Friday, November 5, 2010

How Did Women Become the Primary Victims of False Rape Reporting, A Crime That Almost Exclusively Targets Men?

UPDATE: Before you read the post below, consider this breaking news story: A woman claimed she was attacked and raped in a park, but it was later discovered that she had actually been more than 20 miles away at the time.  She has been sentenced to 16 months in prison for her lie. According to the news report: "The allegation led to a lengthy police investigation and at one stage a young local man was arrested on suspicion of the offence." Her defense solicitor claimed "that the arrest of a man had been due to an unfortunate coincidence . . . ."  In passing sentence -- and pay attention to this -- the Judge pointed out that the false accuser's lie "had led to thousands of hours of wasted police time and the arrest of an innocent man.  He said the most serious aspect though was the fact that false claims of rape had the potential to harm the investigation and prosecution of genuine sexual assaults."  (Emphasis added.) 

Moreover: "Following the sentencing, Detective Inspector Fran Breslin said: '[The woman's] actions not only caused considerable and unnecessary alarm to the local community but also undermine the ordeal real victims of sexual assault and rape go through.  'Such offences can have a devastating effect on people, many of whom are too frightened to come forward. I would like to reassure those victims that they have nothing to fear in reporting genuine offences to us and we will always thoroughly investigate such crimes.'"

It is a fascinating and most troubling manifestation of the imaginary "rape culture" that when the crime of false reporting of rape is focused on, it is typically done so through a gynocentric lens that blinks at the harm it causes innocent men and boys.

This crime is unique among all crimes on the books because virtually the entire public discourse about it is dominated by persons who insist it is not a serious public threat to its victims. Sexual assault counselors and members of what can aptly be called the feminist sexual grievance industry routinely refer to false rape claims as one of the so-called rape “myths.”

When a false rape claim is reported, it is often discussed as if it were an "aberration" even though it isn't. Funny, this blog reports daily on these "aberrations."

News reports about false rape claims take on an almost surreal cookie-cutter redundancy. Police and judges routinely are quoted as adopting a near-indifference to its male victims, instead choosing to point out that the false accuser has wasted valuable police time.

More disturbing is that news accounts often only bother to mention halfway or three quarters into the article that some hapless male was arrested and jailed and had the horrible charges hanging over his head for months.  Instead, higher up in the story, the news reports focus on the fact that some police officer, sexual assault counselor, or judge chided the false accuser for the greater harm she's caused -- not to the man or boy wrongly accused -- but to phantom, hypothetical, unknown, even unborn women whose reports of real rapes might be, could be, may be, potentially will be, looked upon with suspicion because of the lie.  The one thing that a judge is rarely heard to say in these cases is the following: “I need to make an example out of you so that women will stop falsely accusing men of rape.”

As but one of many, many examples, in one case we reported here, a judge branded a woman’s false rape claim a “wicked” lie but then made clear that the person most victimized wasn’t the man she wrongly accused but rather the hypothetical rape victim whose ordeal might be less likely to be believed because of her lie: “The most serious aspect is that you have done womankind no good at all. Every time a woman makes a false allegation of rape you let down the women that make true allegations and cause suspicion that another person is making it up. That is the evil of what you did - it undermines the whole process.”

This attitude is symptomatic of a politically correct culture run amok. A stunning example of this peculiar exercise in misandry, where the falsely accused are regarded as nothing but collateral damage in the war on rape, is found in a 2003 Cosmopolitan Magazine article by former New York prosecutor Linda Fairstein, someone who really ought to know better. Read this and cringe:

"Having worked in this field for decades, I've found this phenomenon [of false rape claims] especially painful to witness. Innocent men are attested and even imprisoned as a result of bogus claims, and the precious resources of criminal justice agencies are wasted. But most appalling is that these falsehoods trivialize the experience of every real rape survivor."

The "most appalling" thing is that false rape claims "trivialize the experience of every real rape survivor"? More appalling than sending innocent men to jail? More appalling than destroying their lives with a lie? In fact, it's Ms. Fairstein's inane comment that's appalling because it trivializes the experience of the falsely accused. It treats the falsely accused as nothing more than flotsam, unfortunate carnage in the war on rape.

Why this bizarre situation, where the most direct victims of the crime are treated as afterthoughts?  Although false reporting of rape is a crime whose victims are almost exclusively male, it has become so embroiled in the feminist sexual assault milieu that discussing it as a potentially significant problem for men and boys is verboten because such view does not conform to the metanarrative of those who control the discourse about rape.

While it is unjust, misandric, and factually absurd to recast false rape reports as yet one more supposed factor that contributes to the so-called "rape culture," it is well to note that every rape lie does serve as a reminder that -- let us be blunt -- women do lie about rape.  There is no evidence that such lies put off women from reporting, but we have long advocated that women need to be taught to treat the word "rape" as sacrosanct, to use it only when it is legitimate. This blog has supporters who were raped and who loathe false accusers almost as much as their rapists.

It does not bolster the integrity of actual rape victims to insist that false rape claims are a myth, but that, hey, even if they happen, they're not a serious problem to the very persons they victimize. Such an attitude serves only to trivialize and, in turn, encourage, false rape reporting.  Until false rape reporting is treated as exactly what it is -- a serious matter that too often destroys the lives of innocent men and boys -- it will not be taken seriously, and women will continue to lie with impunity.