Friday, March 6, 2009

Who are the real victims of false rape claims? Not the men falsely accused, say the 'experts'

As we've pointed out repeatedly, false reporting of rape may be unique among all crimes because virtually the entire public discourse about it is dominated by persons who insist it is not a serious public threat.

At least not to men.

If it is a threat at all, it’s to the hypothetical, phantom, even unborn rape victims who might be, possibly will be, may be, dissuaded by a false rape claim from coming forward to report their victimization.

It is, in short, a crime typically viewed through a gynocentric lens that blinks at the harm it causes its real victims -- innocent men and boys. News reports about false rape claims take on an almost surreal cookie-cutter redundancy with police typically adopting an indifference to the male victims, instead choosing to chide the false accuser for wasting police time. And police officers, sexual assault counselors and even judges often note that the the "real" harm caused by the false accuser is not to the man or boy wrongly accused, or to other potential males she might accuse, but to these hypothetical rape victims. The one thing that a judge is rarely heard to say in these cases is the following: “I need to make an example out of you so that women will stop falsely accusing men of rape.”

A stunning example of this peculiar exercise in misandry, where the falsely accused are regarded as nothing but collateral damage in the war on rape, is found in a 2003 Cosmopolitan Magazine article by former New York prosecutor Linda Fairstein, someone who really ought to know better. Read this and cringe:

"Having worked in this field for decades, I've found this phenomenon [of false rape claims] especially painful to witness. Innocent men are attested and even imprisoned as a result of bogus claims, and the precious resources of criminal justice agencies are wasted. But most appalling is that these falsehoods trivialize the experience of every real rape survivor."

The "most appalling" thing is that false rape claims "trivialize the experience of every real rape survivor"? More appalling than sending innocent men to jail? More appalling than destroying their lives with a lie?

In fact, it's Ms. Fairstein's inane comment that's appalling because it trivializes the experience of the falsely accused. It treats the falsely as nothing more than flotsam, unfortunate carnage in the war on rape.

Yes, Ms. Fairstein, the harm to actual rape victims is real, but it is not the "most appalling" thing about false rape claims. Not by a long shot.