This blog began 14 years ago, and while I have not posted often in recent years, I think my posts serve as a time capsule of modern feminism. Specifically, one can go through my posts and see how feminists slowly change their arguments about men’s issues. Back in 2005, feminists resoundingly rejected the notion that 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused by the age of 18. Part of the reason I started a blog was due to feminists moderating or banning me for mentioning that statistic. Yet today one will find some feminists slinging that statistic around,quite conveniently forgetting, even denying, they ever rejected it. One might even find feminists presenting it as if it were discovered via feminist research (it was not).
A similar happens with domestic violence against men. Feminists rejected statistics showing that men represented more than 5% of the victims, yet now one will find some feminists citing the very studies they previously dismissed. In both cases, the most notable element is the feminist acceptance of the statistics appears to have little to do with feminists genuinely believing the statistics to be accurate. It appears they accept the statistics due to the general public accepting the numbers. However, when one follows their conversations, one will find feminists slipping back into dismissing male victimization rates.
The feminist narrative that “women have it worse” remains intact. It appears that feminists accept the new statistics on the condition that the rates for female victims are always higher. Should someone present research showing an equal rate of male versus female victimization, feminists will reject that notion. Should someone present evidence that males experience more abuse than females, feminists will reject that notion. Should someone present evidence of an equal rate of female versus male perpetration, feminists will reject that notion. The research will be dismissed as an outlier or a deliberate misrepresentation. Of course, feminists continue to deny any harboring bias against men or male victims, and will not accept any suggestion or evidence of feminists actively subverting efforts to help male victims.
This is precisely what feminists did when I started this blog. The only difference between 2005 and 2019 is the general public’s changing attitude towards male victimization and their rejection of the feminist narrative. Granted, all feminists do not adhere to this. Plenty of feminists still reject any suggestion that 16% of boys are sexually abused or 30% to 40% of domestic violence victims are male. It is simply that they are more likely to catch flack should they do it now.
However, one can see feminists go right back to their typical script once one mentions a topic they despise. For example, false rape accusations.
Many feminists reject the notion that false accusations are a legitimate concern, despite numerous high-profile cases showing how easily innocent men can be ruined, imprisoned, and killed based on a woman’s lie. This issue has become more prescient due to the MeToo movement and the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearings. These high-profile cases have caused many men to avoid women in fear of a potential allegation, particularly given how men like Aziz Anasari, Chris Hardwick, and Louis C.K. were brought down by what appear to be consensual acts. While some of the reports are of legitimate abuse, often the reports include instances of a man touching a woman’s shoulder, being too close, or saying the wrong thing. There are also examples of women lying about the incidents, simply making them up.
The reason so many men fear this is because the typical response in these cases is for the men to lose their jobs, have their names plastered over social media and the news, and a demand that they “take responsibility” for their actions. Protesting their innocence is seen as silencing women. One must also keep in mind that most of the accusations are never presented to the authorities. Many of them could not even be prosecuted because the acts do not violate the law. Worse, many of the accusations supposedly happens years, even decades ago, making it difficult, if not impossible, for men to defend themselves.
Wrapped around all of this is the contention that people must listen to and believe women who claim they were violated. Any questioning of the veracity of the claims is treated by feminists and the far left as rape apologism and misogyny. The attitude and policies currently in place make it far too easy for a woman to lie about sexual violence. Not only will they receive a swell of support for ‘breaking their silence’, but should it be discovered that they lied, they likely will not face any punishment for this. More so, feminists will continue to see those women as victims, regardless of the evidence showing otherwise.
Given such a scenario, one can understand why some men fear false accusations of rape. The reason I gave all that context is because feminists will not present that information. Rather, they will present men as being hyperbolic and insensitive, and claim that these attitude arise from misogyny, conservatism, and entitlement. That is precisely the same thing feminists said about men like me who talked about male victimization. Also similar is how feminists respond to concerns: by write misleading ‘debunkings’ of those concerns, complete with cherry-picked statistics, contradictory and hypocritical arguments, and a great deal of logical fallacies.
This post comes from /r/MensLib, a male feminist subreddit. The author, LefthandedLunatic, wrote a lengthy post full of citations supposedly proving that false accusations simply never happen. They are so rare that there is no point even thinking about them. For the sake of brevity, I will use the author’s initials LhL. I will also split my response into several post for easier reading.
LhL opens with:
One of the main resistance to changes in how police and society handle Rape, Sexual Assault and even Harassment is the counter argument that men then would be plagued by False Rape accusations. The fear is always that we crossed some line that no longer allows reasonable doubt and that one man life can be sent to jail by one accusation.
Setting aside the spelling and grammatical errors, the author does a poor job of representing the actual complaint. It is not merely that people fear that reasonable doubt will no longer apply in criminal court. It is that people fear that feminists and other left-leaning activists have created policies and laws that circumvent men’s right to due process.
That is a valid concern given some of the recent cases. For example, Brian Banks was falsely accused of rape by a classmate named Wanetta Gibson. She claimed that he assaulted her in a stairwell. He faced a potential 41-years to life sentence, and took plea deal which resulted five years in jail and five on parole. Gibson sued the school for inadequate security, and the school settled the case for $1.5 million.
Banks served the full sentence and parole and had to register as sex offender. In 2011, Gibson sent Banks a friend request on Facebook, which Banks refused. However, he did ask to meet Gibson in person, which she agreed to, and he secretly recorded the conversation in which Gibson admitted she had lied. The California Innocence Project petitioned for Banks’ sentence to be vacated, which eventually happened.
The school sued Gibson for $2.6 million, which it won by default. For the decade of living with a false accusation, the state of California awarded Banks $142,000 in compensation.
I brought up this case several reasons. One, like many rape accusation cases, there was no physical evidence showing that Banks raped Gibson. No DNA, no wounds, and no witnesses. The state only had Gibson’s claim as evidence, and this was enough to convince the prosecutor to charge then 16-year-old Banks. The absence of any corroborating evidence should present a problem in this case given the nature of the act described, yet the court allowed the case to proceed, and later denied Banks’ petition for a state writ of habeas corpus.
Two, contrary to what one might expect, Gibson did not lie out of malice. Rather, she lied because she did not want her mother to find out she was sexually active. During her conversation with Banks, she further admitted that she had not recanted sooner because she thought her family might have to give back the money from the lawsuit. She also stated that she informed the lawyer handling the suit that no rape occurred, and lawyer told her to keep that to herself.
Three, the only reason why Banks was able to clear his name is because Gibson reached out to him. Had he not recorded the conversation, which was inadmissible because Gibson did not consent to being recorded, Banks and The California Innocence Project would not have been able to use that information to find evidence supporting her recantation.
All of these demonstrate one thing: it is relatively easy for a false accusation to result in a jail sentence. All it takes is someone believing the claim. As I mentioned before, many rape accusations lack any corroborating physical evidence. How many of the men and boys in those cases are innocent? How would they prove their innocence? If the accuser does not recant, what options remain for those innocent men and boys?
We have no way of knowing how many cases that lack physical evidence are false accusations because there is no way for the innocent to exonerate themselves. Then consider cases where there is physical evidence, but the accused claims the sex was consensual. Again, we are stuck with the same problem: it is entirely possible and probable that innocent men and boys will be convicted or take plea deals for a crime that never happened simply because people believe the accuser’s story, and we have no way of knowing how often this occurs.
I keep mentioning the frequency because LhL will argue that there are studies showing that false accusations are rare. However, the studies do not show that at all. They cannot because the researchers only police reports. They do not count court cases, yet even if they did, the researchers can only count dismissed or overturned cases. They could not count cases in which the men simply protest their innocence because those cases have not been ruled invalid.
This is the core problem with attempting to research false accusations. There is no means for any researcher to determine which accusations are actually true or false. More so, many of the reports only include cases reported to the police. However, plenty of false rape accusations are never reported to the authorities, so the researcher would miss that data.
So when LhL writes:
We of course have seen stories of such things in the news and everytime we question wither [sic] these are isolated stories or a sign of a larger epidemic we don’t get to see.
The answer is that we do not know. All the research will show is that there are a certain number of these cases that are caught before they result in arrest and convictions and a certain number of cases that are later overturned. That does not prove that false accusations are isolated (or an epidemic). All we know is that they occur
The author goes on:
When does the drive of combating rape go to far? Is it an issue to fear?
We could start with people using an allegation about a rape that occurred 30 years ago to block a man from becoming a Supreme Court justice. The absurdity of the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearings will be a stain on the process for quite some time. Christine Blasey Ford, Judy Munri-Leighton, and Julie Swetnick all accused Kavanaugh of raping them or other girls decades ago, with each accusation lacking any corroborating evidence, yet all three were heralded by the media and activists even as their claims fell apart.
Blasey Ford spoke at the hearings, which continues to baffle me as I cannot think of any other example of someone using a rape accusation to prevent a person from getting a job. Yet, this was one of the many ridiculous validations for the spectacle, again, despite that Blasey Ford could not find anyone, including the people she claimed were at the alleged party 30 years ago, to corroborate her claims. This included her then and now best friend.
So consider what occurred: Kavanaugh faced questions about an event that happened three decades ago. His memory of the details of that day would be vague at best. Any evidence to exonerate him would be long gone. Any witnesses could easily have forgotten important details about that day. Perhaps worst of all, Kavanaugh was treated as if he were guilty. Numerous feminists and left-leaning activists argued he did not have the right to due process and the presumption of innocence because it was not a trial but a job interview. Now to add that Blasey Ford’s lawyer recently admitting that part of the reason for leveling the accusations against Kavanaugh was to tarnish his decisions on abortion.
Does that not strike one as going too far? How about asking him about things he wrote in his high school year book? We judged the man based on his behavior as a teenager, sans any evidence be committed any crime, and defended this by arguing that we were not trying him in a criminal court, so we can treat him as guilty.
We can further look at the MeToo movement, which has resulted in numerous men losing their jobs and reputations based on unsubstantiated accusations, most of which are not even legally investigated. There have been instances of men committing suicide after facing accusations, and men suing their accusers for defamation. As a result of this, some men avoid interacting with women.
Given the circumstances, it is not a question of whether this is an issue to fear, but whether we are willing to understand why so many men are fearful. It appears that it takes little to ruin a man’s life reputation, while the false accuser faces little, if any, punishment for making the accusation. More so, the men have little means of proving their innocence.
In the next post, I will tackle LhL’s list of statistics.