For anyone possessing the dreaded Y-chromosome who doesn't happen to be a self-loathing male, the following story should get your blood boiling.
A 17-year-old boy, in jail for shoplifting, alleged he was sexually assaulted by his 19-year-old cellmate. Atrocities like this occur frequently behind bars, but this young man did what most men in that situation do not do -- he reported it. For that he should be commended.
But the most startling, and dare I say, disgusting, aspect of the story might just be the reaction of the Sheriff's office, which the newspaper reports.
First, a little context, which is crucial to what I am about to tell you. When a female -- any female -- reports she was raped, how do police discuss it? They call her "the victim," and they tell the local newspaper reporter that they believe a rape occurred. This is so even if the alleged victim claims three, four, or five men raped her -- and each of the men deny the claim. This is so even if evidence exists that will clear the suspects, but the police haven't bothered to examine it yet. The men are locked away in jail, no questions asked, and bail is set sufficiently high to insure they won't get out before trial, or before she recants. The police would never, ever, ever dream of telling a newspaper reporter that they are examinng the claim to determine who is lying, the accused or the accuser. There is no question who is lying: the accused, of course, because a female has accused him of rape.
Newspapers go with the story just as it was given to them by the police by reporting in this manner: "Police say a 17-year-old woman was raped outside her dorm . . . ." Television reporters often describe the "rape" in the most ominous, scary tones they can conjure up. They will find some young women to intervew who will say how frightening it is that there are men out there like "that." It is not uncommon for reporters to call the accuser "the victim."
When a female accuses a male of rape, the rush to judgment to declare that a rape occurred -- by police and the news media -- is often made on the basis of no evidence aside from the female's accusation, which is often far-fetched. Too often, as we see on this website every day, the female's report turns out to be a lie.
Now, contrast that typical scenario with this story. Here is how the newspaper reports this alleged incident -- a rape claim by a 17-year-old boy. Kindly don't gag on your coffee as you read the skepicism -- my comments are interspersed:
The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the abuse claim.
"This is a serious allegation and we're going to conduct a complete and thorough investigation to determine what happened if anything happened,” said Capt. Steve Morris.
Right off the bat, we see a comment that would be so terribly politically incorrect if any female alleged she was raped: ". . . if anything happened." A police officer likely would be reprimanded if he said that about a rape claim alleged by a female.
The young man was given a rape kit evaluation at the hospital and both he and his cellmate have been questioned.
"We have additional interviews tomorrow; we don't expect this to drag out for weeks or months,” Capt. Morris said.
Again, when the penis is on the other foot, so to speak, a police officer would never, ever say that the investigation would be wrapped up quickly -- that would suggest that police are not treating the claim with sufficient gravity, and rape claims by females are grave matters.
. . . .
"These things could happen consensually and not be detected by detention officers, to be sodomized against one's will is also possible,” Capt. Morris said.
Have we ever heard such disbelief expressed regarding a female's claim before evidence was collected? Seriously?
Law enforcement officials are focusing their investigation on whether this act was consensual or not.
The dutiful press runs with it. No talk of the boy being a "victim" in this story, is there?
The young man's father says no matter what, he loves his son.
If his son is telling the truth, his cellmate's sentence could increase by up to 20 years.
If he's lying, he'll face a new charge of giving police false information which could increase his sentence by up to five years.
Can you even imagine if a story about a female's allegation of rape included an assertion that she will be charged if she's lying? Would never happen.
The investigation regarding who will be charged will be announced in the next few days.
Worse are the comments under the story. Victim blaming doesn't apply to males raped behind bars -- they are getting what they deserve.
There you have it. A female alleging rape is a national crisis, and the the male(s) she accused are de facto criminals, guilty until proven innocent. On the other hand, a male alleging rape might have been raped -- or he just as easily might be lying. Rape has become so terribly gender politicized that even questioning a female's rape allegation makes one a misogynist. But a rape claim by a 17-year-old boy in jail for shoflifting? Few people care about him, aside from his father and some of us. His victimization is not equal to the victimization of a female.
There is, of course, something terrible, something immoral about this double standard, and we need to speak up about it.