A recent comment on this website asked why we take the false statistic that one-in-four college women are raped "so personally." Of course we don't take that stat "personally." The young writer mistook vigorous advocacy that she can't refute as our taking something "personally." In any event, we thought it would be prudent to state the reason that everyone should be concerned about lies such as one-in-four college women are raped.
Rape hysteria -- the irrational fear that rape is rampant and oozes from every crevice where young men congregate -- is the overarching societal condition that enables false rape claims. Young women know that the very mention of rape instills fear and overwhelming anger in the vast majority of decent people; they also know that virtually any young man who is even accused of this vile act will be considered not just a plausible suspect but a presumed felon. In short, widespread rape hysteria enables false rape claimants to tell a plausible lie.
If a young woman claimed she saw a UFO, or had witnessed a beheading, her claim would be greeted with incredulity absent further proof. But if, without a scrap of further proof aside from her say so, she claimed that the nice college boy down the street who is home on Christmas break -- the boy who goes to church every week and volunteers to help at the homeless shelter and who never gave the first indication he could ever hurt a woman -- raped her, her claim would be presumed true. Tongues would start wagging and, as has happened to so many others, the boy would assume the status of instant pariah. (Need proof? Spend several hours reading the true-life accounts of the men and boys falsely accused of rape on this website.) Young women know they can tap into this overwhelming fear of rape and use it as a weapon to bludgeon innocent men and boys. False rape claims are about power.
The myth of rampant male predatory sexual misconduct is the engine that drives the culture of rape hysteria, and false rape claims are its noxious emissions.
Some hardcore, radical feminists are famous for opining that rape and its indistinguishable counterpart (to them) garden variety heterosexual sex are tools of oppression integral to the patriarchal goal of subjugating females. In the eyes of these twisted persons, marriage turns the vile crime of sexual assault into a institutionalized sacrament, a socially accepted nightly ritual of male tyranny over females. We could string together one quotation after the next emanating from this tiny, marginalized group to support this view and to get the blood boiling of every fair-minded person who happens not to hate men. But we won't because even very few feminists express agreement with those views, which most rational people recognize are nothing short of loony.
Instead, mainstream feminism makes the case for female subjugation by relying on equally disingenuous claims, such as the one that one-in-four college women are raped -- a claim they can only support by narrowing the legal definition of consent to the point that they suffocate it by strangulation, and by insisting that women don't lie about rape. Both premises are absurd. This recent post shows how the one-in-four claim has been debunked.
Whether one accepts the views of radical feminism or of mainstream feminism, both are just two sides the rape hysteria prism. Underlying all of it is the same old fear-mongering that young men are essentially rapists-in-waiting, creatures to be feared and never to be fully trusted. We recalled, and pulled out, an old letter to the Penn State Collegian, which is surprisingly candid on this point and which includes the following observation:
"One woman who attended [a sexual assault program] said she has to assume that all men are rapists until she gets to know them, and the men in the room looked so surprised and shocked. Would you be offended by this? After all, you're not a rapist, and you're probably a very good person. But, she doesn't know that. Do you blame her? I don't, and I assure you that she is not the only one who feels like she has to be so afraid and untrusting."
The writer goes out of her way to acknowledge that most young men are probably "very good person[s]." Don't be fooled. That's just a rhetorical device to make palatable her misandry and her blatant stereotyping of all men as potential rapists for no reason other than the fact they were born male.
Tell me that's not rape hysteria. And, tell me what other group in our society would tolerate being unfairly stereotyped in this manner? To illustrate the lunacy of this, consider the fact that there are far more young men assaulted by other young men than there are women raped by young men. Does every young man assume that every other young man he meets is an assaulter? The question scarcely survivies its statement. It is lunacy, as is the young woman's assertion in the letter.
The stereotyping of young males as rapists-waiting-to-happen elevates irrational fear over common sense; political correctness over actual thinking; and the cult of female victimization over the facts. Sadly, these attitudes have permeated our culture, and they also enable false accusers to tell their wicked lies.