It happens every day. In fact, it is pretty hard to avoid it. There are some things that can only be understood with a slap on the forehead. Things so mind-boggling that one wonders how humans managed to evolve thumbs while being this mentally inept. Case in point:
Several years ago, the Sexual Assault Centre of Edmonton launched the “Don’t Be That Guy” campaign. The campaign featured a series of ads depicting men taking advantage of drunk women with various copy about why men should not do so. Later, the organization and the local police claimed that the campaign resulted in a lower rate of sexual violence against women despite that the general rate of violent crime in Edmonton dropped during the same time period.
In response, a local men’s rights group posted “Don’t Be That Girl” poster around Edmonton. According to the article:
The “Don’t be that girl” poster reads: “Just because you regret a one night stand, doesn’t mean it wasn’t consensual. Lying about sexual assault = a crime.”
This upset Karen Smith, executive director of the Sexual Assault Centre of Edmonton, who declared:
I want to make it clear that that is so inaccurate. It just doesn’t happen. Nobody would report sexual assault needlessly because it is a gruelling process to go through.
Except, plenty of people, mostly women, make false reports about sexual assault. Here are a few cases I wrote about within the last year. There are also more prominent cases, like the Hofstra and Duke cases, in which women not only lied, but went through the investigation process while maintaining their lie.
I would agree that the poster is inflammatory. However, so is the original campaign. The original campaign paints all men as potential rapists and initially failed to include men as potential victims. The creators later added a single poster including a gay male couple, yet that still frames date rape as something only men can do. The creators completely fail to include women as potential rapists.
Smith also makes a rather common mistake of jumping to conclusions in her comment. She states that, “Nobody would report sexual assault needlessly because it is a gruelling process to go through,” yet the poster makes no such declaration. It does not say that anyone reported anything to the police. It simply argues that women should not claim rape because they regret a one-night stand.
Obviously that is an argument few feminists would agree with, however, they need to provide counter evidence that no women ever lie about rape. As I showed above, they cannot do that. Plenty of women lie about rape. Some of those cases results in arrests and even convictions, and those are just the ones we caught. Other cases with false accusers who maintain their stories or situations where there is no evidence to dispute the accusation likely end with the falsely accused serving time with no recourse.
This should not be a contentious issue, yet since both sides are playing politics it becomes little more than a pissing match. In this case, neither side wins, although only one ends up looking stupid by bizarrely claiming that no ever in the whole history of the world lied about rape.