[Update (12/17): Per Daran's request I am clarifying that my use of "insisting that men don't lie about rape" incorrectly labels his words on the linked thread. If I understand his correction what he continues to assert is that it hasn't been proven that men lie about rape.
I see that as playing word games. He disagrees.
Here is his own explanation of his position:
Feminist cannot object to the statement "Women do (sometimes) lie about rape-and men don’t". Because:
1. Construing "lie about rape" to mean "falsely report to the police that they were raped", the statement is true, or at least, feminists cannot show that it is false.
2. Feminists cannot object to that construction, because they were the ones who used that construction in the first place when they circulated the 2% false accusation myth.
Edited to add:
3. While it is debatable to what extent individual feminists can be held responsible for the actions of other feminists, feminists who make generalised group-based complaints about the actions of non-feminists, cannot object when they are hoist on that petard.
If challenged, they will explain that by denying that men lie about rape, they are referring only to a very specific scenario where the man is the alleged victim who filed a police report.
It's a very useful redefinition for alleged rapists and those who want to dismiss the pervasiveness of sexual violence against girls and women.
I've been thinking about how this dual "statement of facts" creates an unfair bias against female alleged rape victims.
What "women lie about rape, men don't" does is plant the idea that when a rape case comes up where a woman is the alleged victim she must be treated with open skepticism. Can't take her word for what happened because she's female and girls and women lie about being raped. If there is anything about her that people won't like or won't trust then it can seem like she must be lying about being raped.
However, if a rape case comes up where the man is the alleged victim he must be treated as a real victim. Heck, there's no need for the word alleged. He's simply a victim. No criminal trial needed to know who is innocent and who is guilty. All he has to do is self-identify as a sexual assault/abuse victim and everyone must believe him even if he makes that claim during a crank and obscene call to a rape crisis line.
"Women lie about rape, men don't" also plants the idea that when it comes to a particular sex crime case where a key part of the evidence is testimony, men are always honest while women will resort to lies for a whole list of reasons.
This implication of male honesty vs. female dishonesty is nonsense, but because it is supposedly based on solid research many people never question it and let it color their perception of what they hear.
This is an attempt to misuse probability theory both in the determination of probability statistics and the use of those statistics. The probability when flipping a balanced coin is 50:50 that it will be heads. But that probability does not predict the outcome of the next flip of the coin.
What the "men don't lie about rape" statement does is make people assume that statistics on false accusations predicts who you should believe in so-called "he said, she said" rape cases.
Unlike the probability of a flipped coin, accurate statistics of convictions for false accusations are not the same as accurate statistics for false accusations. Just as some of those convicted of rape are later cleared through evidence such as DNA mismatches, some who are convicted or charged with fabricating a charge of rape are proved to be innocent or are convicted based on judgments about the alleged victim's character and honesty. She seems like someone who would lie therefore she's judged as a liar.
I can almost hear the men who say, "men don't lie about rape" screaming that I'm supporting their view that alleged rape victims should be assumed to be dishonest. If any women have lied about being raped then we must assume that this rape victim is a liar until there is enough evidence to prove she's telling the truth. We can't use the claim that only 2% of rape claims are false to show anything about this alleged victim.
What they want is a starting belief of, "she's lying." I not only don't want this, I will show that this belief impedes justice. Instead, I believe there should be a starting assumption of credibility.
My support for the assumption of credibility in the report of a crime is not based on statistics. It is based on how assumptions impact the collection of evidence. Once investigators assume the alleged victim is no victim at all, they may feel justified in interrogating a real rape victim until she decides she won't get justice and abandons her case or until she is treated so abusively that she breaks and tells her interrogators whatever they want to hear. Either way, the outcome is the illusion that the negative assumption has been proven to be fact. These cases are then classified as unfounded or false.
This injustice then reinforces the case being made by those who say that huge numbers of girls and women lie about being raped.
For rapists, this is a good thing since it increases the odds that they will get away with their crimes without being charged with even a misdemeanor.
When the assumption about the alleged victim is credibility (untainted by the "women lie about rape" bias) that allows for the ethical collection and evaluation of evidence, including testimony from the alleged victim. Sometimes there will be enough evidence to bring charges and sometimes there won't be. With the assumption of credibility the mere lack of evidence doesn't get twisted into confirmation of a lie.
For rapists, this is a bad thing since it increases the odds that they will be charged for their crimes and that they will be convicted and it reduces the odds that their victims will be labeled liars and criminals.
Despite what many people claim, assuming an allegation is credible and working from there does not doom innocent men to false convictions.
For rapists, busting the myth that "women lie about rape, men don't" is a bad thing. They are counting on the power of this myth and the fear innocent men have of false rape convictions to keep rape laws from being enforced.
Technorati tags: rape crime politics sexual violence sexual assault feminism