Can we stomp on this rape myth now?


A news report in the Guardian today gives extensive airspace to Women Against Rape (WAR), a maverick feminist organisation which (despite its name) seems to devote vastly more time to campaigning on behalf of false accusers than against sexual assault, flavoured with the occasional bizarre foray into defending a fugitive alleged rapist.

Dramatically, the headline screams:

109 women prosecuted for false rape claims in five years

The report goes on to explain that authorities in the UK prosecute alleged false accusers ”more aggressively” than other countries, while hinting darkly at sentences of draconian severity and recount cases where women reporting rapes have been supposedly bullied into retracting their complaint and then prosecuted for making a false allegation. There is talk of miscarriages of justice and violations of human rights. WAR’s spokesperson Lisa Longstaff is quoted as saying:

It’s appalling that when over 90% of rapists are getting away with it and two women a week are killed by partners or ex-partners, women who report violence are being imprisoned… From Rotherham to Westminster, police dismiss victims and press them to retract their allegations.” 

There are some dissenting views quoted in the article, but the message of the piece as a whole is clear: people who report genuine rapes to the police are at risk of being disbelieved and wrongly prosecuted themselves as false accusers.

It’s a frightening prospect. One of the success stories of recent years has been the massive increase in the proportion of sexual assaults being reported to police. Over a couple of decades in which crime surveys record that numbers of sexual assaults occurring has been broadly stable and possibly slightly in decline, the numbers of reported rapes have risen from around 6,500 per year in 1997 to over 22,000 last year. This has been achieved by challenges to the shame and stigma attached to being a victim, combined with genuine improvements in how police and prosecutors handle cases, including treating reporting victims with greater dignity and belief. It surely goes without saying that this trend cannot be greatly helped by media coverage suggesting that victims filing reports risk being prosecuted.

What makes this narrative so utterly appalling and infuriating is that it is so clearly untrue. While honest anti-rape campaigners fight hard to challenge and refute the many damaging rape myths that still persist in society, WAR, seemingly with the active assistance of some journalists, are actively constructing a pernicious and damaging rape myth of their own.

Let us begin with the headline numbers at face value. 109 cases in five years is an average of about 22 prosecutions per year. Over the past five years there have been around 85,000 reported rapes. In other words, over the past five years there has been one prosecution for false allegations for every 780 reported rapes.

The Home Office’s own commissioned research into rape case attrition (the closest they’ve ever come to researching the actual prevalence of false allegations), and conducted by the self-identifying radical feminist professor Liz Kelly, estimated that between 2 and 8 percent of rape allegations are false. Even if we take the lowest of those numbers as the true figure, this means that on average about 340 false allegations are made every year. On that basis, fourteen out of every fifteen false allegations go unpunished.

This should not come as a surprise to anyone who knows the topic. Last year the (then) Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer published a fascinating qualitative research project into the nature of false allegations. It is widely quoted as demonstrating that false allegations are very rare, in truth it does no such thing, but what it does do is demonstrate how incredibly reluctant the authorities are to prosecute false rape allegations and paints a pretty grim and sad portrait of the kinds of cases which are coming to the attention of the authorities.

As the report (combined with the CPS guidelines) makes clear, police should only refer cases to CPS where there is firm evidence that a false report of rape was made, not just an absence of evidence that a rape occurred. Furthermore, CPS will not usually take cases to court if the alleged false reporter is very young, emotionally or psychologically vulnerable, easily manipulated or has learning difficulties. They also only prosecute where the evidence of falsification is so strong that there is no realistic possibility of a miscarriage of justice.

The study only examined the nature of 132 cases where the evidence of falsification was sufficiently strong for police to forward the case to the CPS. Of those, 35 were prosecuted for either perverting the course of justice or wasting police time. The other 97 cases were dropped. (Eight of the total cases involved male complainants, incidentally)

I’m aware there will be some reading this who will be baying for more stringent efforts to prosecute false allegations, to punish offenders for longer, for a stricter interpretation of public interest. I disagree. I have looked at this issue hard over many, many years and (rather out of character) I think the authorities in this country get it about right.

I do not write this post as a sudden loyal champion of the wonders of the British judicial system. I write it because I would like you to take away one clear message and, if you can, pass it on to others – especially anyone who might read the Guardian. The message is this:

If you are a man or a woman who is raped or sexually assaulted and you decide to report it to police, whatever else might happen, you will not be wrongly charged for making false allegations. The odds of that happening are so small as to be close to non-existent.

There are countless problems in how we investigate and prosecute rape cases in this country. This is not one of them.

There are countless myths about rape, its nature, its circumstances and its victims. The last thing we need is to create a new one. Let’s stomp on this myth before it takes hold.

Comments

  1. says

    Public bodies are outrageously anti-male in this area as in others, as we reported in a recent 150+ page submission to the Home Office https://j4mb.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/141026-submission-to-home-office-improved-layout.pdf. The CPS is among the worst of them – particularly since Alison Saunders became DPP – and we know from a CPS report that in one period they decided to prosecute only 29% of the women whose cases were brought to them by the police for charging decisions https://j4mb.wordpress.com/2014/09/05/why-does-the-cps-prosecute-only-29-of-the-women-who-the-police-believe-have-made-false-rape-allegations/.

    The idea that only 2-8% of rape allegations are false is patently absurd. What incentive does a women who’s made a false claim have for admitting what she’s done? None. False rape allegations are common, and here are 10 reasons why http://www.avoiceformen.com/sexual-politics/ten-reasons-false-rape-accusations-are-common/.

    Of course this myth should be ‘stomped out’ but no feminist myth ever has been, and the mainstream media is part of the problem. Decade after decade they’ve failed to hold feminists to account – indeed the MSM is among the worst drivers of these myths – and until they do, we’ll continue to present our ‘Lying Feminist of the Month’ awards.

  2. clay robertson says

    That you said, “I’m aware there will be some reading this who will be baying for more stringent efforts to prosecute false allegations, to punish offenders for longer, for a stricter interpretation of public interest. I disagree. I have looked at this issue hard over many, many years and (rather out of character) I think the authorities in this country get it about right”

    is patently false!
    and am offended that you have the audacity to actually put this in writing. The police are as corrupt as the day is long and do not give one whit if the man is guilty or otherwise, so long as an arrest is made. There are those who will read your article and actually believe you. And that is a crime in itself. Females have ZERO incentive to tell the truth, since you pointed out correctly that they are never charged with the crime of lying to the police. Yes, it is a crime by the way. By what measure do you use to determine that since women can falsely accuse without consequence, that they would never choose to do so??? Tell you what, would you be willing to be the next victim of a false accusation? Or is that reserved for ‘anybody else except you”? It’s not really that big a deal, according to your twisted logic. Please retract your post right away before you give the wrong impression that you actually FAVOR men being falsely accused. Or am I right about that?

    Really, you are unbelievable…

  3. Archy says

    If someone falsely accuses willingly, they should get the equal charge that the rape conviction would bring + the registration on the sex offender registry.

    If there isn’t enough evidence then it’s not a false accusation and shouldn’t be charged. Real rape victims should never be hurt by a law like this, and innocently accused people should never be harmed. Anonymity for the accused would help until convicted. The false accusers however just hurt the chances for real victims to seek justice and that is horribly wrong. To not punish a false accuser is completely wrong especially when the result of their accusation has led to suicides or major reputation harm.

  4. says

    Ally? I highly recommend you read this. It comes with a huge trigger warning. Granted, that was here in the United States. But from my perspective, here in the US, the system is NOT trustworthy when it comes to rape victims. EEB’s story is similar to stories I’ve heard more times than I care to count.

    I don’t know what it’s like oversees, but in the US, actual victims are indeed wrongly accused of making false accusations. And when they aren’t, the justice system and the public just revictimize them over again, and then blame them

  5. resident_alien says

    Good Lord (and Lady), not these idiots again! They are more or less the feminist equivalent of PETA (i.e.
    an embarrassment to the movement). Their arselicking of noted womanhater Saint Julian of Assange was beyond the pale, thank you for drawing attention to that. Seriously,anybody who buys into the conspiracy theories thrown about by him and his
    liars/lawyers is the intellectual peer of Alex Jones and Jenny McCarthy.
    Of course there need to be laws against faking a crime.Of course this needs to be prosecuted.
    And of course the police and courts need to change their attitude towards rape survivors of any gender.

  6. Janet says

    It’s about time people who false accuse get the same punishment of the accused when they get caught lying. This has gone on for too long, no one deserves to have their lives ruined by a liar. It’s time to up the sentences for false accusers.

  7. mildlymagnificent says

    I’ve vaguely heard of the WAR crowd before, but out here in the colonial antipodes very little more. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot. The area of false reports/false accounts is one where there’s a huge opportunity for public education on sexual matters, specifically consent.

    We all know perfectly well that some young women are forced by fear to make a rape accusation. That fear is not of the man involved but genuine fear of severe physical assault by her own family and/or partner, along with shunning from her community and being unable to marry. Families and communities that are more interested in controlling sexual activity than in ensuring consenting sexual activity are often opposed to women objecting to, not consenting, to sexual partners that the community approves of. Educating everyone about consent, regardless of the appropriateness or otherwise of the sexual partner, would be a big improvement for many men and women who are confused, abused or otherwise damaged by not being clear about what non-rape sexual activity consists of.

    Generally police forces/prosecutors/counsellors are pretty good at working out who or what’s really driving reports in these cases of family/partner pressure. They’re not false reports of rape but false accounts of sexual activity. (It’s entirely possible that some such cases would meet the no-consent condition of rape, but that’s obscured by all the other kerfuffle when sexual activity of any kind is disapproved.)

    But WAR seems capable of making a sow’s ear out of any silk purse thrown their way. Why not say that there’d be fewer false reports/false accounts if society at large was better at supporting mental health and much, much better at openly discussing sexual health including consent?

    As for the possible 2% “real” rate of false reports, that would be much the same as the rates of false reports of other crimes. Until we’re more certain about the real rate of reporting and confident about the police/prosecutor response, it’s a bit hard to get really definite about the rate. All we know is that if more women reported their actual, unequivocal rapes, and more police officers and prosecutors had better skills in these matters, then the total numbers reported, charged, convicted, dismissed would look quite different. We just don’t know how many and in what ways that difference would show up.

    (One effect might be that the more often rapists are convicted early in their “career”, the more likely it is that total numbers of rapes disclosed in surveys would decrease. Because most rapes are committed by repeat offenders. The more often they’re prosecuted and jailed, the less time they’re out in the community committing more rapes and/or assaults and murders. It’d take a while, but all the results coming out of that huge US backlog of rapekits, along with the findings of researchers about the very small proportion of men responsible for the great majority of rapes of women, tell us that early identification and imprisonment of rapists would do a lot of good in the world. Remembering also that researchers talking to convicted repeat rapists have found that they are also responsible for a lot of child abuse and general violence within families.)

  8. bruce bartup says

    No rational agent would falsely accuse someone of rape. The experience of real rape victims is shown by the simple statistic that less than approximately 5% of reports result in convictions. If a lawyer, cop or relative spots someone’s report as being false, contrary advice could confidently be given. Of the 2-4% of reports that are false a very small number indeed will be prosecuted, the others will be withdrawn. That’s why the WAR campaign is a figment. Because the system is biased against rape claims, men are safe against false rape claims.

    I believe the bias is not sexist iti is practical. Rape charges are hard to try fairly unless there is a confession or a clear exposure of a lie in testimony. So it is hard to get the grounds for an ethical prosecution when it is a claim from one party and a counter claim by another. The best chance a victim has is an early report with evidence of violence retained. Which a false allegation would not typically have

    The mass of withdrawn real rape cases mingles with the withdrawn false allegations and no harm is added to the situation. The system has to allow large numbers of withdrawn reports because everyone involved on the legal side knows how rotten the system is to women. And it would be doubly pointless trying to separate false from true at that stage. We should indeed nail the myth and move on.

  9. Ally Fogg says

    Nate (5)

    I should perhaps have been clearer that I was very much restricting this conversation to the UK.

    I’ve read that post before, it is really distressing. Taking that account as it stands, that victim would end up being in the shady area of police guesstimates as to the extent of false allegations, which I do not doubt include many actual victims. When you see research quoted saying things like “police estimated that 40% of rape complainants were lying” it is cases like that one they are capturing.

    However she was not charged, so in the context of this discussion, it isn’t really a ‘false allegation statistic’ as we are discussing them here.

    I didn’t go into it at all in the blogpost, but I have a hunch that one of the reasons why the UK is (slightly) more likely to prosecute people for making false allegations these days, both more likely than we used to be and more likely than most other countries, is because as our procedures for investigating and prosecuting rape cases have improved, so that more cases are taken seriously and thoroughly investigated, so there become more cases where firm evidence emerges that the report was false.

    For example, there have been several prosecutions lately where someone has been tried and convicted of making a false allegation after CCTV footage has been found which shows events were entirely different to those alleged. That footage is only found because police made the effort to investigate in the first place. In other words, when you actively seek evidence that a rape occurred, you are more likely to find evidence that it didn’t.

    I suspect that as a generalisation the US remains a bit behind us on rape prosecution, and consequently remains a bit behind us on proving false allegations too.

  10. says

    In our report to the Home Office we provided a link to a piece by William Collins in which he showed that if men were treated as leniently as women by the justice system, five out of six men in prison in the UK wouldn’t be there.Few women found guilty serve custodial sentences, they usually get suspended sentences, one of the ways of ensuring women are treated as having little more moral agency than children.

    The idea that women are deterred from reporting actual rape because a few women are charged with making false rape allegations seems to me absurd. Let’s say one of your neighbours tries to pull off an insurance scam, alleging his house has been burgled, items of value stolen etc. It later emerges it was a scam, the police charge him with wasting police time, and he is charged and convicted. If you’re then burgled, would you be disinclined to go to the police due to your neighbour’s ‘false burglary allegation’? Of course not.

    Feminists seek to drive up the number of rapes – because it provides employment for so many of them, and increases women’s fear of men, and therefore their hatred of them – for example by educating women that they shouldn’t be responsible for personal safety e.g. by drinking responsibly – victim blaming, teach me not to rape, and all that nonsense.

    I agree strongly with the point made by someone that rape is a rare crime carried out by a few serial offenders, and rape myths mean they aren’t caught as soon as they should be. And we know what (at least in part)drives most of them. Petrovich & Templar produced a study in 1984 showing that 59% of incarcerated rapists in a Californian prison had been sexually assaulted when they were children by one or more women, sometimes their own mothers. Using the feminists’ warped logic, maybe we should teach women not to rape boys, then fewer boys would later grow up to rape women?

  11. says

    @ Bruce (9)

    “No rational agent would falsely accuse someone of rape.”

    Classic denial of women’s moral agency. There are plenty of reasons false rape allegations are common, my first link (comment #1) pointed to 10. When will we start judging women as responsible adults with agency?

  12. bruce bartup says

    @ Mike 12
    Agency – yes, all human beings who are adult must be assumed to have free will
    Rational – I’ve never met a completely rational human – I hope I never do
    Moral – seeking to do good,, in which I include seeking to find out what is true about what is good conduct

    I don’t read AVFM material as a credible source, I suggest you stop doing so.

    Speaking of Rational Moral Agents – your reasons as a moral agent for writing on Ally’s blog which you seem to have no respect for? Please?

  13. says

    @ Bruce 13

    Thank you. A couple of points:

    1. I’ve only linked to one AVfM article in this thread. To say the most-visited and most influential men’s human rights advocacy website in the world isn’t a credible source of material is, in my view, nonsensical. Only a day or two ago there was a piece by a female documentary filmmaker about how a dowry-related law (498a) is tearing apart Indian families, and driving many Indian men to commit suicide. Show me that on HuffPo or the BBC, it’s THOSE sources (along with virtually all the MSM) which is not credible in relation to men’s issues. Which sites other than AVfM would you regard as ‘credible’? No problem if you say this one, but Ally declares himself a non-feminist – as does Glen Poole – so if you’re declaring all anti-feminist MRA websites not credible, then you’re denying the value of a huge amount of material. I don’t think it’s a secret that most MRAs are anti-feminist. We see feminists exploiting gynocentrism to privilege women and girls ever more at the expense of men and boys, regardless of the consequences.Their appetite for doing so is insatiable.

    2. I’m not clear if you’re saying I have no respect for Ally, or for this blog, but neither is true. We’ve linked approvingly to many of Ally’s blog pieces, including this one, and I’m sure we’ll continue to do so. As someone with right-of-centre views in many areas I’m bound to disagree with some of what Ally writes, but disagreement does not denote disrespect.

  14. bruce bartup says

    @ Mike 14
    Thanks
    1. I give AVfM a wide berth having wasted time on their material before. Critically it comes apart fairly easily but is pumped at such a volume that you cannot keep up. The Beeb is not peer reviewed either but its balance policy does at least mean it is free from the most baseless of clams. Usually
    2. What I’m asking is why derail the conversation, how is it moral, in Ally’s enquiry, to insert your agenda? Ally is asking if we can bust a myth. You are talking about how much false allegation there is. How much rape there is. A wohle agenda. So, please justfy your conduct as a moral agent. Please.

  15. says

    @ Mike

    If you’re then burgled, would you be disinclined to go to the police due to your neighbour’s ‘false burglary allegation’? Of course not.

    As if that were the only input into the decision making process. (In other words, this is very, very simple-minded.) What if “less than approximately 5% of reports result in convictions” for burglaries? What if insurance companies only covered claims if there was a conviction? Because — guess what? — insurance companies will cover claims without a conviction. But if they didn’t? Might that not be less incentive for reporting a crime?

    What’s really, really funny (actually, it’s not…my head hurts from face-palming now) about this is that your link to AVfM included this: “2. Rape claims are made for a much wider variety of reasons than false accusations of other crimes.” And, yet, here you are implying that the only reason one would report a crime is based on the conviction rate… Brilliant.

    To say the most-visited and most influential men’s human rights advocacy website in the world isn’t a credible source of material is, in my view, nonsensical.
    By that “logic,” then Christianity and Islam might be credible religions given their popularity. But I doubt you’ll have much luck convincing people here of that. Do you understand why? (Then again, maybe you are a theist. I don’t know. But you’re commenting on an essentially atheist website, FYI.)

  16. Carnation says

    @ Mike Buchanan

    Great to see you posting again, Mike.

    What should be done to discourage false reporting of sexual offences? And what should be done to encourage male victims of sexual abuse to report what has happened to them?

    I’m sure you’ll join me in sharing concerns about under reporting amongst male victims.

    PS – the only people that consider avfm a credible organisation are those who simply lack the critical thinking skills necessary to appreciate why it isn’t.

    I feel that avfm’s donation to your campaign fund was woeful.

  17. Pete says

    And there’s a new article in CIF today pushing the same story. I made the same point in the comments to yesterday’s article – perpetuating the myth that rape victims are likely to be wrongly accused of a false accusation might make it less likely for them to come forward.

  18. says

    @ Bruce 15

    “Ally is asking if we can bust a myth.”

    Of course we can’t bust it. No feminist myth has EVER been busted in 40+ years. They only multiply, and their detachment from reality gets ever more extreme. Until people understand why that is, and why the MSM is a perpetuator of feminist myths, little can change.

    But I didn’t wish to derail the conversation. I apologise if I have, so I’ll exit at this point.

  19. bruce bartup says

    @Mike 16
    I’m sure if it were an unacceptable derail Ally would say something. He hasn’t, so you ar ok to continue.

    The question remains. why do this?

  20. 123454321 says

    “What I’m asking is why derail the conversation, how is it moral, in Ally’s enquiry, to insert your agenda? Ally is asking if we can bust a myth. You are talking about how much false allegation there is. How much rape there is. A wohle agenda. So, please justfy your conduct as a moral agent. Please.”

    It’s all relevant unless you want to box everything up for convenience.

  21. says

    @ Bruce 20

    OK. Very pressed for time as we’re trying to finish off the election manifesto, so let me make this point. Rape is now, and has long been, feminists’ #1 recruiting issue. If rape ceased to exist tomorrow, and people were persuaded that it had, thousands of feminists would be looking for new jobs. For decades they’ve lied relentless and outrageously about rape – for many of them, of course, all heterosexual sex is rape of women – and feminists have achieved the following:

    – definition dilution, including in the law e.g. Sexual Offences Act 2003
    – the acceptance by many women that they have no responsibility for their personal safety, no moral agency – you can never ‘blame the victim’, or even apportion a small amount of blame. As Alison Tieman’s excellent short video illustrates, we regard men as ‘actors’ and women ‘acted upon’
    – the acceptance by many that a ‘rape culture’ exists, when it so clearly doesn’t
    – the acceptance by many of numerous ‘1 in 3 women’ and ‘1 in 4 women’ myths / lies
    – women fearing their accounts won’t be believed, and that they run a risk of being charged with a false rape allegation, a myth exposed here by Ally

    Feminists do all in their power to make (and keep) women as a class unjustifiably fearful of men as a class, developing what can only be called hysterical narratives. This leads to an untold amount of misery for women,and is utterly toxic for gender relations, which leads to men being unhappy too – a nice bonus for feminists. For the life of me I cannot understand how anyone interested in improving the lot of men and boys (and most women and children, for that matter) could not be an anti-feminist, and I suspect that Herbert Purdy http://herbertpurdy.com would concur. And for the avoidance of doubt, for the millionth time, I’m referring to gender/radical/militant feminism, a female supremacy ideology driven by misandry, the only form of feminism of the slightest consequence in the UK (and in many other developed countries) for 30+ years.

  22. StillGjenganger says

    We are getting off topic a bit – but then, Ally’s main point is so obviously reasonable that t is very hard to get enough disagreement to generate a discussion. A couple of people do try, though.

    @Mike Buchanan 1
    Your link is way too one-sided to convince anybody who is not already on the band-wagon.
    1) the 2% false accusations claim is not mainstream, and it is obviously wrong, yes. The 6-8% claim, on the other hand may well be an underestimate, but it is not ‘patently absurd’ by any means.
    2) The results of Kanin and McDowell are outliers relative to all later findings. You need to cite the lot and compare. Citing only those two – and brushing off criticism with ‘all studies have problems’ is manifestly dishonest.

    @Clay Robertson 3
    The main deterrent against false accusations is that most people are pretty honest and decent. That includes women, in case there was any doubt.

    There are several problems in the feminist side of the rape debate. Why don’t we attack those and try to convince people instead of going overboard and look like nutcases?

    God save me from my friends – my enemies I can handle.

  23. Jacob Schmidt says

    If I had to guess, I’d say they were radicalising the more common notion that police are often unhelpful, dismissive, and sometimes outright contemptuous and abusive of victims. Which, frankly and mildly, is unfortunate (the radicalisation, I mean). They’ve gone from “the police enable injustice” to “the police perpetuate injustice themselves.”

    This is especially bad since it suggests a different standard by which to judge. If this becomes an issue of whether the police are going after false rape accusations with excessive vigor (the fear being that victims will be victimized twice), addressing that issue is substantially different than addressing the more insidious, if less sensational, problem.

    They’re shooting their cause in the foot, and spreading disinformation while doing so.

  24. Rick Bradford says

    This is a welcome post, drawing attention to another rape myth that needs stomping on. But I do take issue with the claim that those of us that consider false rape accusers are often treated too leniently are wrong to do so. My concern is with those cases where it has been established that the accusation was entirely fabricated and malicious. The most serious charge that can be brought is perverting the course of justice, which does not reflect the damage that can be done to a man through such a false accusation.

    Rape is recognised as a separate, and more serious, charge than (say) common assault. In like manner, there is a case for recognising that the seriousness of truly egregious false rape accusations is not sufficiently captured by “perverting the course of justice”. Many women at present seem not to appreciate how serious is such a false accusation. This is illustrated in many cases by the startling mismatch between the severity of the punishment, and social opprobrium, which a guilty verdict will impose upon the man and the triviality of the woman’s motive for lying. A common reason is to avoid the embarrassment of admitting to cheating on her boyfriend.

    In the case of Linsey Attridge the motive was to garner sympathy from her boyfriend whom she was trying to win back. (So she trawled social networking sites to get the profiles of two men who she claimed were responsible for violently raping her, handing the profiles to the police and getting these men arrested – men she did not know and had never seen). She did not go to prison, but was given a community order.

    There are two issues here. The first issue is that some (many?) women appear unable to understand that making a false rape accusation is a really serious matter. They appear to make such accusations for relatively frivolous reasons. This is an issue of education. But who is delivering the required education? Not the courts – and that is the second issue. Those two entirely innocent, randomly chosen, men in the Linsey Attridge case faced a very long prison sentence and having their lives thereafter destroyed as well (as Ched Evans illustrates). A community order does not balance against what this woman was content to do to these men, and your use of the verb “baying” does not negate this fact.

    It is common for false accusers not to be tried at all. Judges are wont to justify their reluctance to prosecute false rape accusers on the grounds that it might create a “cooling effect” on true victims of rape coming forward. Again there are two things wrong with this. The first is revealed by paraphrasing this judicial perspective thus: “we will not prosecute this known criminal because our target is a different demographic”. This is morally and judicially corrupt. The second thing that is wrong with this judicial excuse is, as you note, Mr Fogg, that there is every reason for true victims of rape to be very confident that they will be taken seriously.

  25. John mws says

    “the numbers of reported rapes have risen from around 6,500 per year in 1997 to over 22,000 last year”

    The change is down to how rape allegations are dealt with in the new guidelines, and not an increase in offences. Many police forces used the 72 hour rule before a potential crime has to be reported to investigate sexual assault claims, hence a large number did not get recorded as a crime. With the new guidelines all rape allegations get recorded as crime before an investigation. This could mean more alleged victims could be liable for prosecution as false accusers since all allegations are recorded as a crime, where before if the allegation was dropped, or the investigation found no evidence, there could be no possible false allegation prosecution because it was a non-crime. Maybe this is why WAR are trying to muddy the waters around how many false allegations are made.

  26. bruce bartup says

    @ mIke 20
    So you as a moral agent decided to use the post Ally made about myth busting to advance a political campaign you think is important, which centres strongly around rape as an issue in feminism. Correct? I have to guess as your answer wasn’t clear, although it was long.

    Assuming I’m somewhere close, why did you think other people here have an interest in your campaign? I don’t, I see some do, but a moral system that allows effecive spamming of a blogsites members by proxy of addessiing a blog issue is a curiosity. Do you think such conduct is moral, if true? If so, how so?

  27. AnarchCassius says

    @Carnation

    “What should be done to discourage false reporting of sexual offences?”

    Press charges when there is clear evidence of fabricated claims. Oppose groups like WAR that are defending actual false accusers as if they were victims.

    “And what should be done to encourage male victims of sexual abuse to report what has happened to them?”

    Demand the CDC and other organizations stop listening to male-rape denialists like Mary P Koss and properly define “made to penetrate” as rape. Start awareness campaigns specifically around the existence of male victims and female abusers.

    “I feel that avfm’s donation to your campaign fund was woeful.”
    Hey at least the money is out of AVFM’s hands now.

    @StillGjenganger/Mike

    “1) the 2% false accusations claim is not mainstream, and it is obviously wrong, yes. The 6-8% claim, on the other hand may well be an underestimate, but it is not ‘patently absurd’ by any means.”

    Yeah, as someone who is no more MRA than feminist and no more feminist than MRA I have to say 2% is not mainstream (though often repeated by feminist sources) and 6%-8% seems pretty likely. Higher is possible but I doubt it’s above 20%.

    “2) The results of Kanin and McDowell are outliers relative to all later findings. You need to cite the lot and compare. Citing only those two – and brushing off criticism with ‘all studies have problems’ is manifestly dishonest.”

    Kanin’s study was well done but Kanin himself did not think the results were generally applicable and says as much in the study itself. 40% is as much an outlier as 2%.

    I also have heard in put forth in discussion that if the ratio of false rape reports relative to actual rapes where the same as for most crimes than the low reporting for actual rape (which does not apply to false claims) would be enough to mostly account for the high incidence of false reports to police.

    In other words it’s not that false accusations are necessarily particularly more common than other accusations compared to the crime, but that other crimes as more likely to be reported to the police, so false rape reports make up a disproportionate number of accounts to police.

    This was based on very loose analysis so I don’t know how accurate it really is.

  28. 123454321 says

    Bruce bartup – your agenda is obvious. You really should allow Mike the space. And by the way, the BBC has far from balanced policy; it couldn’t even balance its own BBC bollocks.

  29. Carnation says

    @ AnarchCassius

    (Cool name).

    Thanks for the response, but it was directed at Mike Buchanan, specifically because I suspect that he is incapable of thinking of a strategy to discourage false accusations that wouldn’t have the knock-on effect of reducing the numbers of victims coming forward. This, of course, would reverse the slow increase in male victims coming forward.

    I think that your suggestions are somewhat limited – by all means raise awareness of female abusers, particularly in the family, but in general, more research needs to be done on how best to assure and reassure male victims that they are not alone, not at fault and will be believed. The MRA fixation on false allegations, and their leading lights “not giving a fuck” policy on rape victims, cannot possibly do anything other than reduce the instances of male victims coming forward.

  30. AnarchCassius says

    “(Cool name).”

    Thanks

    ” by all means raise awareness of female abusers, particularly in the family, but in general, more research needs to be done on how best to assure and reassure male victims that they are not alone, not at fault and will be believed. ”

    Fair point. I suppose simply asserting something on a billboard is not necessarily effective. While I am not a fan of police (as you might guess from my name) I think that perhaps police education might work best here. This has the added benefit of increasing the odds of male victims actually being believed if they report the crime.

  31. mildlymagnificent says

    While I am not a fan of police (as you might guess from my name) I think that perhaps police education might work best here. This has the added benefit of increasing the odds of male victims actually being believed if they report the crime.

    Absolutely. I think that the situation is improving, gradually but noticeably, because police (most of them, anyway) now take reports of assaults and rapes of homosexual men more seriously and treat them more respectfully and appropriately. I’m not at all confident, let’s say I’m hopeful, that if a police force is known to treat women and gay men reporting sexual assault decently, then they’d be more likely – unfortunately not guaranteed – to treat men victims of sexual assault by women more appropriately.

    I have another suspicion – that the avalanche of acceptance of the claims of men and women, who are now adults, about being disbelieved when they reported assaults against them when they were children is a bit of a wake up call to police and other officials everywhere. We’re all better off for being aware that perfectly respectable, successful, normal, often charming, members of the community can have a dark side to their sexual behaviour. Abandoning the fantasy that rapists and other sexual offenders are evil monsters that anyone and everyone can recognise and fear on sight will do all of us a great deal of good.

    Women, homosexual men, children are now beginning to benefit from having their claims of assault taken more seriously. Adult heterosexual men will also benefit as more realistic views of sexual behaviours and offences take hold more generally.

    (Though I’d have to say I’d be cautious about recommending that all targets/ victims of sexual offences should always and everywhere report to police. The “improvements” we see in the larger statistics and policy statements are oftentimes starting from an appallingly low base line. Local knowledge of a police / prosecutor’s staff, policies and practices need to be taken into account. Probably the best thing to do would be to contact a rape crisis centre. Not only will they help with whatever the person wants to do about their situation, they’ll often act as advocate or personal support person to take the complainant through all the processes should they decide to go down the official route.)

  32. Marduk says

    I think it may be incorrect to call WAR a feminist organisation, I think they are an anti-rape organisation very specifically.

    Their materials make mild steps towards gender neutrality, something that is actually far more unusual than it should be. They also don’t appear to be funded by the usual feminist sources and seem to be located more in the area of development.

    This may explain why some of their positions are a bit surprising, for example the Assange position or their view on criminalising paying for sex (their reasoning here is solid IMHO, they noticed the problem in the criminalisation argument precisely because they are ultra-focused on one issue: (1) all paid sex is rape (2) therefore we want a specific offence of paying for sex. They notice this either means the rape of prostitutes is to be legally trivialised or that rape can start to become treated on a sliding scale of severity. Instead, they would rather rapists were treated as rapists with the full force of the law and with no path of mitigation down to a lesser offence and they’ll pay for that by clearly adopting a position that not all paid sex is rape and think the trade-off is worthwhile. A standard doctrinal feminist organisation would never, ever do that).

    So, for good or ill, they actually seem to have no real interest in the wider feminist platform and indeed would consider sacrificing several of its tenets for their priorities.

    This may also inform some of the things they do that are more perverse, the article you mention and also their previous coverage of false accusation claims. I think its classic motte + bailey and I think they do it knowingly and deliberately. Its exasperating but I doubt you’ve told the authors anything they didn’t know before they wrote the piece.

    I think if you see them as a classic pressure group, it is all a lot easier to understand what is going on with them.

  33. Holms says

    #22 Mike Buchanan
    And for the avoidance of doubt, for the millionth time, I’m referring to gender/radical/militant feminism, a female supremacy ideology driven by misandry, the only form of feminism of the slightest consequence in the UK (and in many other developed countries) for 30+ years.

    So you’re deliberately taking the extreme outliers and declaring them to be the mainstream? That’s not a good approach.

  34. says

    @ Holms 34

    You appear to be missing the point. Radical feminism has been the ruling gender ideology of the ‘Establishment’ for 30+ years. How else (to take but one of countless examples) could there be zero media interest in female MSc Engineering students at Brunel University being entitled to an annual sponsorship of £22,750 denied to their male colleagues? Why would the proceeds of income taxes (72% of which are paid by men collectively in the UK) go towards encouraging into the engineering profession the gender least likely to pursue engineering careers after graduating, and most likely to quit the profession forever after having a first child? The majority of the unemployed are men, and unemployment is known to be a bigger driver of suicide among men than among women. The male:female suicide ratio rose from 1.9:1 in 1982 to 3.5:1 in 2012.

    Seriously, can you not join these dots? In its sponsorship of female supremacy, at the behest of radical feminists, the state is killing men.

  35. says

    Ally: Pardon the off-topic question, but do you plan to post anything about the US CDC’s report alleging that male circumcision is A-okey-dokey and the benefits outweigh the harm done?

  36. says

    You appear to be missing the point. Radical feminism has been the ruling gender ideology of the ‘Establishment’ for 30+ years.

    Reagan, Thatcher, both Bushes, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Mutt “binders full of women” Romney, Paul Ryan, the Ferguson cops, and the rest of the Republican Party are all radical feminists? Wow, who knew?

    Seriously, can you not join these dots?

    That’s what EVERY loony scapegoating conspiracy-buff says: “Look at this disorderly mess of unconnected facts and wild assertions I just pulled out of my ass! Can’t you connect these dots like the voices in my head just did?” Seriously, dude, I’ve heard more plausible bollocks from Lyndon LaRouche. Your unhinged bigoted allegations show you for the lying hateful con-artist you are.

  37. says

    @ Fulminating Fly 37

    As always, an unmitigated joy to learn of your views. So, female engineering students being given £22,750 sponsorships not given to their male colleagues. Does the UK specifically need more female engineers, and if so, why? Could it be… I don’t know… that this utter waste of taxpayer’s money is ideologically-driven?

  38. says

    @ Raging Bee 37

    “Reagan, Thatcher, both Bushes, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Mutt “binders full of women” Romney, Paul Ryan, the Ferguson cops, and the rest of the Republican Party are all radical feminists? Wow, who knew?”

    I’ve never said these people were / are feminists. But politicians of all political colours have allowed radfems to operate under the radar without challenge for 30+ years. Margaret Thatcher came to power 35 years ago and was critical of feminists, but did little if anything to reduce their influence in public bodies. The strategic direction of the Home Office is being influenced by a radfem organisation, Women’s Aid, which continues to decline to retract lies and misleading statements made by their spokeswomen. WA continues to push the radfem ‘male coercion theory’ of domestic violence – the ‘Duluth Model’ – which has been blown out of the water in 300+ studies (Prof Martin Fiebert’s Bibliography). A recent Home Office ‘consultation’ exercise didn’t invite input from researchers into DV, presumably because their longstanding overwhelming consensuses aren’t in line with radfem narratives. The Home Secretary is a Conservative MP, Theresa May, who once sported a T-shirt of the radfem campaigning group Fawcett Society. The shirt read, ‘This is what a feminist looks like’. She may well be the next leader of the Conservative party.

  39. lelapaletute says

    Mike Buchanan: Radical feminism has been the ruling gender ideology of the ‘Establishment’ for 30+ years.

    [Is questioned on this in the most cursory way possible]

    Mike Buchanan: I’ve never said these people were / are feminists. But politicians of all political colours have allowed radfems to operate under the radar without challenge for 30+ years.

    So on the back of RB’s incredibly off the cuff challenge to your sweeping nonsense, you’ve completely gone back on yourself from “It’s the estabhlisment’s ideology!!1” to “The establishment don’t think it is the massive force for evil that me and my seven angry mates do”).

    Just imagine how much you’d have to twist and wriggle and obfuscate if anyone thought it was worthwhile devoting any actual intellectual effort into unravelling your nonsense.

    There are so many things harming and killing men in our society. Feminism really isn’t one of them. I’d like to think you honestly care about the men and boys you claim to champion. If you do, please take off the blinkers and actually try to help them, instead of wasting your considerable energy pursuing this increasingly irrational campaign against gender equality.

  40. lelapaletute says

    As to the article itself, I agree that anything which discourages victims of sexual assault and rape from reporting should be, well, discouraged. That goes for punitive US-style prosecutions AND fear-mongering about the same. I agree with Ally that as far as prosecuting false claims go, the justice system in the UK gets it roughly right most of the time.

    However, I do think it bears repeating that while sexual assault claims are starting to be taken more seriously by police,victims (particularly poor and/or vulnerable ones) have an uphill struggle when bringing an accusation of rape which is made more difficult than it has to be by a pervasive attitude of scepticism about the extent of the problem, and some lingering funny ideas about what constitutes ‘real’ rape, both in the police force and in the wider public consciousness. It is not fear-mongering to acknowledge that fact and advocate for change.

    There’s a right and a wrong way to go about raising awareness on the issues, and I’d say WAR have got it wrong, but that is not to say we should pretend everything is hunky dory in the justice system nowadays and that reporting rape and securing prosecution is a walk in the park for women in order to encourage reporting. And as for male victims, I don’t even like to think about what they must have to go through even to be taken seriously. Victims are right to have legitimate concerns about what they may face when they report their rape, and we have to feel free to discuss those challenges – it’s only by acknowledging and discussing them that we can seek to ameliorate them.

  41. 123454321 says

    “…because I suspect that he is incapable of thinking of a strategy to discourage false accusations that wouldn’t have the knock-on effect of reducing the numbers of victims coming forward.”

    For crying out loud, Carnation, false rape accusation ruins lives – mostly men’s lives. Punishment ought to reflect the nature of the crime, which it is – a crime. No matter which way you twist this around, discouraging false accusations via effective, communicative edification has to be on the agenda as a strategic policy in its own right. Why don’t we see girls getting taught not to make false allegations in schools just as the boys are taught not to rape? We are looking at two totally different crimes here, one is rape and the other has the potential to ruin an innocent person’s life via hateful, callous, malicious lies. They’re both different but both the same in so much as they are both crimes. But absolutely nothing is being done in terms of protecting men by finding ways to discourage women from making false allegations, and if it’s down to the reason you stated above then that surely is proof that women are given special consideration above and beyond men. Rape is a despicable crime. False rape accusation is a despicable crime. Playing one off against the other means we go around in circles and never get anywhere!

  42. says

    @ lelapaletute 41

    I could have phrased my point better. Gynocentrism (rather than radical feminism) is the gender ideology of both the Establishment and wider society, so 30+ years ago radical feminists driven by misandry were pushing at an open door when pursuing female supremacy, as they are today. Even genuinely right-of-centre politicians won’t criticise feminists (with rare exceptions). Maybe they’re so crippled by deference to women as a class that they’re blind to how evil radfems are, and how much influence they’ve wielded, and continue to wield. So we have the bizarre spectacle of a Conservative-led coalition driving up female representation in corporate boardrooms even after being presented with the solid evidence that one consequence will be corporate financial decline.

  43. Carnation says

    @ Mike Buchanan

    Mike, “gynocentrism” is a term used by the same people who believe that feminists have infiltrated the government and are waging a covert war on men. The same people believe that GamerGate is about ethics in games journalism and that Avfm is a credible source of information. It’s an article of faith for these people that feminism is a violent totalitarian ideology based on supremacy.

    Such hyperbole is laughable.

    You claim to want justice for men and boys. A challenge for you. Explain how you would reduce “false” allegations of sexual abuse, whilst at the same time encouraging vulnerable and abused male victims to come forward?

    I predict that you lack the sophistication to either formulate a credible policy or acknowledge that you are content to discourage abuse victims to report what’s happened.

  44. DavidDoe says

    There is scientific proof that rape culture is real. CDC states that nearly 1 in 5 women are raped at some time in their lives. President Barack Obama has stated that 1 in 5 of female students are sexually assaulted during their stay on college campus. It is also estimated that women make 77 cents for every 1 dollar a man earns; that is a form of financial rape.

    No matter how much you try, you can’t deny the facts. The facts prove rape culture.

  45. says

    I’ve never said these people were / are feminists. But politicians of all political colours have allowed radfems to operate under the radar without challenge for 30+ years.

    Reagan, Thatcher, both Bushes, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Mutt “binders full of women” Romney, Paul Ryan, the Ferguson cops, and the rest of the Republican Party have allowed radfems to operate under the radar without challenge for 30+ years? Wow, who knew? Can you at least show us an example of any specific “radfem” policy that any of that lot have allowed to operate under the radar for even one week? Oh wait, it was “under the radar,” so I guess that means you’ll never be able to find any evidence, right?

    Different laughable conspiracy story, same rationalizations, same excuses…

  46. says

    I could have phrased my point better…

    And so the waffling, backtracking, redefinitions and evasions begin. Would someone please explain how the fuck any of this brown air is supposed to ensure justice for men or boys?

  47. Carnation says

    @ David Doe

    The pay gap is no more “financial rape” than financially contributing to your child’s upbringing is slavery. Please don’t demean yourself by indulging in such histrionics.

    But I suspect that you’re a troll.

    @ Raging Bee

    Mike’s exhortations have nothing to do with justice for men & boys. Anti-feminism and anti-feminists very rarely offer anything that could remotely help males. They’re usually right-wing and supportive of policies that bulldozed patriarchal structures that, whilst flawed, gave employment and pride to significant areas of society currently in crisis.

    I would vote UKIP (or J4MB) if they had realistic and honest proposals for re-industrialism programmes. But they don’t, preferring to lazily scapegoat immigration/EU and feminism for society’s ills. Such childish thinking is revealed when one assesses the calibre of politician that they boast.

  48. lelapaletute says

    @Mike 44:

    Usual unsubstantiated claims about ‘gynocentrism’ which is so out there I’m not even going to get into it. Then you say:

    “So we have the bizarre spectacle of a Conservative-led coalition driving up female representation in corporate boardrooms even after being presented with the solid evidence that one consequence will be corporate financial decline.”

    I notice that you are responding to my point because it allows you to roam right off topic, and expand on some of your favourite unrelated talking points rather than address the questions raised by Ally’s article. So since you are studiously ignoring Carnation, perhaps you’ll answer his questions if they come out of my mouth:

    If you agree that both false accusations of rape, mainly by women against men, and a reluctance of male victims to report their sexual abuse, particularly by women, are significant problems: explain what policies J4MB would introduce to reduce false allegations of sexual abuse, whilst at the same time encouraging vulnerable and abused victims to come forward? And which would you say was the greater priority, if there is a conflict?

  49. lelapaletute says

    And yeah, David Doe, bad call. The pay gap is not comparable to rape, just like the old victim-blaming standards about ‘leaving your house unlocked’, ‘leaving your car unlocked’, ‘waving your wallet around in a dangerous area’ etc are not comparable to rape. Bodies are not property, they are people. Any ill-thought out comparison that commodifies the body, even if well meant, is part of the problem.

  50. StillGjenganger says

    @1234543231 43

    Why don’t we see girls getting taught not to make false allegations in schools just as the boys are taught not to rape?

    Come on, man. Young men and women both want sex, and are unsure how one should go about it. So both sexes get taught about the game rules and what they should be alert for to avoid bad trouble. Men, in particular, feel it incumbent on them to take the initiative and push if they want anything, so they get told more on recognising and respecting a ‘no’ (not raping, if you prefer), where girls get more on deciding what they want and asserting that. All perfectly reasonable – we might discuss whether it could be done differently or whether they get the definition of rape and responsibilities of the various parties right, but that is a different discussion altogether.

    ‘Not bearing false witness’ is in the ten commandments, for God’s sake. It is also in the playground code – anybody knows it is wrong to lie to teacher to get someone in trouble. There is no reason for special training on this point, and setting ‘not raping’ and ‘not accusing falsely’ up as parallels is really not appropriate.

  51. says

    RB @ 37

    That’s what EVERY loony scapegoating conspiracy-buff says: “Look at this disorderly mess of unconnected facts and wild assertions I just pulled out of my ass! Can’t you connect these dots like the voices in my head just did?” Seriously, dude, I’ve heard more plausible bollocks from Lyndon LaRouche. Your unhinged bigoted allegations show you for the lying hateful con-artist you are.

    glad to have you back.

  52. 123454321 says

    StillGjenganger #52

    Great paragraph of excuses supporting teaching boys how to be respectful towards the needs of girls whilst girls get away without having the same ilk of edification applied to them. Talk about social indoctrination! No wonder we’re in such a screwed up mess!

    “Men, in particular, feel it incumbent on them to take the initiative and push if they want anything, so they get told more on recognising and respecting a ‘no’ (not raping, if you prefer), where girls get more on deciding what they want and asserting that.”

    In other words, you acknowledge that the female sex holds more control with respect to sexual power?

  53. says

    “…anybody knows it is wrong to lie to teacher to get someone in trouble. There is no reason for special training on this point,”

    Err, yes there is, providing you are teaching boys not to rape. It’s only fair to provide the full picture from both sides otherwise that’s feminist, bigoted, social protocol in operation!

    “and setting ‘not raping’ and ‘not accusing falsely’ up as parallels is really not appropriate.”

    Not appropriate for whom, I wonder?

  54. lelapaletute says

    @12345etc

    Would you say that murdering someone and falsely accusing someone else of murder are equivalent crimes?

  55. says

    Is Ally right with this: 14 out of every 15 false accusations goes completely unpunished!

    And then people respond by effectively saying “oh, that’s ok, no problem, just ignore it, it only affects men in the main in any case, so no probs, move on, nothing to fix”.

    FFS.

  56. says

    “Would you say that murdering someone and falsely accusing someone else of murder are equivalent crimes?”

    i never said rape and false rape accusations were similar crimes. I said they were both despicable, socially immoral and thus punishable in their own right because they can both potentially ruin lives.

    Besides, falsely accusing someone of murder means they must have murdered someone else, not you, because otherwise you’d be dead! Best dream up another scenario.

  57. Carnation says

    @ 123454321

    You are conflating two distinctly separate issues. It is crucial that consent is discussed and taught at a very early age. A fair number of men convicted of rape will consider themselves innocent, the result of believing that she was “asking for it.” Many more men will carry round a range of emotions, from embarrassment to extreme guilt and shame, about being inappropriate. Consent and sexuality are huge grey areas. it is vital that some guidance is given in this area.

    You prefer the simplistic “boys taught not to rape” narrative so in favour with a range of reactionaries. As ever, the truth is far more complicated and far less shocking.

    Accusations against named individuals, with a view to framing that individual, are mercifully exceptionally rare. They are, in fact, newsworthy for being so rare that when they do occur, they are generally known about. The bulk of false reports originate from women (and fair few men) who have been institutionalised in some way, or are in other ways very troubled. The evil woman destroying a good man trope belongs beside the evil woman retiring on a hapless man’s money via a divorce court trope. They are both myths. Myths enduringly popular with the meek, the gullible and the angry, but still myths.

    MRAs (and a fair number of feminists), being intellectual weaklings, will misinterpret statistics to try to promote a theory based on nothing more than longstanding myths. For this reason, they will continue to wallow in their place, out there on the lunatic fringe.

    You, despite the bluster, I suspect, recognise that this is the case. Just because, for whatever reason, you dislike feminists, you don’t have to take your place amongst such unsavoury buffoons.
    .

  58. lelapaletute says

    @123etc

    “i never said rape and false rape accusations were similar crimes. I said they were both despicable, socially immoral and thus punishable in their own right because they can both potentially ruin lives.”

    But in response to Carnation’s:

    “and setting ‘not raping’ and ‘not accusing falsely’ up as parallels is really not appropriate.”

    You did say:

    “Not appropriate for whom, I wonder?”

    Which rather implies you think it IS appropriate, doesn’t it. So, again, do you think accusing someone falsely of a crime is equivalent/parallel to committing the crime, and should be taught in a two-handed way in schools – i.e. that ‘respect sexual consent’ should be taught in tandem with ‘don’t tell lies’ as if the two are somehow equivalent/parallel/related?

  59. StillGjenganger says

    @Carnation 60

    You are conflating two distinctly separate issues. It is crucial that consent is discussed and taught at a very early age. A fair number of men convicted of rape will consider themselves innocent, the result of believing that she was “asking for it.” Many more men will carry round a range of emotions, from embarrassment to extreme guilt and shame, about being inappropriate. Consent and sexuality are huge grey areas. it is vital that some guidance is given in this area.

    True. Though there is also the possibility that some people with bad experiences will consider they have been raped when they have not (Shia LeBoeuf???) – I am not sure we quite agree completely about the ground rules. The guidance is not less vital for that, though.

  60. StillGjenganger says

    @Lelapaletute 61

    But in response to Carnation’s:
    “and setting ‘not raping’ and ‘not accusing falsely’ up as parallels is really not appropriate.”

    Carnation did not say that – I did. I take your misappropriation as a compliment, though.

  61. 123454321 says

    “You did say:
    “Not appropriate for whom, I wonder?”
    Which rather implies you think it IS appropriate, doesn’t it.”

    You’re getting all confused. I responded to someone else on this one, not Carnation. And you’re on the wrong track with the inference.

  62. StillGjenganger says

    @123454321 54

    In other words, you acknowledge that the female sex holds more control with respect to sexual power?

    Well, it is an observational fact that men are expected to ask and women say yes or no, according to current social customs. I also (but that is a separate issue) think that women have more sexual power, for simple reasons of supply and demand. It takes two to tango, and if one sex experiences that chances are rare and worth hard work to get, the other sex gets to set conditions. I would even go as far as to say that this advantage is likely to endure, and that men might deserve some advantages in other areas to make up for their disadvantages here. But since it is not something that can really be changed, there is no reason to get too upset about it.

  63. 123454321 says

    “So, again, do you think accusing someone falsely of a crime is equivalent/parallel to committing the crime, and should be taught in a two-handed way in schools – i.e. that ‘respect sexual consent’ should be taught in tandem with ‘don’t tell lies’ as if the two are somehow equivalent/parallel/related?”

    Loving the way you turned what should have been “‘respect sexual consent’ should be taught in tandem with ‘RESPECT the fact that you shouldn’t tell lies about RAPE” into:

    “‘respect sexual consent’ should be taught in tandem with ‘don’t tell lies'”

    Neat, but obvious!

  64. Carnation says

    @ GJganger

    A interesting point. However, I can see how discussions about consent etc will *help* and empower males, as well as females, in terms of understanding their own bodily autonomy and being confident in asking/telling those who overstep the mark to back off.

  65. 123454321 says

    “Well, it is an observational fact that men are expected to ask and women say yes or no, according to current social customs.”

    Empirical evidence doesn’t mean that’s the way it should be. Both sexes should seek signs of permission but it doesn’t necessarily need to be verbal to get the message across. Are you inferring that men/boys should ask and women/girls needn’t even consider asking or seeking any form of acceptance?

    Why are men ‘expected’ to ask but women aren’t? That doesn’t sound like a fair society to me.

  66. StillGjenganger says

    @123454321 69
    In our current society gender roles are different, gender behaviour is different, it makes sense that the advice the two genders get is different too. Could we ever achieve a society where men and women were indistinguishable, and all the expectations were too? I strongly doubt it. And I would certainly check out the proposed alternative in some detail before I signed off on it. All this “We need a change – what I propose is a change – therefore we need it!” we hear far too much of from the various progressives.

    Anyway, you need to decide what is possible before you think about what is fair. Is it fair that some people die young and others do not? No – but them’s the breaks. Men and women have different life chances – and let us admit that at least some of the differences favour men. The feminists may complain about their disadvantages and take their advantages for granted, but we do not necessarily have to imitate them.

  67. StillGjenganger says

    @Carnation 68

    I can see how discussions about consent etc will *help* and empower males, as well as females

    No disagreement there.

  68. Jacob Schmidt says

    Well, since this conversation has gone a little wonky, I’ll take a step back.

    Why don’t we see girls getting taught not to make false allegations in schools just as the boys are taught not to rape?

    Don’t you? I do. Not part of the formal school structure, I’ll admit, but there’s plenty of narrative of how women who cry rape are crazy bitches, liars, etc. There’s plenty of contempt for women who cry rape, as its frequently assumed that they’re lying. Contempt for false rape claims is already taught. We’ve all seen the high profile cases of what happens when an alleged victim is thought to be lying. We don’t need formalized teaching in that field: it’s already part of the cultural status quo.

    The changes feminists and other propose in the way men behave, on the other hand, contradict the status quo. We need to focus on that, because otherwise the same old ideas are going to prop up again and again.

  69. gshelley says

    @16

    What if “less than approximately 5% of reports result in convictions” for burglaries?

    What percentage of burglary reports do end in conviction? The shockingly low number for rapes is frequently mentioned, but rarely, if ever is it mentioned how it compares to other crimes
    http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/mar/25/rape-myths-low-conviction-rate
    claims the rape rate is not far different from burglary, but doesn’t give the comparative statistics. If they are available on line, they need a very specific search term, as I haven’t been able to find them

  70. 123454321 says

    Jacob – various styles of unofficial contempt, maybe. But where’s the evidence of punishment to give the reasons for contempt some credibility?

    “We don’t need formalized teaching in that field: it’s already part of the cultural status quo.”

    Have you ever thought that if we did encourage formalised teaching in the field of false rape allegations, and if that was successful, then we wouldn’t have up to 8% (possibly more) false rape accusations, and therefore the whole discussion around false rape claims would be moot to the point that real victims would have no qualms about coming forward?

    Wouldn’t that be the right answer?

    “The changes feminists and other propose in the way men behave, on the other hand, contradict the status quo. We need to focus on that, because otherwise the same old ideas are going to prop up again and again.”

    In other words, only focus on ideas that leverage benefits for women, but not for men. Or alternatively worded (in real terms,) only focus on ideas that force men to change their wrongfulness and to be held accountable, but leave women just as they are because whatever they do, they must be right. Yes?

    Yeah, I get it.

  71. Jacob Schmidt says

    But where’s the evidence of punishment to give the reasons for contempt some credibility?

    Harassment and ostracization are punishment.

    In other words, only focus on ideas that leverage benefits for women, but not for men. Or alternatively worded (in real terms,) only focus on ideas that force men to change their wrongfulness and to be held accountable, but leave women just as they are because whatever they do, they must be right. Yes?

    Really? Is that what I said? I wrote the those specific changes relating to men’s behaviour need to be specifically addressed. That hardly excludes tackling other things, like the assumption that men consent, myths about erection = consent, the idea that “he’s bigger and could have fought back so he couldn’t have been raped,” etc.

    Have you ever thought that if we did encourage formalised teaching in the field of false rape allegations, and if that was successful, then we wouldn’t have up to 8% (possibly more) false rape accusations,[1] and therefore the whole discussion around false rape claims would be moot to the point that real victims would have no qualms about coming forward?[2]

    1) I’m not convinced, and you’re not very convincing I’m afraid. There are already strong social consequences for being thought to have falsely accused; a teacher’s hypothetical disapproval won’t necessarily mean much.

    2) Ahahaha, no. Stronger focus on false accusations is not going to make victims more comfortable coming forward. You can tell because the actual victims report the opposite.

    claims the rape rate is not far different from burglary, but doesn’t give the comparative statistics

    I’m far more comfortable with 95% of burglers walking free than I am with 95% percent of rapists walking free.

  72. sheaf24 says

    123454321, Jacob Schmidt,

    Can either of you quantitatively support your views about focus on false accusations?

  73. sheaf24 says

    Jacob Schimdt:

    I’m far more comfortable with 95% of burglers walking free than I am with 95% percent of rapists walking free.

    Both are probably strogly associated with ant social tendencies. Having either go around unnoticed is probably a significant risk factor.

  74. mildlymagnificent says

    The changes feminists and other propose in the way men behave, on the other hand, contradict the status quo. We need to focus on that, because otherwise the same old ideas are going to prop up again and again.

    And let’s be honest, the required changes go a lot deeper and further than that. The necessary mindset to acknowledge and respect other people’s feelings, especially those about their own bodies, go right back to parenting and how childcare and schools are run generally, not just in health or sex ed.

    Parents are occasionally obliged to override a child’s wishes – when administering medication or having a bath or doing up their safety belts in the car – so it’s very important that they should respect those wishes when they’re about general self-protection. Tickling beyond the child’s endurance and forcing unwilling kids to kiss or hug relatives should all be strict no-nos. We can teach children – and Aunt Mabel – to blow kisses rather than make them uncomfortable with unwanted physical contact.

    We should also teach simple respect when it comes to other people’s wishes. 3 year olds don’t get to kick over other people’s sandcastles at the beach or other kids’ building block creations at childcare or the neighbour’s house. They have to be taught – if they have those inclinations – that if another person has something or has done something you don’t get to snatch it away or to destroy it. Kids of that age also have to be taught to share and/or to take turns with favoured toys and activities.

    And all those messages need appropriate reinforcement and extension as the children grow up and they engage in different forms of activity that the basic principles still apply. Much, much easier to teach respecting sexual boundaries when it’s an extension of respecting boundaries generally.

  75. Jacob Schmidt says

    And let’s be honest, the required changes go a lot deeper and further than that.

    Yes, absolutely. I focus on schools, partly because it was the topic brought up, and partly because pretty much everyone goes to school. But it is woefully insufficient.

    Much, much easier to teach respecting sexual boundaries when it’s an extension of respecting boundaries generally.

    Heh. One of the reasons I bought into much of feminist theory on boundaries so quickly was that, to a large extent, it was just an extension of my own ethics on respecting peoples boundaries.

    Can either of you quantitatively support your views about focus on false accusations?

    Not really. It’s mostly a hodge podge of general observation and some studies on rape myth acceptance I couldn’t for the life of me find again if I tried.

  76. Holms says

    #74 1234
    In other words, only focus on ideas that leverage benefits for women, but not for men. Or alternatively worded (in real terms,) only focus on ideas that force men to change their wrongfulness and to be held accountable, but leave women just as they are because whatever they do, they must be right. Yes?

    Yeah, I get it.

    I don’t think you get it. Replace the highlighted passage with: ‘but leave women just as they are for now, because false accusations of rape are vastly less common than actual rape, which is predominantly male perpetrated. Work on the major problem more urgently than the minor, yes?’

  77. leapaletute says

    TOTALLY OT, but hahahaha Ally you just popped up on my podcast of The Moral Maze! You don’t sound at ALL like I imagined you would! Congrats, you are now officially famous 🙂

  78. 123454321 says

    “I’m not convinced, and you’re not very convincing I’m afraid. There are already strong social consequences for being thought to have falsely accused; a teacher’s hypothetical disapproval won’t necessarily mean much.”

    So why teach boys not to rape then? Feminists seem to want it both ways, especially when it benefits women at the expense of men.

    “2) Ahahaha, no. Stronger focus on false accusations is not going to make victims more comfortable coming forward. You can tell because the actual victims report the opposite.”

    I said stronger focus on education in the first place, which leads to an outcome of far fewer false allegations. That way, proper victims would have no doubts, and in cases where rape is clearly rape they would have no worries about coming forward. Sometimes in life you have to start at the start. If you want to teach boys not to rape then you should be supporting the teaching of girls not to falsely accuse, because it ruins lives and is more than just a lie!

  79. 123454321 says

    “Can either of you quantitatively support your views about focus on false accusations?”

    Ally reckons that 14 out of 15 false accusations goes unpunished.

    Seems to me like that’s a statistic worth addressing if we’re going to stamp out false allegations, which would surely sweep the path in the medium-long term and lead to a clearer environment on behalf of real victims.

    Or perhaps people find it easier to just bury their head in the sand by coming up with a load of complex excuses for taking no action. That’s probably about right.

  80. 123454321 says

    “I don’t think you get it. Replace the highlighted passage with: ‘but leave women just as they are for now, because false accusations of rape are vastly less common than actual rape, which is predominantly male perpetrated. Work on the major problem more urgently than the minor, yes?’”

    There are 340 false accusations compared to about 500 homicides. Do we ignore homicides as well then?

  81. Carnation says

    @ 123454321

    What do you understand by a “false allegation”? The myth, as ever, is entirely at odds with reality. The reality, as ever, is ignored by anti-feminists

  82. 123454321 says

    “What do you understand by a “false allegation”?”

    It starts out as a deliberate assertion of facts raised by someone (or a group of people) against someone else (or a group of people), which has the potential to affect the other party. The assertions are usually constructed with a knowledge-foundation of rights and wrongs, law and social, moral behaviours in mind.
    The assertion requires validation. Where there is insufficient evidence to make a determination, that would be unsubstantiated. But where there is corroborating evidence to suggest falsity, a determination would be made to bring about a false allegation outcome based on the facts that either the events didn’t occur, as originally asserted, or factual evidence shows the accused perpetrator to be innocent. In the case of rape, the false accuser may knowingly lie about the events, or make gross misinterpretation judgments based on a lack of social morals or lack of education. Either way, the potential negative outcome warrants a false rape allegation to be positioned in law as a punishable crime due to the potential impact it may have on someone else’s life. 14 out of 15 false accusations, according to Ally, go unpunished.

  83. StillGjenganger says

    @123454321 82
    If they were explicitly ‘teaching boys not to rape’ I would be strongly against it, but I kind of doubt they are. Explaining what the game rules are and what kind of things one should look out for is both reasonable and useful, and might also help prevent rape. Just as an example: I have a lot of disagreements about ‘enthusiastic’ consent, putting all the responsibility on the active part, etc. But even at a minimum there is clearly useful and necessary information that young men need to know. E.g. that people may change their mind in mid-course, or freeze up and be unable to utter the ‘NO!’ they are thinking, so you need to be alert to these things and ready to stop and ask if it looks like there might be a problem. Not to speak of the idea that being nice and getting some sex are not mutually exclusive.

    As for reducing false accusations through teaching, you have not got a hope. People who deliberately and maliciously accuse an innocent person are beyond reach of social pressure, just like people who deliberately and maliciously rape. Why would people make a false accusation? Hate, spite and malice? Not amenable to pressure. Desperation? Ditto. Insanity, mental confusion and vulnerability? Not fixable by teaching. You are devastated and sincerely, furiously feel that the asshole deserves it? Well, you can see why somebody might be tempted (sometimes the asshole really has gone out of his way to make himself unpleasant), and resistance to temptation cannot be taught either. About the only thing you can teach is exactly what does and does not count as rape (assuming we can agree on it), and that is hardly going to make much of a change in the false accusation statistics. You might reduce accusations if you teach that you do not have a right to accuse, that getting raped is your own fault, but that is really not where we want to go, and anyway that would surely hit genuine accusations from wounded and insecure people much more than it would hit the obviously malicious.

    Look at the details of what they teach, by all means, and challenge anything that demonises men or pushes an ideological agenda. I might even back you on specifics. But do come off this idea that ‘they’ are sticking it to men and letting the women off.

  84. StillGjenganger says

    @Carnation 85
    Alternative definition:

    ‘False’ accusation is accusing somebody of rape when you know that this is not true.

    I think it is important to distinguish this from other cases, where you accuse someone who turns out to be innocent – these deserve a less loaded term, ‘incorrect’ accusations maybe. For instance
    – You do not remember what happened, but you are sure you were raped.
    – You sincerely believe you were raped, but the events do not fall within the legal definition, because the accused believed in good faith that he had consent, or because the law does not think you were drunk/incapable/under pressure enough for it to count as rape.
    – You got the wrong person by a genuine mistake.

    Then there are the grey-zone cases where your story is partly true, partly false, and the false parts may or may not be determining for how to judge what happened.

  85. 123454321 says

    “But even at a minimum there is clearly useful and necessary information that young men need to know. E.g. that people may change their mind in mid-course, or freeze up and be unable to utter the ‘NO!’ they are thinking”

    Why wouldn’t the same apply to women? I wonder how many women have given the wink of consent but then felt the feeling of wanting to say no but felt they couldn’t and woken up in the morning and decided to accuse rape? I wonder how many men have had the same feeling and have woken up in the morning and decided to accuse rape?

    “But do come off this idea that ‘they’ are sticking it to men and letting the women off.”

    14 out of 15 false accusations (usually made by women against men), which could have potentially led to imprisonment for an innocent man, goes unpunished.

  86. Holms says

    #82 1234
    So why teach boys not to rape then? Feminists seem to want it both ways, especially when it benefits women at the expense of men.

    Because men raping women is a much more frequent occurrence than women lying about being raped, and people are already taught to be honest anyway; adding ‘especially when considering a rape accusation’ is just silly.

  87. 123454321 says

    “…more frequent occurrence than women lying about being raped…”

    Ok, agree with that fact. But up to 8% (possibly more, who knows?) of 22,000 rapes is not a sizeable number of false allegations which could potentially lead to ruining many men’s lives? Not even worth considering, huh? Especially as they have no anonymity rights either!

  88. StillGjenganger says

    @123454321 89
    The same should be taught to women – as I take for granted that it is. But since they have different situations, the two sexes will quite naturally need a diferent emphasis, at the least.

    ’14 out of 15 false accusations’. Ally – who has actually read through a lot of the cases – claims that the cases where ‘it is not in the public interest to prosecute’ are generally people who are very young, mentally handicapped, were dead drunk at the time, or in other ways find life pretty hard to deal with. It is not obviously in anybody’s interest that some 14-year-old or borderline schizophrenic it put in prison, and it does not sound like doing it would do much to deter anybody else. If WAR had it their way it would be different, but they do not. If you want to ‘defend men’ I would point out that the people who are most likely to get away with a false allegation are probably the same kind of people who are least likely to be believed in the first place – and for the same reasons. There is a certain balance in that.

    I wonder how many women have given the wink of consent but then felt the feeling of wanting to say no but felt they couldn’t and woken up in the morning and decided to accuse rape? I wonder how many men have had the same feeling and have woken up in the morning and decided to accuse rape?

    I really do not see where you want to go with this. I am not sure I would classify this kind of thing as rape, but, rape or not, I would do al lot to avoid causing one. This kind of situation is just very unpleasant. One side can try to avoid it by staying sober, being alert to signals and asking explicitly. The other side can try to avoid it by staying sober, being clear what they want, making up their minds in advance, and avoiding situations where they are likely to freeze up. When both efforts fail one side feels raped, which is bad, and the other side feels unjustly accused which is also bad. However careful we are this kind of situation will sometimes occur, and both will suffer. I cannot see why this is much more unfair to one sex or the other, or why preaching against false accusations would make a difference to anything.

  89. says

    Err, yes there is, providing you are teaching boys not to rape. It’s only fair to provide the full picture from both sides otherwise that’s feminist, bigoted, social protocol in operation!

    If you say that rape is wrong, but then pointedly threaten people with punishment if they report a rape and are not believed, then you are explicitly helping rapists to intimidate their victims into silence. (This is, for example, why messages like “report crimes to the police” are NEVER paired with “False reports are a crime so you’d better watch what you say!!!”)

    If they were explicitly ‘teaching boys not to rape’ I would be strongly against it…

    Why? That seems a perfectly reasonable thing to teach boys. It’s what I was taught, and it made a lot of sense without being at all harmful. Opposing such teaching seems pretty fucking demented to me; and “strongly” opposing it seems even more “strongly” demented.

    Ignorant comments like these, repeated forever despite having been thoroughly debunked long ago, are what makes comment-threads like this such an utterly useless stagnant pool of old sewage. What’s the point of participating in a conversation where the same people keep on saying the same stupid and dead-wrong shit over and over again, day after day, year after year?

  90. StillGjenganger says

    @Raging 93
    I am against ‘teaching boys not to rape’ just like I am against ‘teaching Muslims not to blow up skyscrapers’ – because it assumes that they will normally do it unless taught not to.
    There are a number of things to teach them that they need to know, and that likely will make them less likely to rape, but it does make a difference how you frame it.

  91. Holms says

    The relevant conversation would be better framed as ‘here is what consent means’ as a way of exploring the consequences of getting someone intoxicated before getting her into your bedroom. That conversation need not be explicitly blaming the boys, even though they are the far more likely culprit should a rape occur, because both genders will learn about what constitutes rape and what does not.

    Hence, that sex ed conversation can achieve both goals at once. The boys have learned the finer points of what not to do while trying to get laid, and the girls have learned what does and does not constitute a breach of their consent.

  92. says

    I am against ‘teaching boys not to rape’ just like I am against ‘teaching Muslims not to blow up skyscrapers’ – because it assumes that they will normally do it unless taught not to.

    It assumes no such thing. It merely teaches them how they’re expected to behave, in order to AT LEAST increase the chances that they will behave correctly. What would you assume instead? That everyone is born smart enough to know exactly how to behave at all times? That’s a far less plausible assumption — and a more harmful one to boot — than the assumption that kids need to be taught certain things.

    (Oh, and “teaching Muslims not to blow up skyscrapers” is something that lots of Muslims are currently trying to do. You got a problem with that?)

  93. Jacob Schmidt says

    So why teach boys not to rape then?

    I feel like I’ve been over this. Have I been over this?

    There are already strong social consequences for being thought to have falsely accused; a teacher’s hypothetical disapproval won’t necessarily mean much.

    I focus on schools, partly because it was the topic brought up, and partly because pretty much everyone goes to school. But it is woefully insufficient.

    Oh yeah.

    So why teach boys not to rape then? Feminists seem to want it both ways, especially when it benefits women at the expense of men.

    In what way do yo imagine being taught to respect consent is an “expense of men?” Frankly, I have been doing it my whole life without any problems.

    If they were explicitly ‘teaching boys not to rape’ I would be strongly against it…
    Why? That seems a perfectly reasonable thing to teach boys.

    I’d replace “explicitly” with “strictly.” “Don’t rape” isn’t a very useful message. We know that a lot of men who rape don’t consider their behaviour as rape, or at least that they’re willing to admit to coercing someone into sex where they aren’t willing to admit to “rape” specifically. I’d rather establish specific behaviours as out of bounds than a broad, explicit message of “don’t rape.”

  94. says

    I’d rather establish specific behaviours as out of bounds than a broad, explicit message of “don’t rape.”

    Well, yeah, a lesson of “don’t rape” would have to include some definitions of what the word “rape” means. I really don’t think anyone disputes that — we just didn’t think we’d have to say it, for the same reason we don’t feel a need to remind each other that the Earth is round.

  95. mildlymagnificent says

    I really don’t think anyone disputes that — we just didn’t think we’d have to say it, for the same reason we don’t feel a need to remind each other that the Earth is round.

    Didn’t think we’d have to? I’m not so sure. It takes a long time for old ideas to die out. There are still plenty of people who argue that a woman who didn’t fight back, or who didn’t incur any additional injuries apart from the rape itself, or didn’t say No! , or didn’t scream for help, or didn’t run away, or who was raped by someone she’d previously slept with, or … half a dozen other things wasn’t really raped. Or that she was asking for it.

    Can’t find the link just now, but I remember reading an item by a person who’d done some education with police detectives who’d had experience, in some cases considerable experience, with rape victims. She explained some pretty pedestrian stuff (well, to me anyway) about the “freeze” reaction and about the variety of mixed emotional states of victims when reporting. Many of these blokes found this stuff to be a “revelation”, they’d never thought of “this” before, now they understood things they’d previously attributed to women being dishonest with them or with the man who raped them.

    If the people with real experience of dealing with real rape victims haven’t learned any of these quite rudimentary things from actually dealing with them, how much less likely is the average person reading a newspaper or watching a tv to get these things straight? Teaching consent, enthusiastic, explicit or both, as the baseline for ethical sexual activity is the best way to set rape outside the norm. Teaching it to people before they embark on their own sexual life is a good way to firstly reduce the incidence of sexual assaults of all kinds and, secondly, to improve public understanding and, hopefully, acceptance of notions they might not otherwise have thought of for themselves. Like men being raped by women.

  96. 123454321 says

    I would consider it far more pointless (and possibly offensive) to teach boys not to rape simply because it’s so freaking obvious; it’s like teaching them not to kill someone. Geez! Where as a devious insinuation of ‘you invaded my body but I think i’ve decided you’re a git so i’m going to tell someone’, isn’t so obvious and there could be relevance to apply some edification.

  97. Holms says

    I would consider it far more pointless (and possibly offensive) to teach boys not to rape simply because it’s so freaking obvious; it’s like teaching them not to kill someone.

    The message ‘don’t rape’ may well be exceedingly obvious, but the problem arises when we look at what, precisely, constitutes rape. It is a common misconception that rape is a term that only applies to the most extreme acts of non-consenting sex, involving screams, violence, knife / gunpoint and the like. The fact that you directly compared the message ‘don’t rape’ to ‘don’t murder’ is a good demonstration of exactly this misunderstanding.

    Therefore, the conversation is not so much the blatantly obvious ‘don’t rape’, but rather it must be a naunced look at what exactly constitutes informed consent, and thereby demonstrate that the extreme example is far from the only form of rape. As detailed above numerous times.

  98. StillGjenganger says

    @Mildly 99

    She explained some pretty pedestrian stuff (well, to me anyway) about the “freeze” reaction and about the variety of mixed emotional states of victims when reporting. Many of these blokes found this stuff to be a “revelation”, they’d never thought of “this” before, now they understood things they’d previously attributed to women being dishonest with them or with the man who raped them.

    Good they learned it. But how would they have figured out just from doing their job? You could in a rape charity, but that is because your task is to listen sympathetically and believe what you hear. In the police your job is – at a minimum – to judge if this story will bear an investigation and later a court case. Dismissing a story because it is incoherent or parts seem false is arguably a correct reaction here, even the conclusion should be ‘will not support a case’ rather than ‘she is lying’. Anyway, I notice that these policemen were not lectured at to stop treating rape victims as liars, they were simply informed, and it helped. Young people generally should benefit from the same treatment.

    Teaching consent, enthusiastic, explicit or both, as the baseline for ethical sexual activity is the best way to set ‘rape outside the norm

    You know I would disagree with ‘enthusiastic’ rather than ‘explicit’ consent – we have argued that one before. And a lot of consent will always remain implicit rather than explicit whether we like it or not. But for the rest I agree – assuming that ‘baseline’ means ‘the proper way to proceed’, rather than ‘the minimum beyond which one should never have sex’.

  99. says

    I would consider it far more pointless (and possibly offensive) to teach boys not to rape simply because it’s so freaking obvious…

    Um…it’s not at all “obvious” to a boy who is still learning the basics about sex and relationships. Your failure (or refusal) to understand this shows how abysmally ignorant you are.

  100. Whiney says

    Well you know Ally, it it’s any consolation, in the context of your being a member of the liberal Guardian media establishment, this piece is not going to put you in too much jeopardy, I wouldn’t have thought. 🙂 Just as Marduk has pointed out that WAR know full well what they’re doing, this is plainly an instance where the Guardian is trying it on too, and I don’t think even the Natalie Hanmans and Katherine Viners of this world seriously anticipate women not being prosecuted for making false accusations in the most egregious cases. I think there’s maybe an interesting matter in law, though, as to exactly how high the bar should be set. To quote from above, ‘They also only prosecute where the evidence of falsification is so strong that there is no realistic possibility of a miscarriage of justice’, which surely means, basically, an incontrovertible standard of proof. I guess I just wonder whether there would be an argument to say this standard might be lowered, so that if, say, a truly compelling collection of evidence were presented (compelling, but which might still give rise to relatively unlikely and theoretical causes for doubt) then this could still be tested before a court. You can find such a standard of proof, I think, in the case of Oscar Pistorius, where the evidence that he intended to kill somebody was obviously pretty strong (some would say overwhelming so), yet as we saw, theoretical uncertainties could still be flagged up (as preposterous as they may have seemed to many in that particular set of circumstances.)

  101. fairyvexed says

    I guess we’re going to ignore that AVFM is a hate site that advocates for violence against women and whose members regularly falsely accuse women en masse about filing false rape charges for shits and giggles.

    And we can also ignore that one huge problem with the UK’s rape percentages is the malice of the police against women.

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/mar/04/police-behaviour-sex-attacks-women-change

    Seems a lot of cops would rather toss out cases and victims than cross their mates. The Home Office’s OWN report found the cops routinely violated their own special training in order to cling to their own sexist views of rape and rape victims.

    The researchers noted that some of these classifications were based simply on the personal judgments of the police investigators and were made in violation of official criteria for establishing a false allegation. Closer analysis of this category applying the Home Office counting rules for establishing a false allegation and excluding cases where the application of the cases where confirmation of the designation was uncertain reduced the percentage of false reports to 3%. The researchers concluded that “one cannot take all police designations at face value” and that “[t]here is an over-estimation of the scale of false allegations by both police officers and prosecutors.” Moreover, they added:

    “The interviews with police officers and complainants’ responses show that despite the focus on victim care, a culture of suspicion remains within the police, even amongst some of those who are specialists in rape investigations. There is also a tendency to conflate false allegations with retractions and withdrawals, as if in all such cases no sexual assault occurred. This reproduces an investigative culture in which elements that might permit a designation of a false complaint are emphasised (later sections reveal how this also feeds into withdrawals and designation of ‘insufficient evidence’), at the expense of a careful investigation, in which the evidence collected is evaluated.[12][13][14]”

    Funny how a certain type of person never mentions that part.

  102. Holms says

    Fairlyvexed, as far as I can see in this thread, only a single person has treated AVFM as a credible, reasonable source: Mike Buchanan. All others have only mentioned AVFM in comments that question, or outright disparage its legitimacy.

Trackbacks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *