For those not in the know, the case against Dominique Strauss-Kahn experienced a hiccup. The prosecutor’s investigators found that the accuser in the case lied about several aspects of her background, gave conflicting accounts of the alleged rape she accused Strauss-Kahn of, and discussed how much money she could get out of Strauss-Kahn. From the New York Times article that broke the story:
According to the two officials, the woman had a phone conversation with an incarcerated man within a day of her encounter with Mr. Strauss-Kahn in which she discussed the possible benefits of pursuing the charges against him. The conversation was recorded.
That man, the investigators learned, had been arrested on charges of possessing 400 pounds of marijuana. He is among a number of individuals who made multiple cash deposits, totaling around $100,000, into the woman’s bank account over the last two years. The deposits were made in Arizona, Georgia, New York and Pennsylvania.
The investigators also learned that she was paying hundreds of dollars every month in phone charges to five companies. The woman had insisted she had only one phone and said she knew nothing about the deposits except that they were made by a man she described as her fiancé and his friends.
In addition, one of the officials said, she told investigators that her application for asylum included mention of a previous rape, but there was no such account in the application. She also told them that she had been subjected to genital mutilation, but her account to the investigators differed from what was contained in the asylum application.
What is certain is that the maid told detectives and prosecutors that afterwards “she fled to an area of the main hallway” and “waited there until she observed the defendant leave suite 2806”.
A letter filed to court by Cyrus Vance jr, the Manhattan district attorney, said: “The complainant testified to this version of events when questioned in the Grand Jury about her actions”.
However she “has since admitted that this account was false” and that she went on to clean another room, and returned to clean Mr Strauss-Kahn’s suite, before reporting the incident to her supervisor.
Under New York state law, testifying falsely in a way that is material to the case being considered is perjury in the first degree, a class D felony punishable with up to seven years in prison.
The state cannot win this case with a witness with this many problems. Had the prosecutors not rushed to perpwalk Strauss-Kahn, they might have been able to work around this. By essentially declaring his guilt, they lost all their legal wiggle room. That the prosecutors, not the defense attorneys, released this information shows how desperate they are to save face.
That is quite unlike feminists, who instead dug in their heels for the Great Equivocation. Rather than acknowledge that perhaps their rush to judgment was wrong, feminists argue that none of this is proof that no rape happened. This woman could be every terrible thing in the world and still have been raped. But because she is not a “perfect victim” millions of women who were raped and have shay pasts will not come forward because of this case.
That is a nice strawman argument. None of the articles covering the facts released by the prosecutors suggested that female victims need to be angels. The problem is not that this woman has a shady past, but what that past entails. She apparently lied about being gang raped. She gave conflicting accounts of what occurred after the alleged rape at the hotel. She withheld information from the grand jury under oath. She even talked about how Strauss-Kahn is rich and she could get a lot of money from him.
Those are the problems. Of course it is possible that she was raped despite those facts. That does not change that her credibility is shot, meaning we can no longer trust her claim of rape.
However, the real issue appears to be that the revelations destroy feminists’ view of the perfect accuser. As Jill Filipovic put it:
We’re also talking about a woman who is an immigrant, who is of color, who is poor, who comes from a country where authority figures (including police officers) have slaughtered and tortured citizens and are widely distrusted, and who currently lives in an area with large immigrant and poor populations who are targeted by local police.
The problem is not that people place too high a standard on female accusers. It is that someone actually bothers to check accusers’ credibility, and for whatever bizarre reason (5th and 14th Amendments) people think the accusers’ backgrounds and past behaviors that may impeach their credibility are relevant.
This would not be a problem for feminists if they did not hold the position that women never lie about rape. It would not be an issue if feminists did not rush to judgement every time a case hits the news. If they instead waited until more information came out, they could avoid having to pull the “she was still raped no matter you say!” tantrum.
Ironically, Jill whines about the “progressive media outlets […]making egregious logical leaps, suggesting that [the maid’s] probably lying because, well, she just probably is”, even though these same progressive media outlets (and many feminist bloggers) made egregious logical leaps suggesting that Strauss-Kahn is guilty of rape because, well, he just probably is because he is a wealthy white man. Jill wrote no posts warning about rushes to judgement. She wrote no posts about the pitfalls of prosecutors who publicly treat the accused as guilty only to find that no crime happened at all. She wrote no posts about how men accused of rape face stigmas even when they are exonerated. Jill’s hypocrisy is why their are people like the Scottsboro Boys.
When you have a double standard in which you always assume one party is the victim and the other is guilty, you end up making idiotic statements like, “Women who report assault in the future are going to suffer the consequences of being human beings with spotty histories and personal imperfections and character flaws and terrible past decisions. And we’re going to collectively wonder why men feel like they can assault women without repercussion, and why so few women report being raped.” As if this only happens to female rape accusers.
Just admit you jumped the gun. You thought the maid was credible, but it turns out she is not. Just say, “I might be wrong about the case.” The easiest way is to just acknowledge that, not make like a feminist version of Nancy Grace.
An accusation is not proof. If you accept that, you could spare yourself the Great Equivocation about how this does not prove that.