I intended to sit down and write something about the Rolling Stone/UVA rape debacle. But this is the internet and so every conceivable thing has already been said about it four million different ways, by four million different people. A few of those millions have done an excellent job pointing out the deficiencies in the reporting and the dubious elements to the rape story. I don't think I can add much to it.
What I can say is that, whatever happens with the UVA scandal, this whole ordeal has once again exposed just how disingenuous and irrational many people -- and by 'people' I mean feminists -- are when discussing rape. Indeed, you expect feminists to be irrational about this topic because, for them, rape is not so much an actuality as it is an ideology. It might be appropriate to stop calling it Feminism altogether and start calling it Rapism.
Modern feminism is completely dependent on, and defined by, the idea that there is an epidemic of sexual violence against women. Not only an epidemic, but a culture that condones and encourages rape. A Rape Culture, they call it. A Rape Culture so virulent that it produces not simply rapists but people who are 'pro-rape' and engage in rape apologism.
Welcome to the cartoon comic book world of the modern feminist. They are the Super Victim Heroes called into battle against hordes of drooling, barbaric men who actually believe that rape is reasonable and justifiable. Back in Realityville, of course, no such belief system exists (outside of prisons, mental asylums, and the Middle East). Here, in the Land of Things That Are, we have feminists who use rape as a narrative tool to advance their agenda, and then the rest of us who are just about sick and tired of going along with the lunacy.
I've determined that anyone dead set on tossing the label 'pro-rape' around will find a reason to accuse me of it no matter what I say, unless I just throw in the towel, dye my armpit hair, and start retweeting Amanda Marcotte. That won't happen, so I might as well cut to the chase.
With that said, as part of the discussion sparked by the Rolling Stone fiasco, here are three very difficult and unpleasant truths about the rape epidemic:
1) There is no rape epidemic.
We're told that 1 in 5 women will be raped. It isn't true. I'm not sure why this truth should be difficult or unpleasant, but to prove my point about feminism becoming nothing more than rapism, watch how they react when you suggest that, in fact, 20 percent of women have not been, and will not be, raped. You'd think articles debunking the claim would be met with relief, but instead you discover that leftwing feminists want it to be true.
See, I'm a big fan of common sense. Common sense and a calculator tell you that, if 20 percent of women are raped, there are over 30 million current or future rape victims in the United States. To put that into perspective, feminists believe that the number of rape victims in this country is greater than the population of Texas. You could fill New York City with rape victims -- four times over. This just isn't true. I don't need to look at a single study to know that it isn't true. It just isn't. It's a wild fabrication. Not just wild -- immoral. Immoral because it's dishonest, but also because it exploits real rape victims.
Certainly one rape is too many, and there will be a lot more than one rape in this country next year. But when you pile 30 million supposed victims on top of the real victims, you only succeed in discrediting and disenfranchising the real ones. This is something that feminism has done -- not me, not Fox News, not conservative bloggers. Feminism. Feminism has done this to rape victims. It's not Todd Akin's fault that we need to use terms like 'legitimate rape' to separate true sexual assault from the millions of non-rapes shoehorned under the rape umbrella just to pad the stats.
As for the studies, although I don't need them to know that close to a quarter of the entire female population isn't comprised of rape victims, I still have them. Go look up the Bureau of Justice Statistics' "Violent Victimization of College Students" report from 2002. It found that about 1 in 40 college students are raped, and that number has steadily decreased over the years. Among the greater population, about 1 in every 1000 women fall victim to this crime. Again, those number are declining. Point being: society has actually made great strides in fighting rape, but there are voices among us very invested in burying this progress, which deprives us of the chance to learn from it.
These voices are nefarious. They do not care about rape. They do not care about rape victims.
But two can play at the 'studies say' game, so in fairness, where did feminists get this 1 in 5 statistic? It seems to have started with a magazine survey in 1985 which asked women a series of questions about their sex lives. The women answered and the magazine determined whether the answer constituted rape. Interestingly, the vast majority of women who were put in the 'raped' camp didn't actually believe they were raped.
A number of other surveys came to similar conclusions about all the rapes on college campuses and among the population broadly, but there are some serious problems with the methods used. For one thing, they depend entirely on the wording of the questions, and for another, they include things like 'attempted forced kissing' and 'alcohol and drug facilitated penetration.'
To be clear, when you cite the 1 in 5 statistic (or 1 in 4 statistic, depending on whatever version you're going with) you are cramming into one category women who are violently gang raped alongside women who felt uncomfortable when a man tried to kiss them.
Did you get that, fellas? If you lean in for a kiss goodnight and the woman denies you -- you're a rapist.
But there's something else. If, as these figures claim, intoxicated sex is automatically rape, or can automatically be rape if the woman regrets it the following day, then by that definition, women are also very likely to be rapists. In the vast majority of cases, especially at college, if one person is plastered and having sex, the other party concerned is equally inebriated. It just becomes a matter of who decides to call it rape tomorrow. Either way, if drunk sex is always rape, or often rape, then every woman whose had sex with a drunk man is potentially a rapist.
How's that for a rape epidemic?
2) Sometimes women lie about rape.
Zerlina Maxwell at the Washington Post infamously wrote over the weekend that we should 'automatically' believe all rape claims. That wording has since been changed but the message is still clear. Women who say they were raped should be believed, no matter what. According to many feminists, either women can't lie about rape or even when they do lie about it they aren't lying about it.
As we've already seen, feminists love fake statistics, so for this particular element of their narrative they like to claim that 'studies prove' only 2 percent of rape claims are unfounded.
Yeah, about that. Here's a funny story you should tell your friends: I did a little research on this figure and came across a Cosmopolitan article (because Cosmo is the first place to go for any serious investigation) which regurgitates the 2 percent number. Shockingly, in a fit of either unwitting honesty or 'I'll just link to the first thing that pops up on Google' journalism, the hyperlink they provided to source that claim inexplicably led to this. That's a PDF of a Loyola Law School report specifically written to debunk the 2 percent figure. It says so right in the introduction:
For at least the last decade, Legal Dominance Feminism (LDF) has been the predominant voice on sexual abuse within legal academia. However, many of its empirical claims regarding the sexual abuse of women are erroneous.
(Hey Cosmo writers, 'erroneous,' in layman's terms, means 'that ain't true.')
The paper goes on to explain that the number of false rape charges probably tallies closer to 20 percent or higher. It's a fascinating read, made even more fascinating by the fact that a feminist blogger tried to use it to prove a point which the study was explicitly designed to debunk. This is the kind of intellectual laziness we're dealing with. Intellectual laziness that leads millions to repeat convenient statistics without taking the time to even halfheartedly ascertain where these numbers originated. If they did, they'd discover that the false rape count appears to have come from an anecdote in a book written by Susan Brownmiller some 40 years ago, which itself just repeated an anecdote from a New York law enforcement official. An anecdote of an anecdote; hardly definitive from a scientific perspective.
Look, you obviously can't place a percentage on false rape claims. By definition, if it is false and never discovered to be false, then it will always be counted as true. Not to mention the many rape claims that never make their way to the legal system but can still harm the accused in immeasurable ways. Moreover, many rape cases are settled through plea bargains, which in the eyes of law represents a confirmation of guilt, but in the eyes of reality might very well represent a man who was afraid of getting the maximum sentence at trial. And what about rape charges that are unceremoniously dropped without the man necessarily ever 'proving' his innocence? How are they counted? And what of these extrajudicial campus rape courts? If a man is exonerated there, does he count towards the 2 percent? Or what if he is, as so often happens, expelled from school based only on the word of the accuser? Can he ever be considered in the false rape category? Whatever percent you conjure up, it will only account for demonstrably unfounded rape indictments.
It's impossible to quantify all false rape claims. Literally impossible.
We are left only, again, with our common sense. A common sense that tells us college campuses, in particular, actively work to generate an environment which encourages false rape accusations. The definition of rape is expanded to the point of meaninglessness, while the burden of proof is placed completely at the feet of the accused. Women are able to launch rape accusation anonymously and without any evidence or fear of repercussion should the charges ever be revealed as unfounded. Fabricated rape stories are definitely a problem, especially at college, because we've done everything imaginable to make them a problem.
Are most rape claims fabricated? No, clearly not. Are a lot of them? Well, it depends on how you define 'a lot,' but I'd say 'a lot' is a pretty safe characterization. In just the past two weeks alone, we've potentially had two high profile false rape claims with this UVA case and the extremely questionable Lena Dunham rape fable. Even by using a very specific and very limited definition for what counts as an unfounded rape claim, the FBI finds that up to 7,000 men a year are falsely charged. Yes, that's based on the same 2 to 8 percent figure, but the point is that by this stringent standard there are still thousands and thousands of unfounded rape accusations every year.
Speaking of which, 3) Rape hoaxers are just as despicable as rapists, and should be treated that way by the Justice System.
That Zerlina Maxwell piece I mention above says that, at worst, a man falsely accused of rape stands to lose a few Facebook friends. That's it. Someone should tell that to this guy, who, along with likely losing several Facebook friends, also spent 31 years in prison for a rape he didn't commit.
It's become fashionable to utterly dismiss the plight of men who fall victim to false rape charges. Last week I wrote something on Facebook pointing out how rape hoaxers are as deplorable as rapists, and here are just a few of the responses:
Michael Milam: You're out of your f**king mind.
Jelena Babić: You're a f**king idiot. Not surprised you think falsely accusing someone of rape is just as bad as being raped though, because you're a privileged man in a position of power/wealth, who will most likely never even grasp the inklings of what rape is like, and why it's not "just as bad". Straight lol
John Graziano Two words: mommy issues. Seek help, Matt.
Rachael LaRock: Anyone who says that being falsely accused of rape is just as bad as being raped....has never been raped.
Eric Brown: Comparing rape victims to people falsely accused is disgusting. A victim of physical violence is much more a victim than someone who is slandered.
Hunter Smith: You are such a g*ddamn f**king moron for saying false accusations are just as horrible as rape.
Christina Victoria Wilson: Idiot
Kelsey Proctor: Let me wipe away my tear for white, heterosexual men everywhere.
Etc and so on.
(Hey, side note: will someone tell Kelsey that black men are often accused falsely of rape, and in fact there is a long history in this country of black men going to jail or getting lynched in the town square based only on the accusation of a white woman? Apparently Kelsey hasn't read To Kill A Mockingbird. A book that is, no doubt, nothing but a pro-rape, victim-blaming manifesto. Also, I wonder if Ms. Proctor would make these snide and flippant remarks about 'wiping away tears for white men' in front of Brian Banks, a football star falsely imprisoned for five years and finally exonerated when the accuser was caught on tape admitting that she fabricated the story. By the way, Kelsey, Brian Banks is a black man.)
These are not people interested in having a reasonable conversation. Obviously rape is a dark and terrible evil. Rapists, if they are truly rapists, ought to go to prison for a very long time. Nobody disagrees with that. Everyone, save for actual rapists, knows that rape is an abomination.
With that said, when you knowingly and intentionally accuse an innocent man of rape, you are attempting to have him locked in a cage for something that he did not do. You are exposing him to the very real possibility of physical retaliation, including rape and murder, for something he did not do. You are, whether he goes to jail or not, stripping him of his dignity, destroying his family, ripping away his livelihood, and forever placing a cloud of guilt, suspicion, and shame around him. That is what a false rape accuser is trying to do. Whether or not she is successful, this is her plan.
So, yes, I say again: that is just as evil as rape itself. Despite the foolish dismissals from some of the people above, rape accusation are more than just 'slander.' They have the potential to completely ruin a man. To take everything from him, including his freedom, and maybe even his life. It's true that I've never been raped, so it is true that I can't know the pain of being violated in such a way. But if you have never sat in prison for a rape you did not commit, you cannot know the pain and fear of that. If you have never seen your family fall apart, your job taken from you, your good name destroyed, and your dignity demolished all because of the lies of a vengeful, vindictive woman, you cannot know what it is like. If you have never been branded a violent sex offender for a sex offense you did not commit, you cannot know the agony of it. Most of us, thank God, cannot know what either situation is like, so why can't we just suffice it to say that anyone in either scenario is a victim of a heinous crime committed by an awful, wretched, morally bankrupted person?
I do not diminish rape, but if you diminish the suffering of those falsely accused, you should be ashamed of yourself.
When you consider what a false accuser is attempting to do to her victim, it's clear that the crime warrants a lengthy prison sentence. Now, we surely wouldn't want to start putting women in jail because they lacked the ability to prove a rape. What I'm saying is that if it can be proven that the woman intentionally lied then, and only then, she should be locked away for the same length of time that the innocent man would have been imprisoned. If it can be proven in a court of law that the whole thing was fabricated.
Admittedly, it's very difficult to prove a lie, so this would only happen in the extreme cases. The majority of the time when false charges are levied, the man may be found not guilty, but that doesn't mean the woman can reasonably be found a fraudster. The Duke accuser could have been and should have been, and should currently be sitting in a cage for her crime. Same goes for the predator who put Brian Banks behind bars.
We should have the ability to toss these reprehensible women in prison for long periods, but that doesn't mean we always would. If it's a woman like this, who staged an elaborate rape scene just to get attention, but apparently never named a specific rapist, the sentence shouldn't be as harsh because no one individual was targeted. Still, it's a serious crime and women like her ought to face serious consequences. If it's a woman like this one, who claims a gang rape and then is exposed by video evidence, the sentence should be even harsher, but perhaps not the harshest because her demented motivations weren't quite as dastardly as, say, this woman, who concocted the story in a vicious and depraved scheme to get revenge on an ex-boyfriend. This is the sort of person who should face years and years behind bars. As it happens, this crime took place in the UK and she was jailed, but I'm not sure for how long.
This lady should have seen the inside of a prison cell also. She was captured on video received oral sex from a man in the middle of the sidewalk at Ohio University. They were both drunk, and she was smiling and laughing while scores of people watched in shock. A few days later, embarrassed by her drunken antics, she accused the man of rape. A ridiculous lie, and charges were soon dropped against the man. The woman knew what she was doing, knew that crying rape could destroy that man, but did it anyway to protect her reputation. That kind of behavior is monstrous and it needs to be severely penalized.
Rape is a wicked and appalling thing. There is no question about that. Nobody is questioning it.
Rape, therefore, deserves serious attention and an honest conversation. It does not need inflated statistics and sensational media stories. Rape is real, we all know that it's real, and until we can have a discussion grounded in that reality, our efforts to stop it will be hindered.
And our efforts to stop fake rape claims have been even more hindered, mostly by the fact that feminists are trying to prevent us from making any effort at all.