#talkaboutit is the international version of the Swedish twitter conversation #prataomdet. Right now a lot of people are confused as to exactly how this conversation relates to the Julian Assange rape case. Quite a few very eloquent Swedes have written wonderfully nuanced accounts of just this, and they will be available in English just as soon as we have time to translate them. In the meanwhile, you’ll have to settle for this attempt at an explanation. My name is Teresa and I’m a freelance writer among other things. I’m not an official representative or anything, just someone who’s part of the conversation.
As the description on the #prataomdet blog says:
In the wake of the doubt and skepticism directed toward the women who filed charges against Julian Assange, journalist Johanna Koljonen recently tweeted openly and intimately about drawing lines, negotiating gray areas and speaking out against violations in sexual situations. Hundreds followed Koljonen’s example on Twitter under the hashtag#prataomdet (”#talkaboutit”). As a result of this debate, several Swedish magazines, newspapers and other media outlets are publishing pieces on the subject.
Something is going to change. We are going to dare to #talkaboutit.
Though this conversation was inspired by how Julian Assange’s accusers were treated in the media, it is not about them, Assange, or whether he is guilty. The Assange trial is a jumping off point to a much more personal conversation. About the times when our boundaries were violated, but we didn’t say anything because Nice Girls Don’t Do That or because Men Always Want It. About times when we violated others without realizing it. About times when we violated ourselves. It is about finally opening the flood gates to an honest conversation about sex and consent.
In the last two days, thousands of Swedes have joined the conversation, and pretty much every major Swedish media outlet has gotten involved. The word has spread outside of Sweden, through Jessica Valenti, Melissa McEwan and others. We’re hoping you want to join in.
The hashtag #talkaboutit isn’t about linking to awesome articles on Julian Assange’s guilt or innocense. It’s not about shaming Michael Moore. It’s not even a space exclusive to people who label themselves as feminists. It’s for sharing stories about the gray area of sex and violence, and for encouraging those who are able and willing to do it.
You are all so very welcome.