Thursday, May 14, 2009

British study says rape is rampant, false claims almost non-existent -- but look who authored the study . . .

The British print media is all atwitter today because a study has been released revealing that Britain has the lowest rape conviction rate in Europe. It also found that the proportion of false allegations was “extremely low” — ranging from 2 per cent to 9 per cent.

You may be scratching your head, or other portions of your anatomy, and murmuring that this doesn't sound right, given all of the unbiased studies conducted by persons not financially interested in rape that this website has referenced and that show the number of false claims is considerably higher, often hovering in the 50% vicinity.

Scratch no more. Consider that the study’s author is none other than radical feminist Professor Liz Kelly.

Professor Kelly, who is head of the Child and Woman Abuse Studies Unit at London Metropolitan University, has a long-term financial interest in fanning the flames of hysteria about men and rape. She's been doing it for years. If the facts suggested that her current study should come to any different conclusion, she would be calling into question her prior "scholarship," and what are the odds of that happening? The fact that the British print media considers her to be worthy of deference on these issues is astounding given her extremist, gender-divisive views.

But don't take our word for it. Consider the good professor's own words. And as you read the following, ask yourself if this is someone who should be regarded as unbiased on the issue of rape:

Kelly is quoted in The Hidden Gender in Law (2002) at page 327: ". . . men use a variety of forms of abuse, coercion and force in order to control women. . . . [S]exual violence exists in most women's lives . . .." At pages 350-51: "There is no clear distinction . . . between consensual sex and rape, but a continuum of pressure, threat, coercion and force. The concept of a continuum validates the sense of abuse women feel when they do not freely consent to sex . . . ."

Wait it gets better: Wendy McElroy writes: "There is little clarity to what radical feminists deem to be consent and coercion in sex. Consider a typical definition of sexual violence presented by Liz Kelly in her book Surviving Sexual Violence: 'Sexual violence includes any physical, visual, verbal or sexual act that is experienced by the woman or girl, at the time or later, as a threat, invasion or assault that has the effect of hurting her or degrading her and/or taken away her ability to control intimate contact.' This type of language has become a common guideline for identifying sexual violence. One of many problems with this definition is its subjectivity. The woman need not have felt threatened or coerced at the time of the sex act for that act to be sexual violence. In the light of regrets, the women might conclude later that she had been coerced. Moreover, it relies entirely upon the women’s experience, not the man’s or the totality of the experience."

You see, in Professor Kelly's world, rape is merely a point on a continuum of sexual violence against women that includes words (yes, words) and "pressure" (e.g., have sex with me if you want to continue this relationship, etc.). Never mind that this suggests that women lack the capacity to make their own decisions and that they are not free moral agents, equal to men, who can say "no."

Moreover, men somehow must mold their conduct to fit an amorphous, free-floating, moving target of a subjective and secret whim of a woman's "experience," including, presumably, her after-the-fact, ex-post facto, false and belated hissy fits of regret about having engaged in intercourse. The fact that such a standard, with all its Star Chamber ramifications, furnishes no guidance to the male as to what constitutes "rape" prior to the act is not at all troubling to the enlightened feminists proffering this standard. Due process be damned. Rape occurs when they say it occurs, regardless of whether it actually did, and if we question that "standard," why we "hate" womyn, of course.

And in case you missed it above, sexual violence against women is not just common, according to Kelly, most women are victims of it. She also said: "The fact is, any man can be a rapist."

Kelly had the view, long before this current study, that male sexual violence against women is rampant, indeed implicit in the heterosexual relationship, and that the system doesn't work to protect women: ". . . . rape and sexual assault were depressingly common affecting at least one in four women over their lifetime. . . . . [F]or the majority of young people sex continues to be something men take, with young women’s ambivalence and uncertainty a challenge to be overcome. (Hetero)sexual culture thus reproduces the conditions in which coercive sex is commonplace; an unwelcome message not only to government, policy makers but also many feminists."

What does she think of our judicial system's capacity to handle rape cases? "Professor Kelly warns that the crisis in the courts - those decisive public tribunals - is encouraging despair: 'There is a lot of evidence that something fundamental needs to happen, that the criminal justice system needs to totally rethink the construction of cases in the courts. But it isn't happening. I am very worried that the adversarial legal system and institutional sexism can't deliver justice to women. I don't want to think it, but that's what it feels like." She believes that "the police will need to run the whole process differently'." And: Professor Liz Kelly, said: "Women are more likely to be victims, particularly of sexual crime. There is a combination of many forms of violence. [Women] are hardly served by the system." (Emphasis added.)

What does this mean? Sounds as if she may be advocating changing the trial system for rape to an inquisitorial system whereby both the accuser and the accused would be forced to answer questions posed by the court on a charge of rape (-- yes, it really does sound like the Spanish Inquisition). She would not be alone in advocating this -- it's a position other extremists have adopted. In the U.S. and the UK, of course, a defendant currently has the cherished right not to testify and to question his accuser. But why should any fundamental rights apply to men accused of rape? The goal, after all, is to jack up rape conviction rates.

Or, perhaps the good professor advocates turning sex into presumptive rape based merely on a woman's accusation -- so the male would have the burden of proving consent.

I shudder to think what she might have in mind.

The bottom line is this: do you really think this woman should be heading up a study about the prevalence of rape in the UK? Do you really think she has any concern for men falsely accused of rape? Remember the case where a man was cleared of raping a woman after a jury accepted found that he was sleepwalking during the attack? "Prof Liz Kelly, the director of Child and Women Abuse Studies at London Metropolitan University, said: 'I find it deeply disturbing. As a society we seem to want to find any reason not to name something as rape.'"

Never mind if he really had been sleepwalking. All that matters to people like Professor Kelly is that another predatory male has concocted yet another excuse to rape that yet another jury bought into, right?

We don't need any more politicized screeds promulgated by persons financially interested in spreading the gospel of rampant male predatory misconduct. Studies like Professor Kelly's are intended to furnish a "scientific" basis to effect changes in the law and police practices for the sole purpose of jacking up rape conviction rates. And if some innocent men and boys falsely accused of rape get ground up in the wheels of justice, who really cares?

Common sense demonstrates the dishonesty of any study that suggests that only two to nine percent of rape claims are "false" and that the rest are legitimate, actual rapes. Put aside the fact that every unbiased study ever conducted puts the "false claims" range higher. Let's use their own figures to demonstrate the dishonesty.

In the UK, a small percentage of rape claims -- perhaps 8% -- are very quickly dismissed, due usually to recantations. These are easily classified as "false" by any objective measure. (Why aren't there more? Most rape claims are of the he said/she said variety and don't lend themselves to certainty of this nature.)

On the other extreme, there are a small percentage of rape claims that are prosecuted and that lead to convictions.

In between the obviously false and the claims that lead to conviction, the majority of rape claims are dismissed somewhere along the way because of insufficient evidence (which means there was not enough evidence to make out one or more elements of the crime, even if a trier of fact believed the evidence -- hardly a technicality) or the accuser decides not to pursue the claim or the jury just doesn't buy it.

To suggest that all of these rape claims that fall between the obviously false (due primarily to recantation) and those that end in conviction are, by necessity, "rapes," is dishonest in the extreme. For example, is it fair, or honest, to assume that every man exonerated of a rape charge by a jury is, by necessity, a rapist just because the charge wasn't classified as "false" early on? The question scarcely survives its statement. And what of the claims that never even actually got to a jury -- the vast majority that are dismissed earlier, often due to fatal infirmities in the case -- how on earth can we say that these should be considered "rapes"? Why is it not just as logical -- in fact more logical -- to assume that most of the dismissed rape claims in this middle ground were not actual rapes?

And when you consider the interested and biased promulgator of this study, who seems to have zero concern for the presumed innocent, it is not very difficult to dismiss this study out of hand.

One thing is for certain: Liz Kelly is not the proper person to be conducting studies like this.