Against sexist male paranoia about false rape accusations (or: rape is a much bigger problem than false rape allegations, kthxbye)

Some guys sometimes seem to be deaf to the problem of sexual violence, but in a unique way. They do not (fortunately) deny the self-evident truths that sexual violence is extremely frequent, that many women live in fear of it and have their freedom seriously constrained by it, and that it poisons the relations between men and women (in the patriarchy-hurts-men-too department). Instead, they shift the focus to false rape allegations. They claim that because some women falsely accuse men of rape, there’s some kind of deep oppression of men going on.

I’m going to call Mike out for this, just because he has a recent post trotting out these ideas. But I don’t want to pick on Mike or single him out — he’s a good-natured guy and there are lots of good-natured guys who think like this.

So what’s wrong with this line of thinking? Well, first, let’s remove a couple of red herrings. The issue isn’t whether false rape accusations exist (sure they do) or even their prevalence (hotly disputed, with estimates ranging everywhere from 2% to 40%).

The issue is more “why is rape special?” That is, why are these guys more afraid of false accusations of rape than false accusations of any other crime?

Let’s eliminate another red herring. It’s not because the criminal process is so much more biased against the accused in rape cases than in any other case. This is a suggestion I often hear, but there’s little reason to believe it — rape victim advocates have just as persuasive a case for it being the other way around — for the criminal process for rape being heavily biased against victims — of victims being intimidated at the police station, shamed out of reporting the crime, etc. How many mugging victims do you think get told “you were flashing around that bling, you must have been asking for it?” Consistent with this perception, there was recently a scandal in the U.K. over the dramatically lower conviction rate for rape than for other crimes, which shouldn’t happen in a system that is biased against the accused unless (highly implausibly) the percentage of rape accusations that are false is insanely huge. Here’s a relevant section from the linked article:

One of the most serious problems has been the initial handling of rape complaints by the police. The 2007 report by Her Majesty’s Chief Inspectorate and Her Majesty’s Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate, the independent inspectorates for the police and CPS, found that many officers dealing with rape victims had “very little training in responding to rape cases” and a “lack of awareness” of the need to follow the relevant guidance.

Victims were found to experience delays, “unpleasant environments”, inappropriate behaviour by professionals, insensitive questioning during interviews and “judgmental or disbelieving attitudes” when coming forward with complaints of rape.

As a result, between half and two-thirds of rape cases did not proceed beyond the investigation stage. The majority of victims decide to withdraw their complaints, while high levels of rape complaints are essentially ignored, with reports pointing to scepticism on the part of the police and “the view that the victim lacks credibility”.

Again, can you imagine that shit happening to mugging victims?

I’ve been reading a lot of ancient Athenian law recently, for research purposes, and it casts a very interesting light on contemporary law. There was a huge problem with all kinds of false accusations in Athens — they even had a special name for the professional litigant who drummed up false accusations — a sykophant. Some of this was probably oligarchic propaganda against the jury system, but some of it was real — in the infamous Mysteries/Herms case, for example, huge swathes of the population were imprisoned for a while on the testimony of a lying informer.

Modern society is also pervaded with false allegations of various kinds and politically motivated parties who trump up the risk of these false allegations. Things didn’t just stop with the Salem witch trials. In the 50’s, we had the communist blacklists, and today we have bogus tort litigation, racist criminal prosecution, trumped up political charges and framing, you name it. I was, for a while, the lowest-ranking of the many lawyers for Steven Hatfill, the guy whose life was utterly ruined by John Ashcroft’s and Nicolas Kristof’s falsely accusing him of being the anthrax mailer. Even people convicted of capital crimes are routinely exonerated, and there are plausible estimates of up to 9% for the number of innocent people on death row.

So what’s so special about rape? Why is Mike more afraid of some woman accusing him of raping her than he is of the same woman, or a man, accusing him of stealing her/his wallet?

I’d like to suggest several causes for this disparity:

1) Salience bias: there have been some high-profile cases of false rape accusations where the accused got railroaded recently, most prominently the Duke lacrosse players case. (Edit: you want a salient case on the other side? How about the teenage rape victim who was forced to wave around the g-string she was wearing on the day in court and killed herself thereafter?)

2) Threatened male privilege. The false rape accusation is a tool of injustice that, pretty much uniquely, is something that is primarily available to women against men. Men aren’t used to having to worry about the possibility that women might have some way to screw them over, so this possibility generates lots of extra shock and horror. By contrast, men have lots of ways to screw women over, so it’s not so shocking to hear about particular instantiations of this power.

In light of all of this, I’d like to call on my fellow men to just get off it. You don’t live in fear of false rape accusations and you know it. You are not oppressed by the existence of false rape accusations. By contrast, women are oppressed by the omnipresent threat of rape.

Also, if you’re genuinely worried about false rape accusations then you’re fucking the wrong women. I’ve never worried about a false rape accusation because I’ve never had sex with a woman quite that evil or insane. Hell, I don’t think I even know any women — or any people in general — quite that depraved. On the other hand, I have numerous close female friends — women who would never make a false accusation — who have been raped. Yeah, it’s an n of 1, but I would bet any amount of money that almost every reader of this blog could say something similar.

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19 Responses to “Against sexist male paranoia about false rape accusations (or: rape is a much bigger problem than false rape allegations, kthxbye)”

  1. Hux Says:

    Also, if you’re genuinely worried about false rape accusations then you’re fucking the wrong women. :: “You were asking for it with your cleavage and provocatively short skirt, slut.”

    The reason people fear false rape accusations more than other varieties of false accusation is because of the influence of “yes-means-yes” gender feminism in our culture, and especially in academia. There is nothing comparable in issues of mugging etc.

  2. Paul Gowder Says:

    Hux, “‘yes means yes’ gender feminism” is, at most, an attempt to bring it about that rape is treated like all other crimes. There is no other crime in which the victim is routinely accused of soliciting it. Can you imagine a mugger successfully raising the “he voluntarily gave me the wallet — look at all the other money he gave away!” defense?

    Or suppose you walked by a bookstore and saw a box of books out on the street, so you took them. Do you think you could plausibly claim that it’s the bookstore’s fault for making it seem like they were free? Or that the bookstore’s “sale books $1″ sign was just being coy?

    “Yes means yes” is the rule for all other crimes for which there is a consent defense. It’s only controversial in rape cases because for some reason a bunch of men seem to think it should be ok to not be sure whether or not the person they’re having sex with is really ok with it.

    I disagree with a lot of what Hugo Schwyzer says, but this post is exactly right — the concern for men shouldn’t be technical avoidance of rape charges, it should be only having sex when both people are interested in doing so! For fuck’s sake.

    Again, imagine the “no means no” alternative. Suppose someone approaches you at a party and begins pawing around for your wallet. And the following dialogue ensues:

    You: “hey, what are you doing?”

    Wallet grabber: “oh, c’mon. I know you’re a generous guy. Just gimmie some money.”

    You: “uh…”

    Realizing that this guy is much bigger than you and might be crazy, you don’t push him away or yell at him. He takes your wallet and leaves.

    Now suppose you report this guy to the police, and he gets arrested for robbery. And suppose he defends himself on the grounds that you voluntarily gave him the money, because, hey, “no means no,” but you didn’t say “no.”

    Would that defense even conceivably work? No way in fucking hell. So why do people think it should work for rape cases?

  3. Hux Says:

    No, gender feminism is much more than that.

    “…seduction is often difficult to distinguish from rape. In seduction, the rapist often bothers to buy a bottle of wine.” – Catherine MacKinnon/Andrea Dworkin, quoted from Steven Pinker’s ‘The Blank Slate’.

    We know this is line of thinking is not uncommon. (I’m only giving one example for the sake of brevity.)

    I sympathise with the fact that rape has and (as far as I know) still is treated differently to other crimes; there is more shame endured on the part of the victim, there is victim blaming – all the rest of it. I’m just saying, though, that the response to this problem has been an overkill. There are problems going both ways.

  4. Mike Says:

    The issue is more “why is rape special?” That is, why are these guys more afraid of false accusations of rape than false accusations of any other crime?

    For me, it’s because I’m white. If I were black, I would be equally terrified of being falsely ID’ed for all sorts of crimes.

    White privilege means I’m never going to face a false rap for burglary or murder – especially given my current socio-economic class.

    White-male burden means I could face a false rape accusation.

    Also, if you’re genuinely worried about false rape accusations then you’re fucking the wrong women.

    I have a case file you should review. In this case, the woman initiated sex with the man. They also fucked in the same room as the woman’s best friend. The woman’s best friend was conscious the entire time. She turned away to not watch, but said that she heard them making out, and heard the woman moaning.

    The guy still caught a rape case.

    The case was ultimately given a favorable disposition. It took years to fight; and about $50,000.

    Anytime you wanna check the file out, let me know. It totally opened my eyes. Changed my entire view on rape cases.

  5. Hux Says:

    OK I’m going to add to that then.

    This time last year I fucked a friend of a friend; a one night thing. I was drunk and high and gakked; a good night. (Or so I thought.)

    A few days later I heard back from a mutual friend that this girl had apparently endured a horrifying experience that night – she never used the word rape, but she fucking described rape. (This might have been because she was foreign [Italian].)

    Now, she initiated the sex by saying “I want you to fuck me.” She then went away to her (and my) friend’s room (where my friend and some others were just hanging out) to get a condom, came back, and we fucked. Again, she never used the word rape, but she completely described it, and this was a pretty shitty time for me.

  6. Mike Says:

    Hux’s decision to comment is an important illustration. Once I started talking about the case I mentioned here, I heard a similar story from almost every college-aged guy I talked to. Everyone either know, or knew-someone-who-knew, a guy caught up in similar drama.

    As it now stands, if a man and woman drunkenly have sex, a regretful woman can claim she did not knowingly consent to sex. Ergo, rape.

    I have worked on many date-rape cases. In all of them, there wasn’t GHB, roofies, or anything else. No bruises. No torn clothing. No one heard any screams, or struggle, or anything else that was suspicious. Often, we could establish that there were other people in the same room when the “rape” occurred.

    Doesn’t matter. A woman’s word that she didn’t consent is enough for criminal charges.

    Woman have many reasons to feel regret. Often, a boyfriend or family member finds out about the sex. Needing an explanation, it’s rationalized as rape. Also, yes, “the patriarchy” makes women who have sex feel dehumanized and guilty. Women are not “allowed” to be sexual beings. I get that.

    A man who wakes up next to an ugly woman just laughs with his buddies. Everyone mocks him. He doesn’t say he was raped, even if – as if often the case – the man has no memory of what happened.

    Because sex is supposed to be “special” for women, they are much more likely to feel regret. Regret is a short rationalization away from rape.

    These cases are much more common than you think, Paul. It’s just that guys don’t talk about it in public unless someone else opens up the discussion (and they are in a very trusting environment).

  7. O.Muhammd Says:

    To Whom It May Concern:

    I am requesting to have my conviction of 1st degree sexual abuse pardoned from my record. I am truly a victim of a corrupt and also convicted police officer in Bardstown, KY.

    My name is Omawale Muhammad. My birth name was Brad Lamonte Young. I graduated from Bardstown High School in 1994. I made the decision to go straight into the military. In 1996, on a leave from duty I went back to my home town of Bardstown, KY. My cousin (Tuan Calbert age 18, Black) and I (age 19, Black) were on our way to visit his girlfriend around 1 a.m. During our ride to his girlfriends’ house we saw two people that lived in our neighborhood walking from behind the tree line. It was Jay Maddox (age 17, Black) and Tera Shain (age 16, White). We were all acquainted being that we rode the same school bus. They flagged us down and made it very obvious that they had just had sex behind the tree line. Jay Maddox is Tera Shains’ boyfriends’ first cousin. Tera immediately ran over to the passenger side of the car to talk directly to Tuan Calbert whom she had been making plans to have sex with in the prior weeks. Tera stated that she wanted to have sex with us and would it be possible to give her a ride to her aunt’s house later. We agreed to take her to our neighborhood were we all lived. We were less than a block away from a park that was infamous for sexual interaction among young people. We all had sex with Tera one after the other. Tuan and Jay had sex with Tera twice in the park. We were protected with condoms. We all hung out in the park for a few minutes after we had sex. Tera made a remark to Jay stating “Don’t go back running your month to my boyfriend” which was Jays’ first cousin. Jay replied that his cousin should know what type of girl you are. At this point Tuan and I are ready to go. Jay was in walking distance from were he was staying for the night, so he took off walking. Tera asked me to give her a ride to her aunt’s house and I agreed until she told the location of her aunt’s house. I didn’t think that it was a good idea to take her to an all white neighborhood at that time of night. I told her that I would take her home to our neighborhood. Tera said that she couldn’t go home at that time of night. There was no further discussion. Tera took off walking toward the same direction that Jay had walked off in. Tuan and I drove off to our previously intended destination. This entire event took place on a Friday night.
    Sunday morning on Mothers’ day, my mother answers the door and there stands a police officer stating that there is a warrant for my arrest. I had only been home for almost four days. My mom asked what was the warrant for and the police officer replied “Rape in the first degree” (1) A person is guilty of rape in the first degree when such person engages in sexual intercourse with another person by forcible compulsion where the perpetrator or an accessory: (a) Uses or threatens to use a deadly weapon or what appears to be a deadly weapon; or (b) Kidnaps the victim; or (c) Inflicts serious physical injury, including but not limited to physical injury which renders the victim unconscious; or (d) Feloniously enters into the building or vehicle where the victim is situated. (2) Rape in the first degree is a class A felony. I was in disbelief asking who I raped. He didn’t answer and put handcuffs on me and took me to the county jail. Jay, Tuan, and I were charged with First degree rape. We were incarcerated for nearly nine months with the thought that I was going to receive 20 years in prison for rape and Tuan and Jay 40 years in prison for rape because they had sex with her twice. During our time in jail it was very stressful. There was not any evidence of rape from the rape kit that the investigating officer Chris Jackson had performed. Officer Chris Jackson is a corrupt convicted police officer himself who received 5 years of probation for corruption and all of his investigating cases were dismissed except ours. During our stay in the county jail for rape with a $250,000 full cash bond, Tera Shain recanted her story about being raped on the night that she was unaccounted for by her loved ones. Instead of dismissing the case, the prosecutors offer Jay, Tuan and I a plea agreement that reduced our 20 and 40 year first degree rape sentences to first degree sexual abuse and 5 years probation with immediate release from jail that same day. A person shall be imprisoned for any term of years or for life, and in addition, may be fined in an amount not to exceed $250,000, if that person engages in or causes another person to engage in or submit to a sexual act in the following manner: By using force against that other person; By threatening or placing that other person in reasonable fear that any person will be subjected to death, bodily injury, or kidnapping; After rendering that other person unconscious; or After administering to that other person by force or threat of force, or without the knowledge or permission of that other person, a drug, intoxicant, or other similar substance that substantially impairs the ability of that other person to appraise or control his or her conduct.
    As teen-agers we didn’t understand what being a registered sex offender actually meant. We didn’t care. We understood that if we signed that paper, we were going home that day and that was all that mattered. As an adult, I remember my attorney advising me not to take the plea agreement because it would haunt me for the rest of my life and that the prosecution doesn’t have a case that’s why they came with an amended charge that would seem so enticing to us.
    We were released that day and I lost my career in the military and couldn’t find employment because of my felony conviction. I turned to selling drugs, which was a brief career choice being that I didn’t know what I was involved in was indicted again for trafficking a controlled substance three months after being released. I serve 38 months in prison which completed my 5 year sentence. I got out of prison August 1, 2002. I enrolled at Louisville Technical Institute January 2003 and earned an associate degree in applied science by December 2004. I launched Visions of Design an interior design company that was doing fairly well. I decided to continue my education and earned a Bachelors degree in Business Administration by December 2007. I was employed by Sullivan University from December 2006 until March 24, 2008. I was discharged after an unorthodox background check. I received two promotions within four months and it threatened certain people in the organization that knew I had the qualifications and knowledge to soon replace them.
    This wrongful conviction has hindered my ability to attain employment. It makes me appear to be a very growtess individual which is far from my true character. I am now on a mission to clear my name and get compensation for the intentional tort and injustice served to me. Tera Shain, the alleged victim told a horrible lie just to keep from being punished by her parents for not staying at her aunt’s house like she was suppose to.

    This injustice is the reason that I can’t gain full employment with all my education and work experience. It also causes me to get denied housing once renters find out that I’m on this sex offender registry. I have a child that I can’t provide for. I spent time in prison for a crime that I did not commit. I want my case to be reviewed because my age and misunderstanding of the plea agreement that I signed was strongly influenced by my inability to interpret the conviction. I believe that it is just the same as being under the influence of a drug or alcohol at the time of the plea agreement. I have had my civil rights restored, but it is ineffective when I can’t work or live in communities that see me as a registered sex offender.

    Any questions call me at 502.365.6244 or email: oam@insightbb.com

    Sincerely,

    Omawale Muhammad

  8. Ken Says:

    “There is no other crime in which the victim is routinely accused of soliciting it.”

    As a former prosecutor and current defense attorney (and, to out my bias, an online friend of Mike), I would assert that this is simply not an accurate characterization of criminal law and how it is practiced.

    Assault and battery commonly involve the defense of self-defense — that the putative victim started the fight and that the defendant was just responding. Moreover, the defense of entrapment — oft used in drug stings, but also elsewhere — is premised on the accusation that the “victim” (here, the state) solicited the crime. Fraud cases are frequently defended by asserting that the putative victim was a willing and knowing participant in the fraud, and that there was therefore no reasonable reliance on a false statement (an element of most fraud charges).

    And those are just off the top of my head.

    I don’t agree with many of Mike’s comments about feminists (in part because I think that’s a label that is so vague to be worthless). But I will say that in discussions of rape, I am disturbed by the proposition advanced by some self-described feminists that there are some categories of crime where the accusation can be presumed to have inherent reliability (of one degree or another). That’s anathema to our system of justice.

    Also, some segments of the self-described feminist community acted like abhorrent pro-totalitarian thugs over the Duke affair, aping every they-must-be-guilty-of-something language of the “law and order” crowd and resorting to the Orwellian “the accusations are ‘true’ in a ‘larger’ sense.”

  9. Ryan Says:

    why would ‘yes means yes’ work appreciably better in the mugging case, as you describe it, Paul?

    Paul, your mugging analogy doesn’t work for one principal reason. The mugger, in attempting to steal your wallet, engages in behavior that implies a willingness to physically harm you if you do not comply. The very nature of the act implies it. An overly amorous male does not plausibly imply a similar willingness to physically harm you if you put up resistance. The nature of such acts rarely plausibly suggest that you are at risk if you simply refuse to go along. A more analogous case is if a guy already has shown some willingness to use physical force already, or as yanked off your shirt apropos nothing.
    But in the sorts of cases we are talking about, that isn’t really what happens, a guy who is making out with a girl and tries to take off her pants isn’t marking himself as a dangerous man who operates outside the law and a girl in that situation should be expected to resist if she doesn’t like what is happening. Men attempting to move things towards sex is, like it or not, largely conventionally acceptable and not a sign of willingness to engage in further deviancy or act against expressed non-consent or simple disengagement.

    Maybe at some point in the near future it will become so abnormal a behavior that anyone who engages in it marks himself as a dangerous deviant. But if it isn’t that way in the among the upscale liberals in the urban centers right now, it definitely won’t be that way in the heartland.

  10. Ryan Says:

    for ‘a long while’

  11. Paul Gowder Says:

    Ryan, the fear of physical force is at the heart of a lot of date rape cases. Think of the much larger physically dominant male who just overrides the reluctance of the person he wants to fuck. And consider the analogous scenario laid out in my response to Hux, in which the mugger doesn’t make any threats, display any weapons, etc., but just uses a menacing physical presence to get what he wants.

    (Mike, I would be curious to see that case file.)

  12. Ryan Says:

    Right, the fear of physical force does lie at the heart of a lot of date rape cases. But people shouldn’t be thrown in jail dued to the paranoia of others.

    Consider this case: a black guy comes up to you on the street and asks you for money, you freak out because he is black and hand over your wallet. He is a little puzzled but needs the cash so takes it, you run to the police and say you have been mugged and he gets thrown in jail because of your irrational fear of blacks. Let’s even assume that there is some physical basis for your fear; you’re no athlete and fellow is young, lean and muscular. Still, he ought not be thrown in jail for your fear.

    In the mugging scenario you laid out to Hux the mere demand for your wallet is enough to signify that it is likely enough; it is of the nature of the act to imply that this person is a deviant and potentially dangerous. Not so with trying to take off someone’s pants without expressed permission, as I tried to explain above.

  13. Mike Says:

    Well, here’s a prominent feminst blogging saying: Even when it’s a false rape claim, we shouldn’t care about the male victims of the false accusation. Yes, really:
    http://www.feministing.com/archives/017809.html (“We should be asking why a woman is saying she was raped and then recanting.”)

    LOL.

    Some guys spend a few nights in jail. Who cares?!

  14. jemand Says:

    wow these comments are pretty disgusting.

  15. Jess Says:

    Mike, is the article you’re linking the one you mean? I just can’t read it the same.
    “Even when it’s a false rape claim, we shouldn’t care about the male victims of the false accusation.” Not what she said. She did, however, say:
    “And we can agree that, like rape, rape accusations are a problem.”

    “We should be asking *why* a woman is saying she was raped and then recanting.” Taken totally out of context, this looks pretty damning. But the gist of that article is simply “we don’t know what really happened, so as bystanders, perhaps we should question the social dynamics of our world, rather than point fingers and make accusations from our armchairs.” Framed by that, I think the piece you quoted is a pretty valid question. Why, indeed, would someone do that? Can we do anything to change the situation (thereby improving the lives of women AND men)?

  16. Ryan Says:

    Jess, Mike is right. Agnosticism regarding someone’s guilt in the face of clear evidence for is an insult to the crime’s victim.
    What if someone admits to raping another person? Is your first response ‘jeeze i don’t really know what happened, let’s try to figure out why he is saying this?’ Obviously there is a time for circumspect analysis of the situation, but if anyone has this airy agnosticism towards rape admissions they would be accused of implicitly blaming the victim.

    Similarly, when you adopt an agnostic attitude in the face of an admission of false rape accusation you open yourself up to that charge. Quite justifiably i might add.

  17. Wads Says:

    ” It’s not because the criminal process is so much more biased against the accused in rape cases than in any other case.”
    Let me explain something. There is idea thanks to feminist lies that women do not lie and do not commit crimes. That is why whenever man is accused of rape HE IS GUILTY in the eyes of society. There was quite a few cases where woman accuses man of rape, police does their job and finds out man is innocent or court finds that man is innocent, then that man is killed by bunch of white knights “because women do not lie”. That doesn’t happen to thieves. Even person accused of murder if found innocent is mostly left alone by society.
    Other problem that requires no explanation is that falsely accusing woman is not punished. There were cases where same woman kept on accusing same man over and over again without any problem.

    Yes I know, late to the party by what… 3 years? And this problem still stands. Where I live it even got worse.

  18. What is rape culture, and why does it exclude men? | Chey's Pick 'n Mix Says:

    [...] See also the reams of female victim-blaming rape myths. A woman can be at fault if: she is not a virgin/has a “sexual history”, or has had one night stands before; if she walks home accompanied, unaccompanied, too late at night, too early in the morning, on a quiet street, whilst talking on a mobile phone, whilst not in possession of a mobile phone; whilst wearing something ‘provocative’; if she delays reporting or accuses too quickly; if she was drinking; if she had flirted/frowned at/talked to/ignored her rapist; if she is considered promiscuous irrespective of the truth in it; if she was sleeping in the same room/tent/dorm/bed as him; if she “led him on” by e.g. kissing him, or smiling, or “that look we all know”; if she has been assaulted before because she should know better, and I kid you not IF THERE WAS NO SIGN OF STRUGGLE, OR SHE DELAYS REPORTING, SHE IS PROBABLY LYING. There is also a significant paucity of rape cases that lead to conviction because of bias towards male perpetrators. [...]

  19. John Says:

    OK Paul, I have seen some very serious flaws in the argument you are putting forward, so I will go through them all one by one.

    1. “Self-evidential truths that sexual violence is extremely frequent.” OK, just as a mini disclaimer, I am aware of the cost of sexual violence since a female friend of mine was assaulted in university. She didn’t disclose me the details, but frankly I didn’t want to know. However, if you make a claim like that, provide the figures to back you up because if I hear a big statement like that, I want to see some evidence, no matter what it is. For example, I will say that the “all-men-are-rapists” statement is bullshit and the evidence is that according to Harvard, in 1987, documents about a study into repeated sexual offenders showed that after confidential interviews with convicted rapists, 126 of them admitted to 907 attacks against 882 victims. There sir, is your evidence.

    2. “they claim that just because some women falsely accuse men of rape, there’s some deep level oppression of men going on.” I don’t see the word ‘oppression’ being used by anyone but you.

    3. “Why is rape so special?” I am genuinely surprised and puzzled that you would ever even think to say something like this, almost akin to asking a woman “why are is fear of rape special to you?” If it is a special kind of violence (which it is), then the sentencing and treatment by society is equally special. To quote Ewan Mcgregor in the 1996 movie ‘Trainspotting’, “You know what they do to guys like these inside? They cut your balls off and flush them down the fucking toilet.

    4. ” the criminal process is so much more biased against the accused in rape cases than in any other case. This is a suggestion that I often hear but there is very little reason to believe it.” I wish to point out to you that anyone accused of rape will have their name paraded around in the media, particularly in newspaper articles, whether they are found guilty or not, often before they are even charged. In my country, a recent suggestion to protect anonymity was shouted down, so no. There is not “very little reason to believe it. There is a LOT of reason to believe it. Again, when making statements, EVIDENCE please.

    5. “Rape victim advocates have just as persuasive a case for it being the other way round.” In other words, I should not trust them at face value? And if it is the other way round, it is probably because of false accusations I’m afraid (but I’ll deal with this point later).

    6. “How many mugging victims get told ‘you were flashing around that bling. You were asking for it.’?” Actually you’d be surprised. The daughter of UK show hosts Richard & Judy had her phone stolen in London a few years ago, and got little sympathy for advertising it’s existence. There is a wealth of difference between people deserving something horrible happening to them, and people’s mistakes turning them into victims even at the cost of their own lives. It is immoral to victim blame, not to suggest that vulnerable people take precautions.

    7. “Dramatically lower conviction rate for rape than for other crimes which shouldn’t happen unless false accusations are insanely huge.” This is mere speculation, and given that the patronising ideal of female purity in society is still pretty strong (i.e a woman won’t ever commit a violent crime except in self-defence or that female paedophiles are having “affairs” with young boys who enjoy it therefore not paedophilia – all stupid ideals) and the police sometimes throw out the case because the victim “lacks credibility”, Well, there you go. There is your answer. If a rape case is thrown out because of lack of credibility, it won’t be because the police want to support rapists in a “rape culture” (which doesn’t exist but that’s another story), it’ll be because the victim hasn’t either given them enough to go on (and without enough to go on, the police risk arresting people for crimes they haven’t committed), or that the victim is blatantly lying (such as if the accusation was made days, weeks or even months later, no evidence of a struggle, or that the attacker was invited to the victim’s house or vice versa and the victim willingly went),

    8. “What’s so special about rape? Why is Mike more afraid of a woman accusing him of raping her rather than stealing her wallet?” We’ll, try asking any prison guard what happens with convicted rapists in prisons. Try pretending to be someone convicted of rape among a group of people and see how they react. Or with Stetson Johnson, an 18 year old from Oklahoma who was falsely accused, and then attacked by a group of two men and a woman, beaten, tortured, and forcibly tattooed with the word “rapest” on his face. (So much for so-called sexist male paranoia.) Try finding an antihero in a story who is a petty criminal? Easy. Find one who is a former rapist? Not as common for some reason. I think that Mike is concerned because of reasons like this. Again, the “what’s so special about rape?” We’ll, because it is rape. far more serious than stealing a wallet.

    9. Salience bias? And what aboutery? For the purposes of my argument, I don’t care about that other case (DISCLAIMER: No I do NOT say that I don’t care that a girl killed herself, but that I don’t care about this case in the context of the argument.

    10. “Threatened male privilege.” So Paul, the right to justice is mere male privilege? The argument you put forward here tacitly condones false accusations as a way of hitting back at so-called “patriarchy”. Even I’d you didn’t intend this, you are still condoning it.

    This is NOT a matter of protecting privilege, but of at a basic level, morality. False accusers do not do it to fight back against oppression, and it is quite disgusting to suggest so. Like I said, Paul, even if you don’t intend to tacitly defend such vile behaviour, you come across that way.

    Even if it were the case, this’d be on the same moral low as victims of politicl oppression setting bombs in market squares to kill children to “hit back” as their oppressors real or otherwise. To defend false accusers on these grounds (or bombers for that matter) makes one just as immoral as them.

    11. “I’d like to call my fellow men to just get off it. You don’t live oppressed by fear of false accusations and you know it.” Paul, I don’t know whether you understand this, but false accusation, no matter how frequent, is a problem for two reasons.

    Firstly, the obvious. Conviction of rape is a special kind of conviction, and even if the man is found innocent, his innocence will not be pointed out on his record, people will still speculate that he is guilty.

    Second, the reality of the unforgiving world we live in is that false accusations ruin the credibility of victims, who will be accused of crying wolf. It’s no good sticking your fingers in your ears and pretending that it doesn’t happen, Paul, because it is a problem whether you like it or not.

    It’d be far more constructive for feminists to fight false accusers almost as much as rapists, because not doing so does both sides a disservice. I’m shocked that a (supposedly) intelligent man like you fails to understand this.

    12. “If you’re genuinely afraid of false accusation, you’re fucking the wrong women.” This is akin to the “you were asking for it” argument. It shows no empathy to its intended audience (so why should they listen?), you use the same argument that those who tell rape victims they deserved to be raped use (the hypocrisy here is eye-wateringly blatant), and like I said earlier, you sweep the whole argument under the rug and suggest that we pretend it’s not there.

    I am going to sound heartless here again Paul, and tell you that for the purposes of this argument, I don’ see the number of your friends who have been raped as relevant. As I stated earlier on, I had a friend who was assaulted, so I sympathise, and my heart actually goes out to anyone who has been raped but unfortunately you are letting your heart rule your head, and I don’t care about numbers here. I don’t doubt that most women are not false accusers, but neither do I doubt that most men are not rapists (to think otherwise is hypocrisy).

    False accusations are a problem because – as I have said before – they not only threaten the innocent, they threaten the credibility of victims. Feminists routinely pretend the problem doesn’t exist, and then accuse anyone who points it out of being a “misogynist” which is nonsense. Furthermore, it’s rather damning of the feminist community that one of its bloggers (Kyle Payne) was convicted of sexual assault in 2007, Sandra Bernhardt (whether intended or not) condoned the rape of Sarah Palin (who was under constant misogynistic abuse that went unnoticed by feminists due to her politics), and of course, Hugo Schwyzer was responsible for some despicable behaviour.

    I am sorry this is so long winded, Paul, but I had to be thorough. I won’t reply if you simply accuse me of misogyny, or of you call me a “retard” or make some other response that is just meant to insult me. I hope you are not offended too much by what I have to say.

    Thank you

    John

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