Defending Injustice

It is well documented that when women commit sex offenses they face lesser sentences than men. It is not difficult to prove. One need only look for it. According to a study conducted by feminists:

When all variables, sex, sentence length, and offense category, were considered, a significant difference was recognized in sentence length, and mean sentence length for men was longer, indicating a harsher penalty for the same or similar offense. Standardized scores for length of sentence with regard to sex offenses in general showed a mean of 8.42 for men as opposed to 7.92 for women. In addition, those specific offenses, which found a significant difference in sentence length, rape, child sexual assault, and forcible sodomy, showed a mean standardized sentence length of 9.38, 7.88, and 9.04 for men, as opposed to 8.83, 7.41, and most notably, 6.23, respectively (Table 2). In no instance were women sentenced to longer or more severe sentences with regard to any sex offense. Furthermore, not all sex offenses are the same. (p. 158)

So if a person were to argue that a woman who stripped in front of students will get the “pussy pass”, meaning that she will receive a lesser sentence than a man, that person would not be wrong.

Of course, some would disagree. Enter David Futrelle’s complaint about a reddit comment

MRAs spend an awful lot of time getting worked up by hypothetical injustices. On the Men’s Rights subreddit, angry Men’s Rightsers regularly post links to stories of women behaving badly – or who may have been charged with or convicted of a crime – with indignant headlines suggesting that the women in question would be treated far worse if “she had been a man.”

The latest example of this outrage over imagined injustices? This post, found in r/mensrights today, with 87 net upvotes:


If you follow the link, it goes to a brief story about the alleged incident in The Huffington Post. […] There is no mention of putting her on a sex offenders registry because, and let me be blunt here, YOU HAVE TO BE CONVICTED OF A CRIME TO GET PUT ON ONE. She’s merely been CHARGED.

Futrelle is correct. In order to be put on the sex offender registry one must first be convicted. We do not know if this woman will be convicted, plead out, or have the charges dropped. However, toreyspindler does have a point: if this were a man, he likely would be listed as a sex offender if convicted. He would also face far harsher charges.

Again, this is not difficult to prove. There are cases in which women rape children for months, and get away with little jail time, little probation time, and no registering as a sex offender. That makes Futrelle’s follow-up rant all the more stupid:

There is no “pussy pass” for women that enables them to bypass the sex offenders registry ONCE THEY ARE CONVICTED of public lewdness. The relevant NY State law can be found here; as you can see, the gender of the convicted offender is not an issue. (It took all of 30 seconds on Google to dig that up.) Meaders isn’t getting special treatment because she’s a woman; she’s not on the offenders registry because an arrest is not the same as a conviction.

There is a difference between the written law and applied law. Had Futrelle taken more than thirty seconds to look up the information he might have realized that. Yes, the law is written as gender neutral. However, the law is often not applied as gender neutral.

Again, it is not hard to prove that women receive lesser sentences than men. For example, there was the woman who raped a boy at knife point and walked away with six months in jail and 10 years probation. There was the woman who raped a boy at a domestic violence shelter, whom the shelter protected, who got 30 days in jail but later had that revoked due to drug abuse. There was the woman who raped 11 different boys who walked away with three years in prison and apparently no registry as a sex offender compared to a 12-year-old boy who raped two girls who received four years in prison and must register as a sex offender for life.

I could go on, but I think the picture is clear: women who rape and abuse get a pass in ways that men simply do not.

Futrelle may consider these cases “hypothetical injustices”. That is to be expected. This is, after all, a man who allows his regulars to ridicule and humiliate male survivors of abuse. Futrelle does not have a good record of taking sexual violence against men and boys or women’s violence against others seriously at all.

Yet that does not change that women do appear to receive lesser charges and sentences than men, and that sometimes includes not being placed on the sex offender registry even after abusing children.

8 thoughts on “Defending Injustice

  1. Using Futrelle’s logic, one could say that the wage gap is a hypothetical injustice. After all, if you look at the laws on the books, it is illegal to pay women less than men for the same job.

    But the truth is that most people have biases that influence their decisions. And people are biased to view male sex offenders as more dangerous than female sex offenders, so men get harsher treatment in the courts. Similarly, we are biased to see men as more capable in the workplace, so a smallish portion of the wage gap is a legitimate complaint of feminists.

  2. It’s not just sex offenses. FYI
    “Federal Bureau of Justice Statistics compiled from 1980 through 2008 show women make up about 10 percent of homicide offenders nationwide. According to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, 3,146 people were on the nation’s death rows as of last Oct. 1, and only 63 — 2 percent — were women.”

  3. Is it legal to sentence differently by gender?

    Yes. While it is not often specific to a sex difference, judicial discretion allows a judge to legally sentence certain groups of people differently than others.

  4. Every time I see the name David Futrelle these days I go get some paracetamol. Because I know whatever he’s some up with this time is going to make me headdesk.

  5. Slightly relevent, slightly off topic:

    Ok, at what point do we cross the threshold of ridiculousness?

    As bad taste as this might have been , I see no harm here whatsoever, and bad taste shouldn’t be a crime.

    Meanwhile, even though we’ve had our *usually rather small* disagreements pretty much everyone here agrees that women usually get a pass when it comes to sex crimes. However, that’s not “always” and the inconsistency and unfairness of various womens (and mens) sentences in different jurisdictions for the same crime can be maddening.

    Who wants to bet THIS poor lady gets more of a punishment than some female “forcible” rapists?

  6. According to the NISVS 2010 Report approximately every 5th rape* victim have a female perpetrator. According to Bureau of Justice Statistics 66,700 men were incarcerated** under state jurisdiction for rape while only 600 women were incarcerated** for rape.

    * I equate rape and “being made to penetrate someone else” as defined in the NISVS 2010 Report.
    ** Sentence lasting more than 1 year. Appendix table 16c page 30 in Prisoners in 2009 (revised)

  7. Clarence, endangering the welfare of a child is a misdemeanor that carries no more than one year in jail. I doubt the woman will get more than probation, assuming the charges are not dropped.

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