Friday, April 30, 2010

Rape Culture 101 -- The Underlying Victim Mentality

by Connie Chastain*

Rape culture is a term used within women's studies and feminism, describing a culture in which rape and other sexual violence (usually against women) are common and in which prevalent attitudes, norms, practices, and media condone, normalize, excuse, or encourage sexualized violence. (Wikipedia)

In my approach to the study of the mentality behind claims of rape culture, Wikipedia's entry is a good place to start. The term, "within women's studies and feminism," effectively eliminates most everyone else; i.e., you don't often hear normal folks talking about rape culture.

At least part of the mentality you find "within women's studies and feminism" is that of victimhood. Let me give you an example.

A couple of years ago, somebody posted in a chat group a link to an article titled "Misogyny, the Hatred of Women, Is Pervasive in US" by David Whitfield. Originally published in The Olympian, which appears to be the daily newspaper of record for Olympia, Washington, the article had been reprinted in an ultra-leftist e-zine, truthout.

If you can get past the breathtaking effrontery of the title (American women enjoy perhaps the cushiest female existence on the planet, created and supported almost exclusively by men), the article is still posted at truthout, in all its emotionally manipulative glory, for those who want to slog through it.

A couple of things you notice right away when reading this sort of propaganda. One, there's no balance (not a syllable about the 60/40 female-to-male ratio on college campuses; not a word about boys victimized by the educational system; no acknowledgment that divorce and child custody laws are slanted in favor of women; no mention of men dying earlier). Two, what happens to women is overwhelmingly bad (abused by boyfriends or husbands, tied down with children during their most productive years, denied advancement in their jobs and, of course, raped).

In other words, women are victims; men cannot be victims because they are victimizers. These are prerequisites for belief that rape culture exists.

Now. A disclaimer (not needed for thinking folks, just for the kneejerk emotionalists): Acknowledging that most American women enjoy the highest quality of life in the world does not negate the reality that some of them suffer negatives in their lives (as do many men). Similarly, acknowledging that rape exits doesn't negate the reality that false rape accusations occur -- except, perhaps, in the minds of those who accept the notion that rape culture exists, and we live in it.

Links to pages referenced in this piece:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_culture
http://www.truthout.org/article/david-whitfield-hatred-women-is-pervasive-us

*Connie is a regular contributor to FRS.  Her principal blog is http://conniechastain.blogspot.com/

Greenville Woman Charged With Filing False Sex Assault Report

So she was ashamed of being drunk, and that is why she claimed she was sexually assaulted. I guess that is as good a reason as any.

Shanequa Goodwin charged with filing false sexual assault claim.

GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Shenequa Goodwin, of Greenville, was arrested early Sunday morning after police said she filed a false sexual assault report.

The police report states Goodwin, 26, called police and reported that after pulling into a gas station she was grabbed and forced into a vehicle.

Goodwin told police she was driven to a house in a nearby neighborhood and sexually assaulted by two men while in the driveway.

Goodwin was intoxicated when she reported teh assault and a written statement could not be taken, the report states.

A weekend duty detective met the officer taking the report and interviewed Goodwin at her home on S. Calhoun Street. During the lengthy interview, the report states Goodwin made numerous conflicting statements.

Finally, Goodwin admitted that she was intoxicated and was not assaulted as she originally reported police said.

She told officers she was engaged to be married and felt ashamed about the incident, so she reported she'd been raped, police siad.

Goodwin was charged after the admission.

Link: http://www.wspa.com/news/2010/mar/29/greenville-woman-charged-filing-false-sex-assualt--ar-73843/

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The politics of victimization doesn't work: we can't empower our daughters by insisting they are powerless

In a video message to voters for the November mid-term election, President Obama called on certain groups to help the Democratic Party in 2010, and he left out white males:  "It will be up to each of you," the President said, "to make sure that the young people, African-Americans, Latinos and women, who powered our victory in 2008, stand together once again. It will be up to each of you to keep our nation moving forward." 

Surprised? Go to the White House's website and click on "issues" -- http://www.whitehouse.gov/issues -- what do you see?  There's a "women" section, but not one for men.  Click on "women" -- http://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/women  --  and see what you get. 

Can this mean that men, at least white men above a certain age, apparently have no issues of their own worthy of the White House's attention, even though men lead women in virtually every social pathology known to humanity?  Sadly, it isn't surprising at all. It's politics. The Atlantic recently studied the Obama coalition. Among other things, it found the following: "Single women voted by better than two to one for Obama over McCain (70-29 percent). In a post-election analysis, the polling firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosser concluded: 'Barack Obama would have lost the women’s vote and the 2008 election if it were not for the contribution of the unmarried woman. All told, Obama split men 49-48 percent, but lost married women 47-50 percent. Unmarried women, however, delivered 70 percent of their vote to the Democratic candidate, up from 62 percent in 2004." 

Obama's declared indifference to men is, of course, merely the latest, but among the more overt, examples of a corrosive gender divisive group identity politics that has been creeping into our culture for several decades. This mentality elevates the interests of self-anointed victim groups above the common good.  Although it isn't confined to the Democratic Party, it seems most comfortable there.  (And by the way, black men, too, have reason not to feel especially allied with Obama. In his famous "Father's Day" speech two years ago, primarily directed to black men, he said that too many fathers "have abandoned their responsibilities, acting like boys instead of men. And the foundations of our families are weaker because of it.")

For a long time, Americans were proud to live in a melting pot. Each immigrant group that came to our shores was assimilated into the grand American stew, adding a new flavor with each addition.  To America's great shame, one group was not permitted to join in the stew.  The civil rights movement was the natural, and proper, response to a culture that hung out a sign on the American Dream that read "Blacks need not apply." Blacks, who by any measure, were oppressed and marginalized, needed to be empowered. (I will note as an aside that starting in the 1960s, well-intentioned social engineers unwittingly helped turn the inner city into a cistern of dependency and hopelessness by, among other things, paying women to kick fathers out of the house -- remember Aid to Families with Dependent Children's old "Man out of the house" rule? The result? In 1960, 22 percent of children in the inner city were born into fatherless homes; today, that number is 70 percent. What happened?  Did the men develop a "deadbeat" gene in that time? Of course not. But know this: there was an unmistakable correlation between the absence of dads and the rise of crime, drug use, early pregnancy, poor educational performance, abject poverty, and pretty much every other bad thing. By any measure, the "War on Poverty" has been a failure, and much of it has to do with the alienation of men.)

But by the late 60s, something other-worldly occurred.  Other groups decided that they, too, wanted to stake a claim to the victimhood that uniquely marked the black experience, even though they were neither black nor victims. Most notably, feminists balked at the gender roles that women, mostly, have assigned to women and men since the beginning of time. Feminism, deigning to speak for all women even though few women deigned to identify with it, arrogated unto itself the right to construct a self-schema for all women that insisted their entire gender was marginalized and oppressed by the dominant culture, which they called "patriarchy," a code word for "anything with a penis." Extreme feminists rejected as "misogyny" even the suggestion that such a characterization was too all-sweeping, all too lacking in nuance, all too simplistic to the point of childishness.  And progressive, guilt-ridden white men, told they could not possibly understand women's experience, bought into it.  So when it came to gender, the American ideal of equal opportunity was scrapped in favor of equal outcomes, but only when skewing the outcomes favors women.

When the dust had lifted the new gender landscape revealed itself: the group that controls most of America's wealth, that controls the ballot box, that is awarded the vast majority of college degrees, that trumps men in virtually every measure of educational achievement, that is assured equal opportunity in every sphere of American life and is provided financial assistance in many simply because of its gender, that maintains a death grip on control of the domestic sphere, including children and family law courts, that earns more than its same age male peers in large urban areas until its members drop out and have children, and that lives significantly longer than men -- that group -- insists it is marginalized, oppressed, and not regarded as equal human beings. It supports this insistence with vapid epiphanies like the gender wage gap (even though it has been fairly established that the gap is not due to discrimination); with mantras like "women do more housework" (even though men work more outside the home to even things out) and "men monopolize positions of power" (which is largely due to choices women make, and not mentioned is that men also make up the vast majority of citizens at the bottom of society, living on the streets -- but that couldn't possibly be a gender issue, right?).

They thought they could somehow empower people who didn't need empowering by declaring them powerless.  But the "equality" manufactured by insisting that women are powerless -- by mandating equal outcomes at the expense of equal opportunity, by insisting that young women can get drunk and engage in sex play but still have no free moral agency, by denigrating the other group as oppressors -- is the cubic zirconia of equality, a sham, a garden variety hoax.  The more we "empower" women by heaping artificial advantages and privileges on them and by excusing them from accountability for their actions, the more we reinforce the notion that women need special treatment because women really aren't equal.  The more that women act like victims, the more they become victims.

Studies on diversity training show that it is ineffective at getting companies to hire and promote women and minorities. Worse: ". . . those that were mandatory or discussed lawsuits - the vast majority of the programs the researchers examined - slightly reduced the number of women and minorities in management."

Why? "Required training and legalistic training both make people resentful, the authors suggest, and likely to rebel against what they’ve heard."

Instead of a melting pot, we have a victim group mentality.  Instead of assimilation, we have gender division.  Instead of equal opportunity, we have equal outcomes.

All of this is common sense. When the coach lets his son play ahead of kids more deserving, the other kids resent the coach's son and will never accept him. 

But, you see, feminism doesn't really care if the women it "empowers" will ever be accepted.  Their plan all along has been to institutionalize victimization, and they've done a damn good job of it.

The only way to empower people is to treat them like everyone else.  The only way to empower women is to treat them like men -- as responsible adults endowed with equal opportunities and the full capacity to live with the consequences of the decisions they make.

I've used this analogy before: gender relations in the 21st Century resemble my local golf course where the women's tee box is a lot closer to the hole than the men's.  I stumbled across a report of a study that led me to conclude that the women's tee isn't just a metaphor, it actually highlights the very truths I'm trying to get across.  "On average, women's tee boxes are about 50 yards closer to the hole than men's. The greater the distance between tee boxes, the study finds, the fewer women will there be in management and marketing in that geographic locale and the less money will those women make."

Why is this?  For one, the physical separation doesn't allow women to network. But just as important: "Greater distances . . . 'may portray a negative belief about the golfing abilities of women -- and perhaps by extension negative beliefs about other abilities. Significant differences in tee placements between men and women may reinforce biases against women, not just in physical terms but also intellectual terms.'"

In short, the bigger the "victim" sign a woman wears around her neck, the more special advantages heaped upon her just because she's a woman, the less chance that she will be accepted as an equal.  The less chance she will . . . assimilate. 

That melting pot doesn't sound like such a bad idea, does it?

If women want true equality and not just the pretense of it, they need to line up with the guys at the men's tee, join in the sometimes raunchy language without being "offended" or filing a discrimination suit, and take their best swings. On average, they probably won't hit it as far as the guys, but you know what? They'll be "one of the boys." And they might just end up running the company someday without people resenting them.

That's if they want real equality and not just the pretense of it. Lots of women want the former; most women's groups are content with the latter.

Plainfield Township woman pleads guilty to false report of rape

A follow up to our story HERE. She faces up to 4 years in prison for her false rape claim, which she has admitted to. We will post an update when it becomes available.

Julie Kathleen Rau faces 4 years for false rape claim.

Grand Rapids -- Julie Kathleen Rau, a 25-year-old woman who admitted she falsely claimed she was raped by a maintenance worker at her Plainfield Township apartment complex, faces a maximum of four years in prison after pleading guilty last week to false report of a felony.

She will be sentenced May 19.

In July, Rau told police and unknown man came to her Hidden Valley Town Home apartment in the 4100 block of Spruce Hollow Drive NE and told her he was a drywall maintenance worker, according to court records. She siad she let the suspect into the home, where he sexually assaulted her, police said.

When Kent County Sheriff's deputies interviewed her the next day, Rau admitted fabricating the story, police siad. Rau underwent a psychiatric exam which found her competent to stand trial.

She is scheduled to be sentenced by Kent County Circuit Judge George Buth.

Link:
http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2010/03/plainfield_township_woman_plea.html

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Women tried to destroy cab driver with a false rape claim over a fare

COMMENT: The news report below chronicles a textbook false rape claim.  Two women were willing to destroy the life of a cab driver with a rape lie because they didn't want to pay a fare (cab drivers are among the classes of citizens most at risk for false rape claims -- see here).  At least one of the women, Charlene Beal, pictured here, physically attacked him and damaged his cab. Then the women accused him of rape.  Then he was jailed -- until police discovered he was innocent (you see, you must be found "innocent" before the police will free you after two drunken women accuse you of rape).  The court sentenced the women to eleven months in jail.  The judge told the women that they did a wicked thing, and that their lie was "a crime against women in general."

In short, this is a garden variety false rape claim case. The life of a hapless male is deemed less worthy than the price of a cab ride (we've actually seen worse on this site).  The male is arrested on the say-so of drunken women and retained until his innocence is proved (for what other class of citizens do we routinely hand the power to deprive another class of citizens of their liberty?).  The rape lie was called a lie against women in general, and that is correct.  But the cab driver was the primary victim.  Moreover, false rape claims, are crimes against males in general, not just because of the lie but because the lie is too readily believed by law enforcement and then not punished adequately when its falsity is exposed.  (If you are going to accept the word of a lone accuser and deprive a male of his liberty, then if the accuser turns out to be a liar, you'd damn well better be prepared to hold her accountable. We rarely do.)

In short, just another day in our false rape society.  Here is the news story:

Women jailed over false sex attack claims

Two drunken women who made false sexual allegations about a taxi driver have been sent to jail.

Charlene Beal, pictured left, became violent after she argued with Zubair Khan over the fare and then claimed he sexually assaulted her and exposed himself.

The 50-year-old cabbie was arrested and held in a police cell for several hours before police discovered he was innocent.

Jailing Beal, 27, for 19 months and her then partner Lisa McGuire, 26, for 11 months, a judge told them: "It was a wicked thing to do to accuse that man of what you accused him of.

"It is a crime against women in general. Do you know why?

"Lawyers acting for alleged victims of sex offences, he said, are entitled to say: "Read your newspapers, members of the jury, women make things up."

Recorder Cairns Nelson QC added: "You should hang your heads in shame."

Maidstone Crown Court heard Mr Khan had picked up Beal and McGuire in the early hours of February 19 at the River Tavern in Strood.

Neil Sandys, prosecuting, said Mr Khan, who was working for a Gillingham taxi firm, told the women the fare to Maidstone would be £30.

After Beal argued the fare should be £22.50, the cabbie asked for the cash up front.

Beal handed over £20 and said the rest would be paid when they arrived at their destination.

Mr Sandys said when they arrived in the town centre Beal and McGuire wanted to go further. Mr Khan said he would not take them anywhere until they had paid.

A struggle then ensued.

"Mr Khan was shocked and scared," said Mr Sandys. "From then on the incident escalated very quickly indeed."

About £750 worth of damage was caused to the dashboard, radio and meter equipment.

Mr Khan managed to get out of the cab but his mobile phone was thrown in the road. As he bent down to get it, he was pushed over. Beal kicked him in the legs.

She then made a 999 call in which she said Mr Khan had either attempted to rape her or sexually assault her.

Beal, of Bell Road, Park Wood, Maidstone, and McGuire, pictured right, of Glasgow House, Highland Road, Maidstone, admitted perverting the course of justice and damaging property.

Beal also admitted assaulting Mr Khan and a public order offence.

Mary Jacobson, for McGuire, said her client played little part in the allegation of indecent exposure. “She was literally a back seat passenger,” she said.

“This was simply meant to be a fun night out which went dramatically wrong for all parties involved. She and Miss Beal were partners at the time. They have since moved on to new partners.”

Timothy Banks, for Beal, said his client knew there was no truth in her allegations against Mr Khan and that he was entirely innocent.

“She was struggling with alcohol addiction,” he said. “It is a disgraceful incident.”

Beal worked as a school dinner lady but it came to an end when checks were made and her criminal record was discovered.

“She knows what she has done was close to wicked,” added Mr Banks.

Cabbie Zubair Khan said afterwards he was pleased with the sentence but would have liked to have seen the two women get at least two years jail.

"I think as they have admitted it the sentence is OK. If they had been given two years it would have been better."

Link http://www.kentonline.co.uk/kentonline/news/2010/april/27/women_jailed_over_false_ses.aspx

Woman lied that a police impersonator sexually assaulted her

Her identity is protected (unlike any number of men who are named in stories based on nothing more than a lone accusation of a rape by a woman). And there is no indication that she will be charged for what police have determined is a crime.

Police: Woman's report of police impersonator, sex assault proved false

ELKHART COUNTY — Investigators announced Friday that a claim made by a woman on Tuesday that a police impersonator pulled her over and sexually assaulted her is false.

The Elkhart County Sheriff's Department said that after numerous interviews and a review of phone records, police were able to determine the claim to be a fabrication.

Police say that despite this was a false claim, it's still important to make the public aware of these incidents and that they should stay as safe as possible should such an incident occur.

Link: http://www.southbendtribune.com/article/20100327/News01/100329521/-1/XML

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

'Only later did it dawn upon me how unfair it is that good men must slink through life concerned about being falsely accused'

I wanted to pass along a note I received from a friend -- a male:

"I thought you might find this of mild interest because it points up one of your blog's themes.  It's a very small thing, and when it happened, it seemed so natural that I gave it no thought. But now that I think about it, it says a lot (too much) about where we are as a culture.

"My company was contacted by a high school senior -- a girl -- who is working on a project. She asked if she could interview a particular middle-aged man who works for me, who is an expert in the field she's writing about.  My immediate reaction was that if this interview was to occur face-to-face, for my employee's own protection, he would need a witness, preferably a female employee of the company.  My female assistant agreed with me, and another woman who works for us volunteered to sit in.  When we told the employee about the girl's request, he was squeamish about meeting her at all and suggested a phone interview so that, he said, 'no one can accuse me of anything.'  I should add that this man is a perfectly well-adjusted father who has raised a fine son, and that he has a stellar track record of community service. He is a long-time elder in his church, and has never been accused of anything, that I know of. 

"Of course, the sole reason we were all concerned about his being falsely accused was because he is male. We would not have had this concern if he was a she. 

"Only later did it dawn upon me how unfair it is that good men must slink through life concerned about being falsely accused.  Isn't it sad that everyone in my office had the same reaction? And isn't it even more sad that we didn't think there was anything unusual about that reaction?  It's become standard operating procedure."

Woman lied about rape to get out of a drunk-driving charge

Authorities: Wyoming woman apologizes for false rape claim

LANDER -- Fremont County authorities say a 25-year-old Casper woman admitted to lying about a rape claim in order to get out of a drunk-driving charge.

The Fremont County sheriff's office says Helen Witt came clean after investigators couldn't make her story from last summer match up.

Witt originally told law enforcement she was raped by two men on the Fourth of July in Boysen State Park. She said the two men drug her from her car and sexually assaulted her on a dirt road near the Cottonwood Bay area of the park.

She also claimed that her attackers ran her over with their white Cadillac Escalade, and she only escaped because she was able to hitch a ride with a passing motorist.

In addition to drunk driving, Witt was originally charged with driving on a suspended license and reckless driving.

The sheriff's office said the driving on a suspended license charge stuck, even though charges for drunk and reckless driving were dismissed. Witt has now been charged with filing a false report.

Authorities say Witt has apologized for filing the false report.

Investigators spent hours on the case involving several agencies in addition to the sheriff's office: the Boysen State Park Rangers, the Fremont County Ambulance Service and the Fremont County attorney’s office.

Link: http://www.trib.com/news/state-and-regional/article_ec613592-c823-5062-9da0-470485588be0.html

Monday, April 26, 2010

Feminist legal scholar to feminists: stop focusing on criminal system to fight rape

COMMENT: The following article is from an extreme feminist perspective. It is premised on a worldview I simply cannot agree with: that rape is rampant.  That likely will prompt many readers here to dismiss this article out of hand.  But it does contain an underlying idea that would serve the interests of the the falsely accused: the author suggests that feminists need to stop looking to the criminal justice system to fight purported date-rape.  The professor seems to believe that culturally-learned masculine behavior is responsible for sexually oppressing women, a worldview that is more than a little problematic, and that this socially accepted attitude creates some murky date-rape situations that courts are ill-equipped to handle.  I can agree with the murky/ill equipped aspect, but I'd respectfully suggest that gender oppression isn't at the root of it. It seems to be something as simple as guys wanting sex more than women (please don't argue with me on that, it would insult my intelligence), and women being told they can only be empowered when they pretend to want what the guys really do want.  This, too often, leads to women's regret, and anger, and feeling used after-the-fact.

But I can find common ground with the professor: if there is to be a cultural debate about what is appropriate sexual behavior, the courts aren't advancing it -- but not for the reasons the professor thinks. From my perspective, the courts are tyrannizing innocent men in the name of protecting women, which is absurd, and wrong, and immoral, at the same time. 

What do you think?

Law professor says feminists should abandon tough rape laws and the war on crime

A battle against rape has been a big part of America's 30-year war on crime, as feminists and equal rights advocates pushed for prosecution of accused rapists and new laws to protect victims, with the expectation that vigorous enforcement would reduce sexual assault.

But University of Iowa law professor Aya Gruber (left) says those efforts have failed and feminism should now distance itself from a criminal justice system she believes is too influenced by the cultural status quo to produce social justice.

"Feminists have reached the limit of that legal effort and the current criminal law no longer provides a meaningful avenue for change," Gruber wrote in her paper, "Rape, Feminism and the War on Crime," published recently in the Washington Law Review by the University of Washington College of Law.

"The lonely voice of women's empowerment cannot and will not be heard above the sound and fury of the criminal system's other messages that reinforce stereotypes, construct racial and socio-economic (structures) and unmoor crime from issues of social justice."

Gruber points to studies of criminal data that shows well-intentioned legal reforms like shield laws and affirmative consent laws do not work. While the number of "stranger rapes" by men who violently attack women has dropped, other, more subtle forms of sexual assault like date rape are still chronic. She said the criminal justice system is unequipped to deal with these subtler forms, though, because their root cause is not so much the deviant mind of a sociopath but the often-accepted social behaviors of men and women.

"Criminal law's structure is to look for right and wrong with no gray area, and to hold individual's accountable for their actions. It doesn't take into consideration larger social issues-such as why the accused rapist aggressively pursued sex, or the perceived passivity of women." Gruber said. "As a result, the criminal justice system struggles to deal with rape because rape is a complex crime loaded with social freight, such as gender inequality and the sexual subordination of women."

On top of this is the way stereotypes of women and rape play out in the jury room. Despite the best efforts of legal reformers, the criminal justice system still sees certain rape victims as somehow complicit in the assault, as if it's a crime for them to have gone out on a date with a rapist.

"As manifested in the law of rape, the complainant may be a "true" victim if she was the object of a violent attack by a monstrous stranger rapist," Gruber wrote. "However, if she exercises any agency in the encounter, such as being on a date, she is disqualified from the category of innocent victim and is instead cast as the agent who precipitated date rape ...., wholly responsible for her mistakes."

Meanwhile, she said the obsession with the criminal justice system has led to such absurdities as a fourth degree sexual assault conviction and compulsory registration as a sex offender for a man who squeezed the back side of a female while they were on a dance floor in a bar.

While this was happening, she said, the equal rights movement in society at large lost steam, in part, because feminists became more interested in criminal law than working for social change.

"Feminism's ability to reshape gender dynamics was lost when criminal law took over," she said, such that "women should not walk the halls of power in the criminal justice system but should rather begin the complicated process of disentangling feminism and its important anti-sexual coercion stance from a hierarchy-reinforcing criminal system that is unable to produce social justice."

To do that, Gruber believes the feminist movement must go back to before the war on crime, when the goal was changing society and not throwing men in jail.

"Activists should turn their attention to investigating methods of addressing rape and gender inequality outside of a system that carries so much political and practical baggage," she said. Social activism, scholarship and political involvement are a start. Pointing out sexist cultural attitudes is needed, too, she said, and women need to change their own attitudes about sexuality, and their attitudes toward men.

"Feminists can counteract the rape-permissive gender norms largely enforced by women instead of relentlessly focusing on the criminality of men," she said. "And feminists must talk to young men about their attitudes as people, not just seek to incarcerate them as criminals."

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Service, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

False rape-claim woman sentenced

First the news story, then my comments:

Sarah Wood given suspended sentence for false rape claim.

A woman who sparked a rape investigation after claiming to have been attacked by two men has been sentenced.

Sarah Wood (04/11/1986), of Romford Close, Oldham, admitted perverting the course of justice at an earlier hearing.

On Friday 26 March 2010, she was given a 12-month sentence, suspended for 12-months at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court.

Shortly after 2am on 7 March 2009, Wood contacted police stating two men had raped her near Emmott Way a short time earlier as she walked home following a night out in Oldham.

When GMP receives a report of rape a team of highly trained detectives are sent to investigate. The victim receives support from specially trained officers who offer help and assistance through the entire criminal investigation and beyond.

The victim is also offered the specialist services offered at St Mary's Sexual Assault Referral Centre, Rape Crisis, Survivors Trust, the Victim Support and Witness Service and Manchester Action on Street Health (M.A.S.H).

Wood however maintained her account during both a video interview with Police officers and a subsequent attendance at St Mary's Hospital, utilising both their medical and counselling services.

The subsequent investigation disproved her account of what happened. She continued to lie to police and only admitted the offence following legal advice.

Detective Sergeant Jason Byrne, from the Sexual Offences Unit at Oldham, said: "Wood repeatedly lied to police, prompting a full and thorough investigation at considerable expense.

"A number of officers spent many hours on this investigation when they could have been better served out in our communities and she has also wasted valuable resources at St Mary's.

"To lie about something as serious as being raped really undermines the awful experiences of genuine victims.

"I want to stress that we treat all reports of rape extremely seriously and I would hope Wood's foolish and reckless actions do not discourage genuine victims from coming forward."

FRS COMMENTS: No mention of why she lied, but, contrary to the rape industry's common statement that rape claims aren't treated seriously by police (despite, for example, having special teams that are specifically designated for investigations of rape), this investigation is but one illustration that law enforcement takes claims like this very seriously.

What is most disturbing, is that she was sentenced to one year of jail, suspended in its entirety. Another insufficient punishment. The only positive is that she is named, so everyone in her area will know just what kind of woman she is. I would like to ask the individual who left the comment that generated the column HERE, how that person can reasonably explain how this is justice?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Man released from jail after woman recants rape claim, charges against him 'may' be dropped

Before you read the news story below, here's a quiz:

Question: How do we justify handing one class of citizens the power to deprive another class of citizens of their liberty, merely on the say so of the first class?

Answer: By convincing everyone that the members of the first class don't lie about rape.

But they do.  And that's the problem.  Read the news story below.

Woman Recants; Ex-Firefighter Released

Woman Recants Story She Was Raped In 2006

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A former firefighter accused of rape was released from jail late Friday and court officials said the charges will likely be dropped after his accuser changed her story and said the sex was consensual.

Daniel Foote, 54, was charged after police said DNA evidence from the woman who claimed to be raped in August 2006 recently matched that of Foote.

State Attorney Angela Corey told Channel 4 late Friday that the woman has recanted her story.

Foote had lived under house arrest in his Westside home since December when he pleaded guilty to three counts of bribery in an unrelated case. As he was processed into the system on that conviction, a DNA sample was taken and entered into a state database.

When Foote's DNA matched that from the woman who claimed to be raped, he was arrested and held without bond.

On Friday, Judge Virginia Norton signed an order allowing Foote to be processed out of jail on his own recognizance. Once the case can be reviewed, the charges may be dropped.

Channel 4's Jennifer Bauer tried to talk to Foote shortly after he was released from the Duval County Jail to tell his side of the story, but he did not comment.

Link: http://www.news4jax.com/news/23248992/detail.html

Friday, April 23, 2010

Deconstructing the rape-culture mindset: Rape Culture 101

FRS welcomes our newest member of the troupe, brilliant writer Connie Chastain.

Connie Chastain is a former staff writer for The Florida Sun, (now the Independent News), a newsweekly published in the late 1990s by former Congressman Joe Scarborough, currently the star of "Morning Joe" on MS-NBC.

"Read Cover to Cover, Never Bound by the Truth" said the little slogan in the top left corner of the cover. Chastain's articles were all nonfiction and ran the gamut from travel to current events and chemtrails to Bigfoot in Dixie.

Born in Georgia, Chastain grew up a preacher's kid in Alabama, attended Alabama Christian College (now Faulkner University) and married a Louisiana boy.

She currently resides with her husband of 30+ years in L.A. (Lower Alabama -- aka, the Florida panhandle).

Her blog is http://conniechastain.blogspot.com/
_________________________________

Rape Culture 101
by Connie Chastain

The notion that a "rape culture" exists in the United States or the west, or all over Planet Earth, is fairly new to me. Although I've been opposed to feminism since the second wave forced itself on my attention in the 60s and 70s, I didn't always listen to the specifics of feminist claims.

I'm listening now, and from what I'm hearing, I believe that "rape culture" is a knowing construct, as dubious as Mary Koss's infamous "one-in-four" figure -- i.e., her 1985 claim that one in four women are the victims of rape or attempted rape.

When Archivist posted a "Call for Writers" notice several days ago, a couple of ideas occurred to me. Begin my education on what feminists say the rape culture is and see what people working within the rape-culture notion think and write about it, and how such beliefs impact the phenomena of false rape accusations.

What I discover will be covered in weekly essays posted at The False Rape Society blog.

I know what you're thinking. How objective can an anti-feminist be? Well, I'd have to say at least as objective as feminists who trumpet the one-in-four myth, who defend false accusers (i.e., always referred to as "victims") on the basis that women "deserve" the right to behave promiscuously "just like men" without consequences, and who consistently fall back on the claim that patriarchy (i.e., men) are total evil.

It looks like I'm in for quite an education. My thanks to Archivist for the opportunity to post my "enlightenment" here.

Introducing False Rape Strike Force: It's Time To Act

Through a collaboration with other prominent bloggers, we've started False Rape Strike Force because it's time to act to change the climate for the presumptively innocent who, too often, were falsely accused.  Our first action alert has been posted: Points With Purpose -- we are urging everyone contact the artist and voice our disapproval, in a civil and reasonable manner, for fomenting a culture where rape accusers are automatically believed.  Thank you.

Airdrie mum’s “living hell” at false rape allegations

I'm going to let this one speak for itself.

THE mother of a young man who was the victim of a bogus rape claim has told of her “living hell” while her innocent son was locked up for a year.

Tearful Lindsay Duncan from Gartness in Airdrie suffered the torment of seeing her boy’s life being threatened when he was behind bars.

For 12 long months, as 22-year-old Jason was remanded in Addiewell and Barlinnie jails, his mother went through a nightmare. It was as if she had been in prison with him.

Lindsay knew he had committed no crime and was bolstered by the overwhelming support of friends and work colleagues.

But the long wait for his innocence to be proved in a court of law was almost unbearable, especially as she knew what Jason was going through behind bars.

“It was a living nightmare to start with and it just got worse and worse,” she told the Advertiser. “He was taken to Addiewell and had boiling water thrown over him and razor blades thrown at him. They tried to set him on fire.

“They moved him to Barlinnie and I was horrified. It’s a nightmare to see your son in a place like that.

“He was put in a sex offenders unit and in some ways he was safer there, but he was in with some terrible people.”

Jason was falsely accused – along with pal Chris Hoey – of raping a woman at knifepoint in March 2009.

At a High Court trial in Falkirk last month a jury took just one hour to find the pair not guilty.

Lindsay, who was in court that day, felt a mixture of relief and joy when she heard the verdict and ran to cuddle her son and lead him from court just seconds after the judge told him he was free to go.

It was a long journey from the day the nightmare began to unfold for both Jason and Chris, whose story we told last month.

Lindsay recalled the moments it all started, when police came to her home and arrested Jason.

“It was horrendous. It was quarter past three and the police came to the door and grabbed him and put him up against the wall. There was about five of them. They took him away and he had no shoes on. They were completely rude to me and wouldn’t answer any questions and then eventually said they were going to charge him with rape.

“It was unbelievable. I thought ‘they’ve got the wrong person’. It was surreal.”

With Jason locked up and charged with such a serious offence, Lindsay is sure some people thought the worst.

But the support of family, friends and colleagues in the HR department of call centre firm beCogent helped her get through it.

“My mum phoned everybody she knew to tell them what was going on and they were all quite supportive. I had nothing but absolute support, especially from my colleagues at work. I am quite sure some people jumped to conclusions, but people who know Jason knew he couldn’t have done that.”

Lindsay is still furious at the woman who put her son through such an ordeal. She would now like to do something to help change the law to try to stop false allegations of rape getting to court.

“There is still a great deal of anger,” Lindsay admitted. “I think she is the lowest of the low and she is doing genuine rape victims no favours whatsoever.

“It is hard enough for women who have genuinely been raped to have the confidence to come forward.
“I want to do something that will help make sure other mothers don’t have to go through what I have gone through.

“I am not sure what I can do, but I would back calls for the woman to be named if the man is found not guilty. That would be a start.”

Link: http://www.acadvertiser.co.uk/lanarkshire-news/local-news/monklands-news/2010/04/21/airdrie-mum-s-living-hell-at-false-rape-allegations-65864-26279442/

Artist seeking to raise awareness about rape instructs: "If someone says ‘I was raped,’ believe them”

A website called Points With Purpose is run by David Ilan, an artist who creates drawings using only dots. He is currently involved in a project that will assign one dot to "a real person who has been raped or sexually abused."  His website invites persons who say they've been raped or sexually abused to share their stories with him. "I add one dot for every person who joins until the drawing is complete. The final drawing will be of a woman looking confident, proud and beautiful. By joining the project, thousands of people with a shared tragic experience will work together to form a work of art meant to show others who go through similar experiences that they too can feel confident, proud and beautiful again."

Raising awareness about rape, and false rape claims, is a laudatory effort.  Mr. Ilan's seeks to raise awareness only about rape (he apparently believes that false rape claims are exceedingly rare), by presenting a startling picture that he obviously hopes will illustrate that rape is a widespread problem. 

While Mr. Ilan's purpose is to make a point with his art, the problem is that accepting, without question, the word of anyone who says she was raped (and assigning that assertion a dot on the picture) is scarcely a reliable or scientific way to present a picture of how widespread the rape problem is.

For every rape claim reported, as we've illustrated on this site time and time again, only a relatively small percentage can be definitively called "rape." This is beyond dispute. We know that some claims reported (the numbers vary depending on the study) are outright false. And between the claims we are reasonably certain were actual rapes, and the ones we are reasonably certain were false claims, is a vast gray area consisting of a group of claims that cannot properly be classified as "rapes" -- because we just don't know.  That's the nature of a rape claim.  The claims in this vast gray middle area often suffer from evidentiary infirmities.  For example, for some such claims, while the claimant herself might think a rape occurred, her outward manifestations of assent did not match her subjective disinclination to engage in sex, so it wasn't rape -- legally, or any other way. Importantly, if we just took the word of the accusers, we would call each of those claims actual "rapes" -- but that wouldn't be accurate, or just. 

There is no reason to believe that claims made to Mr. Ilan in connection with his art project would be any more reliable than the ones made to the police.

It is troublesome that Mr. Ilan not only thinks it's proper to accept the word of the accuser for his art, he publicly advocates it beyond his art.  He spoke at a campus rally supporting women's rights yesterday:  "Ilan also urged spectators to believe someone when they share their violent experience saying that only two percent of accusations are false. 'If someone says ‘I was raped,’ believe them,' Ilan said."

Every human being who claims he or she was raped should be treated with dignity, and the claim should be investigated with objectivity.  But Mr. Ilan's admonition to automatically believe the accuser is unjust, by any measure, because it means that we must automatically believe that the man or boy she accused is a rapist.  That is the only logical outcome of  the knee jerk assumption Mr. Ilan urges.

The knee jerk assumption of guilt based on nothing more than the accusation of a lone accuser has caused disastrous results for countless innocent men and boys throughout history, as detailed on this site.  Persons who advocate an assumption of guilt would do well to study the real life cases, and the objective studies, we cite to on this website because it would give them a greater appreciation about how their assumptions victimize innocent people.  Rape lies have caused innocent men and boys to be killed and to kill themselves (from The Scottsboro Boys to modern day, even a story we reported last week); to be incarcerated often longer than their false accusers are legally permitted to be imprisoned when their lies are finally brought to light; to lose their good names, their jobs, their businesses, their life's savings, their wives, and their girlfriends; to be beaten, to be chased, to be spat upon, and to be looked upon with suspicion long after they are cleared of wrongdoing. It is often impossible for the falsely accused to ever obtain good employment once the lie hits the news: for the rest of his life, a falsely accused man will have prospective employers Googling his name and finding the horrid accusation. Virtually every falsely accused male will be affected by his ordeal. Many develop emotional problems that will plague them for the rest oft their lives; most will not be able to trust women, for at least a time and sometimes forever.

If you'd like examples of any of the above, spend a couple of weeks scrolling through this site -- you'll find plenty.  Everything mentioned in the paragraph above is from a recent false rape case.

As for Mr. Ilan's assertion that only two percent of accusations are false, this canard was long ago debunked, and it is astounding that it is still repeated by sexual assault counselors and others.  See, e.g., E. Greer, The Truth Behind Legal Dominance Feminism's 'Two Percent False Rape Claim' Figure, 33 Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review 947, a scholarly law review article that painstakingly traced the two percent canard to its unreliable source.  See also, "Until Proven Innocent," the widely praised (praised even by the New York Times, which the book skewers -- as well as almost every other major U.S. news source) and painstaking study of the Duke Lacrosse non-rape case. Authors Stuart Taylor and Professor K.C. Johnson explain that "[t]he standard assertion by feminists that only 2 percent" or sexual assault claims "are false, which traces to Susan Brownmiller's 1975 book 'Against Our Will,' is without empirical foundation and belied by a wealth of empirical data." (Page 374.) 

The fact is, every impartial, objective study ever conducted on the subject shows false rape claims are a significant problem.  We've detailed these studies time and time again on this site. 

The entire rape milieu has become so terribly gender-politicized that even good faith efforts to raise awareness about rape often unwittingly denigrate the victimization of countless men, boys, and yes, even some women, by insisting that false accusations of rape are essentially a myth.  In seeking to raise awareness about rape, it is wholly unnecessary to insist false rape claims are a myth.  We can all work to eradicate both rape and false rape claims. 

But those who insist that we should automatically believe the accuser foment the same kind of rape hysteria that has been responsible for innumerable lynchings and other horrors note above.  We implore Mr. Ilan and others like him to show sensitivity to the presumed innocent and their families, by not suggesting that the trial should be over even before it has begun.

Steve thought everybody should see this comment . . .

The following was a comment left under this post. I find that it's a waste to engage in private discussions under old posts -- and this one is a year old -- no one else would see it there. (Do you realize how many hundreds of posts we've had since then?) But Steve says it's too good not to make its own post, so let's post it for its comedic value, and to remind everyone about the irrational anger we face. The fact that somebody purporting to support the "one-in-four organization," or whatever it is, would use such language tells us a lot about them. I literally laughed out loud at this. Whoever, or whatever, wrote this was so-o-o angry that anyone would dare question her/his/its worldview that the only way they could respond was to throw a profane hissy fit and spew out the legal equivalent of diarrhea of the keyboard. I suspect the writer is about 19-years-old and has never met with opposition in her/its short, sheltered life, much less opposition she can't fathom how to counter. (By the way, in real life, nobody -- and I mean NOBODY -- calls me "dude.") Read it after the jump:

HERE IS THE COMMENT -- ENJOY:


You've been practicing law for 26 years? I can see it. You have the well rehearsed language: "I am objective. You are biased. My statistics are right. Yours are wrong. I am right by default. You are wrong." Seriously, do you even know what you sound like? You're making yourself look really bad.

First off, you just keep repeating the same stuff over and over again, you have no valid argument grounded in reality. You're like those Nazis who just keep reading Nazi journals online and only trust them, which fuels their hatred more and more and reinforces their bias (it's a vicious circle). It's really sad, man... seriously... take a chill pill or smoke a joint...

Secondly, we at One in Four invited you to Drexel for a discussion... let's see the facts:

- we are open to a discussion about it, you are not

- we are flexible in our opinions, listening to what even extremists like you preach, you are not open to listening to our ideas...

- your blindness and extreme bias is a result of the fear you have that anything you belief might be proven wrong by anyone, and you reject all thought and discussion on it (here's the proof: you're raging as you're reading this because I'm right!)

- I am biased because I've had a few friends who've been raped, and the rapists got acquitted because of people like you, yet I'm still open to a discussion.

Thirdly - dude, go get laid with a woman (or a man, w/e)... I really doubt you've ever had consensual sex with another person... stop hating so much, man, you're so full of hate, you're starting to look obese! Seriously...

You know how in boxing and other sports you forfeit the game if you don't show up? That's what you just did, sir! You LOST!

(yay, Drexel One in Four wins! Hooraay!)

Even sex offenders can be falsely accused

Isn't it fair, don't you think, that this innocent man is named in the story but the likely false rape accuser woman isn't?  And, of course, the story goes out of its way to point out that the man, who is expressly named, is a registered sex offender.  (Based on the quality of justice we see on this site, one must wonder if he should be on that list.)  Frankly, naming innocent men while protecting likely false accusers is among the more disgusting, more unfair double-standards in a milieu that is positively littered with them.  The sexual grievance industry won't classify this as a false claim because the woman hasn't been charged, which means they will automatically suggest it was a rape.  (You think I'm kidding?  Trust me.)

Sex offender, accused in Melbourne rape, won't be charged

Prosecutors won't file charges against a registered sex offender accused earlier this year of raping a Melbourne woman while holding her and her 12-year-old son against their will for several days.

Police in January arrested Jonathan Burdette on charges of domestic violence, sexual battery, false imprisonment and violation of sex offender registration requirements.

According to a Melbourne police report and prosecutors, a woman told police the 33-year-old Cocoa Beach man, whom she had recently met via an Internet site, wanted to do his laundry and make her dinner, so she gave him a key to her apartment.

But he refused to return the key or leave, and intimidated her from leaving or calling police.

Assistant State Attorney Julia Lynch said prosecutors encountered credibility issues while reviewing witness statements.

The alleged victim told authorities Burdette raped her the first night he came to her home and again about four days later, Lynch said.

But in the interim, the woman continued to meet Burdette for lunch, allow him to stay overnight after cooking her dinner and to run errands together, including visiting her mother's home, a restaurant, several stores and a bank, said Lynch. Burdette remained in the car on some of those occasions, Lynch said.

"We certainly understand where victims are scared to come forward and say something, and this is not this situation," Lynch said.

"We have to look at what they did before and after and unfortunately it appears that there were some concerns about the credibility of her statements as far as it being nonconsensual," Lynch said.

"To say that it was a rape objectively and by the totality of the facts and circumstances, I don't think it's justifiable that we can take that to a jury."

Link: http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20100326/NEWS01/3260319/1006/Sex+offender++accused+in+Melbourne+rape++won+t+be+charged

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Ben Roethlisberger must accept the consequences of his actions because he is male

If someone were to ask me my personal opinion about the Ben Roethlisberger case -- which was in the news again yesterday because the NFL suspended Roethlisberger without pay for four-to-six games at a cost to Ben of possibly more than $3 million -- I'd tell him that I found Big Ben's behavior on the evening of March 4, 2010 to be morally repugnant.

Please understand, my opinion has precisely nothing to do with Ben's purported act of "forcing himself" on a drunken co-ed. I don't buy the "forcing himself" part of the story. I find her behavior equally morally repugnant -- and in the end, more revolting, because it is being whitewashed by treating her as a "victim" who was taken advantage of by a brutish, undeservedly privileged male.

But should Mr. Roethlisber have been suspended for actions that came to light solely because he was accused of rape?  Stick with me on this one, it's longer than usual, because I'd like to hear your opinion.

I believe the evidence fairly indicates that Mr. Roethlisberger was the victim in this case. While I cannot say definitively what occurred, based on the co-ed's various accounts about what occurred, her narrative can aptly be described as a moving target. It is my suspicion that Mr. Roethlisberger was falsely accused of rape. Let's briefly recap the accuser's three statements:

First statement: "Mr. Bright, the local district attorney in charge of the case, said that 'when the accuser first approached a police officer outside the nightclub immediately after the incident, 'The police officer asked 'Did he rape you?' And her response was 'No.' Then he asked, 'Did you have sex?' And she said, 'Well, I'm not sure.' "

Second statement:  This was a written statement the woman prepared not long after the incident.  In this statement, she suddenly remembered having sex, but her words don't yet sound like rape. Immediately prior to allegedly having sex, she claims she told Roethlisberger the following: "'I don't know if this is a good idea,' and he said 'it's OK', he had sex with me."  In that statement, she admits that earlier Ben had called her a "tease," a characterization she does not deny. Moreover, she says, Mr. Roethlisberger assured her it was OK to have sex, and there is no indication as to her reaction.  She does not say she was an unwilling participant. She says he "had sex" with her -- not that he raped her.

Third Statement:  This was another written statement, prepared several hours later -- after she had ample opportunity to confer at length with her sorority sisters and to hone her narrative.  The actual incident was not as fresh in her mind by this time (it is well to note that based on her first statement to a police officer, the actual incident wasn't fresh in her mind even immediately after the alleged incident).  The note might more accurately reflect her later discussions about the incident.  In this statement, however, her memory of what occurred suddenly achieved crystal clarity.  As in the second statement, she "remembers" what she didn't know immediately after the incident -- that they had sex. But unlike the second statement, here she describes a far more elaborate scenario, with critical details not noted in either of the earlier statements.  And here, for the first time, the crucial wording prior to the alleged sex act is materially different, and for the first time, it sounds like rape: "Ben came back with his penis out of his pants. I told him it wasn't ok, no, we don't need to do this and I proceeded to get up and try to leave. I went to the first door I saw, which happened to be a bathroom. He followed me into the bathroom and shut the door behind him. I still said no, this is not OK, and he then had sex with me. He said it was OK. He then left without saying anything."

Is it possible the unnamed co-ed was raped?  Yes.  But I think it's more likely Mr. Roethlisberger was the victim of a false accusation of rape.  The accuser's various statements lack credibility because they suggest the evolving narrative of a woman groping for victimhood: The accuser's (1) "No" in response to a question about whether she was raped, and her "I'm not sure" if they even had sex, later became (2) her telling Ben "I don't know if this is a good idea" before they had sex, which later became (3)  her telling Ben "no, this is not OK" before they had sex that she told him she didn't want to have.

Which brings me to yesterday's suspension of Mr. Roethlisberger by the NFL.  Last week, I flippantly remarked in a comment under a post on this blog that I hoped Roethlisberger was traded. One of our readers chided me that this would be punishing the victim. The reader has a point that needs to be taken seriously.

Even though we don't know to a moral certainty what happened, Mr. Roethlisberger is not only presumptively innocent of any crime, the actual facts -- in fact, the accuser's own words -- indicate he probably was falsely accused. 

It can scarcely be denied that none of the other information about Mr. Roethlisberger's boorish behavior on the evening of March 4 would have come to light if it weren't for what was likely a false accusation of rape against him.  Sadly, such behavior is likely typical for many professional athletes in 2010; most of them, however, are not publicly humiliated with a rape charge. 

I don't know if the suspension was fair, but I do know this: this nation tolerates double standards when it comes to victimhood.  If a young female athlete behaved in precisely the same way Mr. Roethlisberger behaved on the evening of March 4 but ended up being raped -- or even if she merely alleged she'd been raped -- no one would know about any of it.  Her putative victimhood would serve as a mighty shield to keep her reputation unblemished.  None of us would know anything about either the alleged rape, or her non-rape bad behavior.  Does anyone seriously doubt that? 

As regular readers of this blog know, the victim of a likely false rape claim is afforded no such protection.

Likewise, on many college campuses, when drunken young women report they've been raped, there are rules forbidding them from being charged with underage drinking. This is to encourage more women to "come forward" about the rape.  One can only guess how this rule is abused: if a young woman is caught drunk, all she needs to do is throw the nearest classmate with a penis under the bus by crying "rape."  She won't be charged with underage drinking even if turns out the rape claim was a lie, but the male student falsely accused of rape -- the victim -- will be charged with underage drinking if it turns out he was drinking, too.

And we know from this site that many false rape accusers are not named in the newspapers even after their lies are exposed.  Nor are they punished, for fear of discouraging rape victims from "coming forward."  (This policy, of course, also encourages more false accusers to "come forward.")

In contrast, we see time and time again on this site that men falsely accused of rape often suffer terrible consequences because of the false rape claim.  A gay man in the military who didn't care to reveal to the world his sexual orientation, and thus destroy his military career, was forced to "out" himself to prove his innocence of a woman's rape claim.  Men routinely lose their jobs after being falsely accused.  Some men lose their businesses.  Professionals, such as physicians and dentists, are destroyed by false allegations. I have first-hand knowledge of a high profile case involving a corporate president father who was falsely accused of molesting his daughters -- his board of directors completely believed him (as did the court) but quietly told him to get the story out of the news.

So I am conflicted about the Roethlisberger suspension.  On the one hand, it is difficult to advocate that people should not assume personal responsibility for their actions, regardless of how those actions come to light. On the other hand, it cannot be denied that the victimization of men to false rape claims is treated as less serious, and less worthy of society's protection, than the victimization of  women to rape claims, or even women's false claims of victimization to rapes that never occurred.  The bottom line for me is that everyone should assume responsibility for their actions, including rape victims, but that given the double-standards that exist, the Roethlisberger suspension has left a bad taste in my mouth.

Robert Franklin weighed in on the Ben Roethlisberger four-to-six game suspension with his usual reasonableness: "Is Roethlisberger's punishment appropriate? Who knows? What's appropriate is what's required to impress on the men who play the game that they're not like everyone else - that they'll be held to a higher standard of behavior than just about anyone else. And if someone doesn't like that setup, there's a long line of guys who'd just love to take his place." 

Robert also cited an article by Jason Whitlock of Fox Sports in which Mr. Whitlock noted:  "But the ugly truth is Ben isn't all that different from a lot of guys and girls who use alcohol as their aphrodisiac of choice."  Mr. Whitlock cites an e-mail he received from a former sorority president and current advisor to a sorority:

"She warned me that the media were being foolish for believing the allegations of drunken 20-somethings. She explained what she'd witnessed firsthand as a student and what she now deals with as an advisor.

"Some young women use alcohol as an excuse to be sexually aggressive at fraternity houses and nightclubs and then quickly concoct a story of sexual assault when confronted by their disapproving peers. Most of these allegations never make it to police headquarters. The allegations are too sketchy and the accuser's immediate jury of peers reject them.

"'I don't believe a bunch of hammered sorority girls in this situation,' the former sorority president wrote. 'I've seen too much bad behavior amongst them. It's all about having fun and then making sure you're not held accountable and your reputation is still good.'"

 Robert Franklin adds this: "Read that last remark again, and remember it, particularly the part about 'making sure you're not held accountable.' There's a whole industry that's grown up around campus rape and violence that takes every allegation leveled at a man to be true regardless of facts, regardless of circumstances. That's the Duke Lacrosse hoax in a nutshell."
 
It's Duke, and it's Hofstra, and a thousand others.  And that brings me back to my principal point. Mr. Roethlisberger is forced to assume responsibility for his actions because he is male.  We need to stop treating women as infants and insist that they take responsibility for their actions as well.  There will never be true equality between the sexes until we start applying the same rules to everyone.

Woman lied about sexual assault after triggering Amber Alert when ex-boyfriend took their child

If this case doesn't highlight exactly how false accusers DO know they will be believed when claiming rape/sexual assault, I don't know what will. And why there is still a review as to the charges against him, after she admitted she lied, is astounding to me. None of the things he was arrested for happened, by her word. He should have had all charges dropped, except possibly endangerment, after leaving the child alone to hide.  One wonders what her previous false report was? And of course, she isn't named. But at least he isn't, either.

Amber Alert issued after false report

DECATUR - The mother of an 18-month-old who was the center of an Amber Alert issued in Decatur on Feb. 28 was arrested Monday after reporting to Decatur police that she lied about the incidents leading up to the alleged kidnapping.

The mother, 24, submitted a statement to police headquarters at 1 p.m. that said she lied about the actions of her ex-boyfriend and father of her child.

The ex-boyfriend was arrested the day of the Amber Alert and was charged with child abduction, home invasion, aggravated criminal sexual assault and domestic battery. He was in the Macon County Jail on a $250,000 bond.

Macon County State's Attorney Jack Ahola said his office was reviewing the case in light of the statements made by the woman.

"We'll see what we're going to charge her with and how that affects the felony against the man," he said.
The woman reported to police at 8:04 a.m. Feb. 28 that her ex-boyfriend had broken into her home by crawling through a window, according to a sworn police statement. She also said the man hit her in the face and sexually assaulted her before taking their 18-month daughter. He did not have custodial rights or live with the mother.

On Monday, the woman told police that her ex-boyfriend entered her home with a key she had given him. He was supposed to pick up both of their children from her home.

She stated that the two of them argued about her new boyfriend, and that he did threaten her but did not hit or sexually abuse her. She stated that after the argument, he took their 18-month old but did not take her older daughter because she was upset.

According to the sworn statement, the woman said she lied about the incident because she was angry at her ex-boyfriend.

An Amber Alert was issued at 9:30 a.m. after the mother made the original report, and the child was returned by an acquaintance at 11:45 a.m.

The man left the child in a common area of the Timber Cove apartment complex and phoned an acquaintance to tell her where to find the child. She was returned unharmed.

The man soon was found hiding among storage bins on the second level of the apartment complex.

The woman had been convicted of filing a false police report in 2007 in Decatur and was placed on conditional discharge for that crime.

Her bond was set at $10,000 in the latest incident. Her arraignment was scheduled for 10:30 a.m. March 30 in the Macon County Courts Facility if she does not post bond or 1:30 p.m. April 23 if she does.

Link:
http://www.herald-review.com/news/local/article_65f09a78-3bb1-5118-9c83-71ff93e7a906.html

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Lacey Carroll, facing criminal charges for rape lie against innocent businessman, drops civil action for sexual assault against magician David Copperfield

Lacey Carroll, the 23-year-old model who claimed she was raped by magician David Copperfield (those criminal charges, which hung over Mr. Copperfield's head for two years, previously were dropped against Mr. Copperfield -- see here), has now dropped her civil action for money damages against Copperfield in connection with the alleged sexual assault.

Carroll's story is noteworthy.  Long after she accused Copperfield of rape, she was charged in January 2010 with prostitution and lying to police about an attempt to solicit a 31-year-old businessman.  When the man refused her alleged offer of $2,000 for sex, she told police he drugged and raped her.  A conviction for such a vile form of rape would have gotten the innocent man possibly decades in prison. But as with so many other cases we report on here, her account of events of the alleged rape by the businessman was questioned by cops after they viewed a hotel's security video footage. 

Here's what happened in that case:  According to news accounts, Carroll met the victim at a lounge and, according to the innocent man, they engaged in sexual touching. According to this news account, "Carroll told police that she got in a taxi with her male companion and blacked out, only to wake up in a hotel room with the man on top of her, pinning her shoulders to the bed."  Only that's not what happened. "A check-in employee [at the hotel] told police she heard Carroll talk about calling another girl for a threesome . . . . Surveillance video from the Bellevue Club and Hotel shows Carroll and the man engaging in 'romantic behavior,' according to charging documents. It also shows Carroll taking an elevator by herself while her companion ordered champagne from the concierge desk." (The above photo is a still from that hotel video.)  "Carroll was taken for a rape test . . ., but refused to sign over the results to police, saying they might interfere with her case against Copperfield."

After that rape lie, Federal prosecutors dropped their criminal investigation against Mr. Copperfield.  Now, news outlets are reporting that Carroll has dropped her civil lawsuit for damages against Mr. Copperfield, which asserted claims for fraudulent misrepresentation, intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress, assault, and false imprisonment, has been dropped.  Mr. Copperfield's attorney had recently filed a motion to dismiss her complaint in that civil action, alleging, among other things: "Carroll's claim is insufficiently pled, failing to allege the necessary factual basis for several essential elements, including a causal relationship between the alleged misrepresentation and injury, and adequate damages." See here. That motion had not been ruled on at the time Carroll dropped the civil suit.

In Carroll's criminal case, according to this news item, Carroll appeared in criminal court last Friday to ask that the pretrial hearing be postponed for another month. Carroll also waived her right to a speedy trial.

In the news account about the civil suit being dropped, which appears below, the newspaper identifies her by name -- but makes sure to add that "she voluntarily identified herself."  It is astounding that news outlets feel a necessity to add such a disclaimer, given that this is a civil action and not a criminal case (most media outlets similarly protect the identity of Ben Roethlisberger's civil complainant), and the same woman is subject to criminal charges of her own for telling a monstrous rape lie about an innocent man.  If she had not voluntarily identified herself, would the  newspaper have hidden her identity in any story about her criminal case that happened to mention her civil action against Copperfield?  That possibility, as repulsive and inane as it sounds, would not be so far-fatched given the over-the-top political correctness that infects our news outlets when it comes to rape. It is no secret to regular readers of this blog that news outlets treat an alleged rape as far more serious, and far more evil, than a ghastly and vile rape lie that can send an innocent man or boy to prison for decades.

HERE IS THE NEWS STORY ABOUT THE CIVIL SUIT BEING DROPPED:

David Copperfield Rape Lawsuit Vanishes

The assault lawsuit against David Copperfield has made like the Statue of Liberty and disappeared.

A woman who accused the star illusionist of tricking her into visiting his island in the Bahamas in 2007 by promising her career opportunities and then forcing her to have sex once she arrived has dropped her federal complaint.

Copperfield's camp has maintained that he was a victim of "attempted extortion" and nothing more.

"It has never been about money," plaintiff Lacey Carroll (she voluntarily identified herself) said in a statement released by her attorneys Tuesday. "I just wanted him held accountable for what he did."

There was no further explanation as to why she abandoned her suit, but this last year hasn't been easy for her.

Carroll has pleaded not guilty to prostitution and filing a false police report after being accused late last year of telling police that a customer at the restaurant where she waitressed in Bellevue, Wash., drugged and raped her in a hotel room.

The man claimed, however, that she made up the story after he refused to pay her $2,000 for having sex.

The FBI investigated the rape allegations against Copperfield for nearly two years, at one point searching his Las Vegas warehouse for evidence, before ending their probe in January without filing charges.

"Carroll's lawsuit was nothing but a pathetic attempt to extort Mr. Copperfield for money with malicious and false allegations," the magician's attorney, Angelo Calfo, said in a statement. "There was no settlement. Mr. Copperfield would not and did not pay Carroll a dime to drop her lawsuit."

Calfo also said that Copperfield is cooperating with the FBI "to have Carroll prosecuted for having wasted taxpayer dollars and law enforcement resources in a two and one-half year investigation of her false allegations."

Link: http://au.eonline.com/uberblog/b177290_david_copperfield_rape_lawsuit_vanishes.html

Woman cries rape to 'explain' cheating on her husband

To cover up for cheating on her husband, after he caught them, she claims rape. And wouldn't you know it, although she received a 6 month sentence, so long as she keeps her nose clean for three years, she'll serve not a single of that sentence.

Sithembile Magadi given 6 month sentence, sort of.

A BULAWAYO woman who framed her landlord that he raped her in a bid to save her marriage when she was caught red-handed by her husband was yesterday sentenced to six months in prison.

Sithembile Magadi, of Plot 15 Trenance, was convicted on her plea of guilty to contravening a section of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act (making a false report) when she appeared before Bulawayo magistrate, Ms Charity Maphosa.

Two months of her sentence were conditionally suspended for three years.

The remaining four months were suspended on condition she completes 140 hours of community service.

Magadi was arrested last week after she confessed in court that she had framed her landlord, Brian Weale, by accusing him of raping her, in order to conceal their love affair from her husband.

Weale was arrested and had been languishing in remand prison since October last year until a week ago when Magadi tendered an affidavit intending to withdraw the charges, in the process making her confession.

The magistrate, Miss Nonkululeko Mkhonto, after withdrawing the matter, ordered Magadi’s arrest and that a docket be compiled against her.

In her sworn affidavit, Magadi said she reported the matter fearing that her husband would assault her after they were caught red-handed.

“I reported a case of rape against the accused, Brian Weale. The truth is that I was having an extra-marital affair with him and I was caught red-handed by my husband. Trying to save my marriage I lied that he raped me,” she wrote.

She said Weale was innocent and had been taking care of her family when her husband was ill.

“I therefore wish to withdraw the charges against him, an innocent soul who was paying for hospital bills while my husband was ill, paid for food and rent. He was also carrying my husband while he was ill,” she submitted.

Magadi and her husband are still together.

Link:
http://zimbabweblackbook.wordpress.com/2010/03/24/false-rape-accuser-jailed-for-six-months/

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

We must never forget . . .


Alex Knepper is at it again

Alex Knepper is a provocateur whose assaults on feminsm's rhetorical excesses on campus have a no-holds-barred, in-your-face flavor. His controversial statements in a recent column that appeard in The Eagle, a student newspaper of American University, touched off a maelstrom of a gender debate, with the indignant, chronically offended, political correctness police out in full force.  I had not intended to comment on it, because so many others have already done so, and because, as with almost everything in this area, the picture is more complex, more nuanced and less exciting, than either Mr. Knepper's defenders or detractors admit. What Mr. Knepper is most "guilty" of is politically incorrect impolitenss to a group widely regarded as historically oppressed.  But the college administrators ought to listen to him, if they care about things like male enrollment, because his views are the views of a lot of young men on campus.

Now Mr. Knepper has written a new piece that I want to highlight.  Before looking at Mr. Knepper's new piece, here are the three paragraphs in his earlier piece that spurred the most controversy:

Let’s get this straight: any woman who heads to an EI party as an anonymous onlooker, drinks five cups of the jungle juice, and walks back to a boy’s room with him is indicating that she wants sex, OK? To cry “date rape” after you sober up the next morning and regret the incident is the equivalent of pulling a gun to someone’s head and then later claiming that you didn’t ever actually intend to pull the trigger.

“Date rape” is an incoherent concept. There’s rape and there’s not-rape, and we need a line of demarcation. It’s not clear enough to merely speak of consent, because the lines of consent in sex — especially anonymous sex — can become very blurry. If that bothers you, then stick with Pat Robertson and his brigade of anti-sex cavemen! Don’t jump into the sexual arena if you can’t handle the volatility of its practice!

Feminists don’t understand history, psychology, biology or sexuality. To repair this desperate situation, I have altruistically prepared a list of five favored books about sex and gender: “The Myth of Male Power” by Warren Farrell, “The Sexual Spectrum” by Olive Skene Johnson, “Vamps and Tramps” by Camille Paglia, “Philosophy In the Bedroom” by the divine Marquis de Sade, and “Who Stole Feminism?” by Christina Hoff Sommers. Put down the Andrea Dworkin and embrace the fires of sexuality!

Mr. Knepper was widely denounced in some circles as a misogynist for this language.  As for his first paragraph, it is well to note that there is no national law of rape, and states differ as to the level of intoxication that must be present to negate legal consent. The purported victim's voluntary intoxication may, depending on the jurisdiction, bar prosecution for rape.  The trend, however, is to make it more difficult to use the woman's intoxication to preclude a rape charge.  This is part of the effort stretching back to the 70s to classify more and more conduct as "rape."

But very few of the attacks on Mr. Knepper talked about silly things like, oh, the law. A lot of the criticism hurled at him seemed to denounce his audacity for suggesting that the circumstance he described in that first paragraph could ever not be date rape.  While I would have written the paragraph differently, I suspect that the everday experience of most people would agree that the scenario Knepper painted is typically a strong indicator of consent.  Remember, consent need not (and usually isn't) expressed verbally (and that might be at the core of much of the frustration over Knepper's column). Consent may be manifested by conduct, and, generally, is to be judged from the perspective of a reasonable person in the situation of the male, based on all the surrounding circumstances.  It would not be valid consent if other facts were present that are not revealed here negating a reasonable interpretation of consent.  I suspect, however, that it is an unstated assumption in Mr. Knepper's scenario that once up in the young man's room, the woman willingly participated in sex. 

Knepper's dismissal of "consent" in his second paragraph is troublesome.  Lack of consent is, in fact, the sine qua non of rape. Let me help him here: the problem isn't "consent"; the problem is that the presence or absence of consent can be difficult for third party adjudicators to discern after-the-fact, since it is often based on a host of surrounding circumstances.  Given this problem, charging for rape in "he said/she said" situations, in the absence of other clear evidence, where both parties have plausible accounts is not appropriate.  (I would go further and note that focusing on the criminality or non-criminality of the sex act is too facile, and it doesn't work. We need a national education effort to teach young people about the dangers of alcohol and sex, and about how the combination of the two often leads to rape claims and false rape claim, because men and women view one-night stands very differently -- women have much higher rates of regret after-the-fact, recent studies show).

Now Mr. Knepper has written a new piece in response to the AU president's statement condemning his earlier column. The president said: "I want to acknowledge the challenges our community faced in the wake of a provocative column in the March 31 Eagle on the topic of date rape. . . .. Date rape victims/survivors were personally affected and many were deeply offended by the column’s words. The Eagle editors have acknowledged they could have made different editorial choices that would have avoided the harm without compromising First Amendment rights."

Mr. Knepper's response is brutally honest:

Next up in the carnival of horrors: my hurtful, insensitive language. This is the essence of liberalism, really: to become disheveled every time something offends one’s fragile little sensibilities. They’re offended, so they throw papers around, or appeal to bureaucrats or administrators to pick up the pieces of their shattered egos (and such administrators respond in kind, it seems). Is this what strong women do? Apparently, they can’t help it, in the midst of a “challenge” like my column. Indeed, when a controversial conversation is started, it’s now a challenge, according to President Kerwin. When feminists place displays all over the dining hall (!) with bogus statistics — “1 in 3 women will be raped in their lifetime” — and male-bashing messages — “Rape is a Men’s Issue” — this is apparently educational; any affront to it must be considered a “challenge” to the community’s cohesion. (Then again, since, as the feminists point out, rape is a men’s issue — since most rapists are men — does this mean that we can finally admit that suicide bombing is a Muslim issue?) 

We concur with the spirit of this paragraph. This particular blog, which tries to lay out the facts in a reasonable and correct manner, is often attacked.  Feminists have wished me to be brutally raped merely for writing a post about the importance of Blackstone's formulation (which is accepted by every court in America).  The existence of this blog is deemed a "challenge" to the "truth," as they claim to know it.  They treat us with derision, and sarcasm.  When I invite them to discuss objective facts, they disappear.  So, Mr. Knepper is to be commended for daring to attack the forces of political correctness, who too often do not tell the truth and who, let us be honest, have little or no regard for persons falsely accused of rape.