Monday, December 6, 2010

Myth: FRS is part of the 'culture that leads many women not to report actual rapes'

Over the weekend, this blog was attacked by a most peculiar blog run by a blogger already given far too much attention by FRS -- but what the hell? -- his name is Bart Calendar.  Because we inappropriately raised his profile far beyond what it deserves, we need to address one more thing this peculiar blogger said:

While probably not the intention of your site, The False Rape Society blog certainly is part of the problem that leads to many women not reporting actual rapes. When they read on your blog that people believe that most rape accusations are false it can not help but create a culture where women assume they will not be taken seriously if they go to the cops. The fact is that women in this society are routinely told that rape is their fault in many subtle and not so subtle ways. Your site is part of that culture.

This broad brush attack, of course, is posited with no authority beyond the writer's angry ipse dixit.  And that is because the only authority undergirding his crass fear-mongering, that insists women don't report their own rapes because they suppose they won't be believed, is its repeated, zombie-like incantation by the gender-divisive purveyors of lock-the-doors, hide-the-daughters Chicken Little rape hysteria, who see sexual predation oozing from every male zipper.  You know, the same folks who encourage young women to displace their anxieties about the consequences of consuming what is in the bottle with rumors of what could be put there by someone with a penis. That crowd.

Under-reporting is a controversial subject because, among other things, it's prevalence is impossible to prove. Significant under-reporting of rape can't be accepted as fact because the entire public discourse surrounding it is so terribly gender-politicized that the truth has been obscured and is elusive at best.  See, J. Fennel, Punishment by Another Name: The Inherent Overreaching in Sexually Dangerous Person Commitments, 35 N.E.J. on Crim. & Civ. Con. 37, 49-51 (2009).

But, of course, the blogger who posited the aforementioned canard likely will dismiss out of hand any evidence to the contrary, or he will try to twist and pound it beyond all recognition.  We recently discussed one source that Bart likely will not dare publicly reject.  At the Specter rape hearings in Washington, Scott Berkowitz, President and Founder of the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), blew the lid off the myths about why women don't report their rapes.

Berkowitz rejected the common consensus that women don't report because they legitimately fear they won't be believed by the law enforcement and judicial systems that have failed them, or because false rape reports are given inordinate attention and news coverage. According to the summary of Mr. Berkowitz's testimony prepared by a well-known feminist:

"On reporting: More victims may not be reporting their rapes, but the reasoning has changed over the past few decades. 'A generation ago,' the reasons were things like, 'fear of not being believed; fear of being interrogated about and blamed for their own behavior, and what they were wearing. In short, they feared that they would be the one on trial.' Today, 'the perception of many victims has evolved.' Now they don't report for these reasons: 'they don't want their loved ones to know what happened; they're ashamed themselves; they just want to put it all behind them.'"

That's from the head of RAINN? Huh? Surely Bart Calendar won't let that get in the way of his victim narrative, will he?

The more pertinent question for Bart is, how does reporting on the false rape phenomenon discourage legitimate rape victims from coming forward?  The stories we report on are about crass liars and vile rogues, women who have nothing in common with rape victims except that they claimed they were raped. What does the one have to do with the other?

We apologize, whole-heartedly, to those people who are offended by the truth.

And, no, we do not focus on the rape problem -- just as we do not focus on baseball, wine, cancer, Beltway politics, or anything else -- because those subjects, worthy as they are of public discourse, are treated elsewhere, in a multitude of places, including many other blogs. 

In contrast, to our knowledge, there is one blog dedicated to giving voice to the falsely accused. Apparently, to people like the angry blogger who attacked us, that is one blog too many.

The lone alternative, and the one obviously preferred by Bart Calendar, is that we keep our mouths shut. Pretend false rape claims are a myth.  And when the New York Times calls a rape accuser a "victim," we should not point out this error to have them change the description, as we have successfully done; we should just let it drop. Or when the BBC asks for an interview, as they've done on various occasions, we should not assist them.  Because, you see, in Bart's world, we can only combat the serious criminality of rape by ignoring other serious criminality.  We can only wage the war on rape by elevating the victimization of one group of citizens over that of another, and by allowing our falsely accused sons to be treated as unfortunate but necessary collateral damage in the "more important" war on rape.  In other words, we must tacitly encourage women to lie about rape with impunity, even though women are not failing to report because they fear they won't be believed.

Today, a letter appeared in the Edmonton Journal in which writer Carlos Alexandre of Edmonton cited our blog. Among other things, he astutely observed:  "Living in a fantasy world where all rape claims are true does little except give opportunists a tool for completely and utterly ruining someone else's life, while simultaneously ensuring less time for legitimate rape cases, regardless of the victim's gender."

I couldn't have said it better.