Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Outrage over humiliation for strip search victim; no outrage for humiliation of men and boys subjected to physical exams after being falsely accused

The Washington Post reported that the United States Supreme Court heard argument yesterday on whether school officials have the right to strip-search a 13-year-old female student to find a prescription medication. The article summarized questioning by the Justices, and noted the following:

"[Justice] Ginsburg was also the toughest questioner of [Phoenix lawyer Matthew W. Wright, representing school officials and the school district], calling the events of the day 'humiliating' for Redding and saying school officials searched her on the basis of the other girl's accusations 'with no questions asked at all.'"

Hmm, strip searched on the basis of another girl's accusation. Sounds pretty awful, doens't it? That one person could have such power over another person -- to use the apparatus of the state to humiliate her by forcing her to be strip searched.

Now where have I heard of such things routinely happening? Except no one complains about them aside from a handful of us?

Wait! I know! The false rape context!

Like the man who was forced to undergo a full medical exam on the basis of nothing more than a woman's accusation, and then two weeks of hell. Turns out the woman lied he had raped her because she was afraid of what her boyfriend might do if he found out they were having an affair.

Or the cab driver who was arrested and subjected to an intimate medical examination on the sole basis of a lone woman's accusation. Thankfully, modern technology -- here a video camera -- showed the woman turn into a "victim" only when police were coming.

Or the innocent 27-year-old ex-husband who was arrested, strip-searched, forced to give intimate samples, and held for 16 hours -- this unspeakable humiliation was caused entirely by the false accusation of his ex-wife.

Or the innocent 20-year-old ex-fiance of a false rape accuser who was arrested, put in a cell, and forced to have an intimate swab taken, as well as DNA, fingerprints, a cheek swab and a photo.

Or the innocent cab driver who was arrested on the basis of a false accuser's word, and taken into custody where intimate samples, DNA and fingerprints were taken.

Or the innocent man who was a complete random stranger to his false rape accuser who was arrested, held in a cell for 22 hours, interviewed and given an intimate forensic examination.

Or the two innocent men who were arrested on the sole basis of a false rape accuser's word, forced to undergo medical examinations and to give intimate samples before being released on bail.

And I could go on and on. Those are just a handful of recent cases where young men were subjected to bodily humiliations, all because someone accused each of them of a vile sex crime.

I agree with Justice Ginsburg about the girl in this case, but I can't help but think -- why is there no outrage for the falsely accused men who are routinely humiliated in far worse ways -- on the basis of nothing more than one false accuser's word?