In false rape case after false rape case, innocent young men are arrested and even charged with rape on the basis of a lone accusation. In more cases than we can count, the charges are dropped only after a video or other tangible corroborating evidence of innocent surfaces (Hofstra and Brian Banks are just two of the more prominent ones in recent years, but there are many, many others). In recent years, our laws discarded the requirement of corroboration to bring rape charges, but in some sense, the old law is now flipped on its head: now, too often, the presumptively innocent need tangible corroborating evidence that proves their innocence in order to be cleared in cases of rapes that didn't happen.
Roxanne Jones recently wrote a column about advice she gives her son in college to avoid being ensnared by a false rape claim. She wrote: "Never have sex with a girl unless she's sent you a text that proves the sexual relationship is consensual beforehand. And it's a good idea to even follow up any sexual encounter with a tasteful text message saying how you both enjoyed being with one another -- even if you never plan on hooking up again."
Naturally, Ms. Jones is being unjustly attacked for her views. You see, she engaged in "victim blaming" by having the audacity to express concern about false rape claims when rape is such a serious problem on campus. See here.
By applying this logic, does that mean we shouldn't talk about multiple sclerosis because cancer is a more serious problem? I mean, don't we encourage our sons to buckle up even though the chance of a deadly head-on collision is rare?
Others come right out and declare false rape claims to be a myth: "We need to stop telling our sons that false rape accusations are a thing, because they're not."
The writer should try telling Brian Banks and the other men (and women) we feature on this blog that what happened to them isn't "a thing." They will be surprised.
Another writer ridiculed Jones' advice by sarcastically branding it "empowering and romantic." It is "degrading for both males and females" she declares.
Our guess is that Ms. Jones' attackers do not consider "degrading" the rules adopted by many colleges that restrict how consent can be proved. For example, Elon University requires consent be proved with "a comprehensible, unambiguous, verbal, positive and enthusiastic statement of consent for each sexual act." Underlying both that policy and Ms. Jones' advice is the belief that it is prudent to evidence consent to sexual relations with something more than the body language of students in the throes of passion. So why are those college policies widely applauded and deemed politically correct while Ms. Jones' advice is attacked? The difference is that those college policies are intended to protect women from potential rape while the advice given by Ms. Jones is intended to protect young men from false rape claims. And therein lies the difference.
We are stranded in an era where anyone who dares to speak up for the rights of the presumptively innocent is demonized with terms like "victim blaming," even when those terms have no application. Need some examples? Don't read these on an empty stomach: see here and here and here and here and here and here.
And that's exactly what's going on here: Roxanne Jones dared to speak up for the presumptively innocent, she dared to talk about the real possibility of false rape claims, so she was demonized. She assumes her son would never rape a woman, but she knows that false rape claims can destroy lives.
Once, the brilliant Prof. Alan Dershowitz dared to discuss false rape reports in a Harvard Law School class. He was accused sexual harassment for doing that. How truly sad if Ms. Jones -- a mother concerned about her son -- is shamed into silence by political correctness.
Alas, outside the little bubble where Ms. Jones' attackers exist, we think it is likely that most people agree with her. See the decidedly unscientific poll found here.
It is possible, and proper and just, to advocate for the victims of rape by not trivializing the victimization of the wrongly accused. Perhaps when one of these writers attacking Ms. Jones has a son who is subjected to a false rape claim, they will realize how wrong they were.