Saturday, October 9, 2010

Another tiresome waste of time: a radical who insists that 'with rape, doubt is our go-to response even though false reports are as rare as unreported rapes are common'

Nancy Donoval, "a storyteller, story coach and communication consultant based in Minneapolis," has another of those radically tiresome commentaries about rape that insists we accept every allegation of sexual assault as an actual sexual assault, without any consideration for the implications of this rush-to-judgment mentality on the presumptively innocent.  Read it here. 

Donoval refers to the coverage of "the recent sexual assaults" at the University of Minnesota, not "the alleged recent sexual assaults," even though one of the allegations has been classified as unfounded and the others are under investigation.

Never mind that such a mindset does a grave disservice to the presumptively innocent accused of such crimes since, by necessity, they must be guilty if there was actually a sexual assault.  Donoval has precisely zero concern for them, presumably because, in her mind, males in general are getting away with rape all the time, so why concern ourselves with whether these particular males are innocent?

Donoval goes on to explain why so many rapes are unreported: "I was a college freshman in 1979, and I was raped at a frat house. It never occurred to me to call the police. I knew what had been done to me was awful, but I didn't know to call it rape."

So women don't report their rapes because they don't know how to characterize what happened to them, right? 

Well, no. As it turns out, Donoval's own purported personal experience has nothing to do with the story (but thanks for sharing).  Women don't report for altogether different reasons: "Rape still carries a stigma, and that fosters a culture both of silence. Silence and skepticism."

Never mind that the concept of underreporting is too politicized, too nebulous, too uncertain to say if it actually exists.  See here.  The "proof" proffered for underreporting ranges from unreliable to nonexistent, yet underreporting remains the Excalibur of the sexual grievance industry, the secret weapon with magical powers that is whipped out and wielded any time someone suggests the presumptively innocent are deserving of protection.  (And readers of this blog know the real story: thirty years of rape reforms and bending over backwards to get victims to "come forward" have been a waste of time.  Supposedly, underreporting is still rampant, and guess what? It always will be rampant no matter what happens because the sexual grievance industry needs underreporting, and will insist it exists at any cost.)

Getting back to Donoval.  Women don't report because they fear they won't be believed, she says. Donoval then proffers, apparently as proof of this assertion, the fact that the police have just completed their investigation into one of the claims and found it did not warrant prosecution.

"But that doesn't mean there was no assault," she says.

Now, please understand, there is no indication that the police investigation into this claim was in any sense flawed, but that's beside the point to Donoval.  Women are not reporting because police can't find enough evidence to prosecute them.  So, presumably, the only way for women to know they will be believed is for more young men accused of rape to be prosecuted and convicted, regardless of whether the evidence warrants it.  Isn't that the implication of Donoval's rant?  Dispensing with trivialities like due process and the burden of proof for males will encourage more women to come forward and report their alleged rapes. Get it?

Here's what the police said about that particular rape claim:  "We've spoken with everyone we could find, both the people who were interested parties and those who were not, both the young man involved and the young lady involved, and evidence does not warrant criminal prosecution."  And: the fraternity members "were extremely cooperative with us in the investigation. They really did go out of their way to assist us." As for the other alleged sexual assaults: police are still investigating.

So, someone please educate me. How do these incidents advance Donoval's argument?  Why would any presumably intelligent person think that citing an unfounded rape claim, and rape claims under investigation, will in any sense prove her point that that rape is rampant?  When Donoval says "but that doesn't mean there was no assault," the refutation is obvious: it means, madam, that no one -- including you -- can say one way or the other, and it would be grossly unjust to the dreaded males accused to suggest that a rape occurred in these circumstances.

Ah, but wait. Here comes her coup de grace:  "And with rape, doubt is our go-to response even though false reports are as rare as unreported rapes are common."

Just another way of saying that when a rape claim is classified as unfounded, it was almost always an actual rape and should have been treated as such.  The innocent be damned. 

Sigh.  Here we go again.  The same old feminist horse manure they've been peddling since the 70s.

What a tiresome waste of time these people are.