Sunday, August 16, 2009

Comment at Reddit/MensRights Board is an indication of the struggle that confronts us

In response to a link to False Rape Society on social news network Reddit, a reader said this: "it'll be pretty sad when the men that are falsely accused of rape reaches 10% of the amount of guys who commit rape who never get charged for anything. when false rape claims get to 10% of real rape non-claims i'll start to become interested."

Did you get that?

Read it again to capture the full flavor. This comment manifests nothing less than contempt for countless false rape victims -- many of whom suffer greatly by having been falsely accused -- by stating that the reader isn't even "interested" in their victimization, and that he or she is not "sad" about it, because for reasons the reader doesn't bother to explain, he or she assumes that false rape claims are rare compared to rape claims.

It is difficult to know where to begin to respond to this worldview. We can be fairly certain that nothing we say will change his or her mind.

Two obvious points need to be stated: first, the reader's assertion is, of course, akin to saying that he has no sympathy for victims of a rare disease because it is not as prevalent as another disease. (I think readers of this blog can imagine how seriously I take someone who makes such utterly hateful and inane assertions.) As we have frequently noted, the mere allegation of rape by any female, without any other evidence and no matter how far-fetched, invites a man's name to be splashed all over the newspaper, TV, radio and Internet for the world to titillate at the details of his humiliation. Men and boys falsely accused of this vile crime have been beaten and killed and have killed themselves; they've been fired from their jobs and lost their businesses; they've lost their wives, their girlfriends and their long-time friends. Rarely do they ever come out of it whole, and for many, the ghost of a false rape claim trails them for the rest of their lives. In contrast, the accuser retains lifelong anonymity, either by law (UK) or, among news outlets, as a courtesy and bow to political forces that insist on it (US).

Second, the comment is premised on a fact that the reader does not support because he or she cannot support it.

I can support my position. I do it constantly, as readers of this website know. I invite this misguided reader to dive into the section on the right of my website called "False Rape Claims Primer," starting with Professor Kanin's report.

In case you are looking for the hateful diatribe on Reddit, I've deleted it -- I can better monitor comments that slander the falsely accused on this site.

And by the way, the writer claims to be "a guy."

Heaven help our gender when we can hate one another like this!