Thursday, February 2, 2012

Harvard woman pooh-poohs false rape claims

It is called The Myth of False Accusal and it was written by a woman named Emma Wood. Go read it.

FALSE RAPE SOCIETY'S COMMENT:  There is so much wrong with this op-ed, it is impossible to know where to begin. Let us start with the most astounding assertion of all. Ms. Wood posits, presumably with a straight face: “I am convinced that no umbrella definition of sexual assault can exist. Just as each person defines his or her sexuality for him or herself, each person defines sexual assault on a similarly personal level.”

You see, in Ms. Wood’s world, sexual assault isn't a crime that needs to be defined with sufficient due process specificity to put the accused on notice of the conduct it proscribes. It is a 1970s mood ring, a free floating clearinghouse to redress any sexual encounter deemed unsatisfactory at the caprice and whim of a self-anointed victim. It is rape-in-the-air, and innocent men had better beware. That tells us all we need to know about Ms. Wood.

It is not surprising that Ms. Wood blithely dismisses the prevalence of false rape claims. When she discusses the wisp of an accusation that has smeared Patrick Witt, she castigates her friends for rushing to assume the accusation is false and concedes “that no one is currently in any position to accuse Witt of rape.” Yet, she unwittingly reverts to language discounting the possibility that Mr. Witt was falsely accused. She brands the accusation – about which we know next to nothing -- as Mr. Witt’s "less heroic side" and calls his accuser "the victim." This, of course, blinks at the fact that if the accuser is a "victim," Mr. Witt must be a rapist, and if Mr. Witt happened to be falsely accused, there is nothing “less heroic” about that.

Wood’s piece implodes when she slinks into the easily-mouthed clichés of radical feminism: “[W]e should ask what kind of society we have constructed if false rape accusations are considered a likely and easy mode of retaliation. To me, this pervasive fear points to a world in which men are aware of an unearned cultural dominance. Since they know their authority has not been obtained but inherited, they fear losing it to a resentful woman, whose only tool in their eyes—one to be used for good or for evil—remains her sexuality.”

Well, at least she’s up front with her misandry. Ms. Wood’s gender divisive op-ed is offensive to the community of the wrongly accused. By any measure, denigrating the experience of the wrongly accused by dismissing them as a myth or as unworthy of our discussion is not merely dishonest but morally grotesque.