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First I would like to thank you for your response. You have a lot of sound logic as well as data to back it up.

I want to clear up something though, when I talk of victim blaming I am not advocating what you purport and refute in the vast majority of your response: when a woman makes a malicious claim. By definition a woman who has made a malicious claim is not a victim. My aim is not to demonize men and hold women to a different standard (I am a man myself), but to flesh out truth, which is not so black and white as rape is bad, men rape women, therefor men are bad.

The truth we can agree upon is rape is an atrocity, and like all crimes not all claims on it are valid, but there are claims nonetheless.

I take issue with how claims are dealt with, with how real victims are treated. Perhaps it is because of the numerous cases of false accusations (thank you for the citations) that we end up with responses like these:

  • A former University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill student who filed a complaint in 2013 said one college counselor told her, “Rape is like football, and you’re the quarterback; when you look back on a game, Annie, how would you have done things differently?” UNC is currently under federal investigation as a result of that complaint.
  • A federal complaint against Harvard College stated that a college official told a woman of color who attempted to report her assault, “It’s in your culture that men are gropey.”Harvard College and Harvard Law School are both under federal investigation.
  • At the University of Connecticut, a student claimed a school police officer told her, “Women need to stop spreading their legs like peanut butter or rape is going to keep on happening ’til the cows come home.” The federal government’s investigation of UConn is ongoing, but the university paid $1.3 million to settle a lawsuit earlier this year. The police chief has disputed that any of her officers made that remark.
  • A graduate of the University of Akron claimed one campus police officer said to her, “I’m not in the business of calling people liars, but in your case it doesn’t look so good.”The university is currently under federal investigation.
  • A rape survivor in New York City recounted an assistant district attorney telling her after speaking with her assailant, “Well, I met him. He’s really cute. Maybe you just had a weak moment and you thought maybe you could get away with it, and then after the fact, you realized what you had done, and thought, ‘Oh, I shouldn’t have done that, I got upset about it.’”
  • A student at the University of Texas-Pan American said administrators questioned her about whether there was promise of marriage in her relationship with her alleged assailant, and asked if the relationship was “Facebook official.”

There is no valid argument to say responses like this were merely unbiased inquiries into the truth. What both you and I desire is truth and justice without bias towards either gender. Victim blaming creates a bias towards men, but my argument against victim blaming is not a ringing endorsement of a bias towards women. On this we can stand on the same ground.

You bring up valid points about rape culture, and this no doubt can create a bias, I am with you on the point of eliminating said bias. We should not just believe one party over another simply on the their word. We need facts, data; we need truth. On this we can stand on the same ground.

Victim blaming goes deeper than “he said/she said” however, and bleeds into worlds beyond rape. It stems from a threat to our cognitive bias that we live in a safe and just world. There are numerous studies on this in the realm of psychology. With that information we know even if we cleared through the muck of false accusations (I present no proposition to do so, purely hypothetical here), there would still be cases of people who believed the victim to be the one to blame. This creates a bias (the extent of which is largely up for debate and with which I am uninterested in at the moment).

The picture is not so black and white as to say, women are always right when they claim victimhood, or victim blaming never happens. We live in a world where rape does happen, and false accusations of rape does happen; where men are demonized falsely, just as women are blamed unfairly.

Lets not mince words about how many cases are real or not, if we are both seeking the truth like we say we are, then we have no room for bias, for or against the victim. On this we can stand on the same ground.

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