Fake rape?


Isn’t it fascinating how many men are absolutely certain that most rape accusations are completely false, that it’s just wicked women conspiring to bring men down? Yet when you look at the numbers, you know that data that skeptics are supposed to care about, the frequency of false rape accusations is low, about 6-8%.

And then you hear the stories about how rape is handled by the police and by society at large, and you realize that even those numbers are grossly inflated (warning about that link: detailed description of how police treat a rape victim. Very unsettling).

Comments

  1. Louis says

    Denial: It’s not just a river in Africa.

    There, that’s all that needs to be said. We can now have a thread where rape apologists and sundry fuckwits do not vomit bilious drivel all over the thread and need link farms worth of correction by people with far more patience than I have.

    Louis

  2. everbleed says

    Dear PZ,

    Hijacking thread alert. Don’t know how else to communicate with you.

    Fund raising idea. Determine the value of running Liberty University and Mantra ads on your site and ask people like me to donate to stop the damn things from being here.

    I assume you have no control. I would like to believe FTB could likely deal with killing the stupid ads on the smartest site on the Internet.

    Just a thought. I am poor as dirt, but I would give to have my refuge of reason free of the truly evil ones.

    Liberty University, Jerry Falwell. Mantra chanters from hell. Really?

  3. ischemgeek says

    For those interested in more reading, Wikipedia has a very well-researched section on false rape accusations.

    Trigger warning: Discussion of police misconduct, misogyny, sexism, and fat-shaming

    Major take-aways: Police and prosecutors over-apply “false allegation” and “no-crime” designations systematically, more well-designed studies typically find lower rates of false reports and the oft-cited sensationally high false report rate studies were performed by biased authors and used extremely poor methodology. For example: One such author classified a case as a false allegation because the victim didn’t look disheveled enough, and another classified a case as a false allegation because it would be hard to force underpants off a fat person (no, really).

  4. David Marjanović says

    Let me just second the warning. Even if you come with all the male privilege and haven’t ever been in a remotely similar situation, that post still presents non-negligible danger to your desk, nearby walls, windows, neighbors, and possibly your forehead. Also, area cats might decide to put you out of their misery.

    Gah.

    Gah…

    *slow headshake while firmly palming face*

  5. chigau (Twoic) says

    everbleed
    On the sidebar, under the photo of PZ, is a link.
    Click it to send him an email.

  6. David Marjanović says

    Uh, I meant the warning in the post. Haven’t followed the link in comment 5 yet – no comments were up when I started writing mine.

  7. praxis.makes.perfect (Just call me Prax. It's easier to type) says

    @Jacob:

    Well, it must suck for you that this isn’t *fascinating*.

    Luckily for you, though, you’re probably not ever going to be accused of “trying to ruin that nice boy’s life” when you try to make sure he faces the justice system for forcing himself on you. Luckily for you, when you report a crime against your person you’re going to be taken seriously more often than not. Luckily for you you most likely won’t have to face public humiliation, shaming, threats or violence for wanting to have your basic rights respected.

    I’m pretty sure you didn’t make that comment with any ill intent, but you should know that your dismissive tone speaks not only to your privilege, but to how little you need to consider this matter in your day to day life.

  8. says

    everbleed
    That was really an asshole move, please don’t do it again. Your warning doesn’t mean that you just made a thread about an extremely sensitive topic about adds.

    +++
    BTT
    I read the original comment: It made me cry because it so fucking evil

  9. David Marjanović says

    Yeah, seconding the warning in comment 5 as well. Amazing what “studies” have gotten published. *facepalm*

  10. everbleed says

    #7 chigau (Twoic)

    Thank you so much for the tip. Excellent job of making an old man feel older.

  11. Owlglass says

    You take a standard six-sided die and you roll it exactly five times, and the following numbers come up: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Now you roll the die for a sixth time. What number do you “expect”? If you think that it “must be” a six, you are wrong. You could die roll a hundred times and the six may never appear. So whatever you think “should be” the case, according to statistics, don’t be fooled, you are just guessing.

  12. Jackie: The COLOSSAL TOWERING VAGINA! says

    I’ve typed and re-typed my response to this and finally decided that I can’t do it.

    So, I’ll say just this: I know enough people and enough stories from people who never went forward or who did and regretted it that it is so much more usual and normal to me than meeting a person who has never been raped or molested. But they are not my stories to tell and my experience of being being told I was a crazy liar is not something I can get into. I can only say that I don’t have anything to do with my family of origin in part because of their blame and denial. The initial abuse was a walk in the park compared to that. I will also say that the Christian idea of sexual “purity” really fucks with kids who have been molested. After all, your entire worth as a woman is in your untouched cootch. As for the boys, the same is true of not being “gay”. If a man or boy molested them, they might be forever tainted. If a woman or girl did it the situation is only slightly better. In that case it is a joke or they must have wanted it. So, in my experience, very few people ever tell the authorities. As an adult working in foster care you are taught to expect the kids you meet to have been molested or to expect that they will be. When my own kids (ages 2,3, and 6) came to me I was told to hurry up and teach them the proper names of their genitals so that when (not if) they were molested, they had a better chance of getting a conviction. If people remain incredulous about the frequency of sexual abuse, they should go volunteer with CASA. They will be quickly set straight about the facts.

  13. everbleed says

    Giliell

    I just emailed PZ. I apologized. I had no intention of making the thread about ads. Rape is terrible. I know. Been there.

    And when it happened it happened in my asshole. So your comment is perfect.

  14. says

    Falsely accusing someone else of a crime is a shitty thing to do. It makes life harder on everyone, including actual victims.

    Behaviors that protect against false accusations are actually behaviors that protect both sides of the equation, and so should be used anyway. A teacher shouldn’t be alone behind closed doors with a student. This protects the student from the teacher, and the teacher from the student, and both from bystanders who’d misinterpret. It’s like making the police officers carry cameras. It protects the public from the police officers on power trips and it protects the police officers from those who would lie about the situation.

    If the MRA types were genuinely worried about false accusations, they wouldn’t be fighting some of the fights about which they are most rabid. Hey, guys, that cornering a girl in an elevator thing? Don’t do that. If you must ask her out, do it where there are other people around – as much for your protection as hers, if false accusations are a genuine concern of yours.

  15. says

    Been doing a lot of *facepalm* listening to some corners atheist media, i.e. podcasts (the more amateurish ones) fall on the wrong side of this issue this week.

  16. piegasm says

    Thanks for passing that story on PZ; more people need to see it. It is a harrowing read but necessary.

  17. Jackie: The COLOSSAL TOWERING VAGINA! says

    johnroland,
    I stopped listening to several skeptical podcasts when this all started years ago. It may be mean of me, but I smiled alot when one in particular went belly up shortly after they made some very sexist jokes about Rebecca Watson/elevatorgate. I was so happy to have discovered the a/s movement until then. I still love podcasts as a medium, but I don’t even listen to SGU much anymore. There are just more important issues to be concerned with than magic water and Bigfoot.

  18. throwaway, gut-punched says

    Owlglass

    So whatever you think “should be” the case, according to statistics, don’t be fooled, you are just guessing.

    What a fucking eedjit you are. Group A insists on a prevalence. Group B shows statistics which counter that notion. Yet you have a problem with Group B presuming anything about the reality from the statistics. Fuck off.

  19. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    I saw this when first posted by Zvan (not when it was originally a comment) a couple days ago – yesterday?

    I have to admit that I didn’t add to the comment thread. I should have said something supportive, but all I could think about was how I didn’t report because I was certain the police wouldn’t believe me. Later, when I told my story to a counseling center, they advised me to go into a group for abusers & rapists b/c they didn’t have a group [and individual therapy was impossible, why?] for people born male who are raped and abused, and anyway I might get useful insights listening to abusers & rapists.

    Nowadays I can hardly believe I was so polite to her, the screener. But the truth is, in the same place now, even after all the education work I’ve done, social change that’s occurred, etc., etc., etc., I would probably behave exactly the same way.

    So when I read about her telling the cop she lied, part of me screams that I am too familiar with cops and the operation of the justice system to do that… and then I cry, because I couldn’t even tell a screener that her polite efforts to place a victim in a group of rapists and abusers was, y’know, slightly uncomfortable and perhaps even inappropriate.

    And I want to add something positive to the discussion, but I learned long ago when doing work for trans survivors of abuse and assault that non-generalizable stats are often worse than nothing.

    And so I read it and wonder, but how many? And I have no idea how to do this, save shadowing cops in every jurisdiction and/or randomly selected jurisdictions and then following up with complainants whose cases are dropped…and the work of it is so far beyond anything that I have the resources to organize.

    And so I feel helpless to aid EEB; I feel helpless to aid myself. I want the real numbers and know that I can’t have them. I want to point to EEB’s story when MRA rape-is-a-fake-problem fantasists come trolling, but I know my honesty won’t let me do it. I know I’ll keep citing 2-8% and that they’ll keep thinking 8% is low. I can scream about how certain I am about how the police **would** have treated me based on how other institutions treated me, or I can scream about how the cops treated EEB, but pointing out how we could have gotten bogus reports of “false report/no crime” isn’t evidence that any statistically relevant number of reports happened that way.

    Anecdotes ARE evidence, of course, just not good enough to be persuasive in many circumstances. And I know I shouldn’t let the idiocy of a few people affect me like it does, but damnit it does affect me that people are spouting their rape-is-a-fake-problem crap.

    So instead of supporting EEB or writing something coherent about strategy, all I can do is relive society’s dismissals of EEB and of me and cry – unproductively – with rage.

  20. Ichthyic says

    You take a standard six-sided die and you roll it exactly five times, and the following numbers come up: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Now you roll the die for a sixth time. What number do you “expect”? If you think that it “must be” a six, you are wrong. You could die roll a hundred times and the six may never appear. So whatever you think “should be” the case, according to statistics, don’t be fooled, you are just guessing.

    uh, those two things are NOT related. Apophenia is not affected by statistics.

    The idea that one expects numbers to appear in sequence has fuck all to do with what the percentage chance of any given number appearing is.

    now then, why not try stating your point more explicitly?

  21. says

    @Owlglass

    So whatever you think “should be” the case, according to statistics, don’t be fooled, you are just guessing.

    You fail at understanding of how statistics and probability work.

    While it is true that whenever you throw fair dice, the probability of it falling 6 is 1 in 6 every single time, irrespective of the result, that does not mean you cannot predict the behaviour of population/sequences of dice and indeed succesfully bet on how distribution of individuals will be.

    So to continue in your analogy, in any given population of dice, if you should bet your money with 50/50 chance at winning whether it fell 6 or not, your safe bet would be that NOT.

    The same goes for rape acusations. In a population of rape acusations the safe bet is, tha any random acusation is true. Probably – given the disturbint story PZ links to – with 95% conficence interval.

  22. pacal says

    When I was a Lawyer I got to know all sorts of Defence Attorneys and a near universal belief among them was that women lied about being raped all the time. Most of them also believed that a woman’s prior sexual history was always germane to whether or not she was in fact raped. Most believed that “unchaste” women were “tainted” and in some sense were “asking for it”. It just went without saying among them that if a woman had been “unchaste”, “promiscuous” etc., that it was likely that she “led him on”, and the poor man was being accused by a wicked Jezebel who had changed her mind afterwards. They also believed that if a woman wore “unchaste” clothing it told a lot about the woman’s “character”, including if it was revealing that she was “unchaste” and thus had “led” the “poor boy on”.

    Here in Canada the Defence Attorneys I knew where positively furious with being restricted in terms of questioning a woman about her prior sexual history. It being a article of faith that if a woman was “unchaste” she was a “lying, promiscuous whore” who of course could not “really” get raped, because “real rape” only happened to “chaste” “good girls”.

    The Defence Attorneys were also quite free with referring to the accusers as “whores”, “liars”, “bitches” and “c–” among a whole assortment of demeaning name calling. I remember one Defence Attorney talking about how much he would like to “do” the victim of a client he was defending.

    Sadly the female Defence Attorneys I knew were not much different in terms of attitude to rape victims than male Defence Attorneys, except they used insulting terminology for the victims a lot less.

    So yeah rape culture exists and is alive in the legal profession.

  23. says

    And I forgot to ad my voice to warnings about the article. I am white privileged male who never has been molested, sexually assaulted or raped, but the article disturbed me strongly. It reminded me how huge blind spot I had until recently.

  24. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @pacal

    What time frame are we talking about here?

    When was questioning a victim’s sexual history limited?

    How recently were you hearing these conversations?

    You say, “when I was a lawyer,” in the past tense, so I’m curious. I am seriously unlikely ever to go into criminal defense, but I am absolutely likely to work with the LSS on professional ethical standards and CLE standards, so I’m curious.

  25. says

    Isn’t that 6-8% of rape accusations that are made to the police are false? My understanding that as happened with Jason Thibeault, most false accusers only try to start rumors in someone’s social circle, rather than involving the police.

    I can’t think of any good way to study the issue, though. Presumably, the accused will always say they weren’t guilty and a large number of false accusers won’t admit what they did, even on an anonymous survey. Maybe there’s a way to word the question to get around this, but it isn’t obvious to me.

    At any rate, the number of actual rapes has been demonstrated to be fairly high and the motives for false accusations require a confluence of factors that doesn’t seem like it could be very common, but I think it’s a mistake to apply the 6-8% to rape accusations in general.

  26. scenario says

    From what I’ve read many police departments use a word like unfounded that means anything from we think she’s lying to it’s probably true but there’s no way in hell we can prove it. All of these cases are lumped under false accusation in the records. So even though though the official rate of false accusation is 6% the real rate is almost certainly a lot lower. When you factor in the rapes that were not reported, the rate would be probably be less than 1%. Proving it is a separate issue.

  27. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @scenario

    All of these cases are lumped under false accusation in the records.

    No. All these types of cases are represented in the records, but some cops/departments do distinguish, and so not “all of these cases” are actually listed as false accusations – for what that’s worth.

  28. Jacob Schmidt says

    Well, it must suck for you that this isn’t *fascinating*.

    The amount this bothers me is nothing compared to the amount this hurts victims who need support. I did not mean to be dismissive.

    Luckily for you, when you report a crime against your person you’re going to be taken seriously more often than not.

    Are you under the impression that rape against men is taken seriously?

    I’m pretty sure you didn’t make that comment with any ill intent, but you should know that your dismissive tone speaks not only to your privilege, but to how little you need to consider this matter in your day to day life.

    I am certainly very privileged. That doesn’t mean I can get away from this. Let me be clear: I’m in tears as I write this. My partner was raped, and needs to go to school with the guy that raped her. The administration is unsupportive; her teachers are unsupportive. I am her only support. Every day I worry. Every day I need to help and reassure her. Every day I feel sadness, fear, and stress for her. It’s been a year and it’s not getting any better.

    Again, my pain and frustration is nothing compared to hers, and what pain and frustration I feel is on her behalf. But fuck you for saying I get to ignore it. I don’t, and I haven’t been able to for a long time.

  29. anuran says

    Wish I could say I’m surprised. This was standard back when I first got involved in rape prevention twenty years ago. The differences are that
    1) Many police departments and prosecutors are very slightly better now than they were then
    2) The rape-apologists and rapist-supporters are louder, more vicious and better organized
    3) Women and decent men are much better organized and more vocal than they used to be

    I think #2 is directly because of #3. Things are changing even if we’re too close to see it easily. The pro-rape propaganda and rape threats as punishment for women speaking up have a shriller, more defensive note to them precisely because the power structures they defend really are under threat.

  30. Konradius says

    Everbleed at 15:
    That is a second ass-hole move. Giliell made a perfectly reasonable complaint about your post. You don’t get to passive-aggressively make her feel bad about it.
    Please keep your comments to the thunderdome about this.

  31. praxis.makes.perfect (Just call me Prax. It's easier to type) says

    @Jacob:

    The amount this bothers me is nothing compared to the amount this hurts victims who need support. I did not mean to be dismissive.

    Yes, I understand that. Your intent, however, is not some magical force that protects others from your carelessness.

    Are you under the impression that rape against men is taken seriously?

    I said a crime against your person. I did not specify rape. I realize that rape against men is not taken seriously. I’m aware of this because I’m aware of how the patriarchal societies in which most of us are forced to live perceive men.

    But fuck you for saying I get to ignore it. I don’t, and I haven’t been able to for a long time.

    How about a hearty “Fuck You” to you for being so flippant in the first place? You stepped in it, buddy. You’re the one who made that dismissive comment. You assumed your intent was somehow known to me, or that I, and other people who are survivors of sexual assault would somehow know you weren’t just being an asshole.

    …and no, you don’t have to think about rape and false accusations the way women do. You don’t live every day of your life navigating the complex set of “rules” we women have to live by in order to “not get raped”. That your partner was assaulted does not give you a free pass to act like an asshole, or to be excused when you do. So get off your high horse and simply apologize for saying something shitty.

  32. Jacob Schmidt says

    Yes, I understand that. Your intent, however, is not some magical force that protects others from your carelessness.

    You’re right. I’m not going to argue with that. I’m sorry.

    That your partner was assaulted does not give you a free pass to act like an asshole, or to be excused when you do.

    I’m not asking for my comment to be excused. I’m asking you to recognize that this isn’t something I get to freely ignore; this is something that gnaws at me constantly. Yes, I’m better off than you. I freely admit and recognize that.

    I’m sorry I responded with so much anger. You didn’t deserve that. My emotions got the better of me.

  33. praxis.makes.perfect (Just call me Prax. It's easier to type) says

    @Jacob:

    I certainly accept your apology. Thanks for understanding my point, and for taking the time to think about what I said. It really does mean something to me, and I genuinely appreciate it.

  34. Pteryxx says

    Ace of Sevens @28, I have some respect for you so I’m fairly sure you’re asking in ignorant good faith, but given the MRA trope you’re playing into immediately on the heels of EEB’s horrific recounting, I hope you’ll understand when I tell you the most generous response I can give is that you should stuff it for now. If you really think you still need to go there, I’ll try and be up for it in a day or two with fewer flashbacks.

  35. says

    You take a standard six-sided die and you roll it exactly five times, and the following numbers come up: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Now you roll the die for a sixth time. What number do you “expect”? If you think that it “must be” a six, you are wrong. You could die roll a hundred times and the six may never appear.¹ So whatever you think “should be” the case, according to statistics, don’t be fooled, you are just guessing.

    You take a standard six-sided die and you roll it exactly five times, and the following numbers come up: 1, 4, 1, 1, 1.² Now you roll the die for a sixth time. What number do you expect? How probable is it that die is loaded?

    This is what’s all hyperskeptics are getting wrong. The coin has been flipped hundreds of thousands of times. For 93% of those flips, the coin came up heads, for 7% tails.³ Now the coin is flipped again. What are you going to call, heads or tails?

    “Will the sun rise tomorrow?” “I don’t know, it’s a 50-50 chance.”

    ¹ Here’s some homework. Suppose we roll a die a hundred times and no six comes up. What is the probability that die is fair?

    ² More homework. What is the probability of this being a fair die?

    ³ Even more homework. Suppose you flipped a coin a thousand times and got 93% heads, 7% tails. What is the probability that coin is fair?

    Please piss off and go do your homework.

  36. allegro says

    It’s been almost 35 years since I was date-raped. I subsequently went on to enjoy a pretty great life with a wonderful husband and career. I thought I was past that awful experience as much as any woman could be.

    But between the grenade post/thread and now this, I am right back there. Not with fear of being raped again – that “incident” prompted me to train for years in martial arts so any attempt to touch me again without my explicit consent would not go well for that person. I’m confident, entirely able and willing (a huge hurdle for women to overcome after a lifetime of passivity indoctrination) to break bones if necessary… or worse (but for my own mental health, I don’t go there.)

    No, what has been triggered with these posts and discussions is RAGE! Blind, bloody, fucking RAGE. I am shaking with it, in tears. I feel that sickening feeling of helplessness crawling my spine and permeating my viscera. No, wait… it’s not the feeling of helplessness, it’s the knowledge of it, being made so explicitly aware of it again.

    I now have skills to enhance my safety from a rapist if I’m conscious (and very possibly face prosecution myself for doing so). What I can’t protect myself or any other victim from is the societal cost, that soul-crushing, isolating gaslighting that shakes a victim forever to her (or his) core. We’re forever liars if we report it and he isn’t arrested and found guilty if prosecuted, even though only a tiny percentage of rapists ever are. We’re sluts and crazy if we do or don’t report – and that is coming from the people who are supposed to be our allies and even loved ones. Even if we win, we lose and we lose big with lifetime consequences. Those consequences can make the rape itself seem almost minor in comparison.

    I didn’t report my rape. I knew better. So did my rapist, a serial rapist – and attorney – who took great pleasure in telling his victims why they would be stupid to even try reporting it. He was right and we knew it. The police wouldn’t believe us, he would never be prosecuted. Hell, his reputation might even be enhanced if one of his victims tried. Once we knew of each other (3 of us – we know there have been countless more), even reporting as a group would have been blown off. Yanno, crazy bitches conspiring after the handsome, successful young attorney rejected us. His bases, with the massive system and patriarchs of society in his full support, were well covered. People who knew he was a rapist didn’t even warn other women – his reputation was more important. Rape Culture at its finest.

    2 to 8% of accusers are lying? No fucking way. It’s more like 2 to 8% of victims being believed with their accusations acted upon. That tiny number, I believe, is way too high in reality. I think what depresses me more than anything is that so little has changed in the last 35 years. That evil, disgusting man and so many more like him are still raping… and laughing.

    Yeah… RAGE. Damn, I need a punching bag right now to beat the ever lovin’ hell out of.

  37. Owlglass says

    40, SQB wrote: You take a standard six-sided die and you roll it exactly five times, and the following numbers come up: 1, 4, 1, 1, 1.² Now you roll the die for a sixth time. What number do you expect? How probable is it that die is loaded?

    The die is loaded? This is your gripe? Wait, “You’re absolutely right!”. You know what an analogy is? Anyway. You can derive a statistic out of the die rolls, but you can’t use that statistics to predict which number comes up when you roll it one more time. And here is my homework back to you then, start reading something by Nassim Taleb.

  38. Maureen Brian says

    Owlglass,

    I take it from your performance here that you plan to resign from the human race. You seem to have lost the knack of being human.

    So, let’s try again. If the die is loaded, if the deck is marked, if the Police Department in Norfolk VA has done a 180 degree U-turn just this month and will begin its rape investigations with the assumption that the complainant is telling the truth (rather than that she or he is lying, which may well have been the assumption since 1682* for all we know) then the last thing we need is theoretical mathematics, however elegant. Besides, it’s not probability we need here, just correlations which exist in the real world and facts established by research.

    We need a bit of empathy and people willing to look for the truth, believe the truth when it is presented to them and tell their friends who may still be in the dark, still be bamboozled by myth.

    Now, are you with us or against us?

    * Look it up: I found it on wikipedia.

  39. says

    Oh, and you know what a bad analogy is? Anyway.

    And yes, my gripe is that hyperskeptics are ignoring that the die is loaded, that the coin is unfair. And actually you can use statistics to predict an outcome. If we have a coin that comes up heads 93% of the time and we flip it one more time, what are you going to call? Heads or tails?

    Hyperskeptics ignore the existing statistics about rape reports and instead seem to think that since there are two possibilities (the reporter is speaking the truth or is lying), those two possibilities have an equal probability. As past reports show, this is not the case. Roughly 93% of all rape reports are true. That means that for any rape report, there is a 93% chance of it being true. And that is just the report, without any corroborating evidence.

    Actually, Nassim Taleb is on my to-read list. Please enlighten me, how is his work relevant here?

  40. Kristin says

    @Owlglass

    Why won’t you state your argument clearly and directly, instead of hiding it with passive-aggressive inuendo?

    Is it, perhaps, because your arguments are bullshit that would/could/already have been ripped apart, so now you’re trying to weasel in your unsupported beliefs by making up bad and incorrect metaphors to statistics?

    If you have an actual argument you want to make, state it clearly, otherwise, if you’re acting in bad faith as it would seem, why don’t you just fuck off?

  41. says

    Oh lord, the “it’s just statistics” defense. : /

    We’re dealing here with percentages in the 90s, which are actually not that frequent (you would be much more likely to fail the .05% benchmark than to pass it, in general). For stats, that’s pretty conclusive that there is a thing there to be paid attention to.

    I’m probably not going to say anything someone else won’t, but statistics are useful for prediction because they use data about the previous occurrence of something to discuss how likely it is to occur in the future. That’s pretty much how prediction works, period. That’s how funding is allocated, that’s how public works are built, that’s how we evaluate economies—statistics, they’re useful in real life and shit, and they affect and are affected by real life.

    It seems to bother our resident hyperskeptics that we base our decisions on a prediction. Leaving to the side that humans anticipate responses based on their experiences and/or information about other’s experiences and the fact that we act on our anticipation of the way a situation will play out, in addition to the way it is playing out–while it may be true, as I think owlglass is trying (badly) to imply that statistics are mainly useful in groups, it is also useful for the anticipation of and reaction to situations in which perfect knowledge is not possible.

    Or, to be plain: if you know there’s a 90%+ chance that something is occurring, you’d be a fool to assume that you weren’t sure what could happen because you weren’t in a position to gather better data. The whole point of stats is to deal with situations involving partial data, which is precisely what we have when we have data gathered about large groups. However, partial data here merely means the limits to what we can know. We cannot be omniscient, and posting conviction on an issue on somehow having the knowledge only a god would have as stupid as demanding to be god.

  42. says

    And when I’m talking about imperfect knowledge, I’m talking mathematically about the perfect model vs the operational model, in which error is a term and minimizing error is one of the reasons the operational model exists.

    But back on topic: EEB, you have my deepest sympathies and a survivor fist bump, if you would like it. You are a brave person, if that post is any indication, and I am so very sorry that you were treated that way.

  43. says

    Here’s a hint in case you really are that dim: people with their sentience, behaviours, cultures, predilictions, biases, systems, institutions, psychologies, neurologies, emotions, volition et al. are not mindless objects operating completely by chance. Since I do think you are aware of that already, I’m still going with malicious misogynist fuck. Especially since you’re playing this game on a thread referencing EEB’s horrific experience with the police and how they coerced her to recant her rape report.

  44. says

    mouthyb, Ibis3, you’re right. Owlglass, go find some other people to play with and some other place to do it. Go play tag with a cactus or something.

    EEB, thank you for the courage of telling your story. I am so sorry what was done to you by both the rapist and the cops.

  45. Maureen Brian says

    I remembered the name, Caine, but not much about him.

    I will check out in future, where I can.

  46. Rey Fox says

    Is it, perhaps, because your arguments are bullshit that would/could/already have been ripped apart, so now you’re trying to weasel in your unsupported beliefs by making up bad and incorrect metaphors to statistics?

    I’ve seen Owlglass in action, I think you got him pegged perfectly here.

  47. says

    That 6-8% is the number the police say are false, and ‘false’ counts ‘women we scared out of here by treating them like they’re liars.”

    I’ve seen cases with the designation I got (‘unfounded’) treated as basically being lies. The cops were not interested in actually investigating.

    These stories are horrible but weirdly comforting because it means I am not the only one.

  48. says

    Roughly 93% of all rape reports are true. That means that for any rape report, there is a 93% chance of it being true. And that is just the report, without any corroborating evidence.

    I don’t think that’s correct. Roughly 93% of rape reports made to the police are false according to the police. There are lots of good reasons to think that reports made to the police are not representative of reports in general and that the police are wrong in their judgment for a substantial number of cases. Plus, there’s the problem that that number conflates false reports and false accusations. We don’t really have any good reason to think the 93% is definitive for reports in general. It’s not even good as an outer limit for a general case because of the multiple confounding factors, some of which would push it higher and some of which would push it lower.

    It’s a useful number in that it points out false report rates are roughly equivalent to false reports for other crimes for the one narrow field where we have data, so there’s no good reason to assume false reports are epidemic in general without specific evidence of that, but using it to claim that for a known accusation, where we know a lot more about it than the fact it was made, has a 93% chance of being true, is really bad statistics.

    I understand why people use it: It seems to be the only solid number we have, and I don’t know how you would go about getting a better one, even with a sizable research grant, but it’s important to be accurate, especially when there are lots of people looking for anything to dismiss everything you say.

  49. Owlglass says

    (51) Ibis3, Let’s burn some bridges wrote: Here’s a hint in case you really are that dim: people with their sentience, behaviours, cultures, predilictions, biases, systems, institutions, psychologies, neurologies, emotions, volition et al. are not mindless objects operating completely by chance. Since I do think you are aware of that already, I’m still going with malicious misogynist fuck. Especially since you’re playing this game on a thread referencing EEB’s horrific experience with the police and how they coerced her to recant her rape report.

    I just commented on the statistics and it’s use and was under the impression that it was still possible to comment on aspects of a topic. But thanks for the info.

  50. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I understand why people use it: It seems to be the only solid number we have, and I don’t know how you would go about getting a better one, even with a sizable research grant,

    Then you shouldn’t be commenting on the accuracy of the numbers. Either you are an expert and know how to falsify the accepted number, or you are wanker showing nothing but bullshit to confuse the clear issue.

  51. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I just commented on the statistics and it’s use and was under the impression that it was still possible to comment on aspects of a topic.

    If you wish to comment, show you know what you are talking about, instead of wanking and muddying the waters. You muddy the waters when you post….

  52. allegro says

    Roughly 93% of rape reports made to the police are false according to the police.

    You don’t see just a leetle bitty problem here? Like a serious case of systemic misogyny and corruption?

    Maybe it’s just me, but your post sounds a lot like “bitches lie” couched in a bunch of detached statistical crap. If not, excuse my next two words. Fuck you.

  53. says

    A better interpretation of the ~93% would be that in that percent of cases, the complaint is judged to be with merit, and in ~7% of cases, the complaint is not judged to have merit for a variety of reasons. In the case of EEB’s story, the question becomes how many of that ~7% are dismissed because of law enforcement error. The suggestion is that a good portion of complaints are being judged as without merit because of error (or malice/bias/etc.)

  54. says

    You know, if someone would get me there, I’d happily teach a section on basic stats (OLS, foundations of statistics, modelling, a little Bayesean stats) at any skeptic conference as would have me.

    I don’t expect it to happen, but I’m just putting it out there.

  55. says

    I apologize. That was a typo. I was going to say that 93% of reports made to the police are true according to the police, but then decided that isn’t correct. I tried to change it to 7% of reports made to the police are false according to the police, but only changed it halfway. Please pretend I said that. My point was that this number only applies to reports made to the police and there’s good reason to think it isn’t accurate even for that (plus it’s not even measuring false accusations, which is the number we want), so we shouldn’t quote it as if it were universally true. I wasn’t trying to say that reports are overwhelmingly false. I hope that was clear from the rest of my post.

  56. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Please pretend I said that. My point was that this number only applies to reports made to the police and there’s good reason to think it isn’t accurate even for that (plus it’s not even measuring false accusations, which is the number we want), so we shouldn’t quote it as if it were universally true.

    Show this isn’t trying to muddy the waters by showing how you go about showing the numbers are wrong, or shut the fuck up as you have nothing cogent to say. Either you are an expert in statistics, or your listen to the expert in statistics….

  57. Maureen Brian says

    No, Ace of Sevens, 93% is not a sensible number. You’ve got this arse about face anyway – the 93% above is the proportion we should expect to be true, unless and until contrary evidence is produced. Evidence, not hunch or myth.

    Police rejection of 93% would have no rational basis. It does not come close to what methodologically sound research gives us. It’s not as though every police person has the same reason for rejecting so many reports of rape or even that they use any standard methodology, not even something as simple as a checklist of “thoughts you need to have before you put this in the bin.”

    As I said above, the police in Norfolk VA had a policy of rejecting all rape reports – not a practice, a policy. Is there any other crime you can think of where the policy is to disregard all reports? Burglary? Car-jacking? Murder.

    And then you’d need to account for the fact that the police in Detroit had a habit of putting in boxes and taking to some lost warehouse every rape kit they got – UNPROCESSED! And guess what, by the time they were found they had a stash of 11,303 of the things, some under 15 or more years worth of dust, and processing just the first 5% came up with several serial rapists and one serial killer – all of whose DNA was already on file. Even laziness alone could not account for that.

    So if the police were rejecting 93% or even 20% of reports made to them then every policeperson on the planet would have to be mind-bogglingly stupid. Either that or there is something else going on, something which has nothing to do with the likelihood that a given person has been raped.

    The onus is on you to come up with a plausible explanation for the figure which you use and which I have seen nowhere else. Can you do it?

    And, no, I am not giving you links to the stories and the research I mention. They are all over these threads and I believe you have a duty to inform yourself – preferably before you open your mouth again.

    Did you read EEB’s account? Do you understand why we sometimes do not trust the police?

  58. says

    Ace of Sevens: …..I wasn’t under the impression that anyone thought stats were always true under any circumstances. The point of statistics is that they are contextual. The context for those statistics is that they are a description of current events in the US (or whatever country any particular set of statistics is drawn from). Statistics are always time bound (which is why they’re done over periods of time or within a year or so long set of data, and then comparatively across longer periods–like comparing 2010 economic data to 2011 economic data).

    Statistics are also always contextual in terms of culture–if you read the involved papers, they are careful to stipulate specific populations for the purposes of accuracy. Now, in national results the cultural context is the nation. In statistics, the larger the population (say a nation), the less individual variation effects the results. This is generalized, but you might wish to consult both the law of large numbers and the central limit theorem, both of which have excellent entries in the Khan academy.

  59. Ogvorbis: Purveyor of Mediocre Humours! says

    What the fuck? Really? Any thread that shows up about rape invariably goes down three paths (sometimes just one, sometimes two, sometimes all three), Some asshole wondering about the so-called grey areas of rape. Some asshole questioning the statistics of rape. Some asshole whining ‘what about the menz?’ Usually, one of those hits within the first 20 comments.

    Listen up, assholes. The statistics are pretty damn solid. Unfortunately, the police (and much of society) treats rape victims with a default ‘you are lying’ position. They treat women who recant because of threats, pressure, and browbeating as liars from the beginning. And those who manage to gain an arrest, and the case is brought to court, are still treated like liars. Almost every damned time.

    There are no grey areas when it comes to rape. If you do not have informed, free, and un-influenced consent, it may be rape and you should not proceed. If there is any doubt, back the fuck off.

    And knock off the shit about ‘what about the menz’. We know that men get raped. That is horrific, too. But you do not, ever, get to use it as an excuse to spout misogynist talking points or minimize others suffering.

    Is there a name for this phenomenon? We have the Godwin Law, right? Call this the MRA Law: On any thread discussing rape, as the comment count approaches 20, the probability of one of those three idiots showing up approaches one.

  60. praxis.makes.perfect (Just call me Prax. It's easier to type) says

    Oh, look! It’s yet another thread about survivors of sexual assault being mistreated by society that’s been turned into yet another wank by a select few assholes with an agenda who are more interested in ignoring the actual people involved in favour of scoring some sort of “intellectual” points.

    When the fuck will that shit end?

    It’s as though there’s a group here that would rather treat rape and it’s victims as mere numbers instead of treating it as a daily and incredibly horrifying reality.

    Is it because they can’t comprehend the horror of it? Is it because they can’t empathize? Is it because they just don’t fucking care about survivors and only see them as a playing field for their bullshit “intellectual” games?

    To be honest, I don’t care what the reason is, I just want it to stop. It’s disgusting.

  61. praxis.makes.perfect (Just call me Prax. It's easier to type) says

    Ogvorbis has said it better than I.

    I wish I had opened in a new tab and refreshed before I made my comment!

  62. Maureen Brian says

    I didn’t see your @66, Ace of Seven, before I posted my last.

    I stick to what I said, though. We do have facts about these things – facts about what happens and facts about why that happens. We have all sorts of research, including attitudinal research among both sexual predators and persons involved in the justice system.

    So you, matey, have a duty to inform yourself – especially when your confusion has the capacity both to hurt individuals and to reinforce dangerous lies.

  63. Kristin says

    @SQB

    “Roughly 93% of all rape reports are true.”

    I’m going to be picky here, not in anyway to undermine your point, but to make a different point.

    I think it is fair to say, based on the best available that *at least* 93% of rape reports *made to the police* are true. (In fact, some of the research suggest that less than 1% of police reports are lies, but that is not the argument I’m making here.)

    So what about the situation when a friend tells you about how they were raped, but didn’t report it to the police? Well, all the supposed reasons that people lie about rape are either completely moot or only make a tiny bit of sense anymore. How likely is it that a person is “seeking revenge” by having the courage to tell one person about such a traumatic event? Obviously the odds that someone is telling the truth in this case are very much higher indeed.

    Pseudo-skeptics on this blog kept making the claim that they wouldn’t believe an acutal friend in this circumstance unless they were 100% certain, and all I could think was that they were some of the least rational people alive. Or that possibly some people who call themselves “skeptics” are acutally “people who will never believe anything ever if it contradicts their fee fees.” They are skeptics, but won’t question if their own beliefs are rational? I personally prefer the term “rationalist” because it is easier to make arguments about whether a belief is rational or not without getting into the whole “True Scotsman” fallacy.

    I only ever became aware of the “skeptic community” after the craziness surrounding RW’s request, and I’ve only been lucking about since then, so I know that there is a lot of history to this movement that I don’t understand, but as an outsider I really can not make any sense of what it means to say you’re a “skeptic.” The way the rape-apologists talk about it makes them sound like they belong to some kind of a religious cult, which is to say that they make it sound like a most unappealing group of assholes.

  64. says

    I’m not a statistical expert. I took an introductory statistics class in college and read innumeracy and have read plenty of science blog stuff about how prosecutors and global warming deniers and advertisers abuse statistics. I also took an intro to criminal justice course that had a heavy focus on how cops falsify crime stats to inflate solution rates and deflate crime rates. I know more than the average bear, but I’m a layman. Mouthyb is correct. A good number of those were ruled false because it was an easy way to declare a case closed. Also, that 7% is largely made of false reports where no one in particular was accused, so a lot of them aren’t false accusations even if actually false. Combien them, even once you figure that the police probably miss some false reports, and it’s highly likely that the number of false accusations made to the police is a lot lower than 7%.

    My problem is I don’t get how we are taking a survey of reports made to police and applying it to reports that aren’t made to police. Do we have any basis to think these numbers should be similar? False accusers and true accusers have rather different motives for making reports, so I would think their reporting behavior would be different.

  65. says

    Ogvorbis:

    If you do not have informed, free, and un-influenced consent, it may be rape and you should not proceed. If there is any doubt, back the fuck off.

    Speaking of consent…

    CCC (Crystal Clear Consent)

    First of all: Understanding that if you go forward with initiating sexual activity not knowing if consent exists, you may or may not be raping someone, but you have proved beyond a shadow of doubt that you are **willing** to rape someone. Black areas make you a rapist, grey areas make you willing to rape.

    Making absolutely sure that consent is obtained and mutually agreed on. This does not include trying for consent when a person is not in condition to grant consent.

    No doubts as to whether consent was obtained.

    No guesses as to whether consent was obtained.

    No assumptions as to whether consent was obtained.

    No doubt as to whether any partner was capable of giving consent at the time.

    Crystal Clear Consent Practices:

    Understanding that consent may be withdrawn, by any involved party, at any time. Initial consent does not mean you get to carry on if consent has been withdrawn. In other words, people are allowed to change their mind at any point.

    If you have not had sex with a given person before, non-verbal consent is nearly always insufficient to be Crystal Clear Consent. Consent that is not communicated is not CCC.

    If your partner is communicating something, do not assume that it has nothing to do with consent.

    If you initiate or offer and are declined in the context of a specifically romantic, sexual, or flirtations setting, do not initiate or offer again until either:

    1. the other party has taken a turn initiating/offering and been declined by you.

    2. the other party has taken a turn initiating/offering, was accepted by you, but after the activity lapsed you wish to restart.

    3. it is an entirely new romantic, sexual, or flirtatious setting.

    4. An amount of time has passed that is inverse to the number of times they have accepted your offer before. While it may be acceptable in a relationship to initiate again after, say, one day [ or whatever the negotiated norm in said relationship ] it’s not acceptable to ask someone again if you’ve just met them.
    If you initiate or offer and are declined in a context that is not specifically romantic, sexual, or flirtatious, do not initiate or offer again. Seriously.

    5. If you’re beginning a new relationship or going for a casual hookup, enthusiasm is key! Your new partner should be enthusiastically and happily involved with you. If no enthusiasm is present, it’s best to go for more communication and put off sex for a while.

    6. A person who wants consensual sex doesn’t want to commit or experience rape, and a person who rapes does. Whether a given rapist wants their victim(s) drugged, unconscious, frightened, intimidated, trapped, manipulated or tricked, or just pestered until they give in, the rapist wants the end result to be that a rape happens. That includes being forced to penetrate someone else.

    7. Contrary to what is often thought, consent is not difficult. If you still aren’t clear at this point, read this:
    http://freethoughtblogs.com/almostdiamonds/2011/09/20/consent-is-hard/ and this: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/02/06/if-consent-was-really-that-hard-whiny-dudes-would-fail-at-every-aspect-of-life/

  66. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    False accusers and true accusers have rather different motives for making reports, so I would think their reporting behavior would be different.

    Prima facie evidence you are only muddying the waters until you can cite literature otherwise. Care to try? That has been my point, either have a true point or you are nothing but an effective rape apologist. Your choice Seven….

  67. says

    Ace of Sevens: Probably best, if you have a question, to lead with it instead of the other things you’ve done on this thread.

    Now, on the issue of applying reported/not reported statistics, I don’t think that’s what were talking about. Those statistics are 54% unreported to presumably 46% reported or other. (Stat drawn from RAINN.) That’s not being compared here. We are comparing within the 46% of rapes that are reported and saying that ~7% are judged false, dismissed or otherwise deemed not worth pursuing.

    Start with the 46% that are reported. Make that a set by itself. Then within that set, ~7% of complaints are not pursued. Remember, stats is contextual/bound to sets–what this is, is a subset within the superset of rapes that are reported/not reported.

  68. says

    Another thing I should point out: with the advent of DNA forensics, a lot of old cases got reviewed. Not nearly as many as should be, but a significant number. Since rape cases are more likely to have DNA evidence than other kinds of crimes, they got a good deal of attention. Plenty of rape convictions were shown to be false, but most were frame-ups by the cops or mistaken identity, aided and abetted by sloppy police work. (Usually some variant of the victim said the rapist was a black guy, so they arrested the nearest black guy.) I’m not aware of a single case where a someone was convicted of rape and it was later shown that his accuser had made it up in an attempt to hurt them.

    From this we can conclude that whatever problems false rape accusations cause for the victims, being sent to prison is not a major danger, especially for white dudes.

  69. says

    Thank you Ogvorbis and thank you Caine.

    If I may add my usual mantra: absence of dissent is not consent; absence of consent is dissent.

  70. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    From this we can conclude that whatever problems false rape accusations cause for the victims, being sent to prison is not a major danger, especially for white dudes.

    And your inane point is….

  71. says

    Ace of Sevens: That’s usually how such data (especially nationally) is obtained. We only know what is reported, unless the authors of a particular study have conduced their own research instead of using the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report.

  72. Kristin says

    @praxis

    I’m sorry if talking about the statistics is a problem. I don’t think rape victims are mere statistics and I in no way want to minimize the real human impact of rape.

    I am a bit of a statistics geek, and the bad research that rape apologists were bonking around really pissed me off. To MRA’s it is practically gospel to yell about numbers that make no sense in the real world. The 92% number has sort of become standard here, and I think it is way too low and is being used out of context. A lot of times the exact numbers do not matter to the point the commenter is making. But I do think the statistics matter and that it is a reasonable topic of conversation. I think a lot of people are putting forth really reasonable critiques about why the 92% number is too low.

    I definitely agree that it is frustrating when MRA/rape apologists start making arguments with statistics they pulled out of their asses.

  73. Ogvorbis: Purveyor of Mediocre Humours! says

    From this we can conclude that whatever problems false rape accusations cause for the victims, being sent to prison is not a major danger, especially for white dudes.

    So of the 46% who actually report they have been raped, 6% to 8% of those reporting rape are making a false accusation. The other 92% to 94% are making a valid accusation. And most are not taken seriously by the police. And you are concentrating on whether or not a ‘white dude’ being sent to prison is not a major danger? Guess what? Even if the crime happened, even if the crime was reported, the chances of any rapist going to prison is pretty damn close to zero. Close enough that my rapist created at least 7 victims of which I am aware. And, as far as I know, that ‘white dude’ never saw prison for what he actually did!

  74. says

    @83: I thought that was obvious. People who think false rape reports are a major social problem emphasize how serious it is by talking about how men can go to prison and face all kinds of consequences for the rest of their lives. My point is that there are ways for false rape convictions to be discovered after the fact and this does happen. It doesn’t happen reliably enough that someone who is falsely convicted has a lot of hope of getting out, but it does happen enough that we have some idea of how false convictions happen.If false convictions were happening due to malicious false allegations, we would expect this to be reflected in the stats of overturned convictions. Since it isn’t, we can safely conclude that malicious false accusations rarely lead to convictions. (It’s also theoretically possible that the the nature of the evidence in these cases makes this kind of false accusation less likely to be discovered than other kinds, but it would have to be a huge difference to account for the results we see, so I don’t think it’s reasonable to conclude this absent a solid reason you would expect it to be so.)

  75. praxis.makes.perfect (Just call me Prax. It's easier to type) says

    @Kristin:

    I can understand that you’re attempting to clarify the waters that have been muddied by others in this thread. It’s just very frustrating when discussions, which could be about consent or activism to help survivors or changes we can make in our own lives to ensure that we don’t in any way help perpetuate a society that not only tolerates, but actively attempts to excuse rape and rapists get turned into … well… whatever it is you see above.

    I’d rather see someone like you make the attempt to destroy yet another tactic of the apologists/assholes/idiots/MRAs than have you stay silent and not hand them their asses.

    I guess I just wish the apologists/assholes/idiots/MRAs had never brought it up in the first place.

    : /

  76. says

    @ogvorbis: Exact;y. That was my point. Thanks to the fact that the quality of evidence in false accusations will be bad and that the US has fairly strong protections for criminal defendants, at least in theory and there’s a general bias against rape accusations, even when there’s good evidence, the main danger that keeps being touted as the basis for false-rape alarmism isn’t much of a danger at all, even when false accusations happen. This is especially true for the white guys who make up the main base who promote these claims.

  77. Ogvorbis: Purveyor of Mediocre Humours! says

    Ace of Sevens:

    I think you missed my point. The man who raped me, and at least seven other children, was, to my knowledge, never reported, was never arrested, never went to prison. You make the assertion that false rape claims almost never result in the falsely-accused rapist being convicted and going to prison. My point is that even if my rapist had been brought to the attention of the authorities, the chances of him, or any other actual rapist, ever seeing the inside of a jail is really small. So I have to question why you keep focusing on whether or not a man is harmed by an actual false accusation and not addressing how women are harmed by the perception, especially in the criminal justice system, of false accusations. Why are you doing this?

  78. Maureen Brian says

    Ace of Sevens,

    Why are you going on about false accusations? We know that false accusations are very, very few. We know that very few rape reports lead to anyone at all serving serving a prison term.

    Why are you trying to derail this thread which was, initially, about a rape which actually happened and how the malice and woolly-thinking which you continue to display saw the rapist un-prosecuted and the report filed as a false allegation?

    What are you trying to achieve here?

  79. John Morales says

    Ogvorbis,

    So of the 46% who actually report they have been raped, 6% to 8% of those reporting rape are making a false accusation. The other 92% to 94% are making a valid accusation.

    Note this very post refers to an instance of a purported valid accusation which was considered to be a false accusation, indicating the likelihood that an accusation is valid is higher than that figure indicates.

    (It doesn’t account for false false accusations, but then it doesn’t account for false true accusations, either)

  80. cicely says

    *big, serious hugs* for Crip Dyke.
     
    I read this a couple of days ago, too. It was horrifying, almost beyond belief—once upon a not-so-long-ago time, it would have been beyond my ability to believe it!—and I have no personal trauma on that level to “resonate” to it. I cannot imagine how it must be for you, and for so many others. *hugs, or equivalent-but-non-intrusive gestures of sympathy and support* for you all, and for EEB.
    -

  81. Ogvorbis: Purveyor of Mediocre Humours! says

    John Morales:

    I know. I am currently sucked in to Ace of Sevens’ derail. Sorry.

  82. Kristin says

    @praxis

    Bad statistics are made up by idiots with an agenda, not much different from the “science” made up by creationists or homeopathic quacks.

    People on this thread are pretty used to dealing with creationist trolls, but the MRA trolls are so vitriolic in such a sexist and personal way that their shit is not just stupid but distressing or even traumatic. These are some of the worst assholes there are, deeply steeped in white middle-class priveledge, but seemingly lacking the education or politeness that normally goes with that. They are fuckwads that don’t care about honest scholarship, rational debate or being a decent human being. They are the epitome of the concept of an internet “troll.”

  83. says

    @mouthyb: I don’t think false accusations made to parties other than police would be measured at all by those RAINN statistics unless people who lie about being raped also lie on anonymous surveys where their malice isn’t served at all. (One could argue that malice isn’t a complete explanation for false accusations as that are also made for attention, basically Munchausen syndrome, but that purpose wouldn’t be well-served by lying on anonymous surveys either and also would lead to false claims, not false accusations.)

    The main factor that leads to people lying on anonymous surveys is the respondent’s self-image. This is why people overreport going to church and giving to charity. Absent some explanation why a large number of people’s self-image depends on falsely considering themselves rape victims, I think we can safely say pretty much all the unreported ones measured by RAINN are true. However, without a measure of how many people report rape, but don’t report it to the police, we have nothing to compare it to to determine what percentage of claims that aren’t reported to the police are false.

    From the RAINN stats, we know that staggering number of women really are raped, and that even with true accusations, the person making the accusation often ends up worse off than the person they are accusing. Presumably this would be even more true with false accusations where the evidence will be worse. Therefore, we know the motive for making false accusations is weak and that we know a large number of accusations to be true, so we can be certain that the false accusation rate is fairly low, but we have no good reason to quote the 7% figure, which is an unreliable measure of something only vaguely related.

  84. says

    @ogvorbis: That’s my point. MRAs will tell you that we need to be concerned about false rape accusations because innocent men are going to jail and we need to fight for their civil rights to not get railroaded, but there’s no little or no evidence that innocent men are going to jail because of false accusations. Therefore, the MRAs making this claim have no idea what they are talking about or are making the argument fother reasons, but thought protecting the helpless common man against the indifferent prison industrial complex sounded better.

    I think both are true to some degree and there are non-malicious reasons to pick an argument that sounds good over one you can make a solid case for, but either way, this argument can be dismissed. Plus, anyone with reading comprehensions can see that a large number of people who make this argument, especially the ones identifying as PUAs, are making it in bad faith and their real concern is they want consent to have as large a gray area as possible with the benefit of the doubt going to them.

    I’ve been harping about this because the rights of the accused are my pet issue and I don’t like seeing it hijacked by people whose real concern is the “right” to commit crimes, especially since the same people often hate on the very groups (minorities and poor) that rights of the accused are primarily meant to protect.

  85. chrislawson says

    I went and looked through the evidence on false rape accusations recently (largely because of clueless MRAs and MRA-enabling skeptics making the same stupid points over and over). I’m not claiming to have read as widely as a professional criminal law researcher, but this is what I took from it.

    1. The data on false rape mostly comes from the US, usually from one state or county per paper. It’s hard to extrapolate from that to all rape accusations everywhere. (For instance, I’d bet that the false rape report rate would be approximately zero in Saudi Arabia.)

    2. The reported rate of false accusation varied enormously from iirc 2%-60%.

    3. Most of that variation was due to the investigator’s definition of false rape. One paper defined every accusation as false if it did not lead to a conviction (a hurdle that would never be applied to any other criminal field imho).

    4. My personal intuition having read these papers is that the best approximation of false accusation rate is in the 2-5% band — but it will vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and culture to culture.

    5. Most interesting — one of the very flawed papers had one big advantage in that the investigator tried to follow up on the reasons behind a “false” accusation (note that I do not accept his definition), but even in that case he found that of the “false” reports the vast majority were women who claimed that they had invented a rape story to protect themselves from their family/community after they had become accidentally pregnant or someone had figured out that they had been sexually active. In these cases, the accuser did not want to get anyone else in trouble so they invented a vague description of a stranger. (Again, take this with a grain of salt — we’ve seen what happens to rape accusers; no doubt it skewed the available post-hoc rationalisation).

    In short, rape is common, false accusations are rare, and when they do happen they are usually not directed at a specific person.

    Sorry to come late to the party, and it being early Sunday morning here in Oz, I’ll keep this unreferenced. I’ll provide refs on request.

  86. Ogvorbis: Purveyor of Mediocre Humours! says

    I’ve been harping about this because the rights of the accused are my pet issue

    You have (in my opinion) chosen a poor venue in which to express your concern. Rights of the accused is vitally important in the field of social justice. However, as John Morales pointed out, this is about a woman who reported a rape and became a statistic on the side of false accusations. Do you see the disconnect?

  87. says

    Kristin:

    People on this thread are pretty used to dealing with creationist trolls, but

    Heh. Pardon, Kristin, people in this thread and the regulars here at Pharyngula are more than well versed in dealing with all manner of rape apologists, garden variety sexists, MRAs and flaming doucheweasels in general. Years worth of experience dealing with such, dating to well before the move to FTB.

    Here’s a quick sample of what we’ve dealt with lately. It’s only 9 pages long: http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/08/08/what-do-you-do-when-someone-pulls-the-pin-and-hands-you-a-grenade/comment-page-1/#comments

    Please don’t mistake us for people only used to dealing with creationists. That’s very far from the truth.

  88. says

    I’ve been harping about this because the rights of the accused are my pet issue

    Yeah, and this particular performance is on par with your idiotic defense of Thunderf00t, which was your debut here, if I recall correctly. You aren’t too keen on learning, Cupcake.

  89. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    but we have no good reason to quote the 7% figure, which is an unreliable measure of something only vaguely related.

    Considering you provided NO SCIENTIFIC CITATION to refute the claim, your fuckwittery can and will be dismissed without evidence, as you provided no evidence. Your opinion never will be scientific evidence….

  90. left0ver1under says

    A lot of the unwillingness to prosecute reeks of laziness and arrogance on the part of both sides, prosecution (cops, lawyers, judges, etc.) and defense lawyers:

    “If I can do nothing, I will do nothing.”

    “It’s not important to me, so it’s not important.”

    I once suffered a hit and run (hit by a car while on a bicycle) and had a broken collarbone among other injuries. For 20 minutes, and cars and pedestrians ignored me, going right by before anyone helped. The cop who eventually came tried to blame me for it.

    I would bet what felt then pales in comparison to what people feel after being raped, ignored and then blamed when asking for help.

    Regarding another comment:

    Ace of Sevens (#28)

    Isn’t that 6-8% of rape accusations that are made to the police are false? My understanding that as happened with Jason Thibeault, most false accusers only try to start rumors in someone’s social circle, rather than involving the police.

    Based on what evidence? The number of false allegations could well be – and probably is – less than 1 in 100. As others have noted, many of those who recant were browbeaten into doing so by those who should be helping them. The victims are violated a second time.

    A large number of rapes are never report at all. Women (and a few men) are afraid the shame others toss on them, afraid of social stigma and what their families will say (i.e. their own family members blaming them instead of supporting them). A tree falling in a forest does make a sound even if no one hears it, and a person has been raped even if she (or he) doesn’t report it.

  91. praxis.makes.perfect (Just call me Prax. It's easier to type) says

    @Caine:

    I have to admire your sharp memory when dealing with the less savoury characters here. You unfailingly manage to point out, with citations, that their “genuine” “concern” is neither genuine, nor based in concern. Thank you.

  92. says

    Of course I see the disconnect. I keep saying that the people claiming that false rape is a major problem are full of shit because to the degree false accusations happen at all (and there’s good reason to think they aren’t all that common), they don’t cause the problem they says they do and I’m sick of them hijacking legit social justice issues to give respectability to something that’s misguided at best and generally malicious. You keep saying that some accusations ruled false are true as if that contradicts my point, but it actually strengthens my point. I’ve never said I don’t think the 6-8% is inflated and I’ve said several times there’s lots of reason to think it is inflated. The report in the OP is part of a well-established pattern of police juking crime stats. I don’t know why you think you need to convince me of this.

    I do object to using the 6-*% reported to police to conclude anything about reports not made to the police. There are other good reasons to think the false report is low among cases where the police do not get involved, which I’ve done my best to lay out in my other posts, but the 6-8% figure is not among them. I pointed this out because of the fallacy fallacy. When people see a bad argument being used to support a position, they tend to assume it’s because the position is false, even though this isn’t necessarily true. When people make bad arguments for positions I support, they are essentially hurting positions I care about. I’ve seen plenty of rape apologists in the Shermer threads pointing out the misuse of statistics, then smugly congratulating themselves on how they no better than falling for feminist math abuse. We have plenty of good arguments, and I think it’s better for the cause if we use those instead.

  93. Ogvorbis: Purveyor of Mediocre Humours! says

    Caine:

    I just went over and read part of the hand grenade thread. I am so fucking glad I was at a forest fire. You, and many others, did good.

  94. says

    @Caine: You are very mistaken. I’m kind of pissed. Please do your research before you accuse anyone of supporting Thunferf00t. I was the first person to object to his place on FTB and came out so strong that I burned a lot of friendships in the process. Ask basically anyone who wrote for FTB at the time. Or look of the threads. Or my blog.

  95. praxis.makes.perfect (Just call me Prax. It's easier to type) says

    @Ace of Sevens:

    You have been asked, quite politely, to stop.

    Do you have an issue with understanding that after admitting that you are hijacking this thread with less than honourable intentions that no one here is particularly interested in discussing your issues when the issue at hand is the one in the OP?

    Your pet project is not the subject of this thread. For you to keep beating this dead horse to a pulp makes me, and others, think that perhaps you not only don’t give a crap about EEB or her experience, but that you don’t give a crap about anyone else here in this thread.

    Quit it with the wanking, please. Go do that in an appropriate venue.

  96. says

    In fact, Thunderf00t, responding to my late of accusations against him is the reason he blew up right away according to his video on the subject. He didn’t name me, but it was pretty clear who he was talking about. I objected on the basis of him being a racist who abused statistics to score rhetorical points againsts groups he didn’t like and a bully who seemed to delight in making other people cry for questioning him and a someone who Internet-diagnosed people with mental illnesses, which he then mocked them for having.

    Once he started posting it became clear that he was an apologist for sexism in general and harassment in particular, I ripped into him for that, too. TO the best of of my knowledge, the closest I’ve ever come to saying anything positive about Thunderf00t is that I accused him of more than I could prove thanks to his habit of deleting videos, but he’s still an asshole.

  97. says

    Praxis, anytime. Always glad to help when I am able to do so.

    Ogvorbis:

    I just went over and read part of the hand grenade thread. I am so fucking glad I was at a forest fire. You, and many others, did good.

    Oh, I was hoping you’d avoid that one, as it was not pretty at all. Every scum sucking flaming doucheweasel rape apologist around showed up. I’m very glad you were at a forest fire, doing stellar, important work. Thanks, but as you know, it’s more a matter of doing the job in front of you, and that job was a mass, concerted effort.

  98. praxis.makes.perfect (Just call me Prax. It's easier to type) says

    Ace of Sevens:

    This thread? Not about you. Stop it now, please. Either take that crap to the Thunderdome or simply zip it.

  99. vilding1 says

    One of the main muddier of waters is alcohol; what was consented to, who knows? If neither party can remember exactly what happened, but the girl feeling certain she wouldn’t have accepted, and other witnesses reporting both of them being shitfaced… Rape? False rape accusation? Rotten memory? All of above?

    One of the really annoying things about rape, is that there is no good way to scientifically establish the key criteria of rape: Absence of consent. Sure, sex happened, we can establish that, but unless you live in Saudi Arabia (or one party was underage or otherwise not able to give legal consent), sex is not inherently illegal. But was there consent? You are not likely to find a lot of good witnesses for the key moment, so at this point the court is left with a gut feeling call. Which can go any way, especially since threats and other psychological pressure leaves no marks.

    So what do we do? Short of installing surveillance cameras in every bedroom, we will always be in a situation where most rapists will go unconvicted, and a few thousand innocents will be put in jail. Tough luck, both ways.

    Actually, if you are one of those who think you are likely to be targetted by a false rape accusation, always videotape yourself in the act (where permitted by law), then you will have all the evidence for consent you need in court (creep).

  100. Menyambal --- The Man Who Broke Even at Monte Carlo says

    Ace of Sevens, change the subject, change your venue or shut up for a while. Please.

  101. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    One of the main muddier of waters is alcohol; what was consented to, who knows? I

    Actually it isn’t. Predators try to keep the victim’s glass “topped off” to prevent the victim from knowing exactly how much alcohol they have consumed. This is the MO of one MS. and other known rapists….Why are you denying their manipulation of the alcohol consumption? Some guilty feelings in your past????

  102. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Any attempts to no let the vicitm control their alcohol consumption in all aspects (strength, amount, numbers) is a deliberate attempt to coerce the victim. Prove otherwise with something other than your fuckwitted opinion….

  103. praxis.makes.perfect (Just call me Prax. It's easier to type) says

    vilding:

    The annoying thing about rape…

    Fuck you, Chuckles. Your schtick has been done and it’s old and tired.

    Crawl back under whatever rock you skittered out from under and stay there until you can stop being concerned about how rapey you can be before you get in trouble.

  104. says

    vilding1! Pay attention, please. Do not, I repeat, do not start up with the rape apologetics in this thread. As you’re just all about the speculation regarding alcohol and consent, there is one thing you can do. Go and read this thread. Every single fucking comment. There are over 4,000 of them, so that should keep you occupied. http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/08/08/what-do-you-do-when-someone-pulls-the-pin-and-hands-you-a-grenade/comment-page-1/#comments

    If you insist with carrying on in this thread, I will send an alert. Now, fuck off and go read. Ta.

  105. vilding1 says

    I was speaking legally. How can a jury possibly know what happened?

    But I guess people like to say “Fuck off” to comments they can’t be bothered to read.

  106. vilding1 says

    I do not in any way, shape or form support rape or rapists. Read the last line again, please.

    All I say is that misreports can and will happen. I don’t think this is a larger problem than the underreporting or underconviction.

  107. praxis.makes.perfect (Just call me Prax. It's easier to type) says

    vilding:

    No, you’re trying to figure out how rapey you can be before you’ve crossed some magical line from “kinda-not-rape” over to “kinda-sorta-rape”

    Here’s a hint:

    If you don’t understand consent, don’t ever, ever, ever, ever, ever have sex. Or be on a jury. Or work in any field where you need to interact with people face to face.

  108. Menyambal --- The Man Who Broke Even at Monte Carlo says

    vilding1, you are arguing that men should be able to drink with no fear of the consequences—nobody can accuse them of rape, because everybody was drunk. At the same time, you argue that women should have to take all the consequences of drinking—women shouldn’t be able to make accusations of rape, because everybody was drunk.

    You have a double standard there that only a drunk would agree to.

    Short version, guys: Don’t go drinking in ways that might wind you up with an accusation of rape.

    Shorter version: Stop equating drinking and sex.

    Shortest version: Stop getting drunk.

  109. vilding1 says

    Praxis: Oh, I get concent. The OP was about rape and I was talking about the legal problems of establishing consent after the fact.

    But if you want to deliberately misread what I post, go ahead.

  110. vilding1 says

    @125 “vilding1, you are arguing that men should be able to drink with no fear of the consequences”

    No, I am not. I never have. And I never will.

  111. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    How can a jury possibly know what happened?

    You are a fuckwitted idjit if you think this is a LEGAL COURT. Your fuckwittery is proven prima facie with your own words…

    All I say is that misreports can and will happen. I don’t think this is a larger problem than the underreporting or underconviction.

    Yet you show NOT ONE IOTA OF THIRD PARTY EVIDENCE TO BACK YOUR FUCKWITTED CLAIM. Meaning you have no evidence, and your word is worthless as evidence. Welcome to reality….

  112. says

    vilding1! Apparently, you’re much too stupid to read comments before dumping your oft seen before bullshit. I do believe you were told to knock it off.

    I was speaking legally. How can a jury possibly know what happened?

    Oh, golly. Testimony, forensics. That was easy. Now, how about you get busy with that fucking off, Cupcake? Because I do not care if you don’t think you’re being a rape apologist. You are. You are also JAQing off. You have been provided with enough reading material for days. All your pea-brained observations and questions are answered within that thread.

  113. vilding1 says

    Before anyone makes more comments, I am talking strictly legal aspects here. If you read morality into it then you are reading something that isn’t there.

    Please go back and read my comment again. Please.

  114. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    No, I am not. I never have. And I never will.

    YOUR WORD DISMISSED WITHOUT EVIDENCE, AS YOU SUPPLY NO EVIDENCE….

  115. says

    I started by pointing out that when the OP said

    Yet when you look at the numbers, you know that data that skeptics are supposed to care about, the frequency of false rape accusations is low, about 6-8%.

    it is misleading because that number isn’t measuring rape allegations in general. It’s measuring allegations made to the police. It may seem like nitpicking since it wasn’t the main point, but it’s important to make the distinction because accuracy is important in general and because rape apologists sure do and I care about defeating their arguments. All my alleged derailing was just me trying to demonstrate that I’m not doing this for purposes of rape apologia.

  116. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Please go back and read my comment again. Please.

    WHY? You are nothing but a proven liar and bullshitter. Welcome to reality….

  117. Ogvorbis: Purveyor of Mediocre Humours! says

    All I say is that misreports can and will happen. I don’t think this is a larger problem than the underreporting or underconviction.

    Yes, misreports can happen. And they do. Rarely. Very rarely. Is this something that worries you? What is your vested interest in trumpeting that misreports, false accusations, do happen? Are you concerned that I might consider you a rapist because you fucked a person who was so drunk that he or she could not consent? Are you looking for a loophole to make yourself feel better?

  118. praxis.makes.perfect (Just call me Prax. It's easier to type) says

    Fuck off vilding. You’re not here to discuss the OP (Assholes like you never are, are you?), you’re just here to mansplain to us why it’s perfectly “reasonable” for rape victims to not be believed; why it’s perfectly “reasonable” for rapists to be able to walk free, and there’s a subtle hint of bullshit wafting off your assumption that rape victims ought to shoulder the blame for the actions of their attacker.

    You’re also not taking the hint and bothering to read either this thread, or any of the others wherein your odious bullpuckey has already been asked, repeatedly. And answered, at length.

    So, yes… Fuck you, you fucking fuck of a fucking asshat.

  119. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Menyambal –
    To the extent I’m willing to defend Vilding – and yuck, btw – it does seem he was saying this is the way it is. I did not read an “ought” in that comment.

    @Vilding

    The annoying thing about rape

    If anything other than, “it happens at all,” or, “everything,” follows this phrase, this is douchegabbery at its most monumentally offensive.

    Checks the following phrases.

    Yep. Douchegabbery at its most monumentally offensive.

    Where you can’t say something productive, it’s a reasonably good idea to stay off the thread.

    If you can’t say something productive AND you start feeling the urge to douchegab? Run. Run from the thread. With all the sharp fangs around here, you’ll even be doing yourself a favor.

  120. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    it is misleading because that number isn’t measuring rape allegations in general. It’s measuring allegations made to the police. It may seem like nitpicking since it wasn’t the main point,

    It is fuckwitttery until your provide third part evidence to back up your fuckwittery. And that is missing in action. Are you that stupid? Why should we listen to someone who can’t/won’t back up their claims with academic evidence? And that someone is you….

  121. Menyambal --- The Man Who Broke Even at Monte Carlo says

    vilding1, in the thread you need to go read, and elsewhere, I have argued against the guys who insist on evidence. So I have thought about what you try to bring up. Seriously, we’ve done it all.

    You have popped in with an off-topic offering of something we all know, amongst a group that includes rape survivors, as if nobody has thought about the wonderful things that only you can think up. Then you double down when people object, and you insult them for hurting and misunderstanding you.

    We may have made a small error, but you are making a big one. Your name and reputation here isn’t worth a moment’s defense. Apologize and go away for a while. Please.

  122. vilding1 says

    OK, here is a recap for the reading impaired.
    Premise one: Rapes happens. A lot. Few are reported. Even fewer lead to conviction. All this is bad.
    Premise two: A few rapes are misreported, in many cases not out of ill will, but lack of memory. This is also bad.
    Premise three: Courts cannot reliably tell consent from lack of consent. Forensic evidense will only tell you about presence or absence of sex at best. Possibly signs of physical struggle. This is bad.

    Conclusion: Many rapists go free, a few innocents are convicted. This is bad.

    Is that neutral enough language for you?

    [NO. Your continued attempts to play Spock and put a terrible personal trauma suffered by others into fucking neutral terms is offensive. You’ve been told to stop multiple times and I’m very close to banning you outright. –pzm]

  123. Ogvorbis: Purveyor of Mediocre Humours! says

    All my alleged derailing was just me trying to demonstrate that I’m not doing this for purposes of rape apologia.

    And you could have actually written your most recent comment and been done with it rather than making tangential and poorly worded comments that seemed, to me and others, to be an attempt at a nitpicking derail or rape apologia. We get your point. Thank you. We get it. Honest.

  124. Menyambal --- The Man Who Broke Even at Monte Carlo says

    Crip and Caine, thanks. You are both absolutely right

    I’m gonna go elsewhere a while, and do something calming.

  125. says

    vilding1

    Go away.

    This is just awful. I don’t know what’s more triggering; the story this post opened with (which I read as first posted as a comment) (EEB, thank you; so brave!), or the never-ending stream of apologists, always with the same tired excuses.

    I’m with allegro, back in #42:

    But between the grenade post/thread and now this, I am right back there. . . .

    No, what has been triggered with these posts and discussions is RAGE! Blind, bloody, fucking RAGE. I am shaking with it, in tears. I feel that sickening feeling of helplessness crawling my spine and permeating my viscera. No, wait… it’s not the feeling of helplessness, it’s the knowledge of it, being made so explicitly aware of it again.

    Trouble is, when I’m really angry, I freeze. I can’t find words, I can only go out and whack at trees. I’ve pruned a whole row of rhododendrons in the last two days; there’s that. But what use is it?

    TW

    It’s sort of like being raped yet again. It all comes back; saying, “No, no, no, go away, stop, no, PLEASE STOP!” All to no avail. It just goes on and on and on.

    PLEASE STOP!

  126. says

    Ace of Sevens & vilding1: you’re done. Do not post in this thread anymore. For that matter, don’t even post on this topic again — that you cannot respect people’s request to drop the subject and move in does not speak well of your ability to continue here, and if you violate my order, you will be banned.

  127. says

    @vilding1: I can agree that rape is more difficult to prosecute from a legal perspective than most crimes, because physical evidence is often lacking, meaning it’s he-said, she-said and benefit of the doubt is on the accused, but I don’t think alcohol is a significant factor in this problem. I think it would only be an issue if someone gets too drunk to remember whether they consented, and I have enough experience around drunk people to know that people rarely, if ever, get that drunk without it being obvious you shouldn’t have sex with them. (Some people do overstate this as saying that drunk people can’t have sex, but when pressed this is what they mean, not that it was rape that one time you had two beers followed by sex).

    This is also ignoring the significant evidence that there lots of other factors that prevent rape convictions which have nothing to do with inherent problems beating reasonable doubt. The OP is one good example where the police ignored physical evidence out of some combination of a desire to juke their solution stats and being predisposed to believe accusations are false. It’s probably impossible for rape to have 80%+ of crimes leading to a conviction like armed robbery and murder, but we can do a hell of a lot better than we are and that kind of talk only destroys the political will to do so.

  128. vilding1 says

    @139 I apologize. I did not mean to even suggest support of rape. I did not mean to imply that all corner cases should lead to aquittal. I did not mean to in any way suggest that guys getting in trouble is in any way less severe than the women getting raped. I did not mean to push anyone’s buttons.

    I am sorry that I had not made these facts obvious enough in my posts.

  129. John Morales says

    vilding1:

    Please go back and read my comment again. Please.

    Reading it again won’t change what it is; your conclusion suffices: So what do we do? Short of installing surveillance cameras in every bedroom, we will always be in a situation where most rapists will go unconvicted, and a few thousand innocents will be put in jail. Tough luck, both ways.

    Resignation to the status quo based on a false dichotomy is the opposite of impressive.

  130. says

    That’s it. I don’t care that you probably didn’t see my warning, that you two are now having a fucking goddamned conversation with each other about other people’s rapes is enough. Ace of Sevens and vilding1, BANNED.

  131. Ogvorbis: Purveyor of Mediocre Humours! says

    Is that neutral enough language for you?

    No. You have omitted one of the biggest problems — societal norms, cultural norms, family pressures, police indifference, police pressure, prosecutorial indifference, and all the other ways that rape culture makes it difficult to report a rape, difficult to get an investigation by the police, difficult to sustain an investigation as questions arise about alcohol, dress, sexual history, etc., difficult to even get a DA to press charges.

    And you can take a fucking flying leap with your ‘mistakes happen’ bullshit. We know that. And every bit of evidence that I have seen and read here (not just this thread) shows that, according to society, the mistake is for the victim to complain, the mistake is for the victim to admit what happened, the mistake is telling the authorities. And they (in many jurisdictions) do think it is a mistake to report a rape. Which means that most of the false accusations that MRAs bring up are women, or children, or men, who are pressured by family, friends, police, the prosecutor, and societal norms, to recant an accusation.

    Does any of that make sense to you?

  132. praxis.makes.perfect (Just call me Prax. It's easier to type) says

    Okay, this is just getting ridiculous.

    I am so tired of trying to have a thoughtful conversation about the issues surrounding stories like those told by EEB and instead ending up pissed off and frustrated that I can’t do that because … once again … some people just don’t know when to stop.

    It happens every time, on almost every thread, on almost every site.

    At least it’s giving me a long list of people to avoid completely in meatspace if I ever learn their online handles. It’s a small comfort, though.

  133. praxis.makes.perfect (Just call me Prax. It's easier to type) says

    Can we expect the Spanish Inquisition instead? I never expect them. It would make a nice change.

  134. says

    You won’t get sockpuppets from Ace of Sevens, he’s something of a regular who means well. I think he’s just been spending a little too much time hanging out chez Heteronormative Patriarchy for Men.

  135. Kristin says

    @Caine from 102

    I know that there are a lot of assholes on these threads and that it must be really draining to feel like you must fight them all. I’ve watched you fight a really good fight. And I’ve also seen you smash several allies with your wrath.

    Why would you yell at someone who is completely on your side and trying to help fight the stupidity? I said I was a lurker and didn’t completely understand your culture. *I have read every single post of every single recent thread and was already on your side before any of it even happened.* The biggest asshole trolls are supposed to be given the benefit of the doubt for three postings and you have to snipe at me for what…?

    I did not in any way say that people on Pharyngula “are only used to dealing with creationists.” I was expressing that MRA-troll or rape-apologist troll is a particularly awful species of troll who will say things *intending* to be intensely hurtful and horrible, mean and triggering as possible, in a particularly mean, sexist and horrible way.

    And YES, I think there were a lot of people here who didn’t (and still don’t) realize the extent of what assholes they really are. Do you think that is untrue? Is that really such an awful thing to say that?

  136. Jacob Schmidt says

    Why would you yell at someone who is completely on your side and trying to help fight the stupidity? I said I was a lurker and didn’t completely understand your culture. *I have read every single post of every single recent thread and was already on your side before any of it even happened.* The biggest asshole trolls are supposed to be given the benefit of the doubt for three postings and you have to snipe at me for what…?

    Caine’s response was very measured. There was no sniping.

    If you were completely on Caine’s side, you wouldn’t be exaggerating her response this way.

  137. says

    SallyStrange:

    You won’t get sockpuppets from Ace of Sevens, he’s something of a regular who means well.

    If he meant well, he would have stopped after multiple people requested he do so, as he was causing considerable upset. He might have also paid attention to the first warning. He might also have paid attention to the second warning. He chose to do none of those things.

  138. says

    Kristin, I wasn’t yelling at you. If you lurk, then you are well aware that people in threads such as these are fully aware of MRAs and other assorted doucheweasels, including those who wish to trigger on purpose. We’ve all dealt with them numerous times. However, going by your reaction, it’s obvious I upset you. I apologize.

  139. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    I had Olivia Benson yell at me once when I disagreed stridently with several of her commenters and noted that evidence was ambiguous that OB had engaged in the same conflation to which I was objecting.

    It is disconcerting to be yelled at by an ally. Not always uncalled for, but always disconcerting. Hope the breach heals.

  140. Ogvorbis: Purveyor of Mediocre Humours! says

    And you think Ace was one of these people?

    Xe was, either through ignorance or poor writing, hitting many of the MRA memes — especially the insistence of focusing on falsely accused rapists and how important their rights were without mentioning that the OP was about a woman who was raped and ended up being a false accusation statistic. I have no idea if xe is an MRA. I saw MRA talking points and responded. But that’s just me.

    Heading for bed. Hoping for no dreams.

  141. says

    And you think Ace was one of these people?

    What people? Please, be kind, and use clarity when you post. Do I think Ace is an MRA? No. No reason to believe that at all. However, they were indulging in a lot of bullshit which is standard to MRAs and rape apologists, and refused to consider their stance in light of evidence they were wrong.

  142. says

    Crip Dyke:

    I had Olivia Benson yell at me once when I disagreed stridently with several of her commenters and noted that evidence was ambiguous that OB had engaged in the same conflation to which I was objecting.

    It is disconcerting to be yelled at by an ally. Not always uncalled for, but always disconcerting. Hope the breach heals.

    I think you mean Ophelia, and if you’re talking about me, I did not yell at Kristen in any way, shape or form.

  143. Pteryxx says

    …holy crap, Ace couldn’t even shut up long enough for me to get back to them? The hell with that. When a non-toxic discussion starts happening then I might get into it.

    Why can’t these just-asking types leave rape discussions well enough alone? Or at least go do their own damn background reading? Why can’t they simply resist the impulse to go hurl themselves into the niches that draw the most blood like a swarm of freaking candiru?

    *civilly flips table*

  144. says

    Pteryxx:

    Why can’t these just-asking types leave rape discussions well enough alone?

    Because they are arrogant to the point that they are absolutely sure no one, in the history of the world, has ever brought up their points, nope. I really wonder why I bother.
     
    Yeah, I know why I bother, but some days…

  145. Menyambal --- The Man Who Broke Even at Monte Carlo says

    Caine, Fleur du mal:

    Because they are arrogant to the point that they are absolutely sure no one, in the history of the world, has ever brought up their points, nope.

    Very well put, and something I have been struggling to phrase so pithily.

    This way it makes me realize that the same arrogant condescension is very common from men, toward women.

  146. says

    Menyambal:

    Very well put, and something I have been struggling to phrase so pithily.

    This way it makes me realize that the same arrogant condescension is very common from men, toward women.

    Yes, the asses we get in these threads treat all of us as if we were operating with fluffy, pink lady brains, and could not possibly know what we’re talking about. It’s incredibly irritating and frustrating.

  147. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Caine, I apologize.

    I either didn’t read or forgot the exchange in question. I meant to write a general thing, and realize that the way I wrote it assumed that you did, in fact, yell at her.

    I apologize. I was wrong.

    Further, I erroneously asserted that the FreeThoughtBlogger being mentioned was actually a fictional detective. I retract that error as well. Apologies to Ophelia.

  148. says

    Crip Dyke, thank you, very much. Y’know, I’m always surprised the Olivia Benson thing doesn’t happen more often. Ophelia is easy for me because one of my cats is named Ophelia. I have had to curb a tendency to call Ms. Benson Ophie, though. :D

  149. Jonathan, der Ewige Noobe says

    Caine, do you actually think that’s Ace or Vilding’s motivation? When I see you and everyone else talking about them like this–after they’ve been banned, no less–it looks to me like a very petty and cynical thing to assume about somebody. For that matter, I’m not sure what Ace’s transgression even was–xe seemed to agree with you completely, but I saw you tearing into xem just for defending xyrself. Everyone kept saying that the thread wasn’t about them, so xe needed to shut up and go away–but you were the one who changed the subject to xyr character instead of xyr words.
    Xe made a typo, apologized for it and pointed out that the truth was the exact opposite, and went on to describe in detail how this body of myth regarding false accusations may have come about, even contributing to the list of possible ways that a “false accusation” may have wound up on the records without any female agency, a dimension that I’ve never seen discussed. I believe that xe specifically pointed out that xe had never found a single case of the MRA conniving-harpy-puts-upstanding-dudebro-in-jail fantasy occurring in real life. Xe agreed with you. About every single thing.
    Caine, I think that you derailed this thread when you attacked Ace without any reason I could see, and I think that xyr attempt to defend xyrself was completely warranted. I’ve seen you lash out several times in the past, and as much fun as it is to watch you lay into the real bad guys, it feels to me like you treat many people who don’t have any actual disagreement with you the same way you treat misogynistic trolls. It makes me feel uneasy, and as smart as I can tell you are, and as often as you turn out to be right, I find it hard not to empathize with some of the people you get into fights with.
    PZ, you’re one of the few Big Name Atheists I have much respect for anymore. You have a kind of intelligence and integrity that I could never even measure up to. But I think your ban of Ace was unfair. Look at xyr last post–it looks like it happened within less than a minute of your final warning, and I think that xe might not have even seen it before xe posted. I sometimes take awhile after posting before checking to see what sort of responses I’ve gotten–for example, when I finish writing this one, I’m going to go to bed, and won’t see a word anyone says for several hours. If I hadn’t just seen what happened to Ace, it wouldn’t even have occurred to me to check to see if anyone else had posted while I was writing this.
    I’m a very argumentative and pedantic person, I know that, and it’s taking me a lot of time and discipline to word all of this properly–so I can imagine something like that happening to me, and that also makes me feel uneasy, because I care deeply about getting everything exactly right, and I think that that’s what motivated Ace. It’s a trait that’s gotten me into trouble before–it took me a very long time to learn to stop talking when authority figures began threatening me into silence, instead of trying to get them to tell me what I’d done wrong. But that’s also why I’m here in the first place, and not on JREF anymore–I think that every person here is a skeptic because we value the truth, and I don’t believe that it reflects poorly on a person’s character to be preoccupied with small details.
    It’s been almost two hours since I started writing this, and I don’t think anything else I could write in my current state would reflect the standard that I’m trying to set for myself. Goodnight, and I hope my actual meaning comes through better than it often does.

  150. Ingdigo Jump says

    I don’t believe that it reflects poorly on a person’s character to be preoccupied with small details.

    FFS.

  151. piegasm says

    @174 Jonathan, der Ewige Noobe

    1) Paragraph breaks. They are your friend.

    Xe made a typo, apologized for it and pointed out that the truth was the exact opposite, and went on to describe in detail how this body of myth regarding false accusations may have come about, even contributing to the list of possible ways that a “false accusation” may have wound up on the records without any female agency, a dimension that I’ve never seen discussed.

    If you’ve never seen that discussed here, you either have been around very long or you’re not paying attention. Fuck, I’ve only really been around since the grenade thread and I’ve seen that subject come up numerous times. Oddly enough, it’s usually concurrent with the latest shitwit MRA showing up to bleat about what a blight false accusations are on teh poor innocent menz. And we all know how rare that is.

    Another thing I’ve seen lots of is survivors de-lurking to thank the Horde for having no tolerance for things like what Ace did (which was continuing to bloviate at length after being asked to stop multiple times about a trivial detail which xe understands less well than others here). As far as I’m concerned (and I’d venture that most people here would agree) that easily trumps any discomfort you have that someone well-meaning might be put off by the Horde’s ferocity.

  152. piegasm says

    doh, first line after the block quote should read: …either haven’t been around very long…

  153. blindlabyrinth says

    We run a podcast called the Believer and Skeptic Show, and our skeptic Rob rants here on Cecil Fuson, who is a *convicted sex offender* who runs a facebook page critical of Rebecca Watson. Our believer, Ken, had some problem with his audio, so Rob rants solo here. This segment will be available on the next edition, Episode 5, available on iTunes. We think it’s very interesting indeed that the people who are the hyperskeptics, who doubt every victim of every sexual assault, turn out to have a convicted sex offender as one of their self-appointed spokespersons.

    http://www.thepionear.net/BASS-8-26-13-Rob-Rant-on-Cecil-Fuson.mp3

    Blind Labyrinth

  154. Maureen Brian says

    Jonathan, der Ewige Noobe @ 174,

    I swear you guys spend your entire lives with your fingers on the ctrl+f keys, tongues hanging out and just waiting to find some excuse to diss the evil feminists and leap to the defence of a poor brother who has been ill-used.

    Except that the way you do it is bollocks. Let’s look at the facts in this case. Your friend ace of sevens first appeared @ 28, with little relevance to the OP and a distinct hint of mansplaining. He was criticised by, among others, Rutee Katreya, Pteryxx, Nerd, mouthyb, allegro, Ogvorbis, praxis and myself long before Caine finally snapped at him @ 103. Note that it was just a snap and non a full-scale character assassination.

    By that stage, the items on his charge sheet included poor grasp of the subject, hogging the whole thread, mansplaining, poor style of argumentation, repetition, derailing and a double helping of last-word-ism.

    After that point he was repeatedly asked to shut up, to go and do his homework and, eventually, to fuck off – all in a variety of styles and tones – until he was warned by PZ @140, shouted at by PZ @ 145 and finally banned by PZ @150.

    This is not some rest-home for the terminally logorrheic but a place for serious discussion. (And good laughs.) Among the regulars are people who have worked in Rape Crisis or or related fields all their lives, many victims of horrendous rapes, lawyers, philosophers, doctors and academic social scientists plus armies of us who have, in other ways, honed our ability to think by actually using our brains.

    From where I sit I saw ace of sevens arrive, make an arse of himself, become a bore and be shown the door. What’s horrendously unjust about that?

    As for vilding, he has “form.”

  155. piegasm says

    @Jonathan, der Ewige Noobe

    Caine, I think that you derailed this thread when you attacked Ace without any reason I could see, and I think that xyr attempt to defend xyrself was completely warranted.

    Emphasis mine…Perhaps consider that your inability to see it might have less to do with it not being there than it does with a lack of understanding on your part.

    Also: civility? Prooooobably not a road you want to go down right now. Or ever for that matter but particularly not right now. Also another indication that you maybe need to lurk moar because this is another conversation that has been had countless times around these parts.

    Last: I hope I’m not coming off as naggy by saying this in multiple posts. I have a really hard time with long posts sans paragraph breaks so I’m just responding to things as they jump out at me.

  156. scimaths says

    The OP makes an important point: that the oft quoted 6-8% for false accusations is actually massively inflated. In the UK the phrase is “no-crimed” (which the police use against rape victims as a euphemism for “yeah well we don’t care and she’s a drunken slag anyway”)

    Every now and then a report comes out that criticices police forces for doing this, yet the 6-8% (or more) “false” accustation myth is still propogated – the reality is that it’s probably less than a fraction of a percent that are women inventing rapes out of thin air just to be mean to some innocent precious man.

    I think we need to start talking about the 6-8% in that context, stop saying 6-8% “false” and come up with some term that recognises that it’s 6-8% “yet more cases that are dismissed outright by the police, even though most of them shouldn’t be”

  157. chigau (Twoic) says

    believerskeptic, is there some reason you are now commenting as blindlabyrinth?

  158. says

    Black areas make you a rapist, grey areas make you willing to rape.

    Thank you, Caine.
    It cannot be put any clearer and easier to understand than that.
    That’s for every. fucking. person. who wants to argue “how drunk is drunk” again.
    Sure, you might be lucky and the person’s drunk opinion is the same as the person’s sober one, but that’s it: luck.

  159. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    Enthusiastic consent or nothing.

    When it comes to sexual intercourse or no sexual intercourse that’s really that.

    Either you *both* really want to do it to happen – or not and, if not, then just NO.

    Whatever your circumstances, whatever the genders or orientaions, whatever everything.

    Enthusiastic consent.

    Or

    Nothing.

  160. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    Ask yourselves.

    What’s worse?

    Not getting laid – or being a rapist?

  161. throwaway, gut-punched says

    What’s worse?

    Not getting laid – or being a rapist?

    I’d say putting someone through rape is the worst. Having to live your life as a rapist doesn’t even compare to having to live through life having been raped.

  162. says

    blindlabyrinth/believerskeptic @ 178, hi there, Rob. Do not start using these threads to spam your own stuff again, please. It’s very scummy behaviour, and it’s also off topic. What you’re posting about had its own thread here a while back. Spamming isn’t acceptable under any nym. Thanks.

  163. Jackie: The COLOSSAL TOWERING VAGINA! says

    *Trigger for misogyny and rape apology*

    SteveR, why do you assume these people have not asked themselves that very question and then decided that since women aren’t real people with real agency and men ARE real people who DESERVE access to women’s bodies, that not getting laid is far worse? I’ve been reading rape apologetics long enough that I do not think that these people are on the fence about that question at all. They have decided. They’ve just decided that it isn’t “really” rape when they or those they respect (the more privileged the better) do it or that consent is just a super thoughtful thing to get but nothing a “nice guy” needs to worry too much about, because if he did he might not get his dick wet as often as he’d like. Enthusiastic consent is like a “Thank You” card to these guys. It’s a nice afterthought, but it isn’t necessary. They really don’t get what all the fuss is about because women just don’t matter.

    It works the same way racism does, Steve. Think about it.

  164. everbleed says

    The “asshole” in the thread.

    I posted item #3. Stupid, noob, rude, not appropriate on blogs, intrusive, ill-considered… pick a thought, any thought. All deserved. I confess. I apologize.

    What happened first was #7, which was very nice. I used the advice. Wrote to PZ. Thanked #7. And then #10, the first use of “asshole”. It continued.

    What I couldn’t understand is why the insult “asshole” was fired so fast. I looked around. And then I found this.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2013/08/16/james-randi-the-amazing-meeting-and-the-bullshit-police.html

    And this section of the article attributing a quote to PZ Myers.

    After the speech, PZ Myers, a widely read—and notoriously prickly—academic and science blogger, denounced “asshole” Swiss’s “incredibly repellent talk” and announced that he would “no longer consider myself a ‘skeptic.’ ”

    ‘Nuts not fall far from tree’ is the first thought that crossed my synapses. I’m certainly not evaluating any positions described in the article, Swiss’s or Myer’s, but I wonder if the DailyBeast article expresses relevant thought when it goes on to say:

    “Many believe that the movement’s insularity and self-confidence is damaging its ability to broaden its impact. In his 2010 speech at TAM, Slate’s Phil Plait offered his allies a harsh bit of advice: if you want to gain converts, he said, “don’t be a dick.” “The tone of what we are doing is decaying,” he admonished, and “vitriol and venom are on the rise.” It was certainly something I noticed in talking to TAM attendees—skeptical questions about skepticism were often met with dramatic eye rolls and you-can’t-be-serious stares. It’s easy to understand why this hubris might not be the best way to win converts.”

    BTW I was reading the post only because of personal experience. Never got to writing about that. Won’t bother. Please, for the last time, receive my apologies. I don’t beg acceptance, just the hearing.

    Later.

  165. says

    everbleed
    1.) I didn’t call you an asshole. I said it was an asshole move
    2.) Stop making it about you, seriously. If you want to address grievances, take them to Thunderdome
    3.) Really, stop making it about you. This was over and done with at around #40.

  166. says

    Everbleed, everyone here fucks up at one time or another. One thing the Horde takes pride in is in being a self-correcting buncha people. When we make mistakes, we expect to be called on it. Part and parcel of Pharyngula. The best formula is to think about what people have said, be aware, don’t make that particular mistake again, and if necessary, apologize. Then, move on. There are two open threads here: The Lounge and Thunderdome. The lounge is heavily moderated and requires kindness; Thunderdome is unmoderated and you can say anything you like in any way you like.

    As with all new people, it’s best to spend some time reading and figuring things out, asking questions where necessary. We all have a long history together here, years worth, and all that backstory isn’t immediately apparent to new folks. That’s okay, just don’t descend into the depths of self pity over a mistake, it’s neither necessary nor wise.

  167. David Marjanović says

    @Jonathan, der Ewige Noobe

    Caine, I think that you derailed this thread when you attacked Ace without any reason I could see, and I think that xyr attempt to defend xyrself was completely warranted.

    Emphasis mine…Perhaps consider that your inability to see it might have less to do with it not being there than it does with a lack of understanding on your part.

    Indeed.

    I’m not saying it’s your job to explain it to him, but somebody has to, or he’ll never understand what’s going on.

    What’s going on is actually very simple: all these innocent-looking questions and innocent-looking defenses reminded plenty of people here – by no means just Caine; for the most drastic example see comment 144 – of the rape apologia that is 1) all over the Internet and 2) has at various points been directed at them. You can’t imagine what it’s like, and I can’t imagine what it’s like, and indeed most men can’t imagine what it’s like, but for lots of people here it’s personal. There are people here who’ve been through shit so horrible that such things trigger their PTSD.

    In other words, try not to be an eternal noob; open your eyes to the amount of horror on this planet, including the amount of horrible things that are said in order to excuse it, downplay it, blame the victims, bully them, ridicule them.

    Live long and prosper.

  168. David Marjanović says

    …er. With the words “What’s going on” I switched from addressing piegasm to addressing Jonathan, den ewigen Nooben.

    *facepalm*

    piegasm knows better what’s going on than I do!
    (…a concept that seems not to have occurred to Ace of Sevens or vilding1 much.)

  169. says

    David:

    for the most drastic example see comment 144

    This is the point. It’s about people, and how something affects them. While it’s very convenient for people to play the “it’s all Caine’s fault!” game, doing so utterly erases all those who have poured themselves out, in shaking anger, fear, hurt, and need. All I have to say for every idiot who decides to do that is fuck off. This ain’t about you, and it ain’t about me, either.

  170. David Marjanović says

    You’re the angry one, so you get noticed.

    Patriarchy erasing most women and obliquely hurting the men who should listen to them the most.

  171. spamamander, internet amphibian says

    I can’t read all the comments just now… I am on my phone having just participated in my third Seattle Slutwalk. (This year with my oldest daughter, her first protest). All of the awesome empowerment and activism, the survivor stories. Then I log in to see this. Fucking fuck.

  172. Jonathan, der Ewige Noobe says

    And it’s “anger” that’s most often used to jab at people. One of the first things that made me think I was on the wrong side here was noticing that people talk about FTB the same way milquetoast, liberal Christians talk about strident atheists. Clearly not a mindblowing new concept here, mind you, but it queued me to look for other behaviors.

    And as for looking into the abyss, I do try. But just knowing it doesn’t compare with living it, and the rage from survivors will probably always be offputting. I guess I just need to think about what Dr. King said about well-meaning white moderates.

  173. says

    And it’s “anger” that’s most often used to jab at people.

    Actually, I find it isn’t. Cool contempt tends to bring about jabs, at least from my observations. That said, Jonathan, it’s on you to read for comprehension, and understand that in many instances, anger is fully justified. When I see someone so self-absorbed that they are causing harm to people who have been raped a/o assaulted, and they don’t care, yes, I get angry. That’s a direct result of empathy.

    I’ve been raped myself. As a result, I have been dealing with PTSD, hypervigilance, sleep phobia and dream phobia for decades. I spent years working as an advocate for rape and sexual assault victims, I still do that once in a while. Here at Pharyngula, people who have been raped or sexually assaulted are a priority for me. I’m not going to get all weepy over someone so fucking arrogant that they do not give a damn about harming people. We’ve experienced enough harm, we get a life sentence and a universe worth of pain. I have the strength (most of the time), to employ justified anger at the rotten treatment aimed at those who have been raped or sexually assaulted. Don’t like it? Tough shit.

    I’m pretty damn sick of you insisting on doing the “poor ol’ Ace” dance. You are still insistent on making this all about you, and all about the various sorts of apologists who show up in these threads. We’ve been dealing with these arrogant asses for years. We know what we’re doing. If someone has such little empathy for those who have been raped or sexually assaulted, they have no business trying to make a thread about rape all about them.

    Also, Jonathan, you can take your scare quote use of anger and shove it where the sun don’t shine.

  174. scenario says

    When someone makes a rape complaint to the police many different things can happen.

    Police believe victim, investigate case and prosecute rapist. (Best result, much rarer than it should be)
    Police believe victim, investigate case but decide not to prosecute because they don’t think they have enough evidence to get a conviction. (Not good, but at least an honest attempt.)
    Police believe victim, badly investigate case because of lack of funds, incompetence, etc. Then either lose case or decide not to prosecute. (Bad but not surprising)
    Police believe victim, investigate case and determine that the victim was lying. (By far the smallest of cases where the police believe the victim. Very rare. Hurts future victims. )

    Police do not believe victim but are professionals and investigate and hand information to prosecutors. (Far from ideal but at least they made some effort. You cannot change what people think but you can change what they do.)
    Police do not believe victim, don’t investigate or just pretend to investigate and decide not to prosecute. (Very bad, evil, unprofessional, and wrong. It should not be tolerated in any rational justice system.)
    Police do not believe victim, coerce and intimidate victim into confessing that xe lied. (Way, way to common. Probably more common than false reporting since false reporting generally would happen once per victim but a police officer who would pressure a victim into confessing would almost certainly do it more than once. Absolutely evil. These police should be prosecuted. )

    Police should always believe victims. They can stop believing a victim only when they find have real evidence that leads them to believe that the victim is lying.

    I always try too look at both sides, hence my name. There is no reason a person cannot believe both sides of a case pending further evidence. Automatically believing or disbelieving one side of the case before looking at a shred of evidence is foolish. Even worse, I cannot think of any reason why anyone should think there is any good reason to pressure a rape victim into saying xe is lying. It doesn’t benefit anyone but the rapist and badly hurts the people they are paid to protect.

    Police automatically not believing rape victims leads to a much lower prosecution rate than it should.
    Realistically, police and prosecutors cannot prosecute every case. (Victim decides not to prosecute, etc. ) But the percent of cases prosecuted should be something like 70% to 90% not 5% to 10%.

  175. says

    I always try too look at both sides, hence my name.

    Uh huh. I don’t suppose it used to be ‘vilding1′, right? How about if you simply read the thread instead of attempting to tell us all, at this late date, what it’s all about? Thanks ever.

  176. Ogvorbis: Purveyor of Mediocre Humours! says

    What’s worse?

    Not getting laid – or being a rapist?

    I’d say putting someone through rape is the worst. Having to live your life as a rapist doesn’t even compare to having to live through life having been raped.

    Thank you, throwaway, gut punched. Thank you.

    the rage from survivors will probably always be offputting.

    Reality usually is.

    I am an historian. I deal with labour, industrial, transportation, and economic history. And I continuously come across things that floor me.

    Here, on Pharyngula, there are about 60 or so survivors who have come out and shared their experiences. For some of us, this is the only place where we have ever told about what was done to us. This is the safest place that I know of for survivors. Why? Because the rage, the horror, the sorrow, the fear, the guilt, and all the other emotions involved are not minimized, they are are not sugar coated, they are not pushed back into a corner so that the Important Men can safely discuss rape, or abuse, or the myriad other ways that humans hurt other humans. You do not have to read what I, and others, write. You do not get to tell me, and other survivors, that the horrors that made us who we are are ‘offputting’. Do not silence me, and all the other survivors, with civility.

    Part of what makes my memories more bearable is that I know that, no matter what my mind is doing to me, there are people here who understand. Too many people who understand. And I do not mean understanding in a dispassionate and theoretical way — I mean survivors who, though every assault and rape is different, have actually been there and are still there now.

  177. says

    Ogvorbis:

    Here, on Pharyngula, there are about 60 or so survivors who have come out and shared their experiences.

    It’s up into the 125+ range now, going by Pteryxx’s casual count.

  178. Ogvorbis: Purveyor of Mediocre Humours! says

    It’s up into the 125+ range now, going by Pteryxx’s casual count.

    That is sad. And I am cynical enough to not be surprised.

    Thanks. Hugs to you and all the others.

  179. Pteryxx says

    spamamander:

    All of the awesome empowerment and activism, the survivor stories. Then I log in to see this. Fucking fuck.

    I hear that. Does it help at all to know that many awesome activists and survivors have similar stories? (Though activists aren’t all survivors, and survivors don’t have to be activists. Self-care being a radical act and all.)

    If someone has such little empathy for those who have been raped or sexually assaulted, they have no business trying to make a thread about rape all about them.

    QFT.

    I point out again, as far as I’m concerned anyway, Ace could have just waited. I flat out said I’d try to give a good-faith answer but this wasn’t the time. (Or place… Thunderdome might have been better.) That wasn’t good enough for them. Why not? What is so damn important about insisting that ignorant quibbles get addressed RIGHT NOW after a horrendous and well-evidenced story like EEB’s? It’s a blatantly obvious pattern to anyone paying one shred of attention.

    As to my informal count, it started with five or six old-guard survivors who came forward years back. (I lost count when we topped 50 and that’s when I started actually keeping track as best I could, in late 2011; hence my count started off approximate, along with any I’ve missed.) As of now it’s up to 150 almost exactly, and fully 50 of those have come forward in just the last three weeks of revelations since Karen Stollznow spoke up in SciAm. I haven’t even finished counting those who spoke up in EEB’s thread.

    That’s how much it means for survivors to have a place where they won’t be isolated, brushed off, silenced, or disbelieved yet again.

  180. says

    It’s also a catch-22

    If I show anger, then I am hysterical and overreacting
    If I don’t show anger, then obviously it wasn’t that bad because otherwise I wouldn’t be so calm about it

    I’ve asked several times now what the ‘magic words’ that are both ‘civil’ and ‘effective’ are from all the assholes crying about civility. Still no answer.

  181. Pteryxx says

    Another first-hand story from a survivor whose case (corroborated by other victims of a serial rapist, no less) got as far as a grand jury decision… before being appealed and thrown out of court.

    —-

    (TW for rape and revictimization at the link)

    http://www.vice.com/read/i-got-raped-then-my-problems-started

    I was told to prepare to speak again before a new grand jury, and the case kept getting delayed. I called the assistant district attorney handling the case over and over only to get vague answers about why it was taking so long. I lived with this thing looming above my head for a long, long time. It wasn’t until March of 2012 that I was asked to come in and speak again. The dark-haired girl had given up at this point, and no longer wanted to deal with the situation.

    It was just me now, and the sexual assault claims of the other women were not allowed to be brought up in court. When I arrived at the ADA’s office the day I testified, the ADA, who was a woman, had a folder waiting for me. It contained “incriminating evidence” about my character that the rapist’s defense attorney had “dug up on me”: cartoons I had posted on the internet, “racy” articles I had published, and photographs of me.

  182. says

    Pteryxx:

    That’s how much it means for survivors to have a place where they won’t be isolated, brushed off, silenced, or disbelieved yet again.

    Quoted for truth,, a thousand times over. This is why they will always take priority with me.

  183. says

    WithinThisMind:

    If I show anger, then I am hysterical and overreacting

    To which, I say, fuck that noise. I have every right to be angry, and so do other people. I have zero interest in playing straw vulcan in any case, I certainly have no interest in playing one when it’s our lives being discussed.

    And yes, it’s always a catch-22, because it’s a godsdamn game to people like ace and vilding and all the others. It simply does not matter what you say, or how you say it, there will be a sly and snide aside, implying you are somehow less than capable of answering, explaining, or coping.

  184. Owlglass says

    (44) Maureen Brian wrote I take it from your performance here that you plan to resign from the human race. You seem to have lost the knack of being human. […]Now, are you with us or against us?

    Maureen, the term you’re looking for is “Untermensch” or subhuman. As I see again, such language is the “Standard You Walk By” in this comment section. I hope you understand that I politely turn down the offer to be “with you”. I also woudn’t team up with fascists and authoritarians and the like, either.

    (47) Kristin wrote: Why won’t you state your argument clearly and directly, instead of hiding it with passive-aggressive inuendo? Is it, perhaps, because your arguments are bullshit that would/could/already have been ripped apart, so now you’re trying to weasel in your unsupported beliefs by making up bad and incorrect metaphors to statistics? If you have an actual argument you want to make, state it clearly, otherwise, if you’re acting in bad faith as it would seem, why don’t you just fuck off?

    Hope you feel good with ferreting out thought-crime. It was stated clearly. We can also switch it around a bit: Provided you had 100 numbers, where 95 are “good” and 5 are “bad” and you mix them up and then create the next row (at random), you don’t know whether the 5 bad ones are at the start, at the end, somewhere in between etc. The statistic only says that once you have the hundred numbers all laid out, that 5 of them tend to be “bad” ones (this were simply the numbers given above. Make it 97/3 if you feel better with it, it doesn’t matter). This is the argument, in another configuration.

    There is some work on this, mainly with an economics background, for example by Taleb as I have mentioned above. Bottom line: it’s complicated enough to not be too cocksure about it, where I can see that it’s probably too much to ask in here.

    Now I guess you need help in translating this abstract idea to your rape statistic, lurking for some sentence that could be then use for more abuse, dehumanizing (or death wishes) and the like, i.e. “good standard to walk by”. And I’m not providing it. I managed for some amount of comments now to stay out of this, but it seems the folks here have radicalized themselves even further. Anyway, there are no intelligent points in here, just extreme abuse and “verdicts” (what you said is this-and-that). Flame away and have a nice day.

  185. Epinephrine says

    ¹ Here’s some homework. Suppose we roll a die a hundred times and no six comes up. What is the probability that die is fair?

    ² More homework. What is the probability of this being a fair die?

    ³ Even more homework. Suppose you flipped a coin a thousand times and got 93% heads, 7% tails. What is the probability that coin is fair?

    Please piss off and go do your homework.

    I’m going to go off topic and address SQB’s comment at 40, as it irritates the crap out of me.

    I’m just noticing that you are making a basic mistake (making it ironic that you suggest that they should do their homework.)

    What we want to know is “Given these data, what is the probability that this is a fair die?” What we can actually answer is, “given that the die is fair, what is the probability of getting data this extreme (or data even more extreme).” So the answers are:

    1) You can’t calculate that. You can calculate the probability of this result, given that the die is fair.
    2) See 1.
    3) See 1.

  186. John Phillips, FCD says

    Owlglass, it seems it is you that doesn’t understand probability, for no one as far as I can see is saying that 95% of rape accusations being true means that all rape accusations are true. What we are saying is that due to that 95% figure of accusations being true, police should at least work on the initial assumption that an accusation is true, as they do with other crimes. Unfortunately, that is something that many police don’t do in the case of rape and in some forces don’t do as standard policy, as has been reported on a number of ftb threads recently.

  187. Thumper; immorally inferior Atheist mate says

    Christ, the post linked to in the OP has me shaking. It’s genuinely put me in some weird, blank-minded state of shock. I don’t even have any related things that can be triggered. It’s just that horrific.

  188. Owlglass says

    (215) John Phillips, FCD wrote: Owlglass, it seems it is you that doesn’t understand probability, for no one as far as I can see is saying that 95% of rape accusations being true means that all rape accusations are true.

    That’s a non-sequitur, for assuming a different premise (“no one as far as I can see is saying that”) has nothing to do with “understanding probability”.

    (215) John Phillips, FCD wrote: What we are saying is that due to that 95% figure of accusations being true, police should at least work on the initial assumption that an accusation is true, as they do with other crimes.

    I didn’t comment on that part at all. But if I would, I would hold that even if most reports turned out to be false, it would be still the authorities’ duty to investigate. But it has nothing to do with believing or not believing. When I go to them and denounce someone, it is an assignment to them, based on the social contract. It’s one of the crucial differences when someone denounces someone else on the internet, where it indeed comes down to believing.

  189. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    That’s a non-sequitur, for assuming a different premise (“no one as far as I can see is saying that”) has nothing to do with “understanding probability”.

    Which is prima facie evidence you don’t understand the situation. Otherwise, you would have linked to the correct results.

    So what you say is nothing nonn-sequiturs.

  190. says

    Hey, Owlglass, here’s your Goodwin Award.
    You know, Germans decrying “you’re just like Nazis” ’cause they’re being criticised on the internet is like white people talking about lynchmobs and men talking about witchhunts.

  191. Owlglass says

    (218) Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls wrote: Which is prima facie evidence you don’t understand the situation. Otherwise, you would have linked to the correct results. So what you say is nothing nonn-sequiturs.

    In the follow up, still an example, I used 95/5. 5% false reports is less than the 6–8% as PZ Myers opened up with. Someone went down to 2%, others were staying closer to 7% or 8%. What are the “correct” results, Nerd? Looks like it’s a prima facie case that you don’t understand prima facie.

  192. Owlglass says

    (219) Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk- wrote: Hey, Owlglass, here’s your Goodwin Award. You know, Germans decrying “you’re just like Nazis” ’cause they’re being criticised on the internet is like white people talking about lynchmobs and men talking about witchhunts.

    You mean…

    Maureen Brian: I take it from your performance here that you plan to resign from the human race. You seem to have lost the knack of being human.

    You can fool yourself all you want, Giliell. I’ve seen dogpiles for mixing up words, provided it’s the outgroup. I’ve seen how people complain about dehumanizing of others elsewhere on the blog network, rightly so. And these cases it was even couched in some other terms. And I’ve seen that it never bothers the ingroup when it’s against the perceived outgroup, where its then additionally mixed in with a cocktail of extreme hatred, sometimes death wishes and other such things. And as usual, the ingroup always, and really always, finds a comforting rationalisation. Fool yourself, Giliell, which rhymes with fail.

  193. Portia says

    And as usual, the ingroup always, and really always, finds a comforting rationalisation.

    If you’ve been paying attention, you’d see how often we correct each other, and how poorly it’s received when even someone “ingroup” doesn’t accept constructive criticism. But it’s easier to call us big groupthink meanies, so whatever.

  194. says

    Fool yourself, Giliell, which rhymes with fail.

    I’m puzzled. Which one? Fool or Giliell, because neither does.
    Oh, and no, telling you that you have obviously no empathy left and are playing straw-vulcan is decidedly NOT the same as calling Jews “vermin” and gassing them in concentration camps.
    You haven’t only lost the knack for empathy, you have also lost any sense for meassure and appropriateness.

  195. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    Owlglass:
    You do not honestly think Maureen was dehumanizing you, do you?
    Didn’t happen diddums. Apparently reading comprehension is another skill you lack.

    p.s. you are also wrong about dehumanizing comments being criticized here. It happens all the time, to both the in and out groups.

  196. Owlglass says

    @Portia
    Sure, you’re tune each other onto the latest ingroup think. I never seen anyone from the ingroup “correct each other” when it came to attacks on the outgroup, no matter how extreme they were. And you’re now kind of proving the point. There is hardly anything beyond clear dehumanizing, in my book.

    @Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-
    You are dishonest as always. Where did you pull that from?

    Anyway, I’ll leave it rest for a while (preferably not commenting again, unless notorious liars like Giliell make me to correct something that concerns me directly).

  197. Portia says

    I never seen anyone from the ingroup “correct each other” when it came to attacks on the outgroup, no matter how extreme they were.

    Then you clearly haven’t done your research, which makes you, to borrow a phrase from Nerd, a liar and a bullshitter.

    Anyway, I’ll leave it rest for a while (preferably not commenting again, unless notorious liars like Giliell make me to correct something that concerns me directly).

    Not going to comment again unless BIG MEAN GILIELL forces your hand, eh? Your veneer is worn thin, and you are full of shit. You accuse her of something, then say you’ll only return if she defends herself from your bullshit. Impressive levels of question-begging.

  198. piegasm says

    I never seen anyone from the ingroup “correct each other” when it came to attacks on the outgroup, no matter how extreme they were.

    And of course if you’ve never seen it, it doesn’t happen. QED.

  199. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    unless notorious liars like Giliell [Owlglass]

    Fixed that for you.

    Funny how self-important fuckwits take themselves so seriously….for reasons not seen by most rational people.

  200. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    Owlglass:
    Take your blatant lies, your unwillingness to understand you confirmation bias, your reading comprehension, your complete empathy fail and your inane comments and just fuck off. Since your first comment here at Pharyngula, you have added nothing of value. I would label you troll, but you are worse than that you lying douchemaggot.

  201. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    In the follow up, still an example, I used 95/5. 5% false reports is less than the 6–8% as PZ Myers opened up with. Someone went down to 2%, others were staying closer to 7% or 8%. What are the “correct” results, Nerd? Looks like it’s a prima facie case that you don’t understand prima facie.

    Note the primary literature for statistics. Your “evidence” is prima facie evidence you don’t understand statistics. That is how science, not bloviating opinion, is done.

  202. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @187. throwaway, gut-punched : Agreed.

    @ 189. Jackie: Fair enough. I will. (Nb. Trigger warning on Jackie’s comment.)

  203. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    It works the same way racism does, Steve. Think about it.

    Asking StevoR to think about something like he thinks about Racism

    Prediction: Fail.

  204. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    Rev:
    I was going to say something similar, but remembered the reset rule. Hard to do when he is involved I know.

  205. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Tony, StevoR has many posts on this thread, so he is long past both the reset and three post rule.

  206. Pteryxx says

    Still finding more articles by survivors recounting the silencing of victims.

    ——–

    (TW for recounted experiences and dismissal)

    ———-

    http://www.racialicious.com/2008/12/21/original-essay-the-not-rape-epidemic/

    That day in court was the day I fully understood the concept of being raped twice – first during the act and then later during the court proceedings. That was also the day I realized that telling someone about my Not rape would have netted a similar, if not more dismissive response. I had no evidence of the act, no used condom wrapper, no rape kit, no forced penetration.

    If the defense attorney was attempting to sow the seeds of doubt in the face of indisputable evidence, what would have happened if I had chosen to speak up?

    This is how the Not Rape epidemic spreads – through fear and silence, which become complicit in perpetuating the behaviors described here. Women of all backgrounds are affected by these kinds of acts, regardless of race, ethnicity, or social class. So many of us carry the scars of the past with us into our daily lives. Most of us have pushed these stories to the back of our minds, trying to have some semblance of a normal life that includes romantic and sexual relationships. However, waiting just behind the tongue is story after story of the horrors other women experience and hide deep within the self behind a protective wall of silence.

    As I continue to discuss these issues, I continue to be surprised when revealing my story reveals an outpouring of emotion or confession from other women. When I first began discussing my Not Rape and all of the baggage that comes with it, I expected to be blamed or not to be believed.

    I never expected that each woman I told would respond with her own story in kind.

  207. Owlglass says

    A comic once suggested to always bring a bomb when you enter a train or plane, since the odds that there are two bombs on the vehicle are practically zero. It’s a good advice, don’t you think Nerd, master of statistics. And no, I don’t have proof. I forgot the name of the comic.

  208. Goodbye Enemy Janine says

    And once more, Owlglass deemed his verbal vomit to somehow being worthy of sharing.

  209. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    It’s a good advice, don’t you think Nerd, master of statistics.

    Actually its a non-sequitur, showing everybody once again you have no grasp of what you try to talk about, but you do have a bad attitude. And why nobody gives a shit about your inane drivel.