It Is Men, Not Women, Making False Allegations About Rape
There’s a lot of talk among Good Men™ at the moment regarding so-called false allegations. So-called because a lot of these allegations labelled as false actually turn out to be true. We know that the false reporting of rape occurs in around 2% to 8% of cases, the same as for other crimes. But we also know that rape is under-reported, and there is a mistaken belief that false allegations are common.
For years, women have been silenced, disbelieved, shunned and punished when speaking of the evils committed against them by men. Now that we are finally taking women’s voices seriously, a lot of men are concerned. And it’s not because they’re standing up for justice and their fellow man. It’s because the men they see accused of sexual assault are Good Men™ like them, who have done similar things that were deemed acceptable by society until women started complaining about it. They worry that they’re going to be next.
An oft-stated rebuttal to credible claims of rape is that “he-said, she-said” isn’t backed up with evidence. Well, witness testimonies are used in court because they are evidence. Look at it this way: if somebody told you that they had been burgled, would you consider it a normal reaction to demand more evidence and accuse them of lying? The chances of it being a fabrication are the same, so why don’t we test the victim’s story in the same way that we do for rape victims? What about murder? Do we argue with a dead body that they just misunderstood, or that they’re too sensitive? No hard feelings, boys will be boys, etc, etc?
If someone comes forward with a credible allegation, and the reaction is to claim that their statement is false, where does that accusation come from? Is it based on… nothing at all? Or is it because we have been conditioned to believe that women are inherently untrustworthy, and that they use sex as a tool to manipulate men? Alleging that a victim has made a false claim of rape, based on nothing more than prejudice and hatred of women, is a false allegation, you know, that thing the false accuser likes to accuse victims of doing?
When hearing claims of sexual harassment and assault against powerful men, it is not just the alleged perpetrators that make false accusations against victims. It is their colleagues, friends, families and supporters that join in making false allegations that the victim is actually a villain, smearing their name and destroying the victim’s reputation, career and life. I mean, if a truthful allegation can wreck someone’s life like this, imagine what a false one could do. Instead of claiming that women routinely lie about rape, we need to turn our attention to the men who falsely claim that women are liars simply by virtue of them being a woman.
People with extreme power are adept at getting others to do what they want. The swiftness with which they are able to encourage others to disparage their victims is terrifying. They make others complicit in their lies and transgressions against innocent people by convincing them to adopt the narrative that women lie. And they get those same people to make baseless false allegations about real victims.
We see men with a guilty conscience compile lists of women they haven’t raped, create catalogues of former associates who can vouch for their ‘good’ character, and fabricate evidence to ‘prove’ their false innocence. And even when their lies are caught out, we still cannot bring ourselves to accept that it is they who have made a false allegation, not their accuser.
We know, based on the way Hollywood, big business and government has treated those who come forward with credible allegations, that there is no reward for doing so. There is no payout, no fame, no revenge. By contrast, the alleged criminal often comes out of the ordeal unscathed, with their accuser banished to obscurity. We know that making true allegations of rape gets us nowhere, and often makes things worse. Victims face humiliation, ostracism and retraumatisation, and only 6% of rapes will result in a guilty verdict in a court of law. The Court of Public Opinion finds women guilty every time.
That 6% figure is from recorded crime statistics, and has remained static for some time, due to the difficulty in gathering evidence to convince a jury beyond all reasonable doubt (and some unreasonable doubt) that a crime was committed. And yet, even knowing that far more accusations than make it to court are actually true, we seem more keen to believe the testimony of powerful men with vested interests that of course victims are lying. His false accusation is believed, whereas her truth is dismissed.
When we believe victims, we are beginning to dismantle centuries of abuse and hatred towards women. We are only now acknowledging the scale of the problem, and actually trusting women is the necessary means to revealing and righting past wrongs. We must direct our attention towards the men who abuse and then lie to cover it up. If we’re so bothered about false allegations, let’s apply some scrutiny to the claims made by those who automatically cast women as liars.