Tag Archives: rape
“13 Women Who Lied About Being Raped And Why They Did It” ~ Janet Bloomfield

1. Women lie about rape to cover up their infidelity

One night, Nicola Osborne got a bit drunk and ended up in bed with a man and they enjoyed “extensive sexual activity.” The episode was entirely consensual and the two swapped phone numbers after they were through. On the way home, it occurred to Osborne that her husband might not think very highly of her “activities” and she became flustered and visibly upset. When passers-by came to her aid, she told them that she had been forcibly abducted and raped by a stranger, sparking a massive police response to find the rapist. A subsequent DNA test ledhttp://thoughtcatalog.com/janet-bloomfield/2014/12/13-women-who-lied-about-being-raped-and-why-they-did-it/ police to the man whom she had slept with and he was arrested and held for 12 hours. Once the truth came out that the encounter has been consensual, Osborne was charged with filing a false report and sentenced to 18 months in prison. Women lie about rape to cover up their infidelity.

2. Women lie about rape to explain why they are looking at porn

When Elizabeth Coast’s mother discovered her looking at porn on the internet, Coast explained that her actions were the result of sexual abuse she had experienced at the hand of a neighbor. Coast testified that when her neighbor was 14, and she was 10, he had sexually molested her. Her testimony was compelling enough to secure the man’s conviction. He was sentenced to seven years and served four of those until Coast’s guilty conscience became too much to bear and she admitted that she had lied about an innocent man. Coast was sentenced to two months in prison for her lie and must pay the man $90,000 restitution. Women lie about rape to explain why they are looking at porn.

rape culture, anti-feminit

rape culture, anti-feminist

3. Women lie about rape because they are mentally ill

Rosanne England scratched her face, tore her clothing and concocted a story about a man asking to use her telephone and then violently raping her. She gave police a detailed description that happened to match a 59-year-old father of two teenaged daughters who had no alibi as he had been walking his dog in the woods when the rape allegedly occurred. The man was arrested and held for 28 hours until DNA tests finally cleared him. He continues to face suspicion from his neighbors about his guilt. England gave no justification for the accusation other than she suffers from “mental illness.” Women lie about rape because they are mentally ill.

4. Women lie about rape because they feel guilty

Kelly Harwood had a few drinks and decided that sleeping with her friend’s son was a good idea. Upon reflection, she decided that she had betrayed her friend by doing so and reported her friend’s son for rape. She told police that she had been raped while sleeping, and her friend’s son was subjected to an “intrusive medical examination and interviewed under caution.” Two days later, Harwood relented and admitted that she had lied about the rape. She suffers from depressive illness, exacerbated by the amount of alcohol she had consumed. Women lie about rape because they feel guilty.

5. Women lie about rape if the sex is bad

Lynette Lee arranged to meet a man whom she had contacted through a dating site. They went on a date, which ended with consensual sex in a motel room. Lee then reported the man for forcible rape. He was interviewed by police, who then re-interviewed Lee, who confessed to lying about the rape because “she did not enjoy the sex” and “it was bad.” Women lie about rape if the sex is bad.

Janet Bloomfield False Rape  Accuastions

Janet Bloomfield
Rape by regret
Rape Culture

6. Women lie about rape when they fail school exams

Rhiannon Brooker knew her party lifestyle was catching up with her when the law student failed her bar exams. She told her exam committee that her performance was affected by “extenuating circumstances” and had her boyfriend charged with multiple counts of rape and assault, including punching her so hard in the stomach that she miscarried. She faked her own injuries to support the charges. The accused spent 36 days in jail before police confirmed that he was at work and had alibis for each of the alleged rapes. Brooker was sentenced to three and a half years for false allegations. Women lie about rape when they fail school exams.

7. Women lie about rape because of psychiatric medication complications

Katherine Bennett had consensual sex with a national guardsman but then reported to police that he had abducted her from a parking lot, taken her to his house and drugged her and raped her at knifepoint before she was able to escape. The police were able to establish that the story had been fabricated but not before the guardsman lost his job and had his reputation seriously damaged. Bennett’s attorney said that Bennett suffers from depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder and “although her condition and complications from medication were not an excuse for the false report, they were contributing factors.” Women lie about rape because of psychiatric medication complications.

Janet Bloomfield

Janet Bloomfield

8. Women lie about rape when they want attention

Gemma Gregory, desperate for attention from police officers, filed eight false rape charges, accusing seven different men over a period of six years. Former boyfriends were subjected to DNA tests and interviews and huge amounts of police time were wasted so that Gregory could have the attention she craved. After recording hundreds of calls with Gregory, the police arrested and charged her with false allegation offenses. Women lie about rape when they want attention.

9. Women lie about rape to get sympathy

Linsey Attridge was having some relationship problems with her boyfriend and needed to win some sympathy from him. She trolled Facebook and found a picture of a 26-year-old man and his 14-year-old brother whom she had never met and reported them both for a violent rape. To make her story more credible, she punched herself in the face, ripped her clothing and told police that the two men had broken into her house while her boyfriend was away and subjected her to a brutal attack. Both were arrested and had their lives turned upside down as word of the charges spread throughout the community. Attridge eventually admitted to making the whole thing up and was sentenced to 200 hours of community service. She has never apologized. Her boyfriend dumped her. Women lie about rape to get sympathy.

10. Women lie about rape to make boyfriends jealous

Hannah Bryon was mad at her boyfriend for breaking up with her. Wanting some attention from him and to make him jealous, she told him that a man whom she had been flirting with attacked her on a bridge, raped her and then threw money at her to get a taxi. The man whom she identified as her rapist was arrested and put through a stressful examination and questioning but was able to provide police with evidence that he had not attacked Bryon. Bryon was given a suspended sentence and 150 hours of community service. Women lie about rape to make boyfriends jealous.

rape culture

11. Women lie about rape for revenge

When Cori Lynn Osiecki’s boyfriend broke up with her and started “spreading rumors,” she decided to exact revenge on him by filing a rape charge. She was taken by ambulance to the hospital, where a rape kit was collected and an investigation was started. Eventually Osiecki admitted that she had lied about the assault because she “wanted to get back at him.” Women lie about rape for revenge.

12. Women lie about rape because they are “moody”

Isabella Himmel was at a bar and her friend wasn’t paying attention to her, which left her feeling “moody,” so she told another friend that she had been gang-raped by a group of male students at the University of Connecticut. That friend believed her story and reported it to police, triggering an action alert to more than 30,000 students and a considerable amount of distress on campus. Surveillance video, however, showed no attack. Himmel then agreed that she might not have been grabbed by the hair and gang-raped by five men, but she might have been kicked or she might have just fallen. Himmel must complete a program that could lead to the dismissal of the false rape report charges against her. Women lie about rape because they are “moody.”

13. Women lie about rape when their friends get mad at them

Biurny Peguero was extremely drunk, out at a bar with friends, and impetuously accepted a ride in a van with three men. When she realized where she was, she became frightened and hysterical. The men took her back to the bar, and that’s when the trouble started. The friends she had left behind were angry with her and a brawl broke out among the women, who punched and bit one another. When a friend demanded to know if the men had raped Peguero, she said that they had. The bruises she had sustained in the fight with her friends were accepted as evidence of rape, and one man spent four years in jail on the charge. Women lie about rape when their friends get mad at them.

Shockingly, this is not even a complete list of the reasons women lie about rape, but if anything is clear, it is that women do lie

 

….. California activists seek to redefine quiet, consensual sex as rape through Senate Bill 967

California activists seek to redefine quiet, consensual sex as rape through Senate Bill 967 

By Hans Bader

sex week

How does classifying most consensual sex as rape help rape victims?  As a lawyer who has handled rape and sexual harassment cases, I have no idea, but this radical result is what some want to happen in California. In endorsing a bill in the California legislature that would require “affirmative consent” before sex can occur on campus, the editorial boards of the Sacramento and Fresno Beeand the Daily Californian advocated that sex be treated as “sexual assault” unless the participants discuss it “out loud” before sex, and “demonstrate they obtained verbal ‘affirmative consent’ before engaging in sexual activity.”  Never mind that consent to most sex is non-verbal, and that rape has historically been understood to be an act against someone’s will, rather than simply a non-violent act that they did not consent to in advance.  Perhaps in response to the bill, the University of California, on February 25, adopted a policy requiring affirmative consent not just to sex, but to every form of “physical sexual activity” engaged in.

I and my wife have been happily married for more than a decade, and like 99.9% of married couples, we do not engage in verbal discussion before engaging in each and every form of sexual activity.  Indeed, in the first year of our daughter’s life, when she was a very light sleeper (she would wake up if you merely walked into her bedroom and stepped on a creaky part of the bedroom floor), it would have been unthinkable for us to engage in any kind of “out loud” discussion in our bedroom, which is right next to hers (the walls in our house are very thin, and you can hear sounds from one room in the next room). We certainly did not verbally discuss then whether to have sex.  Having sex quietly when you are a parent is a sign that you are considerate of sleeping family members, and have a healthy marriage, not of sexual abuse.

The affirmative-consent bill, Senate Bill 967, does not explicitly require verbal permission to demonstrate consent, although it warns that “relying solely on nonverbal communication can lead to misunderstanding.”  But supporters of the bill are very clear about their desire to require verbal discussion or haggling prior to sex.  The Fresno Bee praised the bill because “it adopts in campus disciplinary cases the ‘affirmative consent standard,’ which means that ‘yes’ only means ‘yes’ if it is said out loud.”  The Daily Californian declared that “the proposal’s requirement that defendants in a sexual assault case demonstrate they obtained verbal ‘affirmative consent’ before engaging in sexual activity makes SB 967  a step in the right direction.”  Since most couples have engaged in sex without “verbal” consent, supporters of the bill are effectively redefining most people, and most happily-married couples, as rapists.  By demanding verbal discussion before sex, they are also meddling in people’s sex lives in a prurient fashion.

Requiring people to have verbal discussions before sex violates their constitutional privacy rights, under the logic of Supreme Court decisions such as Lawrence v. Texas (2003), which struck down Texas’s sodomy law, and federal appeals court decisions like Wilson v. Taylor(1984), which ruled that dating relationships are protected against unwarranted meddling by the Constitutional freedom of intimate association.  It also serves no legitimate purpose, since even supporters of the bill, like Tara Culp-Ressler have on other occasions admitted that sexual violence is not the result of mixed signals: studies show that people who commit sexual violence are almost always aware that what they are doing is against the will of their victims, rather than the assault being the product of “blurred” communications. When I was subjected to unwanted intimate groping as a child, the perpetrator knew quite well that what he was doing was inappropriate. Defining sex as rape merely because there was no verbal discussion in advance trivializes rape and brands innocent people as rapists (including some people who themselves have been sexually victimized in the past).

Disturbingly, it’s not just sex they want to regulate, but also “sexual activity” in general.  The bill may require affirmative consent before multiple steps in the process of foreplay that leads to sex, even between couples who have engaged in the same pattern of foreplay before on countless occasions.  The bill states, “’Affirmative consent’ is a freely and affirmatively communicated willingness to participate in particular sexual activity or behavior, expressed either by words or clear, unambiguous actions. . . The existence of a dating relationship between the persons involved, or the fact of a past sexual relationship, shall not provide the basis for an assumption of consent.” This disregards common sense, since what people intend or consent to is often illustrated by the history or nature of their relationship, such as when courts determine the intent of the parties to a contract by looking at the past course of dealings between the parties.

The bill seems to be based on the false assumption that the more explicit consent is, the more pleasurable the activity consented to is.  But in the real world, the opposite is usually true, and the explicitness of consent is not a good gauge of an activity’s welcomeness.

For example, my wife and daughter never ask for, or seek, permission before they hug me.  Precisely because they know it would be welcome. Explicit consent is unnecessary when something is harmless and unobjectionable (or downright enjoyable, like sex between married couples).

By contrast, grudgingly consensual sex acts, like those between a prostitute and her clients, are generally preceded by explicit discussion and verbal agreement, because one party wants sex, while the other merely puts up with it to obtain money or other benefits.  A verbal request followed by an explicit “yes” often reflects an imbalance in sexual desire between partners, not the ideal in which  both partners deeply want it.  Rather than disrupting the rhythms of a couple’s lovemaking by requiring explicit discussion, these people should recognize that an explicit “yes” is not the ideal. When I told one of my past housemates, a court reporter who has taken depositions in sexual harassment and assault cases, about a similar proposed definition at Harvard, where I got my law degree, she was amazed. She could not think of anything more awkward than being asked point blank for sex by a would-be partner.

In addition to endangering privacy rights, SB 967 also contains provisions that could undermine students’ due process rights, such as mandating a low standard of proof for discipline, and encouraging anonymous allegations, as I explained in a letter published last month in the Sacramento Bee. The bill’s requirements apply not just to public colleges, but also to certain private colleges.

On February 25, the University of California system appears to have essentially adopted most of the requirements of SB 967, in a new policy defining “sexual assault” and “sexual violence,” defining it to include some conduct that is not violent at all.  What concerns me most is that the policy defines “sexual assault” to require “unambiguous” “affirmative” consent prior not just to penetration (which is not always unreasonable if consent is defined to include non-verbal cues as well as verbal responses), but also “physical sexual activity” in general.  Effectively, this might ban foreplay as it commonly occurs among married and unmarried couples alike. Things like vaginal intercourse generally are in fact preceded by non-verbal affirmative permission, since it generally requires physical movements by both parties to facilitate.

But most “sexual activity” falling short of actual intercourse (i.e., foreplay) is not preceded by affirmative permission or consent.  Instead, it is often acquiesced in by the recipient as part of a process of gradual escalation in which each partner engages in a new form of intimate contact that that the other acquiesces in.  For example (and I regret the necessity of providing these graphic examples, which are necessary for the sake of clarity), the husband starts touching or licking his wife’s breasts to see if she likes it and to turn her on, or the wife grabs the husband’s member while in bed with him engaging in foreplay (to get him firm enough for penetration), that might constitute sexual assault under this policy, even if it is welcome and enjoyed.

Why? because it is not preceded by “an affirmative . . .  decision” to consent by the recipient, but rather is initially acquiesced in.  The “consent” follows the activity, rather than preceding it, meaning the activity was potentially non-consensual for at least a brief time before the recipient became aware of it and consented to it.  These activities are essential to foreplay, and are a step-by-step process that would be ruined by explicit discussion at every step (it would ruin the mood, thus defeating the very purpose of foreplay). My wife would be very annoyed if we verbally discussed these things.  Thus, both husband and wife are defined as sexual assault perpetrators by this bill.  Requiring consent in advance under these circumstances is sexually repressive and unfair.  Foreplay is a long progression of steadily escalating intimacy in which each partner alternately initiates and acquiesces  in deeper intimacies, not a sudden act that requires prior discussion.

Yet, the University of California policy says:

“Sexual Assault occurs when physical sexual activity is engaged without the consent of the other person or when the other person is unable to consent to the activity.  . . .Consent is informed. Consent is an affirmative, unambiguous, and conscious decision by each participant to engage in mutually agreed-upon sexual activity. . .Consent means positive cooperation in the act or expression of intent to engage in the act . . . Consent to some form of sexual activity does not imply consent to other forms of sexual activity.  Consent to sexual activity on one occasion is not consent to engage in sexual activity on another occasion.  A current or previous dating or sexual relationship, by itself, is not sufficient to constitute consent. . .Consent must be ongoing throughout a sexual encounter.”

Although this language is vague (at one point, it allows consent to be based on “positive cooperation,” which might extend beyond consent in advance), it clearly defines some sex and sexual activity as sexual assault on campus, even if it would be perfectly legal off campus (it does so even more clearly than SB 967 does).  It does that even though college students are largely adults who have the right to vote, get married, and serve in the military. For example, students have First Amendment rights that are largely “coextensive” with their rights in society generally, as the Supreme Court has indicated in decisions such as Papish v. University of Missouri CuratorsHealy v. James, and Rosenberger v. University of Virginia. (Disclosure: I used to practice education law for a living.).

The assumption seems to be that California’s general definition of sexual assault, which applies off campus, is too narrow.  But this assumption is dubious, and in a few rare situations, the existing California definition of sexual assault may already be too broad.  Men and women involved in sexual relationships learn the intimate preferences of their partners.  As a result, they often know without discussion when their partner desires sex, and can often tell in advance from context whether their partner will welcome a particular sexual act.  For example, the former girlfriend of  a college hallmate of mine at the University of Virginia would sometimes awaken him through oral stimulation, evincing her desire for intercourse, which generally ensued between them without discussion.  Under existing California law, this pleasurable activity is already treated as sexual assault, since a California appellate decision ruled that people cannot consent to future sex while incapacitated.  But every person who heard this anecdote thought my hallmate was a lucky man, not a victim of sexual assault (the pleasure of sex may in some cases be enhanced by the element of surprise).  Thus, the current California legal definition of sexual assault already appears to be too broad, not too narrow, in such situations.

Read more at http://libertyunyielding.com/2014/03/09/california-activists-seek-redefine-quiet-consensual-sex-rape/#8KgKtvSwiu2hqxtE.99

Woody Allen, Feminism, and ‘Believing the Survivor’ By Cathy Young

 

 

The revived sexual abuse allegations against filmmaker Woody Allen have become the newest gender-war battlefield. Renewed claims by Allen’s 28-year-old adopted daughter, the former Dylan Farrow, that he sexually assaulted her more than two decades ago have generated an intense debate about the facts and the issues. Yet some voices, all from the feminist camp, are saying that there shouldn’t be a debate at all: We must “believe the survivor” and condemn the perpetrator. While allegations of child abuse certainly should be taken seriously, the assumption that such an accusation equals guilt is repugnant and dangerous — not only to innocent men but to women too.

Writing for The Nation, Jessica Valenti argues that if we believe Dylan Farrow’s account leaves any room for doubt, it’s because “patriarchy pushes us to put aside our good judgment.” After all, says Valenti, we know that sexual violence against women and girls is pervasive and vastly underreported, and victims come forward at great personal cost.

(MORE: Dylan Farrow Fires Back At Woody Allen’s Denial Of Sex Abuse Claims)

What about the fact that the charges were originally made during a bitter breakup and custody dispute between Allen and Dylan’s mother, Mia Farrow? If you think this is relevant, the feminists say, you are embracing the misogynist myth of vengeful women using sexual abuse allegations as a weapon. In fact, asserts Zoe Zolbrod in Salon.com, “research shows that it is not more common for accusations made during custody battles to be proved false than it is for any other sex abuse accusation,” with only 1% to 6% of abuse charges found to be maliciously fabricated; what’s more, writes Zolbrod, custody-related false accusations usually come from fathers, not mothers.

But these claims are contradicted by a major Canadian study that tracked more than 11,000 reports of child abuse and neglect in Canada in 2003. While reports of sexual abuse made during custody or visitation conflicts are fairly rare — the study identified 69 such cases — they are also quite likely to prove unfounded. Child protection workers substantiated just 11% of these charges, while 34% were “suspected” to be valid but not fully confirmed; 36% were classified as unsubstantiated but made “in good faith,” and 18% as deliberately false. By contrast, the rate of false allegations for all child sexual abuse reports was 5%. (The claim that malicious accusations in custody disputes come mostly from fathers is based on an earlier phase of the same study. However, fathers’ false reports were overwhelmingly of child neglect and sometimes physical abuse; false charges of sexual molestation were more likely to come from mothers.)

(MORE: Dylan Farrow’s Child-Abuse Accusations: What We’ve Learned About When and How Children Should Confront Abuse)

In a 2007 U.S. survey of child welfare workers, 80% reported having seen cases in which a child was coached to make false allegations of sexual abuse, usually by the mother in a custody dispute; more than a fourth said they had encountered 20 or more such cases. Notably, as author Kathleen Faller pointed out, these estimates came from professionals inclined to be supportive of children; it is also worth noting that three-quarters of them were women.

Research cannot tell us anything about the specific allegations made against Allen in 1992. But it does show that, statistically, there is at least a 50-50 chance that sexual abuse charges brought in such circumstances are groundless — either deliberately false, or sincere but mistaken. And the lines between malice and mistake are not always clear. When you’re ready to think the worst of your ex, innocent parent-child contact — playful roughhousing, cuddling, helping a child get dressed — can seem suspect.

In the Allen/Farrow case, this is magnified by Farrow’s discovery that Allen, her 56-year-old longtime partner, was sexually involved with her adopted daughter. While Soon Yi Previn was an adult (her birthdate is unknown but her age was in the range of 18 to 20) and Allen had never acted as her stepfather, even his defenders generally agree that the affair was sordid and grossly inappropriate. While this does not make Allen a pedophile, Farrow may well have seen the relationship as quasi-incestuous child abuse, coloring her perception of his conduct toward Dylan.

(MORE: When Bystanders Are as Bad as Abusers)

Does Dylan Farrow’s present-day insistence that she was abused by Allen prove that it’s true? Not necessarily; children can be coaxed into false memories, especially when they want to please an adult, and such memories can last. Some of the now-grown “victims” in the day-care sexual abuse scandals of the 1980s, now widely recognized as hoaxes, still believe that they were abused and claim to have painful flashbacks. Of the dozens of children who testified in the notorious McMartin Preschool case in California, only one has recanted.

The claims and counterclaims over Dylan Farrow’s accusations and Woody Allen’s defense will keep flying, with partisans lining up on both sides. I have, for the record, no strong investment in Allen’s innocence; I am not a major fan of his work or his person, both of which display an obnoxious streak of narcissism. My concern is with the attacks on the presumption of innocence — perhaps “only” in the court of public opinion, but with likely spillover into the legal system — and the state of our conversation on gender.

It is appalling when a feminist blogger derides talk of the presumption of innocence and calls for hearing both sides as ways to “undermine the victim”; when Nicholas Kristoff, the New York Times columnist who published Dylan Farrow’s letter on his blog, gets attacked for merely conceding that we cannot be sure of Allen’s guilt; when people who raise questions about the evidence are bashed as rape apologists and misogynists. It is particularly appalling when Valenti, hailed as a leading feminist voice of her generation, asserts that we must “start to believe victims en masse.”

Such arguments are ostensibly rooted in female solidarity. Indeed, Valenti seems so unconcerned with male lives that she even ignores the molestation of boys — who reportedly account for up to 40% of sexually abused children — and mentions only girls’ victimization. This brings to mind the words of British philosopher Janet Radcliffe Richards in the 1980 book, The Skeptical Feminist: “No feminist whose concern for women stems from a concern for justice in general can ever legitimately allow her only interest to be the advantage of women.”

Yet undermining the presumption of innocence is not good for women, either. In the 1980s, the first wave of feminist zealotry on child sexual abuse — based on the idea that such abuse was a ubiquitous patriarchal atrocity and even a tacitly condoned method of training girls into submission — helped feed the day care sex-abuse scare and the rise of “recovered memories” of incest. Feminists, including recent Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient Gloria Steinem, played a shameful role in promoting this frenzy. Then, too, the battle cry was, “Believe the victims.” And the real victims included many women.

(MORE: Is It Still O.K. to Have a Favorite Woody Allen Movie?)

Some were day care workers like Margaret Kelly Michaels, the New Jersey preschool teacher who spent five years in prison before being exonerated. Some were mothers and grandmothers like Shirley Souza, the Massachusetts woman convicted of child molestation after her grown daughter underwent recovered-memory therapy and two granddaughters were heavily pressured to “disclose” abuse. Some were patients like Patricia Burgus, who sought treatment for depression and was brainwashed into believing she was raised in a satanic cult, repeatedly raped, and forced to participate in cannibalism.

Feminist dissenters who questioned the panic, such as psychologist Carol Tavris and journalist Debbie Nathan, were accused of colluding in anti-woman backlash. In 1993, after the left-wing magazine Mother Jones ran a critical story on recovered memory, Harvard psychiatrist Judith Herman accused the magazine of promoting “the myth that hysterical women fantasize about sexual abuse” and siding with men’s attempts to silence and discredit women who speak out about sexual violence.

Today, few doubt that Mother Jones was right and Herman was wrong. Yet similar attacks continue on those who won’t toe the “Stand with Dylan” party line.

Perhaps we still haven’t learned the larger lesson. A movement that demands belief in one person’s accusations against another as a matter of faith, not fact, is not a movement for justice. It is a lynch mob waiting to happen.

Cathy Young is a contributing editor at Reason magazine. You can follow her on Twitter at @CathyYoung63.

Read more: Woody Allen, Sex Abuse Allegations, and Believing the Victim | TIME.com http://ideas.time.com/2014/02/12/woody-allen-believe-the-victim-and-feminism/#ixzz2tB01lItv

Rape Is Rape. Unless It Isn’t. Written by Mockarena http://chicksontheright.com/posts/item/25255-rape-is-rape-unless-it-isn-t
Athens Rape Case - Rachel Cassidy - University of Ohio

Athens Rape Case – Rachel Cassidy – University of Ohio

 

 Thursday, 01/16/2014 – 10:47 am EST

Rape Is Rape. Unless It Isn’t.

 Written by  Mockarena

I just read the BEST column about rape and accountability, y’all.

A couple months ago, Daisy and I talked about a photo that was making the twitter rounds of a woman who was allegedly sexually assaulted on the side of the street near Ohio University in Athens. Absolutely NOTHING about the photo looked like an assault, given that the woman in question was leaning against a short brick wall, with nothing and no one restraining her, while the alleged attacker was kneeled between her legs, touching her. 

A video seen by Total Frat Move apparently also showed the “attacker” performing oral sex on the woman.  Other still photos confirmed this.

Let me just pause here a second and say that I in NO WAY condone people taking photographs of this and posting the photos to Twitter and Instragram or whatever.  That’s just icky.  But when the “victim” of this “assault” went to the police the next day, the police chief immediately condemned people for not “helping” the victim. And I’ll be honest.  I shook my head at that one. Various accounts from folks who witnessed the sexcapade said that the woman was clearly enjoying herself, and didn’t need “help” at all, except perhaps for someone to tell her that she was a MORON for having a guy perform oral sex on her on the side of a busy street. In fact, while she was enjoying this guy’s mouth, she used her hand to pull his head towards her more, according to video accounts.

No one was charged in the end, because it became obvious relatively quickly that both parties were simply drunk, and that the woman in question felt like a moron the next morning and decided to cry “rape” as an attempt to scale back her humiliation. And so in that sense, it’s a good thing there WERE photographs and video, to prove that this was some pretty consensual activity.  But the fact that she went to the cops in the first place?

Well, that pisses me off. 

Which brings me back to the awesome article I source linked above, also from Total Frat Move. In it, the author calls out chicks like the drunk Ohio University girl for making these sexual assault accusations simply because they’re embarrassed by their own behavior, and I found myself nodding along with every last word she said.

She writes, about college life:

Girls could go and check their inhibitions at the door, responsibility at the coat check, and self-awareness at the bar. We could drink to our heart’s content, be stupid, be dumb, dance up on bars, kiss a stranger, go home with a different one, and then wake up and not have to take ownership for any of it. The flyers on our hallway bulletin boards piled up. Seminars commenced. PSAs were abound. “My rapist doesn’t know he’s a rapist,” they all told us. And we believed it.

So we went to the pre-games and we went to the bars and we went to the frat parties. We did drink to our heart’s content and we made bad decisions. We did go home with strangers. And then we woke up and we decided that we didn’t like what we had done. We regretted it. We didn’t like that we had willingly taken eleven shots of cheap vodka at the pre-game with “our girls.” …We didn’t like that we had drunkenly danced on the counter and we were embarrassed that a bar full of strangers had likely seen our panties. We didn’t like that we were blacked out, and we most certainly did not like that we had stumbled back to campus after last call to attend a party… We didn’t like that we had wandered into the bed of someone who was even more intoxicated than we were, and we didn’t like the fact that we woke up wearing nothing but a dirty rush t-shirt. And so we freaked out.

Faced with our poor decisions of the night before, we had no excuse but to take them all back. After all, that’s what all of the flyers and the seminars and the PSAs said. That’s what our professors told us, as did the nurses at Student Health. That’s what the protestors wearing the skimpy outfits and holding the glittery posters said. “It’s not your fault,” they all told us. Yes, you were drunk. And yes, you flirted with him. And yes, you initiated the first makeout…and the second one. Yes, you whispered, “Let’s get out of here.” But you felt guilty this morning. And so you take it all back. No matter that he was drunk, too, and you were a willing participant — you take it back. And in the game of your word against his, you will always win.

And this is, I recognize, where things get sketchy, because from a legal standpoint, as the author also points out, if you’re incapacitated you cannot consent to sex.  But how do you actually DEFINE incapacitated? And what about the boys? What if they’re drunk, too?  Why is it only men who end up being responsible for what they do when they’re drunk in these cases?  A guy too drunk to consider whether or not a fuzzy definition of consent applies in a situation where a drunk woman is offering up her body to him can literally have his entire life destroyed with an accusation of rape from that woman.  And the woman?  Well, she’s a victim, you see. 

And frankly, that’s bullsh*t. 

Rape and sexual assault are horrible things.  So are false accusations of rape and sexual assault. And saying that out loud doesn’t make me a “slut-shamer” and it doesn’t mean I’m “blaming the victim.”  It means I’m using common sense.

The author goes on (emphasis mine, because I believe it’s the key point here):

We’ve created a culture where it is completely acceptable for girls to get drunk, make bad decisions, and then take it all back. There is no ownership, no responsibility, no acceptance of one’s own mistakes.

This culture that we now live in, this societal acceptance of regret and unaccountability — it’s wrong. We’re creating a mockery of the real victims of sexual assault, the ones who are violently attacked. The ones who didn’t willingly take the shot, drink the drink, and climb into bed. We’re discouraging them from stepping forward. We’re preventing police officers from taking them seriously and district attorneys from pressing charges. We’re creating a world where all females are victims and all men are attackers — and that is simply not the case. Perhaps there is a gray area. Maybe something does, in fact, exist between the spectrum of rape and a consensual one-night-stand. But that doesn’t mean that every drunken hookup is the result of a violent attack. That doesn’t mean that women can go into a situation knowing good and well what will happen, and then take it back when the sun comes up. It simply doesn’t work like that. Something has got to give.

The author is 100% right when she asks,

Why are we going out and making stupid decisions and then acting like we are in no way responsible for ourselves? That’s not how it works. We don’t get to arbitrarily take things back. We don’t get to be stupid and then blameless. We don’t get to be held unaccountable for our actions. Doing so sets us back. Doing so makes us weak and it makes us powerless. It’s time that we stop playing the blame game. It’s time that we start taking responsibility for our own actions — no matter how bad they may be.

Standing ovation for that column.  Seriously.  That’s what real feminism looks like – a chick who demands other chicks own their own behavior, and not blame men for it simply because it’s the easier out.

Discuss.