Monday, April 27, 2009

A false rape accusation is good for innocent men; it teaches them a much-needed lesson

As reported earlier here, Cpl. Daniel Smith has been acquitted of rape in the high profile Subic rape case by a decision of the Philippines Court of Appeals. Cpl. Smith, who was convicted in December 2006 and has been in detention ever since, was immediately released and came back to the United States -- likely as fast as he could (and good for him).

In Manila, a newspaper asked for reactions about the Court of Appeals decision. "What can you say about the acquittal of Lance Cpl. Daniel Smith by the Court of Appeals?" Most of the reactions were respectful of the judicial process and of Cpl. Smith; some were not. Here is my own particular "favorite" reaction:

Eddie Yap, Kabankalan City: I am glad that Smith has been acquitted by the Court of Appeals. I think the guy has learned his lessons and his acquittal will put him in the right track to become a better person if ever he’s guilty. The accuser’s testimony has many loopholes and I believe Lance Cpl. Daniel Smith is just a victim of circumstances in this controversy.

That's right, Eddie. That false rape claim, and two plus years in detention, surely have taught this innocent young man a well-deserved lesson; it will put him on the right track. This, of course, is reminiscent of our all-time favorite quotation, found in a 2001 Time Magazine article:

"[Vice President of Vassar Catherine] Comins argues that men who are unjustly accused can sometimes gain from the experience. 'They have a lot of pain, but it is not a pain that I would necessarily have spared them. I think it ideally initiates a process of self-exploration. 'How do I see women?" "If I didn't violate her, could I have?" "Do I have the potential to do to her what they say I did?" Those are good questions.'"

Yep. A false rape claim, and a few years in prison, are good for innocent men -- teaches them a lesson. Teaches them to respect women better.

The fact that no sane or moral person would ever suggest that inflicting criminality on a woman is "good" for her is completely beside the point. Men are different. Men, as a class, need to be tamed so that they treat women better, don't you know. And, damn it, a false rape allegation is just what is needed to initiate that process of self-exploration that every totally innocent Y-Chromosome-bearing human requires.

Assuming, of course, that he isn't killed in prison before he can begin that "process of self-exploration."