False Allegation Worse Than Rape?

Wes Raine:

Rape is a truly terrible act. There is not much worse than rape, but this article details something that might be. An unnamed fifteen year old girl reported to police that a Connecticut cab driver tried to rape her but she escaped.

This man’s acknowledgement that rape is a terrible act is undermined by the facts of the false rape case (that might be worse than rape) as reported by WFSB:

“The reason she ran off was she didn’t want to pay the cab fare,” Moscato said. “But on the other side, here’s an officer and you see someone running, screaming. We have to act quickly, because (what if) we have someone who is a predator out there?”

The incident happened on May 8 and the charges were dropped on Tuesday May 23. Despite the rhetoric being tossed out by those who think most accused rapists are the real victims, this case highlights that law enforcement doesn’t blindly take the accuser’s word as fact.

As someone who has been raped (more than once) and falsely accused of a crime (only one time) both were highly stressful, but being raped was the far greater violation. People who try to put false allegations (including all allegations where the person charged claimed it was consensual and which couldn’t be proved or disproved) on the same level as acknowledged rapes are in fact trying to minimize the crime of rape.

In a comment on my post about the women’s Duke lacrosse team’s plan to wear bracelets that say innocent, crossposted on Alas, Nyk writes:

I’m sorry, but being a woman [rape victim] does not give you a special right not to face peer pressure. If you have to stand up for what’s right, you have to do it, man or woman, and if you don’t do it, you are personally at fault for that. Not anyone else. You. This is a lesson I learned in a very difficult way, but in the end, it is still true. Those who desire a perfectly “fair” world are destined for unhappiness, because life is not fair even at its best, let alone at its worst.

What I find so interesting about this comment is:

1) Women rape victims are at fault if they crumple when besieged by pressure from their peers, with no distinction between true peer pressure and illegal attempts to subvert justice. It assumes that rape is not traumatic enough to interfere with resisting whatever your peers throw at you. Any weakness is the victim’s fault and not a consequence of the trauma of rape.

2) I’ve seen no similar commands directed at those who say they have been falsely accused of rape. None of the personal responsibility crowd is telling them that they should stop expecting life to be “fair” and that if they can’t handle being seen as possible rapists, it’s their own fault. Those who refuse to believe certain rape charges instead paint the alleged rapists as tragic heroes victimized by unfair justice systems and evil women. They’ve looked into these men’s hearts and know they would never commit rape. Any evidence against them must be false.

3) It is extremely pessimistic. It also ignores the fact that only the most privileged always expect to get what’s perfectly fair. I’ve found that those who have been spoiled with “perfect fairness” have the most trouble when they end up on the wrong side of the fairness/unfairness scale. And if they can’t have perfect fairness, nobody else should expect fairness, not even rape victims.

Many of those who support alleged rapists skip “not fair” or “peer pressure” and go right to “witch hunt” or “lynch mob.” Since both of those latter phrases describe actions where people get murdered, alleged rapists are to be seen as potentially greater victims than women who are raped.

I guess it’s my problem that I don’t accept this unquestionable truth.

Also posted on my blog, http://abyss2hope.blogspot.com

This entry posted in Anti-feminists and their pals, Feminism, sexism, etc, Rape, intimate violence, & related issues. Bookmark the permalink. 

99 Responses to False Allegation Worse Than Rape?

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  7. 7
    Robert says:

    2) I’ve seen no similar commands directed at those who say they have been falsely accused of rape. None of the personal responsibility crowd is telling them that they should stop expecting life to be “fair” and that if they can’t handle being seen as possible rapists, it’s their own fault.

    Cough.

    Personal responsibility for everyone!

  8. 8
    AlieraKieron says:

    Aww, I hate it when this happens… Robert has a point. An awful lot of right wingers who think that the Duke accuser is lying have also said that the boys being charged wouldn’t be in this mess if they hadn’t had a huge drinking bash with strippers, Ann Coulter included. *shudder*

    And I have to point out that being charged with leaving the scene of an accident and being suspected of, much less charged with rape are two radically different things. I was a victim of rape, and watched a friend go through a false suspicion (even the victim knew he wasn’t the one who attacked her, but he had been seen on her property previous to the assault and the cops had him pinned as the prime suspect for several weeks). Was what he went through as bad as what I went through? No. But it was absolute hell for him, and he wasn’t charged or publically named. If he had been, what he suffered would, in fact, have been worse than what I went through.

    Either way, playing the suffering game doesn’t help anyone. Don’t attack the notion that those who are wrongly charged suffer less than rape victims. Attack the notion that false accusations are common (since we know they’re not), that women lie about it “all the time”, that rape isn’t a serious crime, and I’m on board all the way.

  9. 9
    Adam says:

    As a man who has never been raped or accused of rape, I think that being raped would be much worse than being falsely called a rapist. But I would rather be raped othan incarcerated for years in an environment where rape is routine.

    Rape is (I hope) treated more seriously than the traffic infraction you were accused of, and most people falsely accused of crimes aren’t able to get the case dismissed at the first court appearance.

    I was once falsely accused of another serious crime. The judge eventually ordered the jury to return a Not Guilty verdict, but only after six separate pre-trial court appearances spanning most of a year. Compared to other defendants facing similar charges, I was very lucky, in that I could afford lawyers and I was released on bail the morning after I was arrested.

    The worst part of it was the constant fear of being raped in prison. Police and prosecutors aren’t shy about using the threat of prison rape as a way to make people agree to plea bargains.

  10. 10
    B says:

    But how common is prison rape really? I don’t know much of the US prison system (except that it is bad) but I really find it difficult to believe that it isn’t even more a myth than the rape by mysterious stranger.

    Maybe someone else know the truth of the prevalence of prison rape?

  11. 11
    Nathaniel says:

    The crime you were charged with was not even in the same cosmos as being accused of rape or child molestation. Nobody cares about normal crimes aside from the people involved. People aren’t regularly chased out of their homes, assaulted, had their family stalked and harassed daily because they were involved in a car accident. Sex crimes allegations don’t just mean you lose your job, they mean you lose your life, and any possibility to fairly start a new one. Fifty years after the fact, there will be neighbors and employers looking up the details of the allegations on Google, and wondering if they should let you near their families. Better to be safe than sorry.

    those who think most accused rapists are the real victims

    Um, isn’t it possible they think actual rape victims AND flasely accused rapists are BOTH victims? I didn’t realize this was a zero-sum game in which only one sex was capable of being wronged.

    Please don’t belittle people who have had their lives turned upside-down due to false accusations — it doesn’t make rape any more or less heinous, all it does is make you look callous about collateral damage, and we all know how well that wins hearts and minds on the battlefield.

    False allegations of rape don’t just hurt the accused, they hurt genuine rape victims who are that much less likely to be believed by the police or the jury, or even to report the crime.

  12. 12
    Robert says:

    B, prison rape is notoriously difficult to pin down because of the reluctance of so many inmates to report it. Human Rights Watch did a survey and report on the topic. One pair of numbers from their report is that 21% of inmates report pressured or forced sexual contact, and 7% report outright forcible rape.

    It seems to me from reading the reports that being a man in prison is akin to being a woman in general society; rape is not an omnipresent daily occurrence, but it’s definitely something real and worrisome.

  13. 13
    Rachel S. says:

    First of all I strongly agree with your points 1-3, and I want to reiterate that I think false allegations are rare. It seems to me that there are really several different types of false allegations with differing degrees of consequence for the accused. One type would be the false accusation that never has any legal ramifications because the false accuser never comes forward to the authorities. Another type would be one the goes to the authorities but never makes it to trial. The worst kind of false allegations would be the ones where the person is actually convicted. So the further something goes through the judicial process the more difficult it would be for the accused (falsely or not). (And also for the accuser.)

    However, this also ignores the fact that there are false allegations where there was very clearly a rape, but the police and or the victim identify the wrong person as the accuser. I think this is almost always unintentional and is probably the most common type of “false allegation.” The Central Park jogger case is an example of that. In that case I think it is fruitless to argue who was more injured the women who was raped and beaten or the young men who were incarcerated for 10 years. The damage was pretty serious to both.

  14. 14
    Abyss2hope says:

    Adam:

    Rape is (I hope) treated more seriously than the traffic infraction you were accused of, and most people falsely accused of crimes aren’t able to get the case dismissed at the first court appearance.

    The taxi driver who supposedly suffered a fate worse than rape was cleared much quicker than I was and with no lingering suspicion. With the attitudes at the time I was charged, the prosecutor would NOT have taken a rape case like mine more seriously than he took the flimsy case against me.

    Unfortunately, as the Duke rape case shows, many people still don’t treat rape as a serious crime and feel they have the right to publish the alleged victim’s name and address for all to see as if she belongs on the sex offender registry.

  15. 15
    Abyss2hope says:

    Robert, your examples of what not to do if you don’t want to be accused of rape are not parallel to the order that rape victims shouldn’t expect life to be fair and and therefore shouldn’t complain about hostile peer pressure and harrassment with the intent to protect the guilty.

  16. 16
    Abyss2hope says:

    AlieraKieron:

    Either way, playing the suffering game doesn’t help anyone.

    But that’s exactly what many of those who are quick to attack alleged rape victims are doing. They frequently give alleged rapists 50/50 odds of being the victim to make the suffering of men at least even with the suffering of rape victims. Add to that the reminder that the falsely accused can serve long prison sentences, the scales of suffering shift in favor of the men. Then further add in the statement that a fair number of these falsely accused men will themselves be raped.

    Now add in witch hunt and lynch mobs and you’ve got a clear implication that rape in America causes far more suffering in men than in women. Most who get into this suffering fest have neither been raped nor falsely accused of any crime, yet they feel they have the right to speak about both with absolute authority.

  17. 17
    Kim (basement variety!) says:

    My feeling on this one is that because rape is such a horrible thing, and most men are aware of this on an internal if not external level that some less than honorable men who want to shirk the responsiblity of rapist mindsets being a mostly male oriented problem. Thus comes the need for a great equalizer – as long as these men can say ‘well look, yes rape is bad but we’ve got it just as bad in this context’ is an attempt to disempower or hide from the issue.

    It’s sad really, and while it needs to be responded to for no other reason than to debunk it, I can’t help but feel pity for the sad, insecure and ultimately hateful people that attempt to press this opinion as even being remotely legitimate or equivalent.

  18. 18
    Abyss2hope says:

    Since I said that Robert’s post (linked in comment #1) isn’t comparable to telling rape victims that it is their fault if they can’t overcome external pressure, I thought I’d spell it out in more detail.

    To be comparable, someone would need to say that any time an innocent man pleads guilty or no-contest in a plea deal rather than going to trial it would be that man’s fault. Not anyone else’s.

    In Kathleen Parker’s Prison, Sex & Lies, an equivalent would be if she told Mr. Gorman that he was personally at fault for giving in to pressure to sign an agreement that prohibits an appeal of his sentence.

  19. 19
    Ed says:

    The taxi driver, if I am not mistaken, was accused of attempted rape, not rape. He was accused so a young girl could get out of a few dollars worth of a taxi bill. I think what is being compared to rape is a full blown accusation leading to public naming at a minimum all the way to incarceration. Would you rather be raped or incarcerated for 1, 10, or 20 years. Maybe I am a freak but I will take a rape, ESPECIALLY the I am too drunk to remember kind, over giving up years of my life. No hesitation, no second thoughts.

    I think one thing being overlooked in that particular incident is that it says some women and girls ARE willing to use false allegations for petty and selfish reasons. I have often seen and heard arguments against how common false accusations are that say there is not enough of, or there is no reward for, the false allegation. I don’t know how much she owed but if 50$ or so is enough of a reason to cry rape what else could motivate a woman?

    I truly hope false accusations aren’t common. I truly hope that rape isn’t as common as it is said to be as well. I think any rational human wants suffering to be at a minimum if it is possible. I just don’t want to see lives ruined, on either side of the gender line, for something that was done to them with malice and is completely avoidable.

  20. 20
    mythago says:

    Maybe I am a freak but I will take a rape

    Uh, we were just discussing prison rape, so this is a “both/and” issue, not either-or, hm?

  21. 21
    Abyss2hope says:

    Ed:

    I think what is being compared to rape is a full blown accusation leading to public naming at a minimum all the way to incarceration.

    No, what Wes Raine said, quoted at the beginning of this post, was that what this specific taxi driver went through might be worse than rape. He didn’t serve 1, 10 or 20 years. The charges were dropped just 2 weeks and 1 day after the incident. But that might be worse than rape.

    I call that a backhand way of minimizing rape.

    I’ve never disputed that there are false allegations of rape, but this case, the Tucker Carlson case (accused by a mentally ill women he’d never met), and high profile cases where police kept working a suspect until they got a confession, fit the scenario of false rape accusations much better than a random sampling of rape cases that go to trial or even to the point of making a plea deal.

  22. 22
    Ed says:

    I have to agree fully that a few weeks of inconvenience doesn’t equal what a rape victim goes through, no contest there either… If the article is highlighting only one incident and isn’t saying false accusations in general I would say it trivialized both rape and false accusations that lead to conviction/osterization.

    As for the both/and issue, that is true to a point, though not 100% of inmates are raped. I also think that men being sodomized/anally raped is unfairly put on par with women being raped. I would say it has an entire set of complications and emotional baggage that a straight woman raped by a man doesn’t deal with on top of the normal fear and feelings of being violated.

  23. 23
    Kim (basement variety!) says:

    Err, Ed, rape is rape. To imply that it’s less offensive to be raped according to sexual preference or against it again fails to acknowledge rape as being anything other than the violent invasion of one person upon another.

  24. 24
    anon says:

    don’t know if my posts will be deleted or not as has happened in some other threads when trying to speak up – but here goes again!!

    also i am not sure if any folks in here are watching the NZ Police Rape cases etc

    but thought some here may be interested in the following -

    QUOTE
    Victoria University criminologist Jan Jordan said doubting attitudes of officers dealing with women reporting rape complaints were a factor.

    Dr Jordan said a culture of disbelief ran through the police, tainting how they dealt with complaints.

    Officers trained as sexual assault investigators had told her that they believed up to 80 per cent of rape complaints made to police were false.

    UNQUOTE

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,3683720a11,00.html

    i.e. specialists believing 80 percent false!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  25. 25
    Ed says:

    Kim,

    I am not arguing that rape is not intrusive. I am saying that anal rape is more violent and physically dangerous/damaging. It also seems to me that being raped in such a way as to start wandering about your own sexuality… why did they pick me, do I look gay, did i like it, does being raped by a man make me gay, do people think I am gay… Those are questions NOT faced by hetero women raped by men. I know it is not PC to say, but most men are not and do not want to be perceived as gay. That is not to belittle the psychological pain women DO have to go through. I am just saying that it is a set of problems and psychological conflicts on top of all the other pain and trauma.

  26. 26
    anon says:

    just in case folks are wondering why I posted the link and quote in # 18- this is just imho another example of another reason which tells me tis still best to essentially keep silent about my story – in order to stay SAFE -

    plus simply keeping children also safe means that sadly that they also witness their police and many welfare systems over here doing sweet FA sometimes sadly :(

  27. 27
    soopermouse says:

    anon, I agree

    I have been raped recently, and posted about this at my blog. It was stranger rape, and the Police treated me in a manner that decided me to not press charges. The attitude of the Police officer that was supposed to support me ahs made things unbearable for me. Amongst otehr things, she withheld any mental health specialist help from me… and some otehr things.

  28. 28
    nik says:

    I just want to clarify that the post over at “women’s Duke lacrosse team” was made by someone called Nyk, not me.

  29. 29
    Spicy says:

    I am saying that anal rape is more violent and physically dangerous/damaging.

    Leaving aside for the moment whether this is, in fact, true, this assumes that men always rape women vaginally. In many instances, women are raped vaginally, orally and anally.

    It also seems to me that being raped in such a way as to start wandering about your own sexuality…

    Plenty of women who are raped find themselves subsequently questioning their sexuality.

  30. 30
    Antigone says:

    I am not arguing that rape is not intrusive. I am saying that anal rape is more violent and physically dangerous/damaging. It also seems to me that being raped in such a way as to start wandering about your own sexuality… why did they pick me, do I look gay, did i like it, does being raped by a man make me gay, do people think I am gay… Those are questions NOT faced by hetero women raped by men. I know it is not PC to say, but most men are not and do not want to be perceived as gay. That is not to belittle the psychological pain women DO have to go through. I am just saying that it is a set of problems and psychological conflicts on top of all the other pain and trauma.

    This ignores a) that women get anally raped as well b) assumes women who get raped don’t start wondering about their sexuality (if it’s het rape, they might start wondering if they are homosexual, or if they even want to be sexual).

    Wondering about your sexuality shouldn’t be emotionally damaging. The fact that guys are socialized to be so homophobic is sad, but honestly I don’t see how you can say that suffering cognotive dissonance is worse than getting raped. Men getting raped is just as bad as women getting raped. This isn’t something that’s worse or better on an individual level.

  31. 31
    Abyss2hope says:

    Nik:

    I just want to clarify that the post over at “women’s Duke lacrosse team” was made by someone called Nyk, not me.

    Sorry about that. I’ve corrected it in both Alas and my blog.

  32. 32
    D says:

    It’s disturbing to see someone putting forth claims that their fantasy of being raped is worse than actual rapes that people have suffered. It belittles those here that have suffered by saying you could have it worse.

    To the initial topic, worst case to worst case I would still say being falsely accused of rape is worse than being raped. After all, women who have been raped and come forward have been harassed, assaulted and even killed for it. Not necessarily any different than what a man may suffer if he is accused of raping someone. The reality of every situation however is not the worst case. Being raped in and of itself is quite horrible regardless of any direct or indirect consequences of the attack. Being falsely accused of rape however, while potentially resulting in many rather unfortunate circumstances, is in and of itself rather mild. Then to compare the frequency; everyone has their own take on how frequent false rape charges occur, but actual occurrences of rape are perhaps a bit less debatable. We have at best (worst?) a small number of people simply charged falsely compared to a very large number of people who have been raped. Take that further to people falsely charged that then face trail, that then are found guilty; the number gets smaller and smaller. And for every one of those, how many victims of rape have to then go through public trial themselves to seek justice?

  33. 33
    nik says:

    Abyss – that’s okay, it’s an easy mistake to have made. I appreciate the correction.

    I can’t help but think that everyone talking about which of rape or a false allegation of rape is worse is focusing too much on the consequences of the act. But doesn’t whether something is morally wrong depend not on the consequences of what you do, but on your intent when you do it? I can’t help but feel that most rapists do what they do out of a desire to violate and hurt someone; while most false accusers do what they do as a way to get out of an inenviable situation they’ve been placed in, or because of psychological problems and a desire for sympathy.

    Rape is far worse than a false allegation simply because it’s motivated by pure unadulterated malice. That doesn’t really seem to be the case for false allegations.

  34. 34
    Sarah says:

    I can see why police would assume that a large number of rape accusations are false, a simple analogy if you will:

    A small town (Town) has 4 rapes and 4 false accusations, 75% (3/4) rapes are not reported to the police, meaning that the reported rapes are now 1-4, so 20% are actual rapes. Now if we assume that 4x as many rapes happen as false accusations at the same level of non reporting we have: 4(16) – 4 rapes to false accusations, still a 50% chance of a report being false. To get down to say a 20% chance of a rape accusation being false we need 64 actual rapes to occur to get the 16 reported compared to the 4 false accusations. Now we have agreed than a man is basically exponentially more likely to rape a woman than a woman is to make a false report which can seem rather hard to believe.

    A rape allegation is a very harsh penalty, but saying that in no way diminishes the penalty of being raped, we are not limited to a set amount of “pain” to spread around. In my opinion I would keep all of the records sealed for all crimes until sentencing, to do otherwise means that false accusations do have a power that they otherwise wouldn’t.

    In this particular case I think the book should be thrown at that girl (literally and figuratively) because there is no excuse for crying rape over this, my heart goes out to the Taxi driver.

  35. 35
    Q Grrl says:

    I can’t divorce rape from all the dimensions that it is experienced on. Ed, you are focusingprimarily on the legal/physical dimensions of rape and imprisonment via false accusations. That, to me, seems like a precarious line to walk. Rape, as experienced by the majority of women (not just those women who are physically raped) is one of the most effective and widely used tools in socializing women and their public and private behaviors. Men, on the other hand, are not socialized via the threat of false accusations. In fact, most men are socialized, specifically sexually socialized, to believe in a certain right-to-access of women’s bodies. I don’t believe that you can concomittently socialize men to fear false accusations of rape and also socialize them to be dominant and sexually aggressive.

    I don’t have to fear randomly being thrown in jail for something I didn’t do. It is statistically such a small probability that it makes no sense to expend emotional or intellectual energy worrying about it. It is such an insignificant problem that I don’t have to put checks and balances on my everyday routines and personal choices.

    Rape is another story. I am both told and repeatedly shown (by men) that male on female rape is prevalent, hard to prove, and happens regardless of what a woman does to avoid it. Rape, as a social entity, shapes my daily choices, so that on the off chance I *do* get raped, I might have a better legal leg to stand on. Does that seem over-the-top to you? It does to me. I hate having to spend this much energy on trying to figure out which men will and which men won’t rape or attempt to rape me or any other woman. And the freaky thing is, I spend so much energy doing this that it becomes an intrinsic and rather background action on my part — it’s like being on permanent fight or flight, but set on a deep internal level.

    I seriously doubt that men go around with a similar psychic load due to the threat of false rape allegations. If they did, I would wager that they would be more actively committed to dismantling our rape culture.

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  37. 36
    Ed says:

    Again, I am not trying to minimize the trauma of rape. As for women being anally and orally raped, no doubt, and it is more phyically tramatic for them when that happens as well. Unfortunately for men it is the only option. (To clarify a small point, I am relatively certain that by federal law it is impossible to “RAPE” a man since it is defined as vaginal penetration. I am sure state laws vary.)

    Antigone, you said “but honestly I don’t see how you can say that suffering cognotive dissonance is worse than getting raped” I didn’t say it was, I said that it was an additional mental trauma. If you are going to argue that the mental anguish of being a rape victim is minimal or unimportant…and remember I am not saying this…then what are all these rape victims complaining about? If the mental part of it isnt important, then it is no worse than a minor assault in most cases.

    As for homophobia, how is one mental state of mind any less natural or acceptable than another. Some people feel they are naturally homosexual. Some people believe that it is unnatural, wrong, and disgusting. I would say the vast majority of men, and this is from personal experience so I dont have any numbers or studies to quote, don’t give 2 hoots if someone else is gay. They do, however, NOT want to be gay or viewed as gay. Is there a problem with a man wanting to feel manly or have we gotten to a point in society that it is unnacceptable?

    Q grrl, please tell me an example of a rape that is not a physical rape? I am sorry but stretching the word rape to cover a multitude of things much less traumatic seems like the quickest and easiest way to devalue the word. I also think you underestimate the impact rape allegations, stories and false allegations have affected the way men socialize with women. I think that the constant warnings, advertisements, threats, and guilt trips have a huge effect on how men view themselves and safe situations. Any man who has to sit there and think to himself…”did I rape a girl” because of the shift in the way the word is defined is a victim of another kind. There is no way to prove true intent, no way to legislate or legalize based on it, but it has an impact on individual behaviors. Don’t you recall when you were a child and a parent or teacher accused you of something you didn’t do…or said you did something intentionally when it truly was an accident? Do you not recall the guilt, shame, and hate you felt toward yourself, toward them, toward the true culprit. To say such things don’t “socialize” a man is to dehumanize him. I think you will find many men check for consent in physical situations so often as to be annoying and even “kill the mood”. I would say that was socialized into them.

    Sorry this one is so long, I haven’t even read the threads this discussion spawned yet.

  38. 37
    Kim (basement variety!) says:

    As for women being anally and orally raped, no doubt, and it is more phyically tramatic for them when that happens as well. Unfortunately for men it is the only option.

    I’m sorry Ed, but that is pure conjecture and beyond that, ridiculous and offensive conjecture.

  39. 38
    Ampersand says:

    Lots of men voluntarily get fucked in their anus. Not just gay men, but also straight men whose girlfriends fuck them in their anus. They do it because it feels wonderful – for them – to be fucked in the anus. There is nothing about anal sex that is inherently physically traumatic.

    To say that anal rape is inherently worse than vaginal rape or oral rape (as if oral rape was something that only happens to women) is a particularly tasteless example of “the grass is always greener…” psychology.

    Yes, there are things that male rape victims deal with that female rape victims don’t. But the reverse is also true. There is no way of saying which one is worse.

    No one here is claiming that a female rape victim suffers more than a male rape victim, Ed. You’re the only one, absolutely the only one, who is insisting on playing the “bigger rape victim than thou” game.

    I’ve had enough of the “male rape victims have it worse than female rape victims” garbage – as if there’s any need to sit around ranking which rape victims have things worse, as if there’s any stick against which “rape trauma” can be measured. I can’t imagine a more pointless discussion.

    Now either drop the subject of which rape victims suffer more, or leave this blog.

  40. 39
    B says:

    Ed brings up the traumatic experience for men who, due to feminist discourse about rape, starts to question wether what they did was rape or not.

    Im so sorry Ed but that is exactly what I wish to achieve when I discuss rape.

    Suffice it to say that if you have to question yourself then the sex act either wasn’t mutual or was performed under threat. Far to many rapists rationalise away what they’ve done as something other than rape. For this to change from a rape culture we need to get away from this “she wasn’t a good enough goalie” to the more healthy “we were both equally active” or at least “she said she wanted me”.

  41. 40
    Heather Love says:

    Ed, you choose what you call the “I’m too drunk to remember” kind of rape over prison because you don’t want to give up years of your life. I experienced your kind of rape and I find you quite insulting.

    Do you think I haven’t given up years of my life because I had to experience the lesser of your two evils? I have spent the last 17 years of my life struggling with what happened to me the night I was too drunk to remember. The past two years have been the hardest and most painful because I am finally dealing with my rape.

    Rape is Rape. The aftermath is painful regardless of what you remember or don’t remember of the actual act. I hate to call it a life-sentence. But in a way that’s exactly what it is. It changed my life forever and will always be the undercurrent of my thoughts, feelings and beliefs.

  42. 41
    Sheelzebub says:

    Ed, there are plenty of “additional” traumas for female rape survivors. Raped women and girls are questioned over and over about their actions before, during, and after the rape. They are slut-baited. They are harassed by the rapists’ friends and associates, and oftentimes threatened. They see rape as entertainment in movies and TV (and cloaked as ‘sexy’). Their experiences are minimized by assholes who tell them that being raped while drunk and passed out (or after being slipped a roofie) isn’t nearly as bad as other things (oh! it’s bad of course :::pats little woman’s head::: but it’s not as bad as what happens to the men!). That it isn’t really rape, and expecting men to grow the fuck up and golly, check for consent is dehumanizing, and that we women find it kills the mood. Thanks for telling us silly women what we think. Really, what would we do without you big strong men around?

    Is there a problem with a man wanting to feel manly or have we gotten to a point in society that it is unnacceptable?

    Being manly means not being raped. Being womanly means–? What, that it’s normal to be raped?

    Oh, gosh. I’m sorry. I forgot, it’s all about the men. A man gets raped, and being male an additional trauma for him–since rape isn’t supposed to happen to men. Apparently, it’s supposed to happen to women, and we should just be able to handle it.

    You come across as incredibly patronizing.

  43. 42
    Kim (basement variety!) says:

    Sheelze, you express perfectly what has been troubling me about this whole conversation. The tone has been one that differentiates the rape of a man and women in a way that has this tone of when a man is raped, it’s a traumatic, horrible ordeal and when a woman is raped, frequently it’s just bad sex. It’s an unwillingness to acknowledge rape as rape, but instead constantly trying to stuff it into the ‘sex’ box, because it might resemble something that she otherwise would have done with someone bearing a physical similarity to one she’d consent with. Does that mean a gay man being raped by another man is less traumatized? Unfortunately I suspect that Ed might say that such is the case.

  44. 43
    Abyss2hope says:

    Ed:

    Any man who has to sit there and think to himself…”did I rape a girl” because of the shift in the way the word is defined is a victim of another kind.

    What?! Now some rapists are victims of their victims? A man who has to ask himself if the way he exploited a girl is considered rape is an exploiter never a victim.

    If you aren’t sure if an action is illegal, check before you take an action. If you want to lament the good old days when most men could rape without fear of punishment, you aren’t going to get any sympathy from this rape victim.

  45. 44
    Heather says:

    I see that this is an old thread, but after reading the debate here I wanted to tell you my experience with rape and anal rape. I have experienced both. I was raped anally by my boyfriend at the age of 17 and have been date-raped vaginally more than once in my life. Without a doubt, the anal rape was much more traumatic to me physically. Because anal sex is a normal act for many people, most people do not realize that if it is not done VERY slowly and gently, it can be excruciatingly painful. It feels like a charlie horse in your anus. In addition to the extreme physical pain, it is being inflicted on you intentionally by another person which makes is much worse due to the humiliation factor and the fact that you cannot make the pain stop. I did not report any of the rapes I experienced, so I cannot comment on the psychological pain of going through the so-called “justice” system. As one poster mentioned, I had been conditioned to believe that reporting my attacker would be fruitless. My self-esteem was such that it was not something I ever seriously considered anyway.

    I hope this sheds some light on anal rape vs. vaginal rape. They are both extremely painful psychologically speaking, but I would have to say that the anal rape won the pain contest for me by a long shot.

  46. 45
    djdude244 says:

    My girlfriend was anally raped by a stranger several years ago. She told me this recently. She said she never reported it out of embarassment since she met him at a bar and went to his place for more drinks. She couldn’t escape, and said it was like a knife cutting her down there. She said afterwards she just went to the store and bought feminine napkins to contain the bleeding and stayed in bed for 4 days. She says she now has a scar there and it sometimes bleeds when she goes to the bathroom and has a hard bowel movement. It broke my heart when I heard what happened to her. I can’t believe the evil that man did. She and I are not having sex and plan to wait until marriage. I think this has damaged her emotionally about sex. I care for her very much.

  47. 46
    Skanky Jane says:

    When attending a women’s health centre many years ago I noted a sign that said “Really being raped is worse than being falsely accused” or something to that effect.

    But it’s hardly the point is it? Where is this coming from? What is useful about it?

    Perhaps this statement is made because sometimes people do not remember traumatic events and may need to ‘confabulate’ in order to express thier truth. In that context I can understand the comparison.

    Ultimately though I don’t think this statement is very helpful and agree with a former poster here that a false accusation of rape and/or child sexual abuse would have to be extremely damaging – that kind of mud really sticks.

    I don’t really comprehend a ‘hierarchy of victimhood’ (Jenzo’s term) and have been quite hurt and confused by such structures in my life. Again, whether the effects of one assault are more painful or longer lasting than another is not only extremely difficult to determine (as there are so many variables to consider) it is also hardly the point? (I say this with the utmost empathy and respect for women who are rating thier own experiences against each other).

    SJ xx

  48. 47
    Abyss2hope says:

    Skanky Jane,

    This topic doesn’t come up because women want to rate their experiences of being raped, but because men and some women want to dismiss or minimize the harm (physically, emotionally, socially, etc) caused by rape. The comparison between rape victims and those wrongly accused of rape is also used as an excuse to keep rape laws and rape law enforcement as weak as possible.

  49. 48
    Skanky Jane says:

    Abyss2hope,

    Yes, I quite see your point about that.

    I brought some other issues into the thread – and comments which were not really made in response to your central statement or argument.

    The closing comment I made about women rating thier own experiences was in response to Heather’s “I would have to say that the anal rape won the pain contest for me by a long shot.” You see, I didn’t want to be misunderstood as criticising Heather.

    In my mind I was thinking of a time way back when I was attending a women’s centre (and other groups) and recalling some of the less than helpful behaviours that went on at that time. In hindsight my post here is not terribly clear or considered!

    SJ xx

  50. 49
    nick says:

    My name is Nick. I’ll cut to the chase and tell you that a friend of mine, Mike was going out with a pretty girl named Michelle. They went out for nine months and I’d never seen Mike happier. When the relationship went south, Michelle accused Mike of raping her. Mike was hurt beyond words. It was later proven that he had not raped Michelle. It did not save Mike however, although he was proven innocent the mental and emotional damage was too much. Mike left a note the day he hung himself. It simply said that he forgave Michelle and he still loved her but he could not live with people always seeming to mistrust him for a crime he did NOT commit. I apolagize to all this may offend but after Mike died, I started looking at every rape case very carefully because I do want to see anymore women vitcimized but at the same time no one should have to go through what Mike went through. He watched everyone he though might have cared for him turn on him and then after it was over he still was marked as an undesirable. This was someone who never had so much as a parking ticket all his life and he’s dead because of a false accusation. I’m not sure anymore which crime is worst. Both leave scars, pain and a sense of injustice that never goes away for the victems or their loved ones.

  51. 50
    Daran says:

    Me:

    women who have been raped*

    Oops, forgot the footnote.

    Here’s what Marcella said again:

    This topic doesn’t come up because women want to rate their experiences of being raped…

    The problem with this formulation is that it presents rape as though it were a universal experience of women. It isn’t. The majority of women are not raped, while – typically of feminists – the experience of male rape victims is ignored.

  52. 51
    Ampersand says:

    The problem with this formulation is that it presents rape as though it were a universal experience of women. It isn’t.

    No, it doesn’t present rape that way. Marcella didn’t say anything even remotely like that, nor is that a reasonable inference from what she said.

    If I write that “Jews don’t want to rate their experiences of being in concentration camps,” that doesn’t mean that I’m saying that 100% of Jews were in concentration camps. (edited to add this sentence:) Nor am I denying that Roma, Catholics, homosexuals, communists, and others were also in the camps. A much more reasonable reading is that I’m referring specifically to those jews who were in concentration camps.

    Of course, anti-semites and holocaust deniers might read it otherwise, but I shouldn’t be expected to say something as utterly obvious as “of course, less than 100% of Jews have ever been in concentration camps.”

    Finally, not all rape discussions are obligated to be about men; focusing on women is not a bad thing. I promise not to interrupt any threads you start about male rape with off-topic “what about the female rape victims” whining.

  53. 52
    Daran says:

    Ampersand:

    No, it doesn’t present rape that way. Marcella didn’t say anything even remotely like that, nor is that a reasonable inference from what she said.

    I didn’t say it was. Nor is it’s not a reasonable inference from “…men and some women want to dismiss or minimize the harm [...] caused by rape” that she thinks this true of anything other than some men, and I never claimed that she did Nevertheless it presents the issue in a prejudicial way.

    If I write that “Jews don’t want to rate their experiences of being in concentration camps,” that doesn’t mean that I’m saying that 100% of Jews were in concentration camps.

    If you formulated it that way, I would have the same objection. In addition, I would point out that almost all Jews alive today were born long after the Holocaust ended, and thus have no such experience to rate. But having said that I would also be concerned about my own presentation – that it might appear that I was minimising the direct impact it still has on the small number of survivors alive today, or that I was denying or minimising its impact on today’s Jews’ sense of cultural identity. So I would be very keen to acknowledge these points explicitly.

    Nor am I denying that Roma, Catholics, homosexuals, communists, and others were also in the camps. A much more reasonable reading is that I’m referring specifically to those jews who were in concentration camps.

    Either you’re ignoring them (they don’t feature in your thinking) or you’re deliberately excluding them (i.e. asserting, by implication, that the statement doesn’t apply to them). If there was a movement which claimed to advocate for the rights of Jewish concentration-camp victims, and that movement persistently ignored non-Jewish victims except to disparage and blame them, then the latter would certainly have cause for complaint. If, in addition, that movement claimed to be an equality movement working for the others’ benefit too, then this claim would also be subject to criticism.

    Of course, anti-semites and holocaust deniers might read it otherwise,

    So my criticism of feminism is equivalent to anti-semitism and holocaust denial? No doubt you’ll claim that you “didn’t say anything even remotely like that, nor is that a reasonable inference from what [you] said”, but that is the (frankly offensive) implication.

    but I shouldn’t be expected to say something as utterly obvious as “of course, less than 100% of Jews have ever been in concentration camps.”

    I didn’t say anything even remotely like that, nor is that a reasonable inference from what I said. You could have used “concentration-camp victims” as your subject.

    Finally, not all rape discussions are obligated to be about men; focusing on women is not a bad thing. I promise not to interrupt any threads you start about male rape with off-topic “what about the female rape victims” whining.

    This is a strawman in so far as “be[ing] about men” implies being about men exclusively. The demand is that male victims be included, not that they be focussed upon exclusively. I don’t think this is “whining” given their near universal exclusion from discourse.

    The feminist response to threads about male victims is usually to “interrupt” them with off-topic “what about male perpetrators” victim-blaming. It’s interesting to compare the two “interruptions” – the men’s rights demand that male victims be included in discussions about victimhood, vs. the feminist demand that men always be viewed as perps.

    In any case, I wouldn’t start a thread about male victims if what I had to say was also applicable to female victims. I try to be as inclusive as the subject matter permits. I also try to focus upon subjects not otherwise adequately covered, such as the experiences of male victims qua male victims – the specific experiences and difficulties suffered by males, and not females, usually as a result of their exclusion from resources by an “equality movement”, and the persistant victim-blaming they face from a movement which condemns the victim-blaming of women.

  54. 53
    Abyss2hope says:

    Nick,

    Your friend’s experience should be acknowledged and respected but just like the number of women who are raped and murdered — and who never had the chance to live through a rape trial — shouldn’t be used to minimize what happened to your friend, what happened to your friend shouldn’t be used to minimize any rape or to deny the reality of rape.

    You may never hear about it but rape survivors can also be driven to suicide. We can mourn their loss without reacting in ways that harm other innocent people.

  55. 54
    Abyss2hope says:

    Daran,

    You seem to be focusing on word games as a way to attack what I do. If you read my blog you’d find that I don’t exclude male victims or pretend they don’t exist. I don’t give male victims equal time because the victimization isn’t 50/50.

    The previous comment that I was responding to in your quote was about comments on this post and the fact is that no man wrote about his rape experience in the previous comments. Or did I miss a comment?

    When people say, “feminists who fight rape are leaving male victims behind”, they don’t understand that when the number of rapes against girls and women goes down the number of sexual crimes against males will go down too because the same attitudes drive all forms of sexually exploitive behavior. The demand for gender neutrality seems to be an attempt to obscure the reality of the level and pervasiveness of violence against women.

    The men who rant about feminism seem unwilling to honestly deal with that reality and instead seem to put their focus on debating, bashing or blocking feminists who want to see the level of violence go down.

    Here’s one post that addresses women as perps. Before the feminists started making a stink about men raping women, most people would have refused to see underage male students as possible victims of female teachers.

  56. 55
    Daran says:

    Me (quoting myself):

    women who have been raped*

    Oops, forgot the footnote.

    As indicated, this was intended to be a footnote to an earlier comment, to which it was a minor side issue, indeed so minor that I forgot to include it. Hence the follow-up.

    That earlier post has disappeared. If it was deleted, then I’m quite annoyed about it*. The effect of the deletion, coupled with the retention of the follow up, makes it look like I’m raising disruptive quibbles. At the very least, I would consider it a courtesy when deleting posts to leave an indication that a post had been made, and that it had been deleted.

    If you did not intentionally delete the post, then the above is not applicable, in which case, please investigate why it has gone AWOL.

    *You are, of course, perfectly entitled to delete comments at whim, just as I am to have feelings about your doing so.

  57. 56
    Ampersand says:

    Daran – I didn’t deliberately delete any of your comments, so I have no idea what’s going on. I do remember being puzzled when I first read your “footnote” post, because I couldn’t see what it was a footnote for.

  58. 57
    Agnostic says:

    An action is as bad, or as good, as its consequences.

    I’ve never been raped or accused of rape (thank whatever gods may be), so the following is entirely drawn from the experiences of people I’ve known or heard talk about their experiences:

    A blanket statement like “false accusations are worse/not as bad as rape” is missing the point. An action that causes consequence as severe as the consequences of rape is as bad as rape, and one that doesn’t isn’t. Being falsely convicted, spending years in prison, losing your friends who believe you’re guilty, questioning your own guilt, then getting out and being on a sex offender registry is comparable to not being believed, spending years with the terrible psychological ramifications of being raped, questioning your own sexuality, losing friends who find you unpleasant/still don’t believe you, and never being able to have a normal sex life again. Of course, not all false accusations go that far, and not all survivors of rape suffer all those consequences, but it’s silly to say that the one can never be like the other, or to say that the one is always like the other.

    Of course, the incident in the original post rates very low on the trauma scale, and the comparison made of that to rape is fatuous.

  59. Pingback: Anatomy of a Feminist « Creative Destruction

  60. 58
    mythago says:

    I’ve also had some posts disappear, Amp.

  61. Pingback: Who has it Worse « Toy Soldiers

  62. 59
    Daran says:

    Ampersand:

    Daran – I didn’t deliberately delete any of your comments, so I have no idea what’s going on. I do remember being puzzled when I first read your “footnote” post, because I couldn’t see what it was a footnote for.

    Thanks for clarifying that. I know it was posted correctly, because I routine refresh after posting, which I think also shows if the moderation fairy has struck. If I hadn’t seen it, I couldn’t have cut&pasted it.

    It’s also clear that both you and I, and Marcella and I, have been at crosspurposes because I assumed you’d seen it when interpretting both your replies.

    Here’s a reconstruction, obviously not word perfect, because I don’t keep copies of my comments unless I suspect they might not be approved.

    Marcella:

    This topic doesn’t come up because women want to rate their experiences of being raped, but because men and some women want to dismiss or minimize the harm (physically, emotionally, socially, etc) caused by rape. The comparison between rape victims and those wrongly accused of rape is also used as an excuse to keep rape laws and rape law enforcement as weak as possible.

    I don’t doubt that this is the motivation for it, but the comparison still trivialises the experiences of the falsely accused. (edit: I made this point in response to Marcella’s apparent defence of the statement at issue. She has since clarified her position, but I’ll reply to that separately)

    While it may be true that women who have been raped* don’t “wan’t to rate their experiences” of being victimised, this is not true of feminists in general. The odious comparison is built right into the definition of feminism. Here’s how Barry formulates it:

    A feminist:

    1) Believes that there is current, significant, society-wide inequality and sexism which on balance disadvantages women.

    2) Advocates for the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes.

    Odious comparison italiced by me.

  63. 60
    Abyss2hope says:

    Daran, my position is to try to avoid trivializing or comparing any victimization against another. The only reason I compared rape to the taxi driver’s experience of being accused of rape was to show the flaws in that comparison and how it cancels out any statement that says explicitly or implicitly that of course real rape is horrific. The implication becomes that rape is never as horrific as what men face when accused of rape.

    That issue is different from deciding whether or not there is inequality and sexism which harms more women than men. Consider the recent deadly school shootings where the shooter seperated boys and girls, there was no parity in that type of action. The girls were targeted both times.

    If you say the 2 points feminists believe are false then you seem to be denying this pattern and others like it.

    A young woman goes missing from a college campus and they are more likely to find that she’s been raped and murdered than when a young man goes missing from a college campus. Those young men are more likely to stumble into a river and drown.

    I don’t want parity by increasing or denying violence against boys and men, but some people seem to deny all evidence that there is any gender differences in who is being victimized and who is victimizing others. Because they deny that girls and women are at greater risk for these types of crimes and are much more likely to die from sexual/domestic violence, the greater resources to deal with these problems of course will be seen as discrimination against men.

    Those who seem more interested in fighting feminism than in joining the fight against violence will hurt their chances that their valid concerns will be taken seriously. And that’s a pity.

  64. 61
    Abyss2hope says:

    I read Toy Soldier’s post about my comments and am saddened to see he didn’t understand at all what I was trying to say. Rather than getting into what may be a hopeless debate that only makes the situation worse, I thought I’d link to a post I did back in July that I think relates to this interaction. Just as he’s misinterpretted how I feel and what I believe, I’m sure he’s been misunderstood and mischaracterized and has gotten negative responses that mirror the one he’s given me.

  65. 62
    Daran says:

    Daran, my position is to try to avoid trivializing or comparing any victimization against another. The only reason I compared rape to the taxi driver’s experience of being accused of rape was to show the flaws in that comparison and how it cancels out any statement that says explicitly or implicitly that of course real rape is horrific. The implication becomes that rape is never as horrific as what men face when accused of rape.

    I’m not sure what we’re arguing about, because we appear to agree with each other on this, however I don’t think you had made this clear at the time of my earlier (disappeared) comment.

    That issue is different from deciding whether or not there is inequality and sexism which harms more women than men. Consider the recent deadly school shootings where the shooter seperated boys and girls, there was no parity in that type of action. The girls were targeted both times.

    If you say the 2 points feminists believe are false then you seem to be denying this pattern and others like it.

    There are striking similarities between the recent Amish and Platt Canyon School shootings, as well as the l’École Polytechnique massacre in Montreal seventeen years ago, there are also some significant differences. In fact, I have a “compare and contrast” post for CD in the works.

    There are similarities, but with only three incidents that I know of, I’m not convinced there is a pattern as such. Another thing on my list of things to do is research other school shootings to see if there is evidence of sex-selectivity.

    However, if there is a pattern here, then I don’t need to deny it to dispute the comparison part of the claim. All I need to is point to the patterns – denied, dismissed, minimised, and ignorred by feminists – where men are targetted.

    For example when Screbrenica fell to the Bosnian Serb army in 1995 almost the entire adult male population was massacred. Only the very old and the very young were spared. There were mass rapes of women, and many of them were killed too, but there was no systematic attempt to rape or murder *all* of them. Estimates for the number of dead range from seven to ten thousand, almost all of them male. That pattern was established early on in the Balkan wars, and was repeated in town after town after town. Similar patterns of male-selective genocide happened in Rwanda, in Borneo, in Guatamala, and a thousand other conflicts. It’s happening now, in Iraq, in Darfur, in the Congo.

    War attrocites often involve indiscriminate slaughter which sweep up the women and children along with the men. I’m also aware of a small number of attrocities in which in appears that women (and children) have been specifically targetted for murder, but in every single case that I know of, this has happened against a backdrop of the selective murder of men in much greater numbers. It’s also true that women are frequently targetted for rape, and sometimes for rape-murder, but again, always against the backdrop of – and rarely as thoroughly or systematically as – the targetted murder of men.

    A young woman goes missing from a college campus and they are more likely to find that she’s been raped and murdered than when a young man goes missing from a college campus. Those young men are more likely to stumble into a river and drown.

    Males are victims of serious violence in much greater numbers than females, in particular they are the majority of murder victims. In only two (overlapping) categories of violent crime are females the majority victim – sexual offenses, and domestic violence. So the other way you could have stacked the deck is by saying “a woman is murdered by her husband”. You chose “rape”. It’s always one or the other with feminists.

    I don’t want parity by increasing or denying violence against boys and men, but some people seem to deny all evidence that there is any gender differences in who is being victimized and who is victimizing others.

    This appears to be a strawman. Nobody has suggested that you or feminists want to increase violence against males, nor have I nor anyone denied that there are gender differences.

    Because they deny that girls and women are at greater risk for these types of crimes and are much more likely to die from sexual/domestic violence, the greater resources to deal with these problems of course will be seen as discrimination against men.

    It’s always one or the other with feminists… except when it’s both.

    Nobody in this thread* has denied that girls and women are at greater risk of these types of crime. My point is that when discussing “society-wide inequality and sexism” with a view to judging wether or not it “on balance disadvantages women” we should look at all types of crime, not just these types of crime.

    I raised the issue of domestic violence resourcing for men here. The complaint is not that male victims get less resources, but that they are excluded from resources and from the discourse. In my 99% white town, POC victims of DV undoubtedly get less resources because there are fewer of them, but far from excluding them, service providers go to considerable pains to include them.

    Those who seem more interested in fighting feminism than in joining the fight against violence will hurt their chances that their valid concerns will be taken seriously. And that’s a pity.

    For several years I provided administrative assistence to a group for adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse. For several years, I was a registered child-befriender who gave a young boy a dependable non-violent male role model he did not otherwise have. I’ve been involved in anti-rape activsm for many years. I am an antiwar activist. I have done a lot of other voluntary work not violence related. Sure I could have done more, but I have not been idle.

    My concern (well, one of them) is that society in general, and feminists in particular, deny, dismiss, minimise, and ignore the violent victimisation of men. I believe that the fight against violence would be much more effective overall if society and feminists did not do this, so what I do is say to anyone who will listen, and feminists in particular “Hey, this is what you are doing. Please stop it”.

    Obviously I don’t want to hurt my chances of being taken seriously, but if I don’t say this to feminists, my chances would appear to be zero. So there is nothing to hurt.

    *I know that many MRA’s claim that men suffer more domestic violence than women, neither I nor anyone else in this thread has been arguing this.

  66. 63
    Yohan says:

    False Allegation Worse Than Rape?
    Something is wrong or strange with this question…

    a- To rape a person is a crime

    b- To accuse deliberately an unknown person of a crime, which never took place – (like this taxi-driver accused of rape in this thread) is a totally different crime.

    I think, you cannot compare these 2 crimes with each other.
    What is worse or what is better? There is no possible answer for that.
    Just my opinion.

  67. 64
    Robert says:

    I think, you cannot compare these 2 crimes with each other.
    What is worse or what is better? There is no possible answer for that.

    Since a person can be both raped and falsely accused of rape, it would seem there is at least one way to tell: ask someone who has experienced both.

  68. 65
    Raznor says:

    Agnostic:

    Although perhaps you are correct in your comparison that the consequences of rape vs the consequences of being falsely accused of rape are incomparable. But that is only one interpretation of the question “are false allegations worse than rape?” What I’m sure is Ampersand’s actual meaning of the question is which is a bigger problem to society. So it’s not just the consequences of an individual act, but how many people are adversely affected by the act.

    To put this to a humorous extreme – cos that’s kinda what I do – I’m sure you’d admit that to be shot to death would not be as bad as being slowly eaten alive by a band of roving monkeys. But still, you would say “people shooting people is a worse problem than bands of roving monkeys eating people” because there are many people who shoot other people, but virtually no bands of roving monkeys eating people.

    As Amp said in the original post, there are far fewer people falsely accused of rape than people who are actually raped, and furthermore there are plenty of inbuilt societal defenses for people who are falsely accused of rape that also serve those who are non-falsely accused of rape. So to that extent it is fair to say that the damage caused by rape far outwieghs the damage caused by false accusations of rape.

  69. 66
    nick says:

    Abyss2hope,
    thanks for trying to keep things in balance. I know some women who have been raped and commit suicide. Another friend of mine was engaged to a young woman who was raped. The shock of the crime caused her to miscarriage the baby the couple was carrying. The young woman later commited suicide out of grief. My friend (named Ken) went crazy with grief himself and lived for a year or so homeless til he recovered. Its a miracle he survived the horror of both expriences. The reason I told the people tracking this site about Mike’s death was not to take away from the fact that rape happens and harms, sometimes kills women but to show that a false accusation can be just as devestating. Both of these crimes destroy lives and since I have seen it from both sides (with Ken’s story and Mike’s) I think both are wrong and should be held on a close level. A false accusation destroys an innocent man’s life in his community. A rape can devestate a woman for the rest of her life if she isn’t murdered. Both crimes are hideous. The problem is the fact that rape is starting to no longer be treated like a crime but a public spectacle. There seems to be no more impartial investigators to these crimes. When a woman accuses a man of rape society no longer treats the accused as innocent until proven guilty. If it is proven that is was rape then I believe you should turn the fucker who commited the crime into a gelding! On the other hand if a woman chooses to destroy a man life for what ever reason by falsely accusing him of rape then she should be punished harshly because she is taking away from those who truly have been raped and for trying to destroy an innocent man.
    I’m sorry about the rant but truly weigh the seriousness of both crimes. Both destroy peoples lives. So don’t soft soap either. It’s evil no matter how you slice it!

  70. 67
    nick says:

    oops there is a fuck up in my statementon the 26th of oct. I do NOT want to see more women victemized. Sorry about the confusion!

  71. 68
    Daran says:

    oops there is a fuck up in my statementon the 26th of oct. I do NOT want to see more women victemized. Sorry about the confusion!

    Gosh, I didn’t even notice.

    In other words, I read what you meant, not what you said. To be honest, I think it was clear what you meant anyway.

  72. 69
    Agnostic says:

    Although perhaps you are correct in your comparison that the consequences of rape vs the consequences of being falsely accused of rape are incomparable.

    I said, I thought, that they, as individual acts, were highly comparable–in fact, the worst-case scenario for both looks very similar, minus physical trauma for the accused. What can’t be compared is “rape” in general versus “false accusations of rape” in general, because there are so many gradations of experience in each.

    What I’m sure is Ampersand’s actual meaning of the question is which is a bigger problem to society. So it’s not just the consequences of an individual act, but how many people are adversely affected by the act.

    I’m not going to touch the question of how many false rape accusations there are with a 10-foot, or 100-foot pole. I will venture that there are more worst-case rapes (terrible lifelong trauma) than there are worst-case false accusations (prison, sex offender registry, life in ruins), by quite a bit.

    I was comparing individual acts in my comment–asking which of rape or false accusations is a worse societal problem overall, I’d definitely agree that rape is far worse.

  73. 70
    Abyss2hope says:

    Daran:

    My concern (well, one of them) is that society in general, and feminists in particular, deny, dismiss, minimise, and ignore the violent victimisation of men. I believe that the fight against violence would be much more effective overall if society and feminists did not do this, so what I do is say to anyone who will listen, and feminists in particular “Hey, this is what you are doing. Please stop it”.

    Thanks for the clarification since that wasn’t what I thought your concern was at all. I didn’t realize you were talking about non-sexual/non-domestic violence against men. While different people and different groups will focus on specific areas of violence, it’s important to think about other areas as well.

    One of the problems that I see in a person or group trying to address all forms of violence is that it can become so overwhelming that people can’t face it all and keep going. So they take an area that they understand and focus on making a difference there.

    Tunnel vision and single-minded action works great and yet it comes with unintended side effects. That’s definitely true of feminism and it’s true of groups who think feminism is wrong. We all have our blind spots and our triggers.

    Ideally, if enough people focus on enough areas of violence and/or contributors to violence and if we can communicate with each other about what we’ve learned and what we’ve experienced then society as a whole will change.

    For me a big area of interest is how to get those who commit violence or who are most likely to commit violence to break the patterns of violence.

  74. 71
    Sailorman says:

    The “false accusation” bit comes into play not for patriarchal reasons i think but from our general stance on criminal justice.

    When there is a forced choice, we have always preferenced “guilty set free” over “innocent convicted”. Many comments from the early days of our country sugest the “acceptable” ration of (innocents convicted)/(guilty set free) can’t be below 1/10 and some folks think it should be much higher.

    This fits in other ways with our morality and rules. Because of the way the criminal system works, it doesn’t really “make the victim whole”. (that’s what the civil system is ostensibly for). So in truth, the cost to the convicted criminal is usually far, far, far, greater than the benefit to the victim from having the conviction go through.

    this cost/benefit differential tends to increase as the crimes get worse. by the time you reach the higher levels of felonies it is usually pretty significant. So as a result it is “worse” to convict someone wrongly of a more serious crime, not only because they will suffer greater punishment but also because their punishment will tend to be more disproportionate to the benefit to the victim.

    So taht brings us back to rape. because of the evidentiary standards for rape; because of the special rules which benefit (protect) the primary witness at the expense of the accused; and because of the unusual nature of the crime: it is much more likely that a false conviction will occur for a rape than for any other crime with similar punishment levels. And because those punishments are generally harsh, this means that of the “bad crimes” rape is likely to get the most focus on false convictions. this does not imply taht women are liars. It’s merely an offshoot of the reality of a rape trial.

    So when people focus on rape accusations, the basis for doing so can be perfectly rational. Why not focus on, say, false accusations of murder? because they’re less frequent, and rarely result in conviction. the court process makes it less likely that a false conviction of murder will happen. Why not focus on false accusations of, say, fraud? because even those fraud shares certain similarities with rape (it can be a he said/she said scenario) the penalties for fraud are less, so there’s less at stake.

    The question shouldn’t be “Are false accusations worse than rape?” the accusations have nothing to do with the RAPE. they only have to do with what happens AFTER the rape.

    The question should be “Is falsely convicting someone who is NOT guilty worse than failing to convict someone who IS guilty?”

  75. 72
    Daran says:

    The “false accusation” bit comes into play not for patriarchal reasons i think but from our general stance on criminal justice.

    When there is a forced choice, we have always preferenced “guilty set free” over “innocent convicted”. Many comments from the early days of our country sugest the “acceptable” ration of (innocents convicted)/(guilty set free) can’t be below 1/10 and some folks think it should be much higher.

    While this is certainly a legitimate concern, I don’t believe it is the reason why ‘[t]he “false accusation” bit comes into play’.

    This fits in other ways with our morality and rules. Because of the way the criminal system works, it doesn’t really “make the victim whole”. (that’s what the civil system is ostensibly for). So in truth, the cost to the convicted criminal is usually far, far, far, greater than the benefit to the victim from having the conviction go through.

    this cost/benefit differential tends to increase as the crimes get worse. by the time you reach the higher levels of felonies it is usually pretty significant. So as a result it is “worse” to convict someone wrongly of a more serious crime, not only because they will suffer greater punishment but also because their punishment will tend to be more disproportionate to the benefit to the victim.

    This is a rather strange piece of faulty reasoning. Having asserted that repairing the injury to the victim is the primary goal of civil justice not criminal justice, you then assume that this is its only potential benefit. However restoration is only one of the purposes of criminal justice – and the least of them. The others are retribution, deterrence, incapacitation, and rehabilitation

    So taht brings us back to rape. because of the evidentiary standards for rape; because of the special rules which benefit (protect) the primary witness at the expense of the accused; and because of the unusual nature of the crime: it is much more likely that a false conviction will occur for a rape than for any other crime with similar punishment levels.

    That is an empirical claim unsupported by evidence.

    Feel free to prove me wrong, but understand that I have spent the past several years looking for evidence to support or contradict the antifeminist claim that men were being falsely convicted of rape in large numbers. I even posted an open challenge on usenet for them to prove that there had been even 100 in the US. (At that time the Innocence Project listed about 80.) Ironically the challenge was eventually met by Barry, a feminist who was almost certainly unaware of it.)

    All the MRAs have are a few studies about false rape allegations which are interesting and suggestive, but which don’t address the point about convictions, and a few myths and misconstructions.

    But as I said, feel free to prove me wrong.

    And because those punishments are generally harsh, this means that of the “bad crimes” rape is likely to get the most focus on false convictions. this does not imply taht women are liars. It’s merely an offshoot of the reality of a rape trial.

    Yet “women lie about rape” is a typical antifeminist claim.

    So when people focus on rape accusations, the basis for doing so can be perfectly rational. Why not focus on, say, false accusations of murder? because they’re less frequent, and rarely result in conviction. the court process makes it less likely that a false conviction of murder will happen. Why not focus on false accusations of, say, fraud? because even those fraud shares certain similarities with rape (it can be a he said/she said scenario) the penalties for fraud are less, so there’s less at stake.

    You merely repeat the previous unsupported empirical claim.

    I agree that false rape allegations, accusations, and convictions are legitimate areas of concern, not because they are common, but because nobody knows whether they are common or not. It’s just that a lot of people think they know.

    The question shouldn’t be “Are false accusations worse than rape?” the accusations have nothing to do with the RAPE. they only have to do with what happens AFTER the rape.

    Yet “false accusations are worse” is a typical antifeminist claim.

    The question should be “Is falsely convicting someone who is NOT guilty worse than failing to convict someone who IS guilty?”

    But feminists do not typically argue otherwise, so this is not a contentious issue.

    The whole false accusations/allegations business, as antifeminists frame it, is about malicious lying “bitches” sending innocent men to jail. Yet out of the little over a hundred cases where a conviction has been overturned, in only a handful was false testimony by the complainant a factor in the original conviction. Logic would suggest that if concern about convictions is the motivation for raising the issue, then the focus would be on those other failings of the system which are shown more reliably to cause them. By the same reasoning, the actual focus on “false accusations” by antifeminists must have some other motivation.

  76. 73
    Daran says:

    Thanks for the clarification since that wasn’t what I thought your concern was at all. I didn’t realize you were talking about non-sexual/non-domestic violence against men. While different people and different groups will focus on specific areas of violence, it’s important to think about other areas as well.

    The original topic was “society-wide inequality and sexism”. You chose to narrow the topic to violence, which narrowing I accepted.

    You then did a very typically feminist thing. You stacked the discoursive deck, by choosing as your specific examples of violence, just those which victimise women more/worse than men.

    My point here isn’t to point the finger and say “eeeviiil feminist”, but to get you and other feminists to think about how and why you frame issues the way you do.

    One of the problems that I see in a person or group trying to address all forms of violence is that it can become so overwhelming that people can’t face it all and keep going. So they take an area that they understand and focus on making a difference there.

    Well, that’s fine, but while I think it makes sense to focus on domestic violence, or sexual violence, or political violence or prison violence, etc. I don’t think it makes sense to focus upon violence against women or violence against men. It’s great for doctors to specialise in diseases of the heart, or the liver. It makes no sense for a doctor to only consider or treat the left half of the body.

    Tunnel vision and single-minded action works great and yet it comes with unintended side effects. That’s definitely true of feminism and it’s true of groups who think feminism is wrong. We all have our blind spots and our triggers.

    I am not part of any group who thinks feminism is wrong. I am a critic of feminism. I am also a critic of antifeminism. Although I routinely have these labels pinned on me by feminists, I do not self-identify so, nor am I intellectually or politically aligned with them, nor do I defend them in general. (I’ll defend them from specificcriticism if I regard it as unfair, but I do the same for feminists.)

    Ideally, if enough people focus on enough areas of violence and/or contributors to violence and if we can communicate with each other about what we’ve learned and what we’ve experienced then society as a whole will change.

    That’s what I’m trying to do.

    For me a big area of interest is how to get those who commit violence or who are most likely to commit violence to break the patterns of violence.

    That is another reason for not excluding male victims of domestic violence from the discource, and from resources.

  77. 74
    Daran says:

    The second paragraph of my post #69 was part of the quote from Sailorman, not my reply to him.

  78. 75
    Sailorman says:

    This is a rather strange piece of faulty reasoning. Having asserted that repairing the injury to the victim is the primary goal of civil justice not criminal justice, you then assume that this is its only potential benefit. However restoration is only one of the purposes of criminal justice – and the least of them. The others are retribution, deterrence, incapacitation, and rehabilitation

    You are misreading. Obviously there are other benefits to SOCIETY–being a lawyer, I am aware of them. But the primary benefits to the ACCUSER are found in the civil system, not the criminal system. this is one reason why, for example, moves towards things like “restorative justice”, which mimic remedies normally found in the civil system, are becoming more popular.

    So that brings us back to rape. because of the evidentiary standards for rape; because of the special rules which benefit (protect) the primary witness at the expense of the accused; and because of the unusual nature of the crime: it is much more likely that a false conviction will occur for a rape than for any other crime with similar punishment levels.

    That is an empirical claim unsupported by evidence.

    Feel free to prove me wrong,

    OK. Let’s start with the process. Forgive me, i don’t know your background: Are you familiar with type 1 and type II error? I’ll walk you through the argument once I get an idea of how much background knowledge I need to include.

    but understand that I have spent the past several years looking for evidence to support or contradict the antifeminist claim that men were being falsely convicted of rape in large numbers.

    See, you’re misreading me again. (Not taht i’m not used to this in general, but I have to say that given your professed attention to detail i’m a bit surprised). I never said, nor do i think, that there are “large numbers” of false accusations and/or convictions. (I wouldn’t use such an undefined term anyway). i made a statement which was relative in regard to their frequency.
    “X is more common than Y” \= “There are lots of X”.
    I might also note that if it’s TRUE, it’s not “antifeminist”. I’d appreciate it if you could reply to me without the constant snipes and/or implication that this is a MRA-only viewpoint.

    I even posted an open challenge on usenet for them to prove that there had been even 100 in the US. (At that time the Innocence Project listed about 80.) Ironically the challenge was eventually met by Barry, a feminist who was almost certainly unaware of it.)

    Leaving out the obvious issue… oh hell, i’ll point out the obvious issues. Or at least a few of them. because if this is what you’re basing your argument on, I fear you are misguided.
    1) It’s much harder to meet the standards of disproof for rape. It is very difficult, legally, to get a conviction overturned. Absent a recantation from the accuser or a proof that he wasn’t in the state or someting else, this standard isn’t going to be met in most cases. So anything which was actually consensual sex but resulted in a rape conviction will be nigh-impossible to disprove.

    oops I’m off to take my kids trick or treating soon. but i’ll explain other obvious problems tomorrow.

    All the MRAs have are a few studies about false rape allegations which are interesting and suggestive, but which don’t address the point about convictions, and a few myths and misconstructions.

    I’m not sure why this is relevant. Unless you’re asserting i’m a MRA: are you?

    And because those punishments are generally harsh, this means that of the “bad crimes” rape is likely to get the most focus on false convictions. this does not imply taht women are liars. It’s merely an offshoot of the reality of a rape trial.

    Yet “women lie about rape” is a typical antifeminist claim.

    So it’s a typical antifeminist claim–so what? I didn’t make the claim (in fact, I just disavowed it) so why bring it up at all?

    So when people focus on rape accusations, the basis for doing so can be perfectly rational. Why not focus on, say, false accusations of murder? because they’re less frequent, and rarely result in conviction. the court process makes it less likely that a false conviction of murder will happen. Why not focus on false accusations of, say, fraud? because even those fraud shares certain similarities with rape (it can be a he said/she said scenario) the penalties for fraud are less, so there’s less at stake.
    You merely repeat the previous unsupported empirical claim.

    Daran, please. Do you really want to argue about the “unsupported empirical claim” that “the penalties for fraud are less than those for rape”? You’re dodging. Not every discussion needs to begin with a fulllblown presentation of data.

    off to go get candy!

  79. 76
    Agnostic says:

    Sailorman: I’m not familiar with Type I and Type II error. In the service of those who are also reading this thread, please explain your terms so I, at least, can understand your argument.

  80. 77
    Daran says:

    Sailorman:

    See, you’re misreading me again. (Not taht i’m not used to this in general, but I have to say that given your professed attention to detail i’m a bit surprised

    “Attention to detail” is indeed my petard, so I am at ever-present risk of finding myself hoist thereon. However in this case I think I am OK. If I misinterpretted your words, it was not though lack of attention.

    Here’s the opening sentence of your earlier post (my italics): “The “false accusation” bit comes into play not for patriarchal reasons i think but from our general stance on criminal justice.”

    I interpretted “comes into play” as referring to the way the subject is generally introduced, so the implied agents are “people who bring the topic into play”. I understood “our” to refer to those same people, indicating that you include yourself among their number. An implication of that interpretation is that the “general stance” is not necessarily shared by others who take part in the discourse, but who are not the ones who bring it “into play”. An alternative interpretation of “our” is that it was an “appeal to common ground”, refering to the three of us currently taking part in the conversation.

    So if I rewrite your sentence to render this interpretation explicit, it might be as follows:

    People who raise the subject of false accusations do so, not for patriarchal reasons, but because of their general stance on criminal justice, which I (alternatively: we) share

    I therefore interpretted the rest of your post as asserting that the reasoning described was the motivation of “People who raise the subject”, hence my repeated reference to Antifeminists and MRAs who represent the dominant discoursive framework of those people.

    I do not think this was an unreasonable or unfair interpretation of your words. If it was a misinterprettation, then I apologise.

    You are misreading. Obviously there are other benefits to SOCIETY–being a lawyer, I am aware of them. But the primary benefits to the ACCUSER are found in the civil system, not the criminal system. this is one reason why, for example, moves towards things like “restorative justice”, which mimic remedies normally found in the civil system, are becoming more popular.

    I’m not misreading. I can see how a cost-benefit analysis of criminal justice is relevent to the discussion, but I can see no reason to limit consideration of of the benefits solely to restoration. The restriction bears some resemblence to the typically feminist technique of restricting discussion of violence to sexual violence, domestic violence, and now sex-selective school shootings. It looks like an attempt to stack the discoursive deck. I’m not saying that this is what you are doing, just that this is what it looks like. I called it “strange” because I don’t think I have ever encountered this precise argument before, and I don’t understand it.

    OK. Let’s start with the process. Forgive me, i don’t know your background: Are you familiar with type 1 and type II error?

    Yes, though I can never remember which one is which. And in the case of a criminal trial that’s a matter of framing anyway. Is the purpose of a trial to test for guilt, to test for innocence, or to test for provability?

    I’ll walk you through the argument once I get an idea of how much background knowledge I need to include.

    By all means go though the argument, but understand that this is not what I asked for. I asked for evidence. Here’s the claim again (my italics):

    “because of the evidentiary standards for rape; because of the special rules which benefit (protect) the primary witness at the expense of the accused; and because of the unusual nature of the crime: it is much more likely that a false conviction will occur for a rape than for any other crime with similar punishment levels.”

    I am asking for evidence that the italiced part of the claim is true. How much more likely is it? Why that figure, and not some other? What data is this based on? What is the confidence interval? What methodology was used to obtain the data? I want facts. I want data. I don’t want some handwavy argument as to why it is reasonable to believe that the rate is higher than for other crimes. It may be reasonable to believe this, but it is still only a belief.

    Now if you can provide this, I’m all ears.

    See, you’re misreading me again. (Not taht i’m not used to this in general, but I have to say that given your professed attention to detail i’m a bit surprised). I never said, nor do i think, that there are “large numbers” of false accusations and/or convictions. (I wouldn’t use such an undefined term anyway). i made a statement which was relative in regard to their frequency.
    “X is more common than Y” \= “There are lots of X”.

    See, you’re misreading me again. I never said that you were making this claim. I was pointing out that “people who raise the subject of false rape accusations” make this claim, which is relevent to the question of their motivation, which is what I thought your post was about. It is also intended to give you an “idea of how much background knowledge [you] need to include”. I’m well past “False Rape Accusations controversy 101″, thank you.

    I might also note that if it’s TRUE, it’s not “antifeminist”. I’d appreciate it if you could reply to me without the constant snipes and/or implication that this is a MRA-only viewpoint.

    If it cannot be shown to be true, then it is speculation. It is a common MRA-viewpoint to present this speculation as though it were established fact. That observation is not intended as a snipe at you. I never said that MRAs were the only people with this viewpoint, or that any person who expresses such a view must be MRA. Believe me, I get these labels pinned on me enough that I don’t go around willy-nilly pinning them on other people.

    I even posted an open challenge on usenet for them to prove that there had been even 100 in the US. (At that time the Innocence Project listed about 80.) Ironically the challenge was eventually met by Barry, a feminist who was almost certainly unaware of it.)

    Leaving out the obvious issue… oh hell, i’ll point out the obvious issues. Or at least a few of them. because if this is what you’re basing your argument on, I fear you are misguided.
    1) It’s much harder to meet the standards of disproof for rape. It is very difficult, legally, to get a conviction overturned. Absent a recantation from the accuser…

    Or even with one, Garry Dotson, for example.

    …or a proof that he wasn’t in the state or someting else, this standard isn’t going to be met in most cases. So anything which was actually consensual sex but resulted in a rape conviction will be nigh-impossible to disprove.

    I appreciate this difficulty, but that’s your problem. You made the empirical claim; the burden of showing evidence for it lies with you.

    So it’s a typical antifeminist claim–so what? I didn’t make the claim (in fact, I just disavowed it) so why bring it up at all?

    So I thought you were explaining the motivation of “people who bring this topic into play”

    Look, I understand your frustration. It happens to me all to time. I post a criticism of feminism. A defender of feminism responds by criticising MRAs. I respond ” So what?” I would not have done this to you if you hadn’t written your opening paragraph the way you did.

    Daran, please. Do you really want to argue about the “unsupported empirical claim” that “the penalties for fraud are less than those for rape”? You’re dodging. Not every discussion needs to begin with a fulllblown presentation of data.

    No of course, not. I meant the unsupported empirical claim that “the court process makes it less likely that a false conviction of murder will happen [than of rape”. It is an empirical claim, and one neither you, nor, dare I say it, MRAs, have ever supported.

  81. 78
    hf says:

    For context, Sailorman, see this story. Your objection appears to come from a different universe, one filled with radical feminist juries who place the burden of proof on the accused.

  82. Pingback: Who has it worse: the follow-up « Toy Soldiers

  83. 79
    Daran says:

    For context, Sailorman, see this story. Your objection appears to
    come from a different universe, one filled with radical feminist juries who place the burden of proof on the accused.

    Hmm, lemme see.

    From the Text of the opinion:

    Defendant’s testimony:

    According to the appellant, he stopped immediately…

    Complainent’s testimony:

    Q. For how long [after you said 'stop'] did he continue to put his penis in your vagina?

    A. About 5 or so seconds.

    Q. And then what happened

    A. And that’s when he just got off me…

    Marcotte’s “finding of fact”:

    she resisted again and he wouldn’t stop.

    God help any defendant who has Marcotte on the jury.

  84. 80
    Abyss2hope says:

    From the text of the opinion, a description of events before the so-called consent was given:

    she found herself on her back with appellant removing her jeans and Mike sitting on her chest, attempting to place his penis in her mouth. After she told them to stop, the pair moved her around so that her body was up in appellant’s lap as he held her arms and Mike tried to insert his penis in her, but briefly inserted it into her rectum by mistake. After Mike again tried to insert his penis in the complainant’s vagina, appellant inserted his fingers in her vagina.

    So what is not in question is that the appellant (defendant) assisted in the commission of a rape by holding her arms as his friend raped her. He sexually assaulted her before telling her it was his turn. For anyone to be able to read the description of what happened and be able to say that someone who has just been raped is any condition to give legal consent frankly is nearly as frightening as what happened to this girl.

  85. 81
    Daran says:

    Marcella:

    From the text of the opinion, a description of events before the so-called consent was given:

    she found herself on her back with appellant removing her jeans and Mike sitting on her chest, attempting to place his penis in her mouth. After she told them to stop, the pair moved her around so that her body was up in appellant’s lap as he held her arms and Mike tried to insert his penis in her, but briefly inserted it into her rectum by mistake. After Mike again tried to insert his penis in the complainant’s vagina, appellant inserted his fingers in her vagina.

    So what is not in question is that the appellant (defendant) assisted in the commission of a rape by holding her arms as his friend raped her.

    It’s very much in question. The section you quoted was from the part of the Factual Background which began “At trial, the compaining witness, Jewel L., testified that…” It’s her version of event. His version of that part of the incident is given later on:

    Jewel climbed into the back seat between appellant and Mike, whereupon the latter put the complainant’s hand in his pants. After the complainant refused appellant’s request to expose her breasts, Mike asked appellant for a condom and told him to get out of the car.

    The appellate court made no findings of fact, their sole task was to rule on the law.

    Here’s Marcotte’s version of the entire incident:

    The assailant had already held her down and tried to shove his penis in her mouth, had already tried to forcibly penetrate her, and when he realized she was going to continue to offer resistance he said that he didn’t want to rape her, so she gave in and right after he started to penetrate her, she resisted again and he wouldn’t stop.

    1. Marcotte presents only the complainant’s version of events.

    2. She conflates the actions of two different people: “Mike”, and the appellant.

    3. She desribes the event as one continuous incident, ignoring the fact that appellant left the car for a period of time (15 to twenty minutes according to appellant.)

    4. She describes complainant as “continu[ing] to offer resistence”. But according to complainant’s testimony she did not resist.

    5. She says he didn’t stop when she asked him to, which is another outright falsehood.

    3. She ignores testimony from the complainant which might indicate that she was capable of consent, that she consented, and/or that appellant might reasonably have believed that she consented.

    He sexually assaulted her before telling her it was his turn. For anyone to be able to read the description of what happened and be able to say that someone who has just been raped is any condition to give legal consent frankly is nearly as frightening as what happened to this girl.

    Well they certainly won’t be able to read a description of what happened if they only read Marcotte’s blog. What they’ll read there is a distorted parody of the alleged events, one constructed to be as prejudicial as possible.

    Here’s the comment hf made when he cited Pandagon: “Your objection appears to come from a different universe, one filled with radical feminist juries who place the burden of proof on the accused.” It’s unfortunate that people like Marcotte end up juries in this universe.

  86. 82
    Abyss2hope says:

    Daran, even in appellant’s version the girl was forced (hand put down boy’s pants) and said no to appellant’s first sexual request. But somehow magically she went went from unwilling to fully, legally willing in a matter of moments.

    Sorry, between what’s contained in the ruling and the fact that there was a conviction, I don’t believe his glossing over of events.

    What’s he going to say? Yeah, I helped my friend rape her and when he was done it was my turn, but I wanted something I could rationalize as being consensual, and I wanted a defense if she went to the cops, so I tried to get her to cooperate before raping her.

  87. 83
    Sailorman says:

    I read the entire ruling. My personal viewpoint:

    -morally repugnant and horrible. Whether or not what the kid did was technically rape under the existing legal descriptions, it was wrong.

    -legally sound. It pains me to say it. but we have to read criminal statutes for the benefit of the accused. And the appellate court can’t overturn the supremes. I think the supremes may overrule it; I am hopeful the legislature will rewrite it… but sadly this may slip through the cracks.

    -this seems like cause, yet again, to educate women about the specifics of rape laws. No, they shouldn’t need to know. No, it’s not their fault. But christ, it’s bad enough being raped, it’s gotta DOUBLY suck if you “fail” (quotes intentional) to do what the (usually bad) law requires to get the incident legally categorized as a “rape”.

    anyway perhaps you are arguing about 2 different things?

    A2h seems to be saying “this is horrible behavior” and it’s pretty clear she’s right. In fact, IMO she’s right WHETHER OR NOT this happens to meet the technical definition under the applicable state law and supreme court precedent of what constitutes a rape.

  88. 84
    Daran says:

    Daran, even in appellant’s version the girl was forced (hand put down boy’s pants) and said no to appellant’s first sexual request. But somehow magically she went went from unwilling to fully, legally willing in a matter of moments.

    As an initial matter, he does not say she was “forced” to put her hand down his pants. It’s a perfectly normal manouver in consensual sex to place your partners hands where you want them.

    But really you’re missing the point. I’m not saying he was innocent or that he wasn’t. I’m saying that Marcotte’s account of the events was an outrageous distortion.

    Sorry, between what’s contained in the ruling and the fact that there was a conviction, I don’t believe his glossing over of events.

    We don’t know what was in the jury’s mind when they convicted him, other than that they were concerned about the law with respect to withdrawl of consent. Nor do we have all the facts of the case available to us. The opinion addressed three quite specific areas of law, so the factual background summarised the evidence in so far is it was not specifically relevant to those questions. The jury will have seen and heard the admissible evidence in full.

    What’s he going to say? Yeah, I helped my friend rape her and when he was done it was my turn, but I wanted something I could rationalize as being consensual, and I wanted a defense if she went to the cops, so I tried to get her to cooperate before raping her.

    That’s your interpretation. Another might be that he really wanted it to be consensual, so he went the extra mile to ensure that it was, both by obtaining her explicit, verbal assent, by assuring her that he wasn’t going to force her, and finally, when she did withdraw consent, he stopped.

    Regardless of how you interpret it, the version given at Pandagon was a gross distortion. At best, Marcotte was reckless with the truth. At worst, she’s an outright barefaced liar.

  89. 85
    hf says:

    Sailorman: yes, as I said, the legal system often seems hostile to rape victims rather than open to false accusations. Your claim therefore requires proof. I don’t know where the imaginary Marcotte-staffed jury came from.

  90. 86
    hf says:

    As for the charges against Marcotte: dear me, she confuses the two merely because (in the version she and the court believed) the appellant fondled the complainant’s breasts after she refused to expose them, helped insist that she stay ten more minutes, then removed her pants while the other guy tried to put his penis in her mouth. “After she told them to stop, the pair moved her around so that her body was in appellant’s lap as he held her arms and Mike tried to insert his penis in her, but briefly inserted it into her rectum by mistake.”

    When the appellant got his turn, he allegedly ignored her (second) request to stop at first. The testimony makes it sound like he actively continued to push his penis into her vagina for “five or ten seconds”.

  91. 87
    Daran says:

    Sailorman:

    -morally repugnant and horrible. Whether or not what the kid did was technically rape under the existing legal descriptions, it was wrong.

    If you accept appellant’s version of event, then the entire event could have been fully consensual from beginning to end. There is no indication according to his version that she was in any way coerced. The only thing she refused to do was expose her breasts. I’m sure a lot of fully consensual sex begins with similar expressions of coyness.

    I’m not saying that this is what happened. It’s one way his version of events could be construed.

    -legally sound. It pains me to say it. but we have to read criminal statutes for the benefit of the accused. And the appellate court can’t overturn the supremes. I think the supremes may overrule it; I am hopeful the legislature will rewrite it… but sadly this may slip through the cracks.

    They were interpretting common, not statutory law. In any case, I thought statutory law was to read according to the intent of the legestature, while case law was to be read with a view to consistency between rulings.

    The “benefit of the accused” only applies to findings of fact. Am I wrong?

    -this seems like cause, yet again, to educate women about the specifics of rape laws. No, they shouldn’t need to know. No, it’s not their fault. But christ, it’s bad enough being raped, it’s gotta DOUBLY suck if you “fail” (quotes intentional) to do what the (usually bad) law requires to get the incident legally categorized as a “rape”.

    With the greatest of respect, Sailorman, this is the silliest thing I have read in a long time. If a woman (or anyone else) is in a situation where she is being raped, is about to be raped, or is threatened or fearful of being raped, the only things that are going to be in her mind are “How do I avoid this? How do I escape? How do I survive?” However well-educated she might be about rape law, establishing all the legal elements of the crime of rape will be the last thing on her mind.

    A2h seems to be saying “this is horrible behavior” and it’s pretty clear she’s right. In fact, IMO she’s right WHETHER OR NOT this happens to meet the technical definition under the applicable state law and supreme court precedent of what constitutes a rape.

    I’m not convinced. I can think of various scenarios, some more horrible than others, depending upon which version of events I judged to be more reliable, and depending upon how I interpret those events. For example, his saying “I don’t want to rape you” could be construed as an attempt to reassure her that he would comply if she asked him to stop. Or it could be construed as a threat: “Nice restaurant. It would be a shame if something were to happen to it.”

  92. 88
    hf says:

    Daran, if you missed my last comment: you misrepresent the appellant’s testimony yourself. It says she told them to stop, after which they continued acting as a team and one of them penetrated her.

  93. 89
    Daran says:

    I don’t know where the imaginary Marcotte-staffed jury came from.

    Here’s what you said earlier: “Your objection appears to come from a different universe, one filled with radical feminist juries who place the burden of proof on the accused.”

    How many Marcottes do there need to be, for there to be a significant risk that some of them are going to end up on rape juries?

    As for the charges against Marcotte: dear me, she confuses the two merely because (in the version she and the court believed) the appellant fondled the complainant’s breasts after she refused to expose them, helped insist that she stay ten more minutes, then removed her pants while the other guy tried to put his penis in her mouth. “After she told them to stop, the pair moved her around so that her body was in appellant’s lap as he held her arms and Mike tried to insert his penis in her, but briefly inserted it into her rectum by mistake.”

    What I said to Marcella. We don’t know what the jury believed, other than that they were concerned about the law regarding withdrawl of consent, and they convicted the appellant.

    When the appellant got his turn, he allegedly ignored her (second) request to stop at first. The testimony makes it sound like he actively continued to push his penis into her vagina for “five or ten seconds”.

    The testimony does not make it sound like “continue to offer resistance ” or that “she resisted again and he wouldn’t stop.” These are fabrications. And they’re not accidental. They’re not random. The falsehoods and omissions have bee specifically crafted to present a false picture of a violent rape, and to suppress any and all indications that support other interpretation.

    When antifeminists do this kind of thing, I call them liars. When other antifeminists defend those lies, I call them on it too. Why should I treat feminists any different?

  94. 90
    Daran says:

    Daran, if you missed my last comment: you misrepresent the appellant’s testimony yourself. It says she told them to stop, after which they continued acting as a team and one of them penetrated her.

    Where did I misrepresent this? Which post? Precisely what have I said which was a misrepresentation?

  95. 91
    Patsy says:

    Someone’s trying to confuse the issue, but it’s not the feminists. Here’s the story from the Post.

    Baby and Wilson were charged as adults with first-degree rape, among other charges. Wilson pleaded guilty to second-degree rape and was sentenced to 18 months. Baby’s first trial before a jury of 11 men and one woman ended in a mistrial. In his second trial, Baby was convicted of first-degree rape, first-degree sexual offense and third-degree sexual offense.

    For those who didn’t read the case, which appears to be everyone defending the rapist in this thread, the circumstances of the “consent” were that it was feebly offered in the middle of a gang rape. Why would someone consent to be raped? Odds are they are scared of being hurt worse.

    So, rape defenders, answer this: If a woman consents to sex with a man threatening to shoot her if she doesn’t, was it rape?

  96. 92
    nick says:

    I think we need to make the legal defintion of rape a little more clear. What someone may consider rape and what is defined as rape can be different. There are ways we can stop miscarriages of justice on both sides of this issue. What defines rape in the eyes of the law? I have seen situations where the accused is clearly guilty because of the physical evidence left behind. It is in the situations where the physical evidence is spotty that are frightening. Frightening because if the bastard is guilty if he is found not guilty you have a rapist on the street. If it is the other way around then you have an innocent man in jail whos life is ruined because of someone else’s lies. Does anyone have some suggestions for a clear and fair definition of rape that can be used in a legal system as confused and confusing as ours? Please tell me what you think.

  97. 93
    Daran says:

    Patsy:

    Someone’s trying to confuse the issue, but it’s not the feminists. Here’s the story from the Post.

    Because we should always prefer a news report over an authoritative court document.

    Having said that, the report is fairly accurate and complete. Contrast with Marcotte’s version.

    Baby and Wilson were charged as adults with first-degree rape, among other charges. Wilson pleaded guilty to second-degree rape and was sentenced to 18 months. Baby’s first trial before a jury of 11 men and one woman ended in a mistrial. In his second trial, Baby was convicted of first-degree rape, first-degree sexual offense and third-degree sexual offense.

    Which convictions have now been overturned. In any case, that’s a summary of the judicial process. We’ve talking about the factual background to the case, so I don’t see the relevance.

    For those who didn’t read the case, which appears to be everyone defending the rapist in this thread,…

    That’s “alleged rapist”, now, because his conviction has been overturned. So he’s presumed innocent again.

    Who are the people who have been defending him? Name them, and cite the posts where they did this. Because all I’ve been doing is defending the factual record. May I remind you of the rules that apply here, particularly rule 1 and rule 3. In practice, where non-feminists critics have cast similar aspersions against feminists, Barry tends to demand that they substantiate their allegations, or retract. Or face a ban. Barry is much slower to ban feminists who abuse non-feminists, but I understand this to be double-standard in enforcement, not in the rules per se.

    Note that I have done this, with respect to Marcotte. I named her, pointed to her falsehoods, and showed that they so distorted the facts so as to amount to a reckless disregard for the truth. And I name you, Patsy, as someone who is defending lies, in the sentence quoted top. No sneery “those who…” innuendo from me.

    And yes, I read the ruling from beginning to end. Did you?

    the circumstances of the “consent” were that it was feebly offered in the middle of a gang rape.

    That’s one possible interpretation of the facts.

    Why would someone consent to be raped?

    Begs the question.

    Odds are they are scared of being hurt worse.

    Again, that’s one possible interpretation. I’m not complaining about your or Marcotte’s or anyone else’s interpretations (although I see little evidence of anyone besides myself being prepared to give the defendant any benefit of the doubt). I haven’t even disagreed with them. All I’ve done is point out other possible interpretations.

    What I’m complaining about, is Marcotte’s distortion of the factual record to such a degree that it rises to the level of lying. And I’m complaining about you, and bf defending her lies.

    So, rape defenders, answer this: If a woman consents to sex with a man threatening to shoot her if she doesn’t, was it rape?

    Do you mean me? Well of course you do in your sneery unsubstantiated and false manner. I’ll take the question, though. Of course it’s rape under those circumstances. In the case we’re talking about, though, there was no weapon, no explicit threat was alleged, and, depending upon how you interpret “I don’t want to rape you”, quite possibly no threat at all.

  98. 94
    Daran says:

    Oops, borked the markup – “Begs the question” was my reply to the preceding sentence.

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