living inside the Ecuadorean embassy in London since June 2012, and is fighting a legal battle to stop his extradition to Sweden.

Secondly, Assange’s tweet is incredibly condescending in the tone it uses for women. His opening gambit, “Women, I will let you in on a male secret”, assumes that the women he is addressing are clueless about the performative allyship of male feminists and need to be lectured by him. A whole host of tweets mocked Assange’s patronising tone using his own words.

First Published: Oct 22, 2017 18:14 IST