The Terrible Terror

Apparently, there are some [television] writers out there who think that their audience is somehow clamoring for more quips about abuse. | Rape, Television, Writer,

The petrifying fear of false rape accusations

For some men, there are few things more terrifying than the possibility of being falsely accused of rape.

I don't think they're terrified of being falsely convicted of rape. It's not a fear of going to prison or even going to trial, of sloppy police work or of an eyewitness misidentifying the . The fear is that a woman is going to lie. Not just about who attacked her but that the attack even happened. That this is what most women, maybe all women do, and that they do it at the drop of a hat.

Of course, false (and mistaken) accusations do happen. It's rare; completely false accusations for most crimes are rare. But the fear of the woman lying about rape dominates the issue in the way fake accusations of murder or theft don't.

One Islamic religious rule, for instance, is that it isn't rape unless there are four male witnesses to testify so. In the U.S. it was once standard for judges to warn rape juries that rape is "an easy charge to make but a hard one to disprove" so the jury should be extra, extra, extra careful about convicting (I've read articles complaining this should still be the standard). "Men's rights" writer Warren Farrell claimed in one of his books that more than 80 percent of rape victims hadn't actually been raped; I've known guys who put it at 100 percent. Even one pro-rape website (not a direct link) that acknowledges most rapes aren't reported simultaneously asserts that innocent guys are falsely accused all the time.

The reason women are supposedly such liars varies with the teller. A common one (Farrell's view) is that they cry rape for revenge after their boyfriend dumped them or the one-night stand didn't call again. Another is that the woman crying rape is just a hooker who didn't get paid. According to George Will, women cry rape because they get showered with attention and fringe benefits.

Right-wing pundit Mona Charen takes the view that a woman who reports date rape is just in denial about being a tramp. She had a one-night stand, woke up the next morning and realized she was now a filthy little slut, so she told herself and the authorities it was rape (the "buyer's remorse" theory).

I've seen TV shows and movies over the years that present crying rape as just something women do to manipulate men, a convenient tool in their arsenal. Guy pisses you off? Say he raped you. Cop asking too many questions about the murder-of-the-week? Scream rape. Want to get revenge? Say he's a rapist. These stories exist in a parallel world where despite the frequency of fake rape charges, everyone's still going to believe the victim.

I suspect part of the fear of false accusations is a fear of real accusations. Of a woman crying rape in circumstances where the guy, or society, thinks he's entitled to a free pass. After all she wouldn't have worn that slutty skirt if she wasn't looking for sex, so how can she cry rape if some guy gave her what she wanted -- unless she's a liar.

She went to his apartment, so obviously she wanted to get laid. And now she's saying he raped her? What a liar!

Punishing a guy for doing what comes naturally is an attack on manhood itself (according to the Wall Street Journal's James Taranto). Boys will always be boys, it's the woman's fault if she makes herself vulnerable. Calling the guy a rapist just ruins his reputation!

Besides, how in the hell is a guy supposed to get laid if he has to worry about consent, and whether she'd have wanted if she'd been conscious, and crap like that? Calling it rape, that's an outrageous lie!

If a man is seriously worried that his partner might look at his actions the next morning and think he's a rapist, maybe the problem isn't with the woman.

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Updated Jan 2, 2019 12:27 PM EST | More details


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