Saturday, August 20, 2011

Jackson Katz doesn't want us to call Nafissatou Diallo what she is: DSK's "accuser"

Jackson Katz has penned a carnival curiosity of a piece advocating that we stop referring to Nafissatou Diallo as exactly what she is, DSK's "accuser."  See here.

Katz declares: "Every time someone calls her an 'accuser' they undermine her credibility and bolster his."

Alas, Katz's garbled rationale for this strange and fantastic epiphany is nothing more than a cavalcade of tired, politicized incantations, proving once more that it is possible to say nothing with words. 

Katz's solution to the "problem" he has manufactured from whole cloth?  "It's simple: refer to the complaining witness in a rape case as 'the victim.'"

By labeling the accuser the "victim" before a single scrap of evidence has been admitted at trial, Jackson Katz signals that he is nothing more than an ideologue whose pronouncements may be salve for like-minded partisans but add nothing of value to the public discourse on a critically important issue. 

As a matter of course, and for no reason other than that a rape accusation has been made, Katz would rush to judgment and, in effect, declare the accuser's allegation to be factual -- after all, if the accuser is a "victim," the accused must be a rapist.  Such a description does a grave disservice to: (1) the presumptively innocent who are accused of such crimes; (2) actual rape victims, because we trivialize rape when we include among its "victims" women who might only be false accusers.

Among Katz's curious rationales is that use of the term "accuser" somehow fuels "the mistaken impression among the public that it's a 'she said, he said' matter. But it's not. . . . . Ms. Diallo reported that she had been sexually assaulted. But she's not the one who brought the charges. That's what the district attorney did after weighing the available evidence that a crime was committed."

But of course it's a "he said/she said" matter, and Mr. Katz is too smart not to know that.  It is widely accepted that DSK was arrested, charged, and forced to participate in a humiliating, high profile "perp walk" prematurely, without adequate investigation, based solely on the accuser's say so.  This is all-too common, as we saw in the Hofstra false rape debacle and too many others.

In fact, Katz seems intent on igniting yet another discussion about the rush to judgment that has destroyed this presumptively innocent man.  This is well-trodden ground.  Naomi Wolf, Alan Dershowitz, Stuart Taylor, Roy Black and any number of others have written about it, and there is nothing to be gained by engaging a foot soldier from the paid sexual grievance industry, who likely is incapable of anything approaching objectivity, in a dialogue about a matter so important.

Katz grudgingly would accept a "compromise" term between "accuser" and "victim": "alleged victim."

Awfully generous, that Katz.  We should "compromise" between using a term that is, by any measure, perfectly appropriate, and one that is, in this context, patently wrong. Sorry, Jackson, I'll pass on that and stick with "accuser" since that term is both entirely accurate and not in the least offensive to women who make rape claims.

Katz's piece serves no discernible purpose and seems to be the literary equivalent of a hissy fit aimed at this blog especially, but others, too, that have the audacity to remind people that the presumptively innocent have rights and should be afforded dignity as human beings. Heaven forbid!

I don't know about Katz, but I have no idea whether DSK's accuser was raped. (This is in contrast to Susan Brownmiller, best known for popularizing the canard that only two percent of rape claims are false, who declared: "I believe her story." See here.) But my guess is that an actual victim of rape wouldn't care if she is called an "accuser" as opposed to "alleged victim." One thing I am certain about, because they've told me, is that actual rape victims do not appreciate it when rape liars are called "victims." They seem to loathe and detest rape liars almost as much as their rapists. That, of course, is not a concern to Katz.

For the uninitiated, Mr. Katz seems to have a problem with men in general.  He doesn't seem to think much of what he recently called "traditional white male conservatism," and believes that when it comes to sexual abuse, cautioning women to take the well-lit route back to their dorm doesn't get at the root cause of the problem. "The root cause," he said, "is men."  Not "men who rape." Not "men who abuse women." Just "men."  See here.

That tells you all you need to know about Jackson Katz and his misguided agenda.