Friday, September 18, 2009

Hoftstra false rape case: Just a case of a woman getting a bit freaky and then having regrets

One of my favorite comments on the Hofstra false rape case is found in the comments section under a story about the case at the Huffington Post:

Bdub24 I'm a Fan of Bdub24

I try not to judge people, so I see this as a case of a woman getting a bit freaky and then having regrets. It happens, and it's unfortunate she chose to go the route she did afterwards without fully thinking about the ramifications of the accusations. It seems she felt it was the only option she could take in order to avoid being negatively talked about or judged. Lessons to be learned all around...the young woman, the dudes, and likely police department professionalism.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/09/17/hofstra-gang-rape-hoax-st_n_289774.html?show_comment_id=31221463#comment_31221463

Let's examine this peculiar specimen more closely, shall we?

"I try not to judge people . . ."

But that's exactly what you're about to do, isn't it? You're about to judge a false rape accuser who, by any objective measure is a criminal who almost destroyed four innocent lives, as someone who shouldn't be treated as a criminal.

". . . so I see this as a case of a woman getting a bit freaky and then having regrets."

"Getting a bit freaky and then having regrets" is when a girl agrees to go to the prom with a kid who has nose piercings and then worries what her father is going to think when the kid comes to pick her up. This is in an entirely different universe from "getting a bit freaky and then having regrets."

"It happens . . .."

Sure. So did the Manson murders and the Lincoln assassination. Would you say "it happens" about those crimes? Or about rape? Or burglary? Of about any number of false rape claims that end up with someone dying? In any event, if you want to use hackneyed cliches, you might as well go the whole route and just say "it is what it is."

". . . and it's unfortunate she chose to go the route she did afterwards without fully thinking about the ramifications of the accusations."

No, "unfortunate" is when someone forgets a dentist appointment. This was a lie designed to destroy five innocent, young lives. As for not "fully thinking about the ramifications . . .," what secret, classified information do you possess that provides evidence for this epiphany? She falsely accused five innocent young men of the second most serious crime on the criminal books. Unless you are assuming she's a complete nitwit, she would have to know her lie would get them in a heap of awful trouble. But I think you are right that she probably did not fully think about the ramifications -- meaning, what happens to her if the lie falls apart.

"It seems she felt it was the only option she could take in order to avoid being negatively talked about or judged."

I buy this because that's exactly what I do. Whenever I fear someone might say negative things about me behind my back, to cover up and divert attention, I just tell a lie designed to destroy four or five innocent lives. It is, after all, my only alternative, so how can I be blamed?

"Lessons to be learned all around...the young woman, the dudes, and likely police department professionalism."

"Lessons to be learned": I heard the same thing on an episode of The Brady Bunch when Jan played a practical joke on Peter that ended up getting ink on his hands that was tough to get out.

And I'm glad that among those who should learn a lesson from this, you included "the dudes." Can't ever leave "the dudes" out if we're passing blame around, even if they were the victims. In other contexts, shrill voices would recoil at attempts to blame the victim for her own victimization (they even have a phrase for it: "victim blaming"). But since we're only talking about "the dudes," how could I have a problem with what you've said?