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Dec 16 2010

This needed to be said about rape allegations

And Furry Girl says it perfectly [Warning, NSFW link], in respect to the Julian Assange drama :

When lefties fanatically spearhead every rape/abuse allegation leveled by anyone, they are creating an environment that enables and even encourages false accusations from angry parties. While it’s a travesty that police and courts tend to not believe people claiming that they have been sexually assaulted, the solution is not to unquestioningly champion anyone who makes the claim. Never believing and always believing allegations are both wrong. Rape and assault are awful, fucked up things, but that doesn’t mean claims shouldn’t be subjected to any fact-checking or skepticism. Murder is awful, too, and even with our badly flawed judicial system, we still generally try and sort out the facts and give the accused their day in court and a chance to defend themselves.

Hysterics will no doubt claim that I’m defending rape or don’t take it seriously. On the contrary: I consider rape and sexual assault accusations to be so serious that they deserve extra consideration and yes, even questioning when it’s warranted. I think we’re obligated to turn a critical eye on potentially fraudulent allegations. As someone who recently sung the praises of vigilante justice, I’m clearly all in favor of exacting harsh physical and social revenge upon rapists, predators, and abusers – but if you’re going to do that to someone, you had better be sure.

What is the workable alternative to having some degree of caution about rape accusations? Is the argument that rape is so terrible that it’s morally justifiable to destroy innocent lives in the pursuit of ferreting out any potential rapists? (The word for that is collateral damage.)

Make sure to read the whole article, as it’s a great overview on what’s gone down in Assange’s case specifically.

The only thing I disagree with Furry Girl about is her labeling this as a problem of the “feminist left.” I’m part of the feminist left, but I’m first and foremost a skeptic. This is just one of the many reasons why I think it’s so important to get more women to be skeptical thinkers. Questioning does not make us a “tool of the patriarchy” – questioning is empowering.

132 comments

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  1. 1
    Gus Snarp

    “When lefties fanatically spearhead every rape/abuse allegation leveled by anyone” I don’t even know what that means. As a lefty, I make it a point to leave rape allegations to the courts.

  2. 2
    Sivi Volk

    I’m… not sure this is really necessary. One can champion Wikileaks while acknowledging that Assange is super-creepy, in a ‘nice guy on the internet’ kind of way. Amanda Marcotte’s had some good discussion about this on Pandagon.See here for a good example: http://pandagon.net/index.php/

  3. 3
    Azkyroth

    If I remember correctly, Amanda Marcotte has been criticized for being very, very, very late in acknowledging that there was any reason to doubt the “victim’s” claims in the Duke Lacrosse case. One would hope she’d have learned from that, assuming the criticism’s justified, but…

  4. 4
    Improbable Joe

    I’m glad whenever someone uses current events to make a larger point. False rape allegations make it harder for real victims to get justice. Embracing claims about rape as true or false based on ideology is dangerous no matter who is doing it. And maybe we should take this a step further and stop taking sides on criminal claims about celebrities before we have any information about them… if for no other reason that rubbernecking at literal or figurative train wrecks isn’t exactly behavior to be proud of. And it seems that it needs to be explained to some people that in the same way that it is wrong to bring up a woman’s sexual history in order to discredit or diminish her rape claim, it is wrong to bring up a man’s history of sexist comments to discredit or diminish his claims of innocence of rape.

  5. 5
    Azkyroth

    Be careful. Some subschools of style-over-substance “feminism” consider the use of the word “hysterical” or derivatives to be so blatantly misogynistic as to justify not only ignoring literally everything else the person in question has said but expanding the attitude to cover words etymologically unrelated but similar-sounding. Either I’ve had an obnoxiously bad experience or you’re likely to be attacked just for quoting it.

  6. 6
    Azkyroth

    (Hah, it’s funny to read myself responding to idiots back when I wasn’t too tired and numb from repetition to actually give a shit. O.o)

  7. 7
    Adam

    I’m glad to FINALLY see someone treating this rationally.

  8. 8
    Teh Guest

    Accusations of child porn and terrorism have a similar devastating effect on a person’s life even if found not guilty. We need to avoid kneejerk reactions against hotbuttons like these. Crimes? Leave to courts to decide.

  9. 9
    Bruce Coppola

    @Jen:

    Questioning does not make us a “tool of the patriarchy” – questioning is empowering.

    That needs to be on a T-shirt, at least.

  10. 10
    Ben

    That’s all well and good, but the courts aren’t the only things qualified to make judgements on the validity of claims, especially when you can secure extradition orders with little to no evidence of those claims. A diplomatic system that can be so easily circumvented for convenience doesn’t say a whole lot about the criminal justice system.

  11. 11
    JustDucky

    Thank You. I (sort of) run in (some) feminist circles, and have felt like a “bad, evil woman” for thinking the whole thing sounded fishy and overblown. Why people think that you have to either ALWAYS believe the alleged victim, or ALWAYS believe the alleged perpetrator, I will never understand. Yeah, rape is a heinous and grievous crime, but so is destroying someone’s life by acting as a political tool and accusing them of crimes they didn’t commit. It’s going to be interesting to see how this plays out – I wonder if it’s even possible for Assange to actually get a fair trial in this.

  12. 12
    mihoda

    There is a distinction to be had between criticizing the rape charges and criticizing the specific timing of these charges. While nothing can be said about the validity of this specific case (he said, she said), especially from our lofty, press-informed, viewpoints. We can definitely draw conclusions around the political nature of the timing. These charges are NOT new. They have been on hold since October. It would be a coincidence of epic proportions if it just so happened that sweden starts an international manhunt for what is essentially a date rape charge, right after the release of internationally embarrassing information.I would have to turn off my rational thinking not to reach the conclusion that somebody (probably in the US state dept, eyes on you Clinton) is prodding the Swedish judicial system to incarcerate this guy on anything.Again, this says nothing about the validity of the charge.I merely ask, how many other international warrants are issued for accused date rapists, with no apparent 3rd party corraboration, no-additional evidence brought to bear, and three months after chargers were filed?How many?

  13. 13
    Sivi Volk

    I do agree that coming now, the charges are certainly tainted with politics. But I am very hesitant to cry “false allegation” for things like this.Still, I think http://jackofkent.blogspot.com… the most cautious take on it.

  14. 14
    CycleNinja

    As someone who recently sung the praises of vigilante justice, I’m clearly all in favor of exacting harsh physical and social revenge upon rapists, predators, and abusers…

    I could not disagree more strongly.Vigilante justice is all well and good in a Batman storyline, but in the real world, it is not justice–it’s revenge. Revenge often carried out by people who know the victim and have very close ties to them, and it’s almost never enacted after cold, calculated deliberation of the facts. That’s what the courts are for: to settle on who’s in the wrong and what needs to be done to them. Often imperfectly, for sure, but with a lot less bloodlust.

  15. 15
    Katherine

    THIS THIS THIS.

  16. 16
    ethanol

    The timing of this is definitely interesting whatever the truth of the case is. However, we should keep in mind that relatively simple, non-conspiratorial causes could also be at play here. There’s no doubt that this case, which was clearly not considered that important to Swedish prosecutors before the big scandal, just got a lot more interesting to them. And some of them may want to get on TV, or they just have big egos to feed.

  17. 17
    cat

    Except that there isn’t good evidence that false rape allegations are a substantial problem. They are, in fact, incredibly rare. False convicitions for rape are most common in rape/murder cases where the victim is dead, followed by misidentifications of the perp in a stranger rape. Over here in reality, false indictments for and convictions of rape are no more likely than those for murder, yet I do not see people jumping on the bandwagon to defend the innocence of those accused of murder cases or investigations in this way. Also, what do you mean by ‘questioning’, because most the the questioning you see around rape cases is all about questioning the victims credibility because she’s no virgin, wore tight clothes, went out the next day, etc and pushing myths that certain groups of women are unrapeable or ‘asking for it.’ Now there is something that hurts all rape victims.

  18. 18
    Michael Brown

    “Lefties”? OK, I’ll go read this on your recommendation, Jen, but starting off with a gigantic strawman like that doesn’t make me very hopeful I’m going to be edified by what I find.And the endorsement of vigilante justice the quote wraps up with doesn’t help any.@cat: “false indictments for and convictions of rape are no more likely than those for murder”Damning with faint praise, we call that. Logically, there’s no real way of knowing how prevalent false accusations of rape (or any other crime) may be. We know the prevalence of false accusations that are detected or acknowledged, but unless you’re suggesting the criminal justice system is perfect in its results…

  19. 19
    Michael Brown

    …ok, having read TFA now, it’s not so bad in context. But I still agree with Sivi above. I’m perfectly capable of holding two orthogonal thoughts in my head, that the organization Julian Assange founded is super-duper-democracy-whisky-sexy-awesome AND Julian Assange as a person may not be Gandhi reincarnated. The rape charges, except to the extent they can be shown to be trumped-up for political reasons, have nothing to do the debate over Wikileaks.

  20. 20
    laura_rachelle

    I have to respectfully disagree, Jen. This article is full of fail.First the strawman at the beginning. It’s not that anyone is saying that every rape accusation is true and that we should believe every word that every alleged victim says. That would certainly be wrong, but I’ve never heard any feminist make that claim. Instead, they say, we should give the victim the benefit of the doubt and proceed with a trial unless there is actual evidence of a false accusation, especially since false accusations are so rare. That is a skeptical position, unlike those who disbelieve a rape allegation without any evidence that the accuser is lying (and that certainly does seem to happen).Further, to this quote: “Murder is awful, too, and even with our badly flawed judicial system, we still generally try and sort out the facts and give the accused their day in court and a chance to defend themselves.” To which I say: Really, in what place in this world do those accused of rape not get a fair trial? Where do police not investigate the possibility of false allegations? I see no reason to think that the judicial system treats alleged rapists any worse than alleged murderers. If anything, in some places, the conviction rate for rape (or even “getting to trial” rate) is far less than other crimes. Finally, I really despise this trial by media, such as in this Assange case. Random people around the world don’t know the details of the case enough to make a judgement. That’s what real trials, with lawyers and judges, are for. While the justice system does screw up sometimes, it’s definitely better than conviction (or acquittal) by public opinion.

  21. 21
    PYXL

    “we should give the victim the benefit of the doubt and proceed with a trial unless there is actual evidence of a false accusation”So, for rapes in particular, you’re advocating “Guilty until proven innocent”?

  22. 22
    Demitri Morgan

    Yes, go through with the trial, let the accused be charged and tried, and damn the consequences of destroyed reputations, careers and family lives. Because, as we all know, all men are perverted swine with insufficient self control, and society needs to weigh more heavily the allegations of people claiming to be sex crime victims; they are the only ones who are capable of telling the truth in the matter since their attackers would never dare confess of their crimes.

  23. 23
    Valhar2000

    yet I do not see people jumping on the bandwagon to defend the innocence of those accused of murder cases or investigations in this way.

    I do see that, though perhaps it is because I move in the right circles.

  24. 24
    Blitzgal

    THANK YOU. I was coming in here to say the same thing. Requiring that everyone be allowed to bring their alleged attacker to face a fair trial is not “fanatic.” That is fucking INSANE.

  25. 25
    Blitzgal

    The aggressive prosecution is definitely political. All that does is illustrate the sad fact that the majority of “normal” accused rapists never even see a courtroom let alone get convicted.

  26. 26
    Blitzgal

    Oh please. I am so tired of people trotting out the Duke rape case. The prosecutor was disbarred and the guys never even went to court. The only unfair thing that happened to them was what happened in the court of public opinion. The media should’ve kept their noses out of the case.

  27. 27
    Blitzgal

    Oh for fuck’s sake, you’re whining about something someone said to you in a comments section two years ago and equating that with feminism at large, and with feminists having a problem with the historical way in which “female hysteria” has been medically treated in particular?

  28. 28
    Blitzgal

    “The rape charges, except to the extent they can be shown to be trumped-up for political reasons, have nothing to do the debate over Wikileaks.”Exactly.

  29. 29
    Cygore

    Over twenty years ago, I was in a leftist group, and a woman made false accusations of harassment. While she was getting promoted within the group, I was paranoid about everything I did. In the end, my grades suffered, I became physically ill, and I nearly had a nervous breakdown. To top it off, a couple went over to my apartment while I was out. When my roommate tried to close the door, one of them tried to force his way in. Even today I still have emotional scars from that experience.So agree that questioning claim is acceptable and a part of skepticism. That also means not resorting to ad hominem attacks against either party. If the founder of Wikileaks is a creep, that doesn’t diminish what he built. If he is a rapist, then he should serve jail time, and someone else should run Wikileaks.

  30. 30
    Michael Brown

    The _only_ thing? Aside from being tarred in the media and widely reviled in their own community as rapists, they were (as I recall, I’m not googling to confirm any of this, feel free to correct me) kicked off the team and suspended from the university. And they were criminally charged and the charge hung over their heads for months. As anyone unfortunate enough to have been in that position can testify, getting caught up in the criminal justice system, guilty or innocent, is an enormous personal and emotional strain. Not to mention financial – I imagine their collective legal bills ran into the tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars.

  31. 31
    Patrick (Rubbs) Regan

    “The only unfair thing that happened to them was what happened in the court of public opinion.”But that’s the point. That all it takes to ruin a man’s life is to say he raped you. In this society that accusation alone can cause you to lose jobs, lose families, and public support. How may of the American public knows that the Duke guys were acquitted? To dismiss these young men’s ruined public image as just a slightly unfair thing that happened to them, is to do exactly what this article was trying to say; take away the power of claims that are real.But that’s not the worst that can happen. False accusations can truly make people lose their lives: http://www.dallasnews.com/shar…Before you think I’m “pro rape” or something; I was an RA in college. The worst day on the job was when a resident of mine decided she didn’t want to go through with charges because she didn’t want it to go public. I cried that day, all day. I’m a man who things rape is possibly worse than murder. It destroys victims.

  32. 32
    Patrick (Rubbs) Regan

    Also agree, Assange may or may not be innocent. Either way he’s still a creep who has very predatory views against women. Even if he was guilty (and he could be), the timing and special treatment of this case makes it more political than it should be.Regardless of all above, it doesn’t mean I can’t agree with what Wikileaks is doing.

  33. 33
    Palaverer

    I disagree with this article so hard. Sexual assault sometimes leaves zero evidence. It becomes solely a matter of he said, she said. That was my experience, and I fit every stereotype of the embittered bitch who just wanted to ruin the reputation of the nice guy that everyone liked. While I maintain that no one should be punished for rape without evidence, and sometimes all the court or we as the public can do is shrug our shoulders and continue to treat the dude as a sterling citizen, it is NEVER justified to assume that the woman is lying. Think of it as a Schrödinger’s cat situation. Without evidence, he both is and is not a rapist.

  34. 34
    Svlad Cjelli

    I thought I’m seeing a “some subschools” of a type – “style-over-substance” – of pseudo- or quasi-feminism, as implied by (presumably) scarequotes in that post above. And in your post a string that looks like, “feminism at large”.My father’s dyslexia must be starting to kick in for me.

  35. 35
    Svlad Cjelli

    OR, he is what he actually is, but we should also act like we know what we actually know and not act like we know what we actually don’t know. :P This is mostly semantics, of course.

  36. 36
    loreleion

    I like the Schrödinger analogy, but I’d use it slightly differently. I believe very strongly in the concept of innocent until proven guilty, so without evidence, the man has to be assumed innocent. The same applies to the woman, though. She is also innocent of making false allegations until proven guilty. Even though the two are mutually exclusive from a logical perspective, we must assume that both are true.

  37. 37
    Palaverer

    Thanks loreleion, that’s the point I wanted to make.

  38. 38
    Katherine

    Very well said.

  39. 39
    jimmyboy99

    way he’s still a creep who has very predatory views against women.Can you quote to support that? Not disagreeing, but I’d not heard that said before.I heard (BBC Radio 4) that the case against was originaly investigated in the town where it happened, and dropped (doesn’t mean he was innocent – but the case could not be brought – and strong comments were made against the atempted prosecution at the time; again – I’d not draw too many conclusions from that). Apparently the investigation was started again after intervention by a politician and is being investigated by a magistrate from a different region (which matters in Sweden apparently).There are no sensible comments to be made about Assange’s guilt or otherwise unless there are facts to be brought to the table, particularly as the charges against him really very unclear. He needs to go to court and face his accusers. I have some sympathyw ith him when he said yesterday, that he was very happy to go to Sweden and face trial. What he was much more scared of was that he was more exposed to extradition to the US from there – and he was very scared of that outcome.What is clear though is that there is political interference in the judicial process. The UK Government was demonstrated to have interfered in our High Ct today, in the bail-granting appeal (which he won). There was a pretense that the Swedish Govt was appealing the granting of bail, a lie which they were obliged to refute publicly.Which means that someone in Britain very much wants Assange in jail and is prepared to go to significant and pretty nasty lengths to achieve it.

  40. 40
    jimmyboy99

    No – we have to believe both are innocent until proven guilty. The problem with the overt ‘innocent until proven guilty’ line in a rape case, is that by implication the accuser is then guilty of making a false claim. And that matters a lot – and is part of what stops women coming forward when they have been raped, I imagine.We have to be able to hold the logically impossible to be true (both are innocent) until there is proof one way or another. Genuine false rape accusations are horrible. But I don’t know why they happen (why would anyone want to go through that?) – and I think the discussion about them probably really over-eggs the frequence of their occurence.

  41. 41
    Demitri Morgan

    This, I think, may already be the case (fortunately) at least at the court level. In a trial, the accuser’s testimony would be treated as evidence, and because the accuser is in that case under oath, she would be punished for a false one, but in a different trial.The problem would be if there were indeed no evidence besides this testimony, and no other evidence that would exonerate the defendant. In this case, the testimony could be false, and deciding the merit of the accusation is entirely at the whim of the jury, who might just look at the plaintiff and decide that she is an “embittered bitch who just wanted to ruin the reputation of the nice guy that everyone liked”, or think “that poor woman, let’s put the man in jail”, when such a decision may not be the correct one.

  42. 42
    John

    It seems to me that the “innocent until proven guilty” concept could use some rethinking. Most of the commenters here who have touched on it appear to think that humans necessarily hold an opinion concerning everything that comes to their attention. Is it too much to ask of supposed skeptics to form no opinion without evidence? Waiting until a jury decides guilt or innocence does not mean we are required in the meantime to believe the preposterous notion that an accuser and the accused are both truthful. Do we really want to get tangled up in believing mutually exclusive things? “Innocent until proven guilty” is about how an accused person is treated under the law – not about impossible mental gymnastics.

  43. 43
    Gus Snarp

    Innocent until proven guilty is your position when the trial begins. It is the trial that attempts to prove you guilty. It makes no sense to say we are assuming someone is guilty by having a trial.

  44. 44
    Gus Snarp

    Or you could not go through with the trial and tell the victim you just don’t believe here because she seems like a crazy slut. Yeah, that’s a better option. That’s sarcasm for those of you who are bit slow.We have a system in the States, and I imagine the one in Sweden is similar. The police have to take an accusation seriously, otherwise you get the above case. This will usually result in an arrest. Then the prosecutor determines whether the evidence warrants attempting to go to trial or he should drop the charges or make a plea deal. Then, if the prosecutor has chosen to go to trial, the evidence is presented to a grand jury, which determines whether it merits a full trial. Another plea deal may be offered. Only then does an actual trial take place, at which the accused is assumed innocent until the evidence proves them guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. That system is run by people, so it is full of flaws. And at any point in the process a reputation can be destroyed, but what’s the alternative? Go back to my first paragraph above?Maybe this case is politically motivated and flawed, I don’t know. If it is then that’s wrong, but that’s a manipulation of the system, it doesn’t mean we start ignoring victims. Hopefully a trial will result in the right result. Miscarriages of justice happen, and there’s something interesting about this case: sure it’s possible that this is all politically motivated and an injustice may result, but it’s equally true that people are only concerned and talking about that for political reasons. How many innocent people are railroaded into prison or the death penalty for crimes of all sorts that they didn’t commit while we’re all silent? And how many of those are for reasons far more disgusting than these political ones, like race and poverty?

  45. 45
    Gus Snarp

    Also, you really think society weighs the allegations of sex crime victims more heavily, as a general rule? If (and it’s a big if) that’s the case, it certainly is a new development.

  46. 46
    Demitri Morgan

    Police also have to do something called detective work before bringing a charge against someone accused of a crime and sending said person to court, which at least could be said of murder cases.Yes, police have to take the victim’s claim seriously. That does not mean that establishing a motive, interrogating the suspect (which is a bit like what is happening in Assange’s case), performing forensic medical tests on the victim (if applicable and she consents), and questioning the friends and family of both victim and suspect are any less important than the claim itself.

  47. 47
    Jason Lang

    Agreed. Men especially are completely at the mercy of an accusation (founded or no).I’m a preschool teacher. I live in terror that someday some parent will make an accusation. If for nothing else, simply because that means my career is _over_. No place will hire an accused pederast. No parent will hand their child over to a potential molester. And, depending on where you live, you can be evicted from your home simply because of the accusation.Think about this: Can you imagine being a computer programmer, when one of your clients shows up and says you broke their computer. No investigation, no review, you immediately are terminated, and now nobody will even let you near a computer out of fear of breaking it. Your Masters in Computer Science? Worthless. Years of experience and working through the bottom-level jobs? Wasted. Go work in a McDonalds… all because someone accused you… right or wrong.For rape, it’s even worse, as over half of our population is the ‘potential target’ for your ‘deviant, inhumane, violence’. If you put something highly visible as this Assange case or the Duke case… then your life is more or less over. (Remember: legal cases find you ‘not guilty’, not ‘innocent’. The difference is that they didn’t _catch_ you… this time… That will haunt you like a red mark on your forehead, for the rest of your life.)And yes, it is that drastic. At least with a murder claim, you have to produce a body.

  48. 48
    Jason Lang

    I would so buy that shirt.

  49. 49
    Aardvark Cheeselog

    You have obviously never had any contact with the criminal justice system. Those guys had their lives turned upside-down for a year and between them were probably out $100K in legal expenses.I am really hard-pressed not to use profanity in expressing the contempt I feel for your remark.

  50. 50
    Demitri Morgan

    The original commenter was suggesting “we should give the victim the benefit of the doubt and proceed with a trial” is a skeptical position. THAT is what my sarcasm was an objection to, just to make that clear.One testimony shouldn’t be all that’s needed, because it’s more of a starting point than slam-dunk evidence. If it became a common law enforcement practice to go headlong into a charging the suspect and taking him to trial before anything more than an accusation can be gathered or learned about him, society would be more conducive for the false accusation to be used as a weapon.Just to make my position more clear.

  51. 51
    Bruce Coppola

    The People have spoken, Jen. Now quit playing around with that sciencey stuff and get to work. :)

  52. 52
    MarkthePilgrim

    Normally I merely lurk here, but as I’m in strong disagreement with this post, I think I’ll give my two cents on this matter. I hope you all read this post carefully so you don’t misread or imply anything contrary to my actual opinions.First of all, regarding Julian Assange, I admittedly haven’t been following the case. He might have done it, or he might not have. I wasn’t there. Rape is a very complex issue, so I’d be wary of relying on what is effectively hearsay and the unsubstantiated claims as found on the internet, which “Furry Girl” relies upon in paragraph five of her post. I’m not saying it is essentially true or untrue, but I wouldn’t place too much reliance on that part. Let the courts decide on a fair balancing of the evidence available. So I’ll reserve my judgement on Assange’s culpability.To get to my salient point; I think you and some of the commentators listed above have missed the point completely. The argument that many people simply accept the validity of the rape accuser’s claims without question is simply laughable, and furthermore is not backed up by evidence. On the contrary, a considerable amount of people are reluctant to even entertain the notion that a rape allegation might be true. Many people come in with their preconceived ideology of what constitutes rape and some even place the woman with a degree of responsibility. For example, rape conviction levels in the United Kingdom are at 8%. Admittedly some of the problem stems from the fact that evidence might be shady and inconclusive, but such a low conviction goes a long way in highlighting societal attitudes towards rape.The idea that leftist groups blindly follow and believe every rape allegation that is levied is also highly erroneous. It’s a pity that you would even quote an article that perpetuates such a myth. As someone mentioned previously, requiring that everyone be brought to trial for an allegation isn’t being frantic, it is upholding justice and the rule of law by holding everyone accountable to be brought before a fair trial to determine their wrong doing and culpability. Heck, Assange *should* be brought to trial if there is an allegation against him (I’d like to note in case any enthusiastic Assange supporter jumps on me, I said “brought to trial”, not necessarily be found guilty – that should be determined by understanding the facts). Additionally, where is this evidence that leftist groups believe every rape allegation? That seems more of an invention in the mind. Sure, some might believe an unsubstantiated claim, but that doesn’t represent everyone who aligns with the left. Get real.And furthermore, the idea that somehow men are the supposedly real victims of rape charges as alluded to by other members is just stupid. Yes, some men might have their lives ruined by false charges. My heart goes out to them. But you’re all missing the point that rape allegations and perhaps more importantly our attitudes towards it, often leads to societal shaming of the victim even if she is truthful. She might be viewed as a liar, a whore or a number of any other awful descriptors. Arguably, many men walk out of the ordeal seen as the victim of some spiteful and malevolent tart who wanted to drag him through the muck.But am I suggesting that all rape claims are valid and truthful? No, of course not; many people do have the capacity for maliciously creating false allegations (although going by some statistics, false accusations of rape aren’t epidemically high- on the contrary it is rather low). But what I propose is that as much as possible, we all reserve our judgement unless we have adequate facts and have evaluated them in respect of either side. In essence, we should adopt a case by case approach towards rape allegations. As aforementioned, the idea that we all blindly agree with rape allegations is not only untrue, but it also in effect serves to reinforce sexist and misogynistic viewpoints that downgrade rape in severity or deny its prevalence. It lends justification to any juror who would base his finding of not guilty based upon an ill informed idea that somehow the criminal justice system and society favours the female accuser, when in all honesty, it seems to be opposite.So in conclusion, yes you should think for yourself with regards to the rape claims, but don’t overgeneralise.

  53. 53
    n0b0dy

    It’s a bit of a tangent, but I find it highly problematic to say that “over half of our population is the ‘potential target.’” Men get raped by men. Men get raped by women. Women get raped by men. Women get raped by women. It’s just that men who get raped by women are taken even less seriously than women who get raped by male friends or acquaintances.

  54. 54
    silentwinter

    the whole thing stinks – taking a birds-eye view, the charges were dropped, wikileaks de-pants the USA, the charges get taken up again, charges which essentially look like “sex without a condom”, well…it’s mighty, mighty fishy. This case, unless there is some really hard evidence (unlikely, doubly unlikely to overcome the fact that at least one of the women threw him a party afterwards), should quite probably never go to trial. It’s really, really difficult to stop imagining some unseen hands painted in stars and stripes here.Whilst the USA seems hellbent on finding some way to punish Assange and wikileaks for printing the truth, it seems that they’ll clutch at any straws to get him put somewhere safe until they can fake^w dig up enough to actually charge him.Having said that; rape? Real bad, one of the few truly evil things in this world – if he’s guilty of it he should pay. If he’s not, he needs to be just as publically apologised to as he is now being vilified by certain media outlets.

  55. 55
    loreleion

    According to Wikipedia, “The U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics (1999) estimated that 91% of U.S. rape victims are female and 9% are male, with 99% of the offenders being male.” So sure, everyone’s a potential victim, but women have ten times more potential.

  56. 56
    Azkyroth

    Err.I’m not “whining” about anything, I’m pulling out an example I bookmarked at the time because it was so perfectly illustrative of a point I later found myself making about “style over substance” and the “cannot fail; can only BE failed” attitude some self-described feminists take towards ANY criticism of allegedly misogynist behavior. Nice bit of ham-handed well-poisoning, though.And the modern use of the word “hysterical” has no straightforward relationship to “the ways in which female hysteria has been medically treated” or to any medical subject at all. (“Histrionic,” having no etymological relationship to “hysteria” in the first place, has no relationship whatsoever.) And the behavior of snatching onto a turn of phrase with minimal relevance to the overall argument, grossly misreading or interpolating into it, and attacking the speaker on the basis of one’s bizarre misrepresentation is a habit that should be roundly mocked, particularly if such mockery also serves to preempt the latest round.

  57. 57
    Amanda Marcotte

    Proper skepticism should also be applied to rape apologists. In fact, I would say people who deny or make excuses for rape are much more eligible for proper skepticism. They resemble global warming or Holocaust denialists—people whose personal prejudices (in this case, fear of female empowerment) cause them to grasp at “she was asking for it” straws. In the Assange case, “skeptics” of the accusations are taking the defense attorney’s jokes on face value, immediately assuming the worst about women without a shred of evidence, and engaging in conspiracy theories involving the CIA. Conspiracy theories, taking interested parties’ arguments on their word without proof, following tabloid media instead of doing your own research? That’s the opposite of skepticism.

  58. 58
    Annamatopoetry

    Argh, Jen, you’re usually so sane but this is 100% frustrating. Regardless the so-called suspiciousness of the timing, have you SEEN how this women have been treated? what they have been called, what kind of detail of their personal lives have been made public simply because some overpriviliged fanboys who claim to be pro-justice feels offended that their personal heron was accused of a crime (I am not even going to get into the fact that the link you post to refers to online sources that may or may not be true)? Victims of sexual violence are ignored or made fun of EVERY DAY when they dare going public, and are thus kept quiet. I don’t know, no one knows, if Assange is guilty, let the court determine that (hint: as a Swede, knowing Swedish courts, I don’t think they can stick anything on him) but regardless of the Assange accusations, let’s not forget that there’s tons of cases where the perpetrator never felt they did anything wrong and the victim still felt violated. Or didn’t feel violated at first, and then realized what had actually been going on. Or felt they deserved it and were (hopefully) persuaded differently. Anyway, this has awakened an important debate in Sweden about sexual privilege and gray zones around sexual abuse, following a hashtag started by Johanna Koljonen called #prataomdet (#talkaboutit) in which literally thousands of women and men have tweetet (and blogged) about sexual abuse and violence. It’s worth discussing and it’s worth taking a look at -some info at http://prataomdet.se/in-englis

  59. 59
    Improbable Joe

    “Rape apologists”?!?!It seems like you’ve made up your mind before even hearing a single fact, since as far as I can tell no one on either side of the issue that I’ve seen is trying to excuse or justify rape. Even the people skeptical of the charges against Assange aren’t claiming that he should get away with a rape, they are only questioning if a rape occurred at all.Of course, based on your word choice I guess there’s no difference between doubting a rape accusation and approving of a rape… nasty stuff there. I’ll try to avoid getting anywhere near it.

  60. 60
    FunnyFeminist

    Call me crazy, but I don’t think it’s at all helpful to respond to a victim’s allegations of rape with, “She COULD be lying.” No fucking shit, but she’s probably not. Whether or not Assange is found guilty of rape, the women are still victims. They feel that way, and they live that way for the rest of their lives. Do we automatically call Assange a rapist? No, but the women are still survivors and victims, and we should treat them as such, instead of turning ourselves as conspiracy theorists and turning the women into lying sluts. Just like when someone burglarizes your house, but nobody gets caught. Your possessions don’t magically appear in your house simply because nobody was found guilty of the crime. You’re still a victim of a crime. It’s still a gross violation of your privacy and property, and it’s something that takes a lot of hard work to get over.

  61. 61
    FunnyFeminist

    Your opinion only works if there’s no such thing as patriarchy. If you’re on this blog, I certainly hope you understand that this is not the case. The truth is, most victims don’t report because of wonderful skeptics like yourself who are so smart that they respond to rape accusations with, “Are ya sure, sweetie?” You don’t seem to see the difference between calling someone a rapist and recognizing women who bring forth allegations as the victims that they are. When someone brings up the subject of rape to you, you respond by putting your focus on protecting the alleged perpetrator and throwing the victim under the bus. You emphasize the extremely slim chance that the rape didn’t happen and completely invalidate the very real feelings of violation that every rape victim feels. You come to the rescue of the poor guy who gets accused of rape and accuse the victim of at least misunderstanding the man (whom she is culturally obligated to understand at all times, while he may float through life without even knowing what rape is), if not outright lying. That is rape apologia at its very worst. If you don’t see it that way, you need to educate yourself.

  62. 62
    FunnyFeminist

    So let me get this straight. You’re complaining that people falsely label men rapists when there isn’t enough evidence to prove it, but you have no problem calling the complainants (I won’t call them victims, lest you think I’m hurting the fee-fees of some alleged rapist somewhere who’s really innocent, since they all are, aren’t they?) liars, even though there’s absolutely no evidence that the accusations are fraudulent. Do you realize that this makes no sense whatsoever? I bet you’d love to live in Pakistan, where a woman needs like 10 witnesses to a rape for there to be sufficient proof that it occurred. And if those 10 witnesses are the men who raped her, they can easily deny it, and she gets put the death for adultery. Everyone wins! The mere possibility that the accusation is false, by the mere fact that there is such a thing as a false accusation, is proof enough that the dude is innocent. But the victim has to swear on a stack of semen-soaked Bibles while swaddling Baby Jesus in a Santa hat for you to possibly entertain the idea that she just might be telling some version of the truth. That’s 100% rape apology.

  63. 63
    Improbable Joe

    That’s all nonsense and delusional/dishonest to boot. You seem like you’re suffering from a seriously sexist attitude that makes it difficult to engage with other people. Based on another comment you made, you’re sexist towards men AND women, which is especially effed up. Since you’re flat out wrong about my supposed attitude towards rape victims, I would have to assume that you’re either unwilling to be honest or incapable of it. BTW, and not coincidentally, you’re falling into the exact fallacy that Jen and Furry Girl are pointing out: you assume that anyone accused of rape is most likely guilty without evidence or a trial, and accuse anyone who is more rational than you of being somehow a “rape apologist.” Nonsense, from top to bottom.

  64. 64
    Improbable Joe

    Ummm…. if Assange didn’t rape those women, how can they be victims? Do you automatically assume all women are victims by default through some sort of weird sexist stereotyping?

  65. 65
    Azkyroth

    This is starting to sound familiar…

  66. 66
    Azkyroth

    They could still be victims if the sense of being a victim makes you one. There’s arguably some truth to this, but it doesn’t follow that anyone else is responsible for it.Of course, by that reasoning, my ex-wife’s cousin, to whom my father’s business was convinced to offer a job on the basis that he was a “genius computer expert with some social skills issues,” whom my father was pressured to nevertheless hire after it became clear that “computer genius” meant “plays a lot of WoW,” and who spent over a year employed at the company being paid for work he was strikingly disinterested in doing and for being severely disruptive of the office environment because my father felt too sorry for him, given his life history and disability diagnosis, to actually fire him and the situation progressed to the point where my ex had to intervene herself and for whom my parents purchased a large amount of household goods and accessories when he moved here to accept that job offer, really did “get screwed over by” my father.Unless, of course, we want to introduce some matter of whether or not the sense of victimization has any realistic relationship to the way events actually played out. But then, simply admitting the possibility that what actually happened is relevant to the truth or falsity of criminal accusations seems to be enough to get you branded a “rape apologist” in some circles.

  67. 67
    Azkyroth

    No one is suggesting that anyone not be allowed to bring their attacker to a fair trial, assuming the probable cause requirements for an indictment can be met.The gleeful attempts at execution in the court of public opinion, pre-trial, are, however, absolutely out of line.

  68. 68
    Azkyroth

    [Robert Clotworthy Impression]Don’t let it get to ya, man. This happened to me once….[/Robert Clothworthy Impression] (See previous link)….did my previous comment obliquely suggesting that this reflects the misuse of “patriarchy” as a magic buzzword that automatically justifies any possible argument containing it actually get deleted? :/

  69. 69
    Azkyroth

    How does anything you said in that comment follow from JustDucky’s statement?If you’re just going to have the argument YOU *want* to have no matter what anyone else says……why have it *here?*

  70. 70
    Svlad Cjelli

    Could be page-whoring, but that’s more commonly done at the very top.

  71. 71
    Svlad Cjelli

    I fully agree. The Holocaust; global warming; the Assange rape case – same level of publicly available evidence across the board. *rolleyes*Does anyone around here actually post apologetics in favor of rape, btw? Anybody care to give me a search-string to highlight some of those comments?

  72. 72
    Svlad Cjelli

    You’re misreading, I think. FunnyFeminist leads into it with “… she’s probably not [lying]“.”Whether or not Assange is found guilty of rape, the women are still victims”, builds on that assumption. This is technically correct, though the premiss of probability may be exaggerated.

  73. 73
    Improbable Joe

    Hah! You’ve been taken down by the… MATRIARCHY!!! As long as we’re throwing around magic “get to be right 110% of the time even when we make no sense” buzzwords, it is only fair that men get one too! I’m Hispanic so I’m automatically the victim of the Whitetocracy, and since I’m only 5’7″ I’m also currently being victimized by the NBA. There’s a lawsuit pending on that one. Luckily, I still get to oppress people with my full head of hair, and my possession of a functioning penis is clearly oppressing all women within my sphere of influence and making victims of them.All kidding aside, this sort of political posturing on the backs of people making rape claims is sort of nasty stuff, especially since it requires so much obvious dishonesty and twisting of reality.

  74. 74
    Azkyroth

    There are people out there to whom posts like FunnyFeminist’s would actually be a proportionate response, people who really do immediately ask “well what was she wearing?” when they hear a woman was raped.Either she’s just having the argument SHE wants to have because it’s more convenient and satisfying and we’ve been unwittingly cast as bad guys in a puppet show for one, or some “feminists*” really do believe that “people who ever disagree with me on anything” is a huge, monolithic, homogeneous group of THE ENEMY whose members are all identical and interchangeable.

  75. 75
    Azkyroth

    way he’s still a creep who has very predatory views against women.Can you quote to support that? Not disagreeing, but I’d not heard that said before.

    There’s certainly evidence that he enjoys having sex with women and seeks it out, even without necessarily seeking a relationship alongside it. Keep in mind that to some people, a man wanting sex is automatically predatory.I’ve heard there may be more to support this attitude in copied emails of his but I haven’t sought them out and I note that no one has responded to this demand for evidence. :/

  76. 76
    Azkyroth

    The analogy would be more to something like that “why do you hate America?” non-sequitur that the Faux News bubbleheads are so fond of. And I certainly wouldn’t want to adopt the same intellectually dishonest approach. >.>

  77. 77
    Azkyroth

    Err, I guess you were responding directly to Amanda Marcotte.Response still applicable.

  78. 78
    Improbable Joe

    There are terrible people out there who do pretty nasty things to rape victims. This case keeps reminding me of Roman Polanski, who admitted to sodomizing a little girl and has been on the run for decades, and who has a huge fan following and an army or rich and famous friends who are also actual real life rape apologists. Also, this idiot from Colorado:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…The mistake being made is that some folks want to lump everyone in with those terrible people. There’s something awfully “fanatical” about seeing the world in those sorts of black and white absolute terms. Either you’re onboard with everything they believe in, or you’re a rape apologist and their mortal enemy. The world is a much more interesting place and few people really fall that far to the extreme.

  79. 79
    Jackhuskey

    Humm… seems the next step would be… Every verdict of “not guilty” or dropped charge would result in an indictment for slander and purgery? Or is purgery still a crime since the Clinton administration? I forget.Since this is the web, I am gonna post a note. The above comment isn’t exactly sarcasm, it isn’t exactly the way I feel on the matter and it isn’t a flame pointing at anyone in particular. It is just a comment to inspire further conversation.

  80. 80
    Jackhuskey

    What this comes down to is that in many cases there is no evidence of rape except the testimony of the alleged victem. If that is all there is it would make for a really quick trial. Prosecutor: “She says the Defendant raped her.” Defence council: “He says he didn’t.” Judge: “Ok Jury, go vote.” We could knock out alot of trials very fast like that. So what is the solution for this? 1. Ladies, go get a martial arts class. Learn where the weak points are on the human body, learn how to throw a punch or an elbow even while pinned to the ground by a guy twice your size. If you are being raped, HURT that man. Maybe he will hurt you back? Probably so, but if you go to the cops with a black eye and say “He raped me” and they go pick him up and he has a black eye too, that is a MUCH stronger case than He said/She said. 2. Don’t accept drinks/drugs from people you just met or barely know. Assume there is a ruffie in the glass unless you poured it yourself. 3. Hell this stuff is common sence… but even if you do everything right and perfect you are only reducing the odds that something bad will happen, the only way to be perfectly safe is to never deal with annother human being again. Assange is not responsible for how anybody “Feels” other than Assange. I have been a robbery victem, I felt bad, I got over it, I learned how to fight, I carry a weapon (Legaly). About Assange? I wasn’t there, none of us were, our opinions on what he did or didn’t do are based 100% on what other people are telling us. Now he DID compromise US intelligence/diplomatic information and that is a crime. If it takes an arrest on some trumped up weak assed She said/He said rape charge to get him extradited to stand in frount of a US federal judge, I am all for that. Let the man serve his time in Ft Leavenworth KS then go back to sweden to be found not guilty of the rape charge… If we were living in a perfect world.

  81. 81
    FunnyFeminist

    The part where they said that it makes no sense to always believe rape victims, due to the mere existence of such a thing called a false accusation. I’ve done you a favor this time by doing your rereading for you, but don’t expect it next time.

  82. 82
    FunnyFeminist

    I’m sexist toward men and women for pointing out your privilege-loving tendencies. That would make me laugh if it wasn’t such a played out meme. Again, you don’t understand the difference between labeling someone a rapist before a trial and labeling a victim a victim. You think that believing a rape victim automatically means we’re ascribing guilt to someone. That’s not true.

  83. 83
    FunnyFeminist

    See, you think that if a rape victim identifies the wrong guy, then they weren’t raped at all. The question isn’t whether they were raped. The question is whether they were raped by Assange. Nobody here is calling Assange a rapist. But women don’t walk into police stations and tell the cops they’ve been raped because it’s Tuesday. They don’t want to go through the questioning and medical exams, which is why most women don’t report, but they do because they want justice. And while rape victims really do want the right guy to be put in prison, their IDs could still be wrong. That doesn’t mean they weren’t raped at all. That would be like saying someone wasn’t murdered if the person who was brought to trial for the murder is found innocent.

  84. 84
    Improbable Joe

    You lied about my “privilege-loving tendencies”, and you’re a sexist because on top of feeling that all men are bad even if it means you have to lie in order to produce evidence of it, you somehow think that being female makes you a rape victim even if you haven’t been raped, and women are incapable of lying about being raped. Here’s the thing: if you believe anything along the lines of “Person X is automatically Y because of their gender” then you’re a sexist. If you think men are guilty of rape even after being proven innocent in court because women just wouldn’t even lie about being raped, you’re being sexist.

  85. 85
    Azkyroth

    Are you actually willing to defend the claim that no one has ever fabricated, or would ever fabricate, a claim of having been victimized to smear someone and/or to get attention?

  86. 86
    FunnyFeminist

    Then by that definition, I’m not sexist, and you don’t know how to read.

  87. 87
    Svlad Cjelli

    I did a quick google search. Here’s something: http://www.nerve.com/news/curr

  88. 88
    Svlad Cjelli

    He talked about what he looks for in women on a dating site, mentions that western women are vapid, and that, btw that goes for men as well “lol”. Also something about “a gentleman never tells” got some reaction in the comments. This was only the first relevant search hit.

  89. 89
    Svlad Cjelli

    (… and Azkyroth)Ah, yeah, if she’s not talking about this case, then a case could be made that my post was the (locally) off-topic one.

  90. 90
    Svlad Cjelli

    Ah, so your objection is to the accusations possibly being a deliberate lie, and not to the accusations possibly being mistaken or confused.

  91. 91
    Svlad Cjelli

    Is it a punishable offence for all distributors, or only Manning and WikiLeaks?

  92. 92
    MarkthePilgrim

    Only thing wrong with that is that views like that (not that I’m accusing you of doing this) place too much emphasis on the woman avoiding rape, rather than emphasis on men not raping women. Not that I disagree with that advice itself (I think everyone regardless of sex should know how to fight – and most importantly when and what extent to fight), but I find that a lot of rape prevention measures can have negative effects on the woman themselves and our notions of rape. Not that I’m accusing you of holding any of these views (don’t take it the wrong way!) but a lot of the time when a woman is raped, people inquire on whether she listened to any of the aforementioned advice, which itself has a way of harming notions of rape by almost making the woman who didn’t follow the advice be seen as irresponsible and partially culpable. So yes, I agree that all women should be taught self-defence and some awareness, but at the end of the day rape wouldn’t be happening unless men themselves were taught issues of consent, empathy, sexuality and how to treat women. So whilst I agree rape prevention measures for women are very useful, I’d rather have parents, schoolteachers and mentors teaching males from an early age of what things are unacceptable towards women.

  93. 93
    Dan W

    I’ve been skeptical about these accusations against Assange from when I first heard of them, because the timing (right around the same time Wikileaks started releasing diplomatic cables) seemed fishy. As far as I can discern, he had consensual unprotected sex with two women, and the lawyer against him is not the most reputable person either. In any case, accusation of rape (and similar violent acts) is something that should be looked at seriously and skeptically, and I’ve learned to not just automatically assume the accused is guilty after the Duke lacrosse case.

  94. 94
    Jackhuskey

    I will go out on a limb and say that everyone who compromises US intel data and US Diplomatic cables and distributes them to unauthorized persons is guilty of 18 U.S.C. 793. and should be imprisoned for up to 10 years. ALL.

  95. 95
    Jackhuskey

    Mark, if we could convince every human to stop committing crimes by teaching them issues of consent, empathy, respect for life and property, we could just shut down the prisons. But the fact is, criminals are going to commit crimes. Men will rape, murder, steal, defraud, assault and every other criminal act no matter how many classes we give them. And what about the men too poor to go to the school where those classes are taught? Mark, I am a professional Corrections Officer and I deal with criminals every duty day. The OVERWHELMING number of them commit crimes because they just don’t think the rules apply to them. That said, women cannot change men’s behavior by teaching them how to be good people. So if classes won’t stop bad men from doing bad things, what will? Force and violence used in self defence. If a woman knows that she might be attacked and raped and does nothing to prepare herself physicaly and mentally to fight back and prevent the rape, yes, she is acting irresponsibly. Yes, she is the victim of a crime, No she is not responsible for that mans actions but with the proper training and weapons she might not of been a victim and might of prevented his actions. I would never use the expression “She was askin for it.” to describe a rape victim but allow me to be a little bit “Reddicto ad absurdem” here. Imagine 2 women. One of them stays home with her door locked and her gun collection well maintained and well used and spends a fun night with her online friends playing StarCraft2 and cleaning her Karate Gi with black belt. The other girl puts on a revealing outfit, gets really drunk/high and goes and spends the evening with a bunch of college boys who are all drinking and getting high. Which if these 2 women is more likley to be raped? Does the one that got raped not know that what she did increased the odds of her getting raped? I am not condoning rape, but I am not condoning people increasing the odds of bad things happening to them then complaining that a bad thing happend to them and THEN SAYING that something should be done about it. You ever see a skateboarder wipe the f**k out break a limb then start saying concrete ramps should be made out of something softer so that they can continue thier dangerous behavior without getting hurt? The first rule of satanism is “Do what you want, but don’t flinch when the consequences of your actions appear.” If more men AND women lived by this creed the world would be a much better place.

  96. 96
    Jackhuskey

    Deliberate lie or mistaken accusation, they both end up with a man’s life, carreer, family, and money getting ruined even though he did nothing wrong. It’s just the world we live in. SO when just the accusation (founded or not) has such power, we as a nation/world need to stop and think “this is just an accusation, not a guilty verdict” before we let this news color our thinking about the accused rapeist. If a man confesses to rape (like Roman Polanski) or is found guilty by a jury of his peers (like Mike Tyson), yeah, wreck thier life, bigtime jailtime where with a little luck and karma they will be raped themselves. But unproven allegations have too much power. We need to change the way we view alleged rapeists because they MIGHT be the victems of deliberate lies or mistaken accusations, just like they MIGHT be rapeists.

  97. 97
    loreleion

    Maybe you would never use the words “she was asking for it,” but you damn well use the sentiment. You clearly think that if both of your hypothetical women were raped, the “irresponsible” one deserved it more. This is victim blaming in its purest form.Die in all the fires.

  98. 98
    Svlad Cjelli

    Does that include the bare information in the cables spreading, or is it limited to the actual original text being copied and distributed?

  99. 99
    Noxiousnan

    Laura Rachelle said: “Really, in what place in this world do those accused of rape not get a fair trial? Where do police not investigate the possibility of false allegations? I see no reason to think that the judicial system treats alleged rapists any worse than alleged murderers.”In Nevada, for one. There are mandatory minimum sentences for sexual assault, and thus the prosecutors have very little ability to offer deals, unlike murder trials where there are no such requirements. Neither the jury nor the victim are advised of the sentencing structure, and the definition of sexual assault includes situations that are gray to say the least, such as where both parties are inebriated. Got that? You can be drunk, obtain verbal consent and still end up behind bars for life.When a friend of mine was falsely accused in 2005 I saw the whole process from arrest through trial and it was a travesty that he has never recovered from, and he has been unemployed since (even though it never did go to trial). The police did not investigate false accusations. What they did was lie to the accused, misdirect from the part of the victims statement that completely contradicted the charges and threatened the victim with prosecution when she tried to drop the charges. False accusation is a bit of a misnomer. People assume the term means the victim lied, when in actuality lying victims are probably the smallest percentage of false accusations. This is complete hearsay from the prosecutor (I got to know everyone pretty well), but he told me that feminist groups show up in force every time they try to inject a little sanity into the situation. I say to the commenters here that consider a small percentage of men having their lives destroyed as acceptable collateral damage – how does that help the feminist cause? And anyway, men aren’t the only collateral damage:http://www.magicvalley.com/new…BTW, the court of public opinion almost always convicts with zero evidence. Not just the local papers or even the local employers, but friends, family, children, strangers on the street. There is always that question because why would a woman lie about such a thing is the uneducated default opinion.

  100. 100
    MarkthePilgrim

    I’m going to break this post up into two pieces for fear of making a tl;dr argument:I’m going to highlight how illogical that entire argument is by asking you to imagine something that is intentionally designed to make you feel uncomfortable. I’m not trying to trivialise rape but just bear with me here. Let’s say you go out in your new GAP jeans with some of your friends to a club and you all get very drunk/high. You go in the bathroom and a man follows you inside. He is feeling sexually aroused looking at you in your new GAP jeans and subsequently rapes you. You become a victim of male rape. Now, would you not go to the authorities because you believe that wearing those clothes lead to your rape? No you wouldn’t. You wouldn’t blame yourself; you would blame the other man. You could say that GAP jeans aren’t the same as a revealing outfit, but they are in essence. They’re both in theory made to make the person wearing them attractive. With the exception of burqas or habits, almost all of our clothing are designed to make us look good – maybe not to attract other people, but for one’s own gratification. Heck, a lot of women wear fashionable clothing not for men, but to make herself feel like a million dollars.If you feel GAP jeans don’t carry the same weight as wearing a revealing dress, then imagine you go hang out on the beach with your friends and you all get drunk. You take off your top. A malicious male who is aroused by the sight of your exposed body follows you to a secluded part of the beach and rapes you. Let’s apply your logic in the example above with a quote from you. I’m tweaking your post so that it applies to the male gender btw.”Which if these 2 men is more likley to be raped? Does the one that got raped not know that what he did increased the odds of her getting raped? I am not condoning rape, but I am not condoning people increasing the odds of bad things happening to them then complaining that a bad thing happend to them and THEN SAYING that something should be done about it”…So, because according to your logic you ‘increased the odds of yourself getting raped’ that it means that you don’t have any right to complain about your rape? If it was a brother or son and they came and said they were raped, would you say this? Would you tell your son “Hey man, I’m not condoning rape or anything, but you have no right to complain as you wore that polo top when you knew everyone would get aroused from it, therefore you have no right to complain.” The last part of your quote is especially laughable. Heck, you *are* condoning rape under that reasoning! Even if one increases the odds of something negative happening they shouldn’t have recourse to justice? The point is that no one should be forcing another into a sexual act anyway! So even for the sake of the argument, we assume your position; it still wouldn’t make sense as that man shouldn’t be punished for breaking the law regardless of what the victim did. Because by saying they shouldn’t be complaining, you’re effectively saying that they shouldn’t have recourse to justice. I’m trying to wrap my head around this reasoning. It’s a common fallacy, but my God is it stupid. If your logic can’t be applied to male rape, why is female rape the exception? Why does it matter on what a female wears, but not what a male wears? No one ever, ever, ever, ever asks to be raped.

  101. 101
    Azkyroth

    Like I said:How does your comment follow from that?

  102. 102
    Azkyroth

    No, under that definition, if you’re not sexist, you’re communicating poorly.

  103. 103
    Azkyroth

    <blockquote.as <=”" against=”" and=”" as=”" blockquote=”" can=”" consensual=”" discern,=”" either.=”" far=”" had=”" he=”" him=”" i=”" is=”" lawyer=”" most=”" not=”" person=”" reputable=”" sex=”" the=”" two=”" unprotected=”" with=”" women,=”">Well, duh, he/she’s a *lawyer*.</blockquote.as>

  104. 104
    Azkyroth

    Are you seriously trying to reason with a bootlicking authoritarian?

  105. 105
    MarkthePilgrim

    You know, my mother just told me that as well(she funnily enough used to be a former prison officer as well, but doesn’t hold such views)! Erm, I don’t know the guy well enough to assume he is a stubborn autocrat, so I’ll reserve judgement until I’m proven wrong. But yes, it did cross my mind.The thing about this, is that even if Jackhuskey’s opinion isn’t changed, someone else who might read this could be inspired to think a bit more.

  106. 106
    Improbable Joe

    …which is always possible. FunnyFeminist may just be doing a terrible job of expressing an opinion. I wouldn’t be surprised, since this is a pretty emotional issue. I’d not be surprised if I didn’t do such a great job either. :)

  107. 107
    Jackhuskey

    Maybe you are not aquainted with the term “reddicto ad absurdem”. Also don’t put words in my mouth, I never said either one of the 2 examples “deserved” anything. To paraphrase myself, One of them was taking extreeme steps to protect herself, and the other was being extreemly foolish. Are you incapeable of seeing the diffrence between careful and foolish? Nobody ever “deserves” to be raped, and if you think that I believe they do that just means you are a moron.

  108. 108
    Jackhuskey

    Nope, same rules apply, male or female… Do something stupid, bad thing results from you doing something stupid, you don’t have near as much right to complain about the bad thing happening as the one who did everything right and the bad thing happened anyway.Let me put it annother way and open with a few examples. I wish people would stop smoking, it would cut down on Lung cancer, emphesima, heart disease, ect. I wish people would stop driving fast in the rain, it would cut down on automotive fatalities. I wish people would stop making poor decisions about thier personal security, it would cut down on rapes robberies and murders. If I had some kind of magic button I could push to where nobody would ever get raped again, I would push it. If I thought it would be effective to tell all potential rapeists I come into contact with to never rape a woman, I would tell them; I don’t think it would be effective so I don’t do it. However I do think it might be effective to tell potential rape victems that they should make good decisions reguarding thier personal safety. I am just going down the list of mental scenarios in my mind and none of them involve a man saying “I was going to go rape that woman, but Jack said not to, so I won’t.” But I can see some woman here or in the world thinking, “that jack guy might be a little off the beaten path, but maybe I should join a dojo/get a weapon permit/stop getting sh*t faced drunk in public places full of horny 20 somethings I don’t know.” Maybe I’m a dreamer… but I am pretty sure I am not the only one.

  109. 109
    JackHuskey

    Annother absurd example. 2 kids are struck by lightning while playing in 2 seperate parks. One of them was sitting on a wooden bench waiting for the storm to pass before he goes home, the other was running around with a big metal pole in his hands. Both of these examples are a tragedy of human life cut short, but I am going to feel worse for the kid that was NOT doing the extreemly stupid thing at the time of his death than the one that was. Rape is such an emotional issue, with automatic reactions and all kinds of “hot button-ness”.I’m gonna share something that happend to me. About 3 years ago I was dateing a woman and between the time that we met and we got serious she got raped by one of her neighbors. I was ready to go inflict some vigilante justice on this cat untill I heard the rest of the story. She was drunk, bigtime, she was in her underwear (wild party) the guy laid down in her bed without permission, he refused to leave her bed when told to do so, she laid down in her bed with this strange man (she was drunk) He wakes up, rapes her and leaves. When all I knew was “She was raped,” I was prepared to kill, when I knew the rest of the story and the HORRIFICLY stupid things she did that lead up to the rape, I washed my hands of punishing this man. I was sympathetic, this was the woman I loved, but damn that was stupid of her to do that. I told her I would support her if she called the police or if she didn’t. Then I held her hand and taught her that if she never did that again it would cut down the odds of it ever happening again. TTOMBK she never called the police.

  110. 110
    JackHuskey

    Reasoning with an authoritarian would seem to be less of a waste of time than reasoning with some overly-emotional anarchist. If you present a more solid argument to an authoritarian his tendancy to follow strenght would lead him to the stronger argument. Arguing with someone who is so emotionaly involved that he refuses to think, only willing to feel, is like someone with his fingers in his ears saying “Blah Na Na Na, I can’t hear you.” Grow up some.

  111. 111
    JackHuskey

    I don’t think I follow you exactly on this. Are you asking “would only WikiLeaks/Assange be guilty or is everyone who copy/pasted/forwarded the data guilty too?” If that is what you are asking, this is my responce. That would be for a grand jury to decide, then for a diffrent jury to decide again after a trial. Personally I believe that all people who compromise US intell data and US diplomatic cables and distributes them to unauthorized persons should be imprisoned for up to 10 years.

  112. 112
    JackHuskey

    So, would you say that women need to be 10 times more careful?

  113. 113
    Rollingforest

    first, even if a false rape allegation had never occured in the history of humanity, both sides should have their stories questioned because that’s how the justice system is supposed to work.And second, in date rape cases, where the evidence for consensual and non-consensual sex is often the same and the case descends into a he said/she said character, whose to tell how many falsely accused people have been put in jail (or how many guilty people have been set free)? That’s the problem with date rape cases is that physical evidence one way or the other is hard to come by so it is much more likely that the wrong result is reached.

  114. 114
    Rollingforest

    Neither side should be given the benefit of the doubt.

  115. 115
    Rollingforest

    No, the woman would only be found guilty of lying about rape if it could be proven that she did. If it is unclear whether or not the rape occured, then both sides would go free.

  116. 116
    Rollingforest

    Actually, I think the idea that most people doubt the accuser is a myth. In fact, in most cases the majority of the public automatically assumes the accused is guilty. It’s reported in the newspapers isn’t it? So it must be true, they think. One example of this dynamic can be seen in the before mentioned Duke lacrosse case where people where calling for the boys to be castrated, all before the case went to trial (where they were ultimately found not guilty).

  117. 117
    Svlad Cjelli

    Yes, everyone who compromises, everyone who compromises. I’m asking you what discrete distributions count as that. If you were on the jury, with your current understanding of the law, how would your voice fall in the matter?

  118. 118
    Svlad Cjelli

    Why did you want to hurt the man before? Was is an idea of retributionary justice, or maybe a deterrent to repeated offense? If it was because the man seemed bad, or deserving of violence, did you later consider him still bad, but not bad enough to be deserving of violence?If it was to correct his future behaviour, did you later consider that his behaviour, though rude, was not rude enough to warrant correction?

  119. 119
    Svlad Cjelli

    No, I agree. But I’m a safety fetishist, so take my opinions on safety measures with a grain of salt.

  120. 120
    Azkyroth

    You might assume so, but you’d be wrong. His tendency to follow strength may lead him to accept the arguments of the party he perceives as stronger, but his tendency to follow rules will lead him to accept the arguments of the party he perceives as “in charge” even if they contradict the arguments of the stronger-seeming party. He is unlikely even to attempt to evaluate the arguments on their merits.

  121. 121
    Azkyroth

    If we were living in a perfect world, it would not be necessary to expose the corruption and dishonesty of the US government and its associates in the first place, so this would be a moot point.

  122. 122
    thefremen

    SO GLAD that SOMEONE had the courage to point out that there are only a few different acceptable behaviors for rape survivors/victims and if someone doesn’t act just so, then there is no way they could be a rape victim. If a woman stays with her husband after he repeatedly rapes and beats her, she wasn’t raped. If a man does the same, also, not rape. If someone goes out with someone and says no to sex without a condom the night before so he starts fucking her while she’s sleeping, again, not rape, how could it be? And if she doesn’t totally cut off all contact with him while internalizing that it’s her fault and that it “wasn’t that bad” then she wasn’t raped. Good to be skeptic about that kind of stuff. Good to be skeptic about the line thrown around by those crazy feminists who think rape victims might not act only in a certain way. Sarcasm. Ugh. Fuck. Thanks for telling me my experiences are invalid and I just “need to get over it”.

  123. 123
    Azkyroth

    Who the fuck is THAT supposed to be in reply to?

  124. 124
    AbleAlicia

    Imagined enemies, I assume. I don’t know what the hell he’s on about but it’s clear that his response is completely detached from reality.

  125. 125
    OneMirai

    Um. Jen normally I’m all on board with this blog and your comments on Twitter but I have a hard time believing you just said “We should automatically assume people are lying unless they have evidence” about rape cases wherein the only witness is the victim.I mean, how much sense does it make to treat all rape victims with skepticism but not, say, victims of theft or assault? Shouldn’t we be *more* receptive to rape allegations because of the stepped-on treatment most women (and some men) have to deal with? I understand wishing to ensure there’s no false accusations but this world is harsh enough to rape victims as is, do you really think condoning doubt is going to *help* things?

  126. 126
    OneMirai

    I’m quite certain his ‘detached from reality response’ is based on the fact that Assange’s rape victims just got told by Jen that they’re probably lying.

  127. 127
    Azkyroth

    Except they didn’t. Read what she fucking wrote instead of what you find it convenient to pretend she’s saying.

  128. 128
    Azkyroth

    I mean, how much sense does it make to treat all rape victims with skepticism but not, say, victims of theft or assault? Shouldn’t we be *more* receptive to rape allegations because of the stepped-on treatment most women (and some men) have to deal with?

    Where did she say we shouldn’t apply skeptical thinking to victims of theft or assault?She’s arguing for preserving “innocent until proven guilty” and practicing it outside the courtroom, you fucking moron. AS YOU WOULD KNOW IF YOU’D READ HER POST OR THE COMMENTS.(Wow, explaining the same simple obvious thing to person after person who pops up with cookie-cutter objections gets TIRESOME).

  129. 129
    thefremen

    OP. To be exact, the link posted by OP, since she only disagreed with the “Liberal” labeling.

  130. 130
    thefremen

    Did you read the original post or the one she linked to at all? She only disagreed with the bit about liberal=bad. She didn’t disagree that skepticism of rape accusations=doubting victims based on behavior after rape.

  131. 131
    LaraEmilyFoley

    You realise you basically just said Women shouldn’t go out if they don’t want to get raped right? and if they do go outside and get raped they shouldn’t be upset and you don’t condone them being upset

  132. 132
    Azkyroth

    I read them and if that’s your interpretation of them you must be either deeply intellectually dishonest, intoxicated, or both.And while I’m sorry for what happened to you that you referenced above, it is NOT a Get Out of Jail Free card for intellectual honesty, and attempting to use it like one degrades you and all other victims.

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