In celebration of the Super Bowl, sexual grievance industry guru Dr. Jackson Katz has made Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger his personal piñata. Don't trust me, read his article and decide for yourself.
Roethlisberger has "a disgraceful record of mistreating women," Dr. Katz harrumphs. ". . . let’s remember that Big Ben is not the victim here. You could even say that he got off lightly, considering that he might have been charged with first-degree rape."
Roethlisberger: Likely False Rape Claim Victim
In fact, Dr. Katz has it exactly backwards. Roethlisberger was likely the victim of a false rape claim.
Please, don't take offense. You may not like Big Ben as a person -- reports of his boorish off-the-field behavior, at least until lately, don't endear him to many people. You might not like his team, and you might especially loathe the so-called Steeler Nation and it's loopy symbol, the Terrible Towel.
But facts are facts. The late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan once said, "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts." Here are the facts about this case: in all likelihood, Roethlisberger was the victim of a false rape claim.
Let's do something that Dr. Katz did not do: review the alleged victim's own statements to police. Those statements suggest the evolving narrative of a woman groping for victimhood.
In chronological order (as previously covered here at FRS): The accuser's (1) "No" in response to a query about whether she was raped, and her "I'm not sure" if she and Roethlisberger even had sex, were later transformed into (2) the accuser claiming she told Ben "I don't know if this is a good idea" before they had sex, which was later transformed into (3) the accuser claiming she told Ben "no, this is not OK" before they had sex, which was later transformed into (4) "No. This is not right. I do not agree to this," and a claim that they did have sex, and that he penetrated her.
The accuser's statements strongly suggest an untrustworthy witness. Longtime University of Georgia law professor Ronald L. Carlson bluntly explained that a defense attorney "would have had a field day" with the accuser on the witness stand because of her level of intoxication and the varying statements she made.
Yet, Dr. Jackson Katz declares, Roethlisberger "got off lightly, considering that he might have been charged with first-degree rape."
Dr. Katz's implication that it would have been proper to charge Roethlisberger with rape is irresponsible in the extreme. Under no circumstance would it have been proper to charge Roethlisberger.
On April 12, 2010, I listened to a live broadcast as Baldwin County, Ga. District Attorney Fredric D. Bright announced that Roethlisberger would not face charges for sexual assault. He explained that the duty of a District Attorney is to seek justice, not merely to convict. He said that the sexual allegation "cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt." Mr. Bright noted that the circumstances did not lead to a viable prosecution. "We do not prosecute morals; we prosecute crimes."
Mr. Bright "gets" it. Dr. Katz doesn't. Mr. Bright understands that a prosecutor is the gatekeeper of justice who should only bring charges, as Prof. Bennett L. Gershman described it, when he or she is convinced to a moral certainty of both the defendant's factual and legal guilt. To bring charges when there is any less certainty does not fulfill the prosecutor's duty to do justice, but invites miscarriages and the possible conviction of an innocent defendant.
Mr. Bright refused to do the very thing that Dr. Jackson Katz implied was appropriate here -- play Russian roulette with a man's life, hoping that an irrational jury would believe there was evidence of rape beyond a reasonable doubt even though there wasn't.
Dr. Katz's grossly irresponsible comments are coated with the odious patina of misandry. He seems intent on scoring points with folks who buy into "rape culture" and the Gospel of the Predatory Male.
But wait. He's not finished. "False reports of rape do occur," Dr. Katz asserts, "but they are rare. A lot of guys think women lie about being raped. They point to anecdotal incidents, such as the Duke lacrosse team fiasco and generalize about how common they think false reports really are. But false reports are rare, approximately 2 to 5 percent."
Sigh. Here we go. We've debunked these assertions -- which can charitably be called "horseshit" -- so often that we won't bother doing it here. See here.
Then Dr. Katz veers off into a sort of feminist Wonderland, making the kinds of cockamamie statements that were common in the 70s and 80s, before massive numbers of men became aware of, and started refuting, these canards. Dr. Katz talks about how difficult it is to bring a rape claim, then asks: "Think about it: why would women willingly bring all of that on themselves under false pretenses?"
Gee, I don't know, Dr. Katz. Why don't you tell us why the following women in the recent past made false rape claims for the reasons specified: the accuser’s boyfriend took too long to buy cigarettes; several women didn’t want to pay cab fares, so they accused innocent cab drivers of rape; a girl wanted to get back at her teen ex-boyfriend — her rape lie not only got him convicted, but two of his friends as well; a woman wanted to get back at her ex-boyfriend for breaking it off, so she falsely accused him of rape and candidly admitted: “I just wanted him to be hurt because of what he’d done”; a young woman wanted her young ex-boyfriend “to feel extreme pain”; a woman sent a man to prison for five years because she was bored; a woman was bent on revenge after a road rage incident; a man refused to give his false accuser a beer; a maid falsely accused her employer of rape because she didn’t like her workload; a girl falsely accused a man of rape for throwing a flower at her; a woman caused three men to be interrogated for rapes they didn’t commit because she wanted a day off from work; and an 18-year-year-old boy was hauled out of class, arrested, and jailed for a month on a random false rape claim by a girl he had never even met.
In fact, women lie about rape for any or no reason at all. Sorry that this irrefutable fact doesn't fit your narrative, Dr. Katz. In this case, as Dr. Eugene Kanin explained, the lie probably "served the complainant['s] need to provide a plausible explanation for some suddenly foreseen, unfortunate consequence of a consensual encounter, usually sexual, with a male acquaintance." How better to explain her stupid behavior to her girlfriends?
But whatever the motivation, women can lie about rape because society doesn't just tolerate false rape claims, it tacitly encourages them by refusing to punish rape liars. It is deemed the price of waging the war on rape.
Since Dr. Katz seems intent on using the Super Bowl as a teaching moment, I have a suggestion for him: focus on the at least six Green Bay Packers who recently were falsely accused of rape.
Let me guess: Dr. Katz doesn't think that case has any lessons to teach.