flewellyn: (Default)
[personal profile] flewellyn
I posted this on this blog, discussing the 17 year old Oregon girl who, after accusing her boyfriend and two of his friends of raping her, was convicted of filing a false police report; the apparent reasoning by the judge was that, since the prosecution couldn't find enough evidence that the rape had taken place, she was obviously lying. Several commenters on the blog proceeded to do the usual misogynist bashing of women, feminism, and the notion that rape actually happens all that often, and went off accusing women of lying about rape as often as 25% of the time.

Several other people, of course, took them to task for their nonsense, and cited actual statistics showing that the number of rape reports which turn out to be falsified is around 1.6%; nonetheless, I felt compelled to respond, thus:

Aside from the statistics cited above showing that women lie about rape charges in as few as 1.6% of reports, there is a simple, logical reason why assuming that women will lie about rape just doesn't make sense.

Look at what happens to a woman who accuses a man of raping her. Her name is dragged through the mud, her sexual history is questioned, she is slandered with all sorts of vile names by the defendant's supporters, lawyers, and by men of society at large. She is told that it was her fault, that she shouldn't have been doing whatever she was doing when her attacker raped her. She is accused of making it all up, of lying to be vengeful or (if the rapist is rich, such as Kobe Bryant) of seeking money. She faces long odds of getting a conviction; in Oregon, apparently 10% of reported rapes result in a conviction. Rape being one of the most underreported crimes there is, the real numbers are surely much higher.

She receives all kinds of "advice" from people which can be summed up as "don't have a social life, don't ever drink, don't go out of your house, and if you still get raped, it's still your fault". Her family and friends may well abandon her, or even turn against her. Her religious community may well turn their backs on her, as well.

Given all of this, what sort of logical reason would there be for women to lie about being raped? The 1.6% who apparently do, I would surmise, are probably mentally ill; otherwise, anyone sane would realize that accusing a man of rape is extremely difficult and has all kinds of social and psychological penalties, whether he is convicted or not. The man accused, or even convicted, of rape has many allies in society, many people trying to excuse what he did, or blame it all on the woman. Look at how many people today still think Desiree Washington was just a golddigger, even after Mike Tyson was, in fact, convicted.

Quite simply, sane people do not lie if there is no benefit to them in doing so. And the simple fact is, lying about rape has no benefit for women. So, given these facts...who would benefit from lying about rape? If it's not women, then who?
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