Thursday, July 8, 2010

Women MPs launch a fusillade of distortions and a broadside of misandry in opposition to anonymity for the presumptively innocent

Before we discuss the hateful comments of female MPs opposed to limited anonymity for presumptively innocent men accused of rape until they are charged, let us recap the truth about the proposal for anonymity:

Anonymity does not send a message that rape victims should not be believed any more than anonymity for rape accusers sends a message that rape accusers should be believed over the men and boys they accuse. The message conveyed by this very limited anonymity policy is that the harm of publicly identifying falsely accused men is unconscionable, because a rape claim is loathsome and because, once a rape claim is alleged, unlike other allegations of criminality, it is nearly impossible to disprove.  The policy granting limited anonymity does not suggest that any particular percentage of rape claimants are liars.

Women will not stop coming forward to report rape even when the accused are anonymous. After all, women continue to come forward now even when the accused is a teen male who is legally anonymous.

In fact, it is likely that more women will come forward if men are anonymous. When women cry rape and the man is identified, it often isn't difficult to infer who the accuser is. It is reasonable to assume that most rape victims would prefer not to have their identities revealed by inference.

Now, for the female MPs who oppose anonymity:

I am dumbfounded.

It is very, very disheartening to learn that the House of Commons divided on gender lines, not party lines, when it came time to discuss the very modest proposal to grant anonymity for presumptively innocent men accused of rape until they are charged -- not convicted, just charged -- of rape. We are more than disappointed that women who do not identify as feminists have chosen to cast their lots with persons who have practiced misandry on a host of issues. 

The comments of these women are despicable.  None of them acknowledge the singular harm to innocent men falsely accused of rape caused by publicly identifying them. None of them acknowledge that because a rape claim is widely regarded as the most loathsome allegation in our entire criminal jurisprudence, and because a rape claim is nearly impossible to disprove, it casts a lasting stain and a terrible stigma on innocent men that is unique in our culture.

Let us examine the assertions of the women MPs.  The misandry at play here is unspeakable:

"Shadow minister Maria Eagle said official figures show more than 2,000 women are raped every week and between 75% and 95% of incidents are not reported."  See here.

For the Tories, Sarah Wollaston, a former forensic medical examiner for Devon and Cornwall Police, said that the "vast majority" of rape crimes went unreported for fear of reprisal, not being believed, misplaced feelings of guilt, or wanting to forget.  See here

Louise Bagshawe, Conservative MP for Corby, said that by: "singling out rape in this way ministers are sending a negative signal about women and those who accuse men of rape". See here

Yvette Cooper, shadow minister for women and equalities, said: "It's deeply disturbing that the Government is pushing ahead with these controversial plans which could prove so damaging for rape convictions without any formal consultation. "Again the Government's failed to give any reason why rape should be treated differently to any other crime – and chose, instead, to send out the very strong signal that women are not to be believed."  See here

By giving defendants anonymity in rape cases alone, ministers are in "danger of sending a clear signal to victims: you will not be believed," said Maria Engle. See here.

Anna Soubry, a Tory MP, warned that the Government’s plans could leave the Conservative Party open to the accusation that it did not believe in the "proper prosecution" of people accused of rape. See here.

The deceit, the Chicken Little fear-mongering of these women is stunning beyond words.  The assertions about unreported "rapes" is a grotesque distortion of the facts. To suggest that we "know" how many actual rapes go unreported is simply a lie.

The suggestion that anonymity for the presumptively innocent until they are charged will somehow discourage women from reporting isn't just a leap, it is a Saturn V moonshot.  It is so terribly reckless, so flat-out dishonest, that it deserves nothing less than the badge of fraud.

What is behind the misandry?  These women can't stand the fact that men dare call members of their gender "victims" in an area where women have arrogated victimhood for themselves. 

You've let us down, ladies. You've let us down.