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Aug 11 2012

What you think it means

Ok this is a good one. From a comment on Jen’s post on blunderfoot.

“Freethought” means you use reason and logic to come to a conclusion, and not believing everything anyone says — even a close friend — at face value.

Hahahahahahahahaha yes right that’s what freethought means. A close friend tells you she has a headache and you interrogate her for an hour trying to get her to demonstrate that fact beyond a reasonable doubt.

72 comments

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  1. 1
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    It seems that what constitutes an extraordinary claim to these people depends a great deal on whether or not the claim being ordinary means admitting they belong to community with serious flaws.

  2. 2
    dylanringwood

    Hi Ophelia

    You seem to be misinterpreting their definition of “freethought.” Not believing “everything” a close friend says, does not mean you don’t believe anything they say. It just means that you would apply a healthy scepticism to any claims they made.

    They say they have a headache… You run it through your bullshit detector and no no red flags pop up.

    They say that the government is using microwave weapons to give them headaches… you run that through your bullshit detector and red flags do go up. More evidence required.

    Cheers,
    Dylan

  3. 3
    Ophelia Benson

    Wowbagger – oh but that commenter didn’t even say anything about extraordinary claims – that’s what’s so funny about it. It’s just a blanket rule – don’t take anything anyone says at face value. Someone had already attempted to make the “banal claims don’t require skepticism” point, and the commenter was having none of it.

  4. 4
    dylanringwood

    That blade cuts both ways.

  5. 5
    tigzy

    Ophelia, I think you’re conflating ‘everything’ with ‘anything’ here.

  6. 6
    Ophelia Benson

    Dylan – how do you know that’s what the commenter means? Did the commenter say that?

    In any case…that’s not the definition of “freethought” either. It doesn’t mean running every single claim anyone ever makes through a bullshit detector.

  7. 7
    dylanringwood

    “Dylan – how do you know that’s what the commenter means? Did the commenter say that?”

    They used the word “everything” and you substituted the word “anything.”

    You did it again in your comment.

  8. 8
    callistacat

    I have a headache. (no, really)

  9. 9
    Ophelia Benson

    tigzy – well that could be a point.

    But in that case it’s still a ridiculous definition, but for a different reason. It’s not “freethought” that doesn’t believe everything no matter what, it’s just sanity.

  10. 10
    Ophelia Benson

    callistacat, I’m surprised I don’t have one too.

  11. 11
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    These sort of “skeptics” are effing idiots. I promise you that these creeps only apply these standards selectively, and when it promotes their privilege. None of them have ever had a conversation in real life where they demanded a medical report from someone before believing that their friend had a headache, or procured a medical report for themselves before telling someone else that they had a headache.

    Can’t they just admit their hate, rather than making up obviously ridiculous lies? Don’t they have at least that much self-respect?

  12. 12
    Ace of Sevens

    Where’s there evidence that that’s what Freethought means?

  13. 13
    Ophelia Benson

    I think the rot started with the elevator – there was lots of pretend skepticism that that ever happened, because it’s such an extraordinary claim that some guy hit on a woman in an elevator. Now they’ve developed a habit of demanding skepticism about really stupid shit.

  14. 14
    'Tis Himself

    Now they’ve developed a habit of demanding skepticism about really stupid shit.

    More and more I’m coming to the conclusion that skeptic means a misogynist libertarian who doesn’t believe in Bigfoot.

  15. 15
    Ophelia Benson

    I don’t believe you’re coming to that conclusion. Pics or it didn’t happen.

  16. 16
    dylanringwood

    A close friend of mine developed schizophrenia in her mid twenties. She was convinced she was being stalked by a man. I knew there was something not quite right with her story… every time there were opportunities for her to have safely confronted her stalker she had some reason for not doing so. I called her family, but they all thought her story was true. Strange, and maybe a little paranoid, but true. It was only when she started approaching vehicles in traffic to unmask her stalker, who by then had become Tom Cruise, that her family realised she was ill. And it was not until after she attempted to slit her own throat that she was hospitalised.

    I think many people have more difficulty applying a healthy skepticism to claims made by friends and family.

  17. 17
    Maude LL

    Blogger Chris Clarke made an interesting point on this. http://faultline.org/site/item/misogyny_the_skeptics_movement_and_grand_theft_auto/.
    He got his jeep stolen (twice in a short period of time). All comments and e-mails he received were supportive and compassionate, people even sent money to help him replace it. No one asked him if the door were unlocked. No one asked him if he made valuables obvious inside the car. No one asked if it was parked in a seedy neighbourhood. 100% “aw man, that sucks! I hope they catch the bastards!”. It came to mind to Chris that that would not be the case had he been a woman who blogs about being harassed or raped. That people give more support and trust into a $1,000 jeep than in a case of sexual assault. He got *a lot* of comments. None questioned his motives, or whether it really happened. None.
    Yet in the case of sexual assaults of all types, women are turned into the untrustworthy one. Yes, it happens that someone makes up harassment or rape with an ulterior motive. It happens even more often that women don’t report illegal or harassing behaviour by fear of retaliation or a “boys will be boys” response. But insurance fraud happens more often, and the benefits are much more clear (money).
    Why the selective “skepticism”? (Conspiracy theorists call themselves “skeptics” too…)
    Even without absolute proof of every single instances, we *know* it’s a problem, as much as knowledge is based on factual data.

  18. 18
    rogiriverstone

    Freethought uses science, reason and logic, not tradition, authority, religion, etc.

    Sounds good.

    Here’s the problem.

    We have emotions. We are animals.

    Some folk ID as “freethinkers, skeptics, etc.” not so much because they really want to practice critical thinking — which is hard damn work — but because they’re afraid of their own animal, emotional selves.

    They’re rather like cybernetic organisms, talking heads.

    They won’t examine their animal selves and are in denial that they are emotional beings. Worse, they’re so afraid of emotion, they condemn it as useless, counter-productive, juvenile, anti-intellectual and antithetical to freethinking, skepticism, critical thinking. They ridicule and harass people who are more integrated with their emotions. They condemn any demonstration of natural feeling. And they will harass, attack, belittle anyone who shows authentic human feeling. Because such people ARE A THREAT to their artificial, superficial point of view. Emotion must be killed. Period.

    This, I believe, has attracted many abused, abusive folk to the atheist (they’re really more ANTI-theist than atheist), freethinking, skeptical atmosphere. And they want to dominate it, control it, force the door shut on anything or anyone who even hints at integrated humanity: animal, mind, emotion. They’re terrified of this possibility and will use any means necessary to silence and erase true humanity.

    And it’s the major flaw in their perspective. One CANNOT TRULY BE a critical thinker, unless and until one embraces the fact that she is an animal, that she feels, that her impulses are very old and primal, along with the magnificent gift of intellectual capacity. Until and unless we acknowledge our ENTIRE selves, our ancestry, our neurochemistry, our ancient, reactionary wiring, reactions and impulses….

    …..we will never be freethinkers.

    because we will never truly be free to think, if we’re wasting so much time, energy and attention on denial, repression and suppression of our emotional, animal selves.

    Now, put that in a GenderQueer, QUILTBAG, feminist and anti-racist perspective. I think you’ll see I’m on to something. They’ve called us “animals” for thousands of years, we people who can feel and express that openly. And they haven’t allowed us to fully participate in the intellectual, either. So, historically, that is ALL we’ve had to express ourselves, along with native intelligence.

    Imagine a TRUE synthesis and embrace of who and what we truly are. Imagine respecting and valuing that. Imagine celebrating that. Imagine incorporating emotional needs into every scientific discipline.

    Now, imagine the world like this.

  19. 19
    dylanringwood

    @Maude LL

    “Yet in the case of sexual assaults of all types, women are turned into the untrustworthy one.”

    Really? That is not my experience. I have seen a man beaten to a bloody pulp, based on nothing more than the accusation of rape. And accusation that was later recanted.

  20. 20
    'Tis Himself

    Pics or it didn’t happen.

    Madam, a picture.

  21. 21
    David Hart

    Tis @ 14: ” …skeptic means a misogynist libertarian who doesn’t believe in Bigfoot.”

    …but does believe in Thunderfoot, apparently.

    Sorry; someone had to say it:-)

  22. 22
    Anthony K

    “It just means that you would apply a healthy scepticism to any claims they made”

    I have seen a man beaten to a bloody pulp, based on nothing more than the accusation of rape. And accusation that was later recanted.

  23. 23
    JoeBuddha

    I have seen a man beaten to a bloody pulp, based on nothing more than the accusation of rape. And accusation that was later recanted.
    Yep. And the plural of “Anecdote” is “Data”. I don’t doubt that this happens; I DO doubt that this is the norm.

  24. 24
    dylanringwood

    “I don’t doubt that this happens; I DO doubt that this is the norm.”

    I don’t blame you.

    “Yet in the case of sexual assaults of all types, women are turned into the untrustworthy one.”

  25. 25
    Pteryxx

    “Yet in the case of sexual assaults of all types, women are turned into the untrustworthy one.”

    +

    And accusation that was later recanted.

    Of course. It couldn’t possibly be a worth while anecdote about the seriousness of rape accusations if a guy MERELY got beat up by a crowd, instead of reported, investigated, or charged, because of a woman saying somthing that turned out to be true.

  26. 26
    'Tis Himself

    And accusation that was later recanted.

    You have just reinforced the stereotype of women lying about rape.

  27. 27
    Jafafa Hots

    “Freethought” means you use reason and logic to come to a conclusion, and not believing everything anyone says — even a close friend — at face value.

    I dunno.
    I can’t take anything that “person” says seriously on the net until that “person” can prove conclusively that they ARE a person and not something like a dressed up Eliza program.

  28. 28
    Maude LL

    @ dylanringwood

    I’m happy for you this is not your experience. We all have different experiences. However, we are talking about trends, and aggregates of fact in this case.

    I know a white man who was beaten to a pulp for being accused of being a racist. Therefore racism doesn’t exist, and claims that racism exist must be investigated in a peer reviewed journal.

    I’m not sure where you’re going with this, but no one advocated the beating of people accused of rape. I also wrote that some men are wrongfully accused, and I think that’s wrong too. That’s why there was the car theft analogy. If you think people (men and women) don’t get heavily ridiculed when they bring up rape/sexual assault, welcome to the internet. I’m flattered to be interacting with you on your first day online.

    Do you have proof of your experience, or does your method only apply to others? Because personally, I have no problem accepting it, it’s just that your theory requires that you provide me with concrete evidence here. Peer reviewed journals about your personal experience will do.

  29. 29
    dylanringwood

    Yeah I guess you’re right. Nobody takes rape and sexual assault accusations seriously. It’s a massive systemic problem. Trolls prove it.

  30. 30
    Chris Lawson

    Dylanringwood,

    The fact that the man got beaten up over an accusation is wrong even if he was a rapist, and has nothing to do with the point at hand. The fact that the accusation was withdrawn does not mean the rape did not happen — you need to read more about the way rapes are investigated and prosecuted if you think a withdrawn accusation = a false accusation. (And “recanted”? Really? Was she shown the Inquisitorial torture instruments by any chance?)

    Most importantly, I am trying to understand why you are bringing this up. The point was “women who report rape are subjected to high levels of skepticism which are not applied to people reporting car thefts”, even though faked car thefts are a well-known insurance scam with very clear potential gains (Chris Clarke received hundreds of dollars of sympathy money after his Jeep was stolen) and are probably much more common than false rape accusations. Your response is that you know of a case where a rape accusation was withdrawn. Your very argument actually *reinforces* what you seem to be trying to rebut.

  31. 31
    screechymonkey

    “because it’s such an extraordinary claim that some guy hit on a woman in an elevator”

    It is! Except that it’s simultaneously such an utterly commonplace event that no one is allowed to complain about it, and such an integral part of courtship rituals that ZOMG NO ONE WILL GET LAID AGAIN EVAH! if men are persuaded to stop doing it.

    (And yes, I know it isn’t necessarily the same people making both those contradictory arguments — but isn’t it funny how I never see them turn on each other?)

  32. 32
    Quietmarc

    Why are we accepting dylanringwood’s anecdotes for discussion without being provided with evidence that they actually happened?

    Cuts both ways, indeed.

  33. 33
    dylanringwood

    Chris Lawson,

    Rape and sexual assault accusations should be subjected to greater scrutiny than the infinitely less serious crime of car theft. That is my point. (admittedly poorly made)

    Skepticism is not a claim that the person is lying, but merely an acknowledgement that the severity of the alleged crime should require a relatively high standard of evidence.

    Many people on this thread seem to have this backwards… expressing shock and indignation that people would require more evidence to believe a rape claim than they would if someone reported being the victim of a lesser crime.

  34. 34
    Stephanie Zvan

    Rape and sexual assault accusations should be subjected to greater scrutiny than the infinitely less serious crime of car theft.

    Why? What would the severity of the crime have to do with the probability of a false report?

  35. 35
    Alyson Miers

    If that’s what “freethought” means, then I should assume that commenter is turning an equally skeptical eye to TF’s claims of having been horribly wronged by FTB.

    Oh, wait. Not so much? Business as usual, I suppose.

  36. 36
    hotshoe
    Rape and sexual assault accusations should be subjected to greater scrutiny than the infinitely less serious crime of car theft.

    Why? What would the severity of the crime have to do with the probability of a false report?

    dylanringwood has just found another way to say: Biitchez be lyin’.

  37. 37
    EEB

    Holy shit.

    Look, I know that this will just get discounted as another annecdote, but I gotta speak up here, because this is making me sick.

    [Trigger warning: Rape/aftermath]

    I was raped. Violently. I will not go into all the details, but I was injured pretty badly. From the beginning, I was treated like a criminal by the police. Suspect. Interrogated over and over again. My right to have a rape advocate with me was denied with the flimsiest of excuses. They denied my request to have a feamle investigator. From the beginning, they wrote me off as crazy (I have a mental illness). They never seriously investigated the case. And then they decided they needed to close the case. They brought me in with a lie, told me they had found information relating to my rape. I didn’t realize they were investigating me (silly me, I thought I was still the fucking victim) so I didn’t ask for a lawyer, and sat in a tiny-ass room for hours while the officers went round and round. And after hours of being yelled at, threatened, told that I was crazy, told that they were going to file charges against me, told they were going to the newspaper, I cracked. I recanted. The detective said, “Tell me you made a mistake and you’re sorry and this will all stop,” and I broke down and lied. I told him I made it up.

    Then that motherfucker made me give him a hug.

    He also went to the newspaper and told them I was a liar. So, that’s nice. I lost a lot of friends. I was utterly humiliated. I have severe PTSD and depression, but not a whole lot of support. Girl in the neighborhood asks me, in the middle of PetCO with people all around, “Hey, aren’t you the girl that burned her own va-jay-jay?” So yeah, that’s me. The freak. The liar. The attention whore.

    And I am not alone. I have attended rape support groups, I have talked with other survivors. I have met people who experienced the same thing with the detectives that were supposed to help. I have met women who were discharged from the military for filing charges. It happens. A lot. Real rape cases are a million miles away from Law and Order: SVU.

    So when I hear the stories that come up every time this subject is talked about–your friend with the evil ex who cried rape, the girl who recanted after the guy’s life was destroyed–I am VERY skeptical. Like, “My friend saw a UFO” skeptical. I wanna know where this mythical universe where everyone believes the rape victim and rallies around her is. I’ve never been there. Neither has any rape victim I’ve ever met. Going forward and pressing charges after a rape is not something you do for fun or revenge–it’s one of the worst experiences you can go through, maybe even worse than the rape itself. And I know firsthand that there are many reasons why women recant their stories.

    Statistics show that false rape reports happen no more than other false charges (like faking an auto theft or something). Statistics also show that many many many more rapes go unreported than falsly reported. But from the way it always get brought up you’d think it was just as common (if not more so) than rape itself. And that is so far from the truth that it would be funny if it wasn’t so tragic. If these beliefs didn’t have real, terrible, damaging consequences for rape victims.

    So, seriously, shut the fuck up with this bullshit. It’s sick.

  38. 38
    dylanringwood

    “Why? What would the severity of the crime have to do with the probability of a false report?”

    “Statistics show that false rape reports happen no more than other false charges (like faking an auto theft or something).”

    It isn’t that the probability of a false report rises with the severity of the crime… it’s the consequences of a potentially false report that increase with the severity of the crime.

    Being wrongly accused of auto theft is nothing compared to being wrongly accused of rape.

    You all have a nice night now.

  39. 39
    dylanringwood

    EEB

    Based on the story you just told… I am highly skeptical about your claim to have been violently raped.

  40. 40
    Jafafa Hots

    Based on the story you just told… I am highly skeptical about your claim to have been violently raped.

    Based on your behavior here, I am highly skeptical that you represent any positive value as an existing living being.

  41. 41
    hotshoe

    dylanringwood, you make me sick.

  42. 42
    SallyStrange

    Based on the story you just told… my prejudices and my willful ignorance about how often people who report rape are interrogated as if they are the criminals themselves, I am highly skeptical about your claim to have been violently raped.

    FIFY

  43. 43
    Chris Lawson

    Dylanringwood, you have just outed yourself as an irredeemable arsehole whom I hope gets the banhammer from Ophelia for denying someone’s statements about being raped for no reason other than you didn’t like what it meant for your personal malicious opinions. You really are a hurtful little shit.

    I’m only responding to clear one thing up: the burden of proof for *all* criminal cases is “beyond reasonable doubt.” This applies to everything from minor offences like public intoxication and vandalism to major crimes like premeditated murder. The severity of the crime is reflected in the severity of the sentence, not the burden of proof.

    So, yeah, as hotshoe said, you’ve just found another way to say “Bitchez be lyin’” while pretending to be a skeptic. You’re a disgrace.

  44. 44
    Chris Lawson

    To EEB,

    Dylanringwood is a horrible fucking troll who was doing his best to hurt you just so he can maintain his pathetic and creepy mental fantasy that rape claims deserve extra-special levels of suspicion. Just so you know, most people on this list will recognise him for what he is and support you for your courage in reporting your experience. I certainly do.

  45. 45
    SallyStrange

    Being wrongly accused of auto theft is nothing compared to being wrongly accused of rape.

    Being wrongly accused of rape is nothing compared to having actually been raped.

    EEB, I second what Chris Lawson says. Thanks for sharing your story with us, thereby making yourself vulnerable to hurtful, malicious liars like dylanringwood. Know that I and many others believe you and appreciate your courage, and hope your trauma continues to heal.

  46. 46
    Setár, Elvenkitty

    Rape and sexual assault accusations should be subjected to greater scrutiny than the infinitely less serious crime of car theft.

    Whatever happened to equal protection under the law?

  47. 47
    Jafafa Hots

    Whatever happened to equal protection under the law?

    Well, I’ve never seen convincing evidence of it…

  48. 48
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    EEB @37
    Thank you for sharing that with us. I’m so sorry that happened to you.

  49. 49
    latsot

    Dylanringwood, you are a disgrace.

    EEB, I third Chris Lawson.

  50. 50
    Kage

    I have to add my voice in support of EBB.

    dylanringwood, you are a vile human being.

  51. 51
    Stephanie Zvan

    EBB, I know you knew what you were opening yourself to when you shared your story here, but I still want to tell you that nobody should ever have to deal with what you have. You should have been treated better at every step of this process.

  52. 52
    Ophelia Benson

    EEB – what the others said (except for dylanr).

  53. 53
    screechymonkey

    Chris Lawson@43:

    I’m only responding to clear one thing up: the burden of proof for *all* criminal cases is “beyond reasonable doubt.” This applies to everything from minor offences like public intoxication and vandalism to major crimes like premeditated murder. The severity of the crime is reflected in the severity of the sentence, not the burden of proof.

    More specifically, that’s the standard that the criminal justice system uses.

    It’s not the standard that is used in a civil case where a victim has sued a perpetrator.

    It’s not the standard that sensible people use in deciding whether to associate with someone. (How many people would let an accused molester babysit their children, on the grounds that “hey, he hasn’t been convicted yet”?)

    It’s not the standard that decent people use when a victim tells you his or her story. Unless you’re a judge or juror being asked to sentence someone to prison, “beyond a reasonable doubt” is irrelevant.

  54. 54
    Ophelia Benson

    It’s not the standard that decent people use when a victim tells you his or her story. Unless you’re a judge or juror being asked to sentence someone to prison, “beyond a reasonable doubt” is irrelevant.

    Exactly, which is why dylanr’s comment was so foul. It’s also why the whole “be skeptical of all the things” meme is stupid.

  55. 55
    dylanringwood

    So you people think that a person accusing someone of rape, then saying they made it up, but then saying they made up making it up… is no reason to treat their initial claim skeptically? No… you all see no reason why this situation should provoke any response short of complete and total credulity.

    As to the idea that being falsely accused of rape is nothing compared to being raped… seriously? What is wrong with you people?

  56. 56
    EEB

    @dylanringwood: Yeah, luckily I could care less what your opinion of me is. I’ll notice, though, in your haste to win the Ignorant Shitstain of Hummanity Award, you didn’t address the second part of my statement. You know, the one with those inconvienent facts. Facts with numbers, based on studies. But, of course, we all know that hyper-”skeptics” will only accept those studies that back up their biases, so this is again probably entirely pointless (at least as far as you’re concerned; maybe this will help someone else).

    Link to discussion of a study that showed false-rape allegations at about 5.9%. In the comments, someone points to the FBI statistics that put “unfounded” rape allegations at 8%. Now, a couple things:

    1) “Unfounded” does not mean the same thing as a false allegation. Unfounded means exactly that: they simply could not find enough evidence to verify the claim. There are a million reasons for that. Maybe the victim was threatened or coerced, so there weren’t physical injuries and it’s a he-said-she-said. Maybe enough time passed between the rape and the report that the evidence was gone. Maybe zie couldn’t handle the horrible invasive medical exams and interviews so zie dropped the allegation to make it stop, to protect zirself. Maybe the department was simply incompetant. For example, one reason I was given for why the police didn’t believe me was a lack of DNA evidence. However, at the hospital, the black light was broken. I tried to approximate where he might have gotten saliva on me, and they took some swabs, but they weren’t able to look under the light for fluids, nor did they make any serious attempt to either have me go to another facility or come back later. So their faulty equipment ended up being a strike against me. Also, of course, against the public, because that guy is still out there.

    2) As I said before, from personal experience I know that even situations where the victim recants–or, in the case of a military friend of mine, is charged with filing a false report(she was dishonorable discharged; again, not uncommon, the military handles rape cases even worse than civilians)–that doesn’t mean that the rape didn’t happen. Cops are not omnipotent gods, they have their own biases and they make mistakes, and sometimes they are just really bad people who happen to have power (and I say this as a cop’s daughter). I am not saying that false rape allegations don’t happen, just that the already low number is probably even lower. I mean, I’m a “false rape” statistic now, and whether you believe me or not (and I give less than a shit about that, frankly), I know the truth, and I was raped.

    54% of rapes do not get reported to the police. 54%. Even if that 8% number is completely accurate, there are still many many many more rapes that go entirely unreported than are falsly reported. And 97% of rapists will never see the inside of a jail. So. No. False reporting is not, by any possible stretch of the immagination, as big of a problem as rape itself is. A person is unfortunately much (much much much much much) more likely to be raped than to be convicted falsly of rape. Even giving the false rape hysterics the most generous reading of the data, it’s not anywhere close to being equivilent problems.

    There you go. Numbers. Studies. Data. Can we all agree now that while false reports are Very Bad (and believe me, no one gets more furious about false reports than rape victims, for the obvious reasons), it is incredibly disengenous to pretend like it’s a common problem? Can we agree that bringing it up in every single fucking discussion about rape is at best silly and at worst actively damaging when you consider the actual statistical likelihood of false rape allegations verses actual rapes that occur?

    Oh, who am I kidding. Of course we can’t. If people like you gave a damn about truth and evidence (not to mention basic human decency), you’d be feminists already and we wouldn’t be having variations of this insane discussion every other day.

    And to everyone else: Thank you for being so supportive. I realized that be being so open I was setting myself up, but I felt it was an important point to make and worth the risk. I expected dylanringwood’s response; I didn’t expect so many other people to be that encouraging. Honestly, this place keeps me sane some days. A little bit of faith in humanity restored. :)

  57. 57
    julian

    As to the idea that being falsely accused of rape is nothing compared to being raped… seriously?

    Excuse me but being accused of rape doesn’t result in suicidal depression, devaluation of self, years of nightmares, PTSD or any other psychological problem the way being aped does. So yeah, being accused of rape is nothing compared to being raped.

    So you people think that a person accusing someone of rape, then saying they made it up, but then saying they made up making it up

    This is stupid. Confessions gained under duress or other questionable methods don’t count for squat. Especially when the person who is being made to confess just suffered psychological trauma or is atypical.

  58. 58
    julian

    I realized that be being so open I was setting myself up, but I felt it was an important point to make and worth the risk.

    Thank you for your courage.

  59. 59
    screechymonkey

    “you all see no reason why this situation should provoke any response short of complete and total credulity. ”

    You do realize that there’s a middle ground between “I think you’re lying” and “complete and total credulity”?

    And again, note the difference in reaction between what sexual assault victims get and what victims of other crimes get. Where were all you “highly skeptical” people when Chris Clarke complained about his jeep being stolen?

  60. 60
    Ophelia Benson

    Props to you, EEB.

  61. 61
    SallyStrange

    As to the idea that being falsely accused of rape is nothing compared to being raped… seriously? What is wrong with you people?

    Yeah, seriously. I have a dear friend who was, in fact, falsely accused of raping someone. He spent a couple of days in prison for it. He was acquitted. Being in prison was truly terrible, as was dealing with the fact that he foolishly slept with a person who’d rather ruin his life than have it be known that she, a white woman, would willingly have sex with a black man. He was depressed for a while. It hurt him a lot.

    But I know other people who have been raped. And I have been sexually assaulted, AND blamed for being sexually assaulted. We are all healing from our respective traumas, myself, my friends who were violently raped, and my friend who was accused of rape, but we’re all on the same page: being raped is definitely worse than being accused of raping someone.

    So, what’s wrong with YOU?

  62. 62
    dylanringwood

    SallyStrange

    I don’t understand why you are so willing to believe EEB’s claim, in spite of the fact that she did at one point admit to having lied about it… but you believe that your friend’s accuser was not raped? Did she also recant her accusation?

    “being raped is definitely worse than being accused of raping someone.”

    So in your universe anyone who is falsely accused of rape will only spend a couple of days in jail before being acquitted. That’s a nice story. Nobody falsely accused of rape ends up serving hard time in a maximum security prison… where they may very well be sexually assaulted themselves.

    My bad.

  63. 63
    Rrr

    Hey Dylan, Best Boy Grip huh heheheh

  64. 64
    dylanringwood

    @Rrr

    “Hey Dylan, Best Boy Grip huh heheheh”

    Yes… but these days I’m a stay at home dad. Not sure what the “heheheh” was supposed to mean?

  65. 65
    Rrr

    Oh, and EEB, I am so totally in awe over your fortitude, courage and stamina – not to mention moral example. You are indeed a role model. In contrast to certain other figurants attempting to feature here.

  66. 66
    Rrr

    “Hey Dylan, Best Boy Grip huh heheheh”

    Yes… but these days I’m a stay at home dad. Not sure what the “heheheh” was supposed to mean?

    I understand.
    It was supposed to be an allusion to some TV comedy cartoon or other (North Parking? No, Beaverbutt?) that used to make fun of similarly verbally and emotionally challenged parsons of the mail purswation.
    Just get one, OK. Doesn’t have to be the best, boy. Or get a proper job and get off decent peoples’ backs. Sorry, but I don’t think I like you very much now.

  67. 67
    Rrr

    Apologies for seeming to flood the flow, OB. Must be the ringworm. I’ll just hang up for a bit now.

  68. 68
    dylanringwood

    “Or get a proper job”

    So child rearing and housekeeping are not “proper” work? Interesting.

  69. 69
    hotshoe, now with more boltcutters

    “being raped is definitely worse than being accused of raping someone.”

    So in your universe anyone who is falsely accused of rape will only spend a couple of days in jail before being acquitted. That’s a nice story. Nobody falsely accused of rape ends up serving hard time in a maximum security prison… where they may very well be sexually assaulted themselves.

    My bad.

    Jesus fuck, dylan. Yes, you are bad. You’re no better than any MRA rape apologist and asshole.

    Do you even listen to what you’re saying ?

    First you come on here screeching because – one time in your life – you saw

    a man beaten to a bloody pulp, based on nothing more than the accusation of rape. And accusation that was later recanted. [A story, with zero supporting evidence, that you expect us to believe merely upon your word, as we've already noted]

    from which singular story you somehow draw the conclusion that accusations of rape are almost as bad as rape itself, if not actually worse. As if women are never beaten to a pulp by their rapists. As if women are never beaten (or even killed) by their fathers/brothers/male friends afterward, for having survived the rape. But no, being beaten to a pulp is something that only happens to innocent guys, and it’s way way worse than actually being raped. According to you, ass.

    Responding to your story, many people provide evidence that rape is definitely worse. You don’t listen to them. You keep bullying and pushing your hateful point of view without showing the tiniest hint of compassion. Nor showing the tiniest bit of actual evidence – only conjecture and strawmen you compose with spite.

    And to top off your bullying, when someone presents one specific incident about a nearly-harmless (false) rape accusation, which contradicts your own story about rape accusations, you get crazed. You go completely off the deep end into maximum-security prison rape OMG the poor menz!

    So, yeah, you are bad. Here’s your position: Women hardly ever get raped, so we should definitely be skeptical about any woman’s claim to be have been raped, and definitely be more careful about the poor dude’s life being ruined by the accusation. Because prison rape, that’s why!

    Goddamn hypocrite. By your own standards, why shouldn’t we be deeply skeptical about any prisoner’s claim to have been raped ? Why believe him, when you don’t believe her ?

    Yeah, we know, dylan. It’s because you’re a dudebro who doesn’t believe women. Bitchez be lyin’, dylan, bitchez be lyin’.

    Shut it. You’re doing harm.

    You are not the good guy you think you are. Go home and think about that while watching over that kid you supposedly love and want to raise as a decent human being. Try to learn a little decency yourself, just to set a good example.

  70. 70
    Chris Lawson

    One last comment before I go and rinse this awful conversation from my brain.

    It is true that the outcome of being falsely accused of rape is worse than the outcome of being falsely accused of auto theft scamming. It is also true that being raped and then accused of making it up is worse than having your car stolen and then being accused of making it up. So why should the skepticism only point one way? Especially when the data show that the majority of rapes are never reported, and of the reports the false rate is around 5-10% at most, and of those false reports the majority are not directed against specific people but almost almost always take the form of “I was raped by someone but can’t describe them” because the complainant is not trying to get anyone else in trouble but trying to get out of their own trouble (e.g. a feared pregnancy that will get them shamed or beaten or abandoned by their family if they think it was from consensual sex).

    What makes me particularly angry about all this is that I had no idea how common false rape reporting was, so I went and looked for evidence. There are a number of very good papers on the subject (and some really terrible ones as well, but their methodological flaws are easy to spot) because it is an important topic in criminology. It is not hard to find the data. As far as I’m concerned, anyone who pulls out a “what about all those false rape allegations?” has forfeited any damn right to call themselves a skeptic.

  71. 71
    dirigible

    “As to the idea that being falsely accused of rape is nothing compared to being raped… seriously?”

    The fact that you are responsible for raising children is deeply disturbing. Please, please, please get the help that you so obviously need in order to be able to assist them with their math homework.

  72. 72
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    dylan:

    So child rearing and housekeeping are not “proper” work? Interesting.

    1- Please learn how to blockquote.
    2- I wouldn’t say “work” in the sense of an individual being in the workforce (I agree that Ann Romney hasn’t worked a day in her life-i.e. she hasn’t held a paying job where she’s part of the workforce; none of which means that being a mother isn’t a job)
    3- Yes, being raped is worse than being falsely accused of rape. Why do you think otherwise? Based on *one* anecdote that you’ve shared? An anecdote you’ve provided no citation for, yet we’re supposed to believe you.
    Let’s put it this way. Imagine you’ve been accosted on the street by someone who then shoves *something* inside you, against your will. In the process you’re shoved to the ground, punched, kicked, slapped, spat on and more. When your attacker is done, they leave you there. Scared and humiliated, you go to the police. They don’t believe you. They ask for evidence. They don’t follow up on your claims. They tell you you shouldn’t be out at night. Or you were wearing the wrong clothes. Or you should park in well lit areas.
    You’ve now been violated on a fundamental level. So deep that the scars-psychological and physiological-will never go away. Add to that the fact that people aren’t believing you.
    Add to that the fact that you’re being blamed for your own attack.
    Now imagine having to live with this the rest of your life. Imagine knowing for decades that your attacker is still walking the streets.
    Imagine living with a constant degree of fear when you hear footsteps behind you or when you’re alone at night.
    Imagine waking up every night for months with nightmares. Imagine having to seek psychological help, but not achieving any permanent inner peace.
    Imagine the difficulty in maintaining any intimate relationship. Imagine the PTSD the next time you have sex.
    Imagine any damage done to your body.
    Imagine the cost of medical bills to fix you up.
    Imagine trying to figure out what to tell your boss when you can’t show up for work the next day.
    Imagine trying to tell your parents or your children.
    All of that is difficult to imagine, no? For many women, they don’t have to imagine any of it. They’ve lived through it.
    The scars that women have as a result are with them the rest of their lives.
    Oh, and often, to make things even worse, the person they were sexually assaulted by is someone they know and/or care about.
    -
    Any damage done to a man because of false rape reporting pales in comparison. Especially since the rates of false rape reporting are extremely minor compared to the number of actual rapes.

    -
    You really need to educate yourself before you start talking. There’s a lot you need to know. Speaking from ignorance is not wise.

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