Friday, May 11, 2012

Not helpful

Someone posted this on Reddit. Members of the community of the wrongly accused don't benefit from this kind of hysteria or grotesque exaggeration. We trivialize their plight, and we build insurmountable gender barriers, when we insist, or even jokingly suggest, that men need to regard every woman as a potential false rape accuser.

Imagine a shirt that said "BACK UP. If you can read this, and we're alone, I can be raped." We would be outraged, and rightfully so.

The vast majority of women and men are offended by false rape claims; the persons most offended, aside from the victims of such offenses, seem to be rape victims themselves, because they understand that every rape lie diminishes the integrity of every rape victim.

The delicate balance that commands us to punish rapists while not punishing the innocent is extremely serious business. We need more sober, more adult, more serious voices to be part of the public discourse on these issues. The last thing we need is more Chicken Little hysteria, no matter which side it's coming from.