Friday, January 11, 2013

Another writer demonizes a congressman who dares to assert that false rape claims happen

A congressman from Georgia named Phil Gingrey was talking about former Congressman Todd Akin's “legitimate rape” comment, and Gingrey said this: "[W]hat [Akin] meant by legitimate rape was just look, someone can say I was raped: a scared-to-death 15-year-old that becomes impregnated by her boyfriend and then has to tell her parents, that’s pretty tough and might on some occasion say, ‘Hey, I was raped.’ That’s what he meant when he said legitimate rape versus non-legitimate rape."

Lock the doors and hide the daughters! That's all that a writer by the name of Zach Beauchamp had to hear. Beauchamp proceeds to brand Gingrey's entirely correct factual assertion about false rape claims a "pernicious falsehood."

"[F]alsely reported rapes are extremely rare — much rarer than unreported rapes, which often happen because victims are afraid of being called liars by people like Gingrey," Beauchamp fumes.

I haven't seen so much straw man since Dorothy met up with Ray Bolger on The Yellow Brick Road.**

Mr. Beauchamp's hysterical overreaction to Congressman Gingrey's factually correct assertion is an affront to the community of the wrongly accused. Congressman Gigrey did not insist that false rape claims are rampant; nor did he insist that false rape claims are "worse" than the rape problem. He merely stated the irrefutable fact that false rape claims happen, and the example he gave is the kind that this blog has reported on many, many times.

Beauchamp proceeds to twist and pound the Congressman's words beyond all recognition and to turn an entirely correct comment into the Oppression Olympics, just so he can make a political point.

You see, Beauchamp was so terribly offended that someone had the audacity to even mention false rape claims that the only way he could respond was to demonize him, to reduce him to caricature, to paint him as a Neanderthal kook.

Beauchamp should tell Brian Banks, or any of the hundreds and hundreds of falsely accused young men we've profiled on this site, that their stories are "pernicious falsehoods."

Better yet, Beauchamp would do well to school himself on the issue first before he writes another inane sentence. He can start with this article, written by women who are anything but far right nutjobs. They underestimate the false rape problem for reasons we've explained elsewhere on this blog many times, but they treat the problem seriously, and they treat its victims respectfully.

And that's a hell of a lot more than Zach Beauchamp has done. Beauchamp owes the community of the wrongly accused a sincere apology.

As a society, we need to move beyond the point where even mentioning false rape claims is enough to exclude someone from the public discourse and have him branded as a hater. At the very least, we owe that to our sons, brothers, and fathers who've had their lives destroyed by false claims. It is time to discuss these issues like mature adults, not childish ideologues.

**Note: Gingrey also stated that, in his experience as a physician, he believed that women become pregnant easier when they are not tense. Beauchamp isn't content to explain that this is wrong, he feels it necessary to treat Gingrey as a misogynist for even having this opinion.  This comment is beyond the scope of our blog. Our concern here is Beauchamp's gratuitous, and morally grotesque, attack on the community of the wrongly accused.