Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Feminists Who Attack So-called Rape Crisis Feminism ...

... earn themselves the label of rape-denial feminists. Rape-denial feminists believe that when it comes to rape cases men's interests must always come first.

These women are rapists' favorite feminists who continue the attack long after the physical rape is over. If these women were to be believed, real rape is a nearly mythical event.

If I'm a rape-crisis feminist because I oppose all rapes and want all reports of rape investigated fully and not judged based on information leaked to the media or which comes from defense attorneys, then that speaks volumes about what rape-denial feminists want.

Those who attack rape-crisis feminism tend to rely on first impressions of the alleged victim and the alleged rapist to determine whether the case should be investigated. If the alleged rapist is rich then he can't be guilty because the only possible reason a woman could accuse him of rape is for his money.

Rich men can't rape. Right?

Cathy Young wrote:

The Duke case also makes it clear that the feminist dogma on rape is far from
benign. It is hostile both to men and to basic principles of justice.

This is flat out bullshit unless she believes that the basic principles of justice means that all alleged victims of all crimes should be treated as if they are guilty of a felony until they are proven to be innocent.

There was nothing benign about the way the alleged victim in the Duke case was treated by so-called good people from the day the story broke. A few details was all that was needed to unleash pent up ugliness inside many men. Their descriptions of this woman and the pleasure many took in the idea of her suffering revealed far more about themselves than we will ever know about this woman.

The legal system is no more hostile to alleged rapists than it is to alleged criminals of non-sex crimes of either gender. But of course she had to bring in the ridiculous comparison between the Duke lacrosse players and the Scottsboro boys which demonstrates that hyperbole is far more important to her than reason.

Every reported rape begins a process that opens the victim up to hostility from all fronts. But all those women don't matter to rape-denial feminists, only men like the Duke lacrosse players matter to them.

If feminists want to retain their credibility as advocates for victims of rape,
they need to drop the habit of knee-jerk support for every accuser—and to show
decency and compassion toward the victims of false accusations.

If credibility means letting all alleged rape victims be attacked without mercy and without proof -- and joining in on that hostility -- while all alleged rapists are treated as if they are the true victims, then I'll remain non-credible, thank you very much.

Those who bemoan rape-crisis feminism repeatedly and boldly fail to show decency and compassion toward all victims of rape. They should be ashamed.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 12:04 AM   12 comments links to this post


At April 17, 2007 7:28 AM, Blogger lex said...

Thanks for your bravery and your work against sexual violence. It rallies my heart to see another survivor on this journey through healing and activism.

I live in Durham, NC and work with a coalition led by women of color who are survivors of sexual violence. Please let us know about your future actions/publications/adventures. I am honored to be in community with you.


At April 17, 2007 7:30 AM, Blogger lex said...

Oh! And if you want to endorse the National Day of Truthtelling in support of survivors of sexual violence (happening here in Durham on April 28th) check out truthtelling.communityserver.com

At April 17, 2007 8:54 AM, Blogger AFM said...

what makes me crazy is how "HARMED" the men are spose to be by their besmirched reputation. Two days ago a woman was tied up, tortured, raped and could have been burned alive by the house fire her assailent set to cover it up. The harm done to her and all of us who've been harmed by our attackers is SOOOO above and beyond an asshole frat boy being labled rapist instead of sexist pig.

At April 17, 2007 1:10 PM, Blogger sailorman said...

I'm a bit confused about what a "rape crisis feminist" is. I think i agree with the substance of your post (as usual) but i'm lost in the definition.

this, for example:
I oppose all rapes and want all reports of rape investigated fully and not judged based on information leaked to the media or which comes from defense attorneys

applies to a lot of people, including me. And though I trust you know by now I'm not a rape denier, i suspect you wouldn't classify me as a RCF either. So what's a RCF?

At April 17, 2007 2:19 PM, Blogger Marcella Chester said...

Sailorman, rape-crisis feminism is a derogitory term that Katie Roiphe used and which others such as Cathy Young continue to use to describe those they oppose who were behind (or who support) the creation of rape crisis lines and improved sexual assault laws.

At April 17, 2007 2:34 PM, Blogger Marcella Chester said...

There's more background in this story by Cathy Young: [Katie Roiphe] refers to college women as "girls." And she finally has her say on the "Take Back the Night" marches, with their "survivor stories" of victimization: "In the heat of the moment, in the confessional rush of relating graphic details to a supportive crowd, the truth may be stretched, battered, or utterly abandoned. It's impossible to tell how many of these stories are authentic, faithful accounts of what actually happened. They all sound tinny, staged."

The bottom line is that because Katie Roiphe and others assume, based on no evidence other than their personal reactions, that all these "girls" are lying or delusional that the problem of non-stranger rape isn't real and that real feminism should have nothing to do with fighting sexual violence.

At April 17, 2007 2:39 PM, Anonymous joe said...

How are you defining “false accusation”? I’ve been reading it as false = incorrect. e.g. if a woman is assaulted and the wrong person is charged with the crime than the accusation is false. Your post makes more sense if false accusation = “premeditated lie”. Am I missing something in the usage?

I hope that the way women in duram are being treated isn’t affected by this case.

At April 17, 2007 3:18 PM, Blogger Marcella Chester said...

Joe, those who have attacked this woman calling her a hoaxer have used making a false accusation interchangably with deliberate lying. The media which showed her name and her picture and used the term liar to describe her are using this term in this same way.

Because of that connotation, I never use the term false accusation for any statements made by an alleged victim which turn out to be incorrect or unreliable for non-malicious reasons.

Charging those who didn't commit a crime is a serious problem which is compounded when an innocent person is convicted. Too many people see the solution to the problem to be simple: treat all alleged rape victims as if they are defacto criminals.

At April 18, 2007 8:56 AM, Anonymous joe said...

Marcella, thanks for clearing that up. I agree with this whole heartedly

Charging those who didn't commit a crime is a serious problem which is compounded when an innocent person is convicted. Too many people see the solution to the problem to be simple: treat all alleged rape victims as if they are defacto criminals.

I think that a lot of the people that supported the lacrosse team would NOT have done so had a well of white girl reported assault by a mostly black fraternity. This one quickly divided along partisan/ideological lines and in a lot of ways has stayed divided.

About the only early voices I still find credible are those that have all along said something along the lines of "See, prosecutors have too much power."

At April 18, 2007 12:07 PM, Blogger sailorman said...

marcella: thanks!

Joe: It's a bit of funny legal semantics. The word "false" means "not true" so technically the DEFENDANTS were falsely accused.

But the words "false accusation" refer to a criminal charge that generally requires malice, intent, and/or knowledge that the accusation you are making is false. And because it's a criminal charge, there's reasonable doubt there as well.

So you end up with some nasty semantics: you can have a person who is falsely accused, WITHOUT having a person who made a false accusation.

Odd but true.

At April 18, 2007 2:09 PM, Blogger Holly said...

Very interesting debate, as a survivor of rape I truly do not see any justice served in respect to the Duke Case.
Women will be afraid to report rape if named.
I personally feel the progress made prior to the DA and AG press release, set back sexual attacks many years. We make progress then go backwards, example naming the woman in the Duke case.
The DA and AG should have know the backlash of the comments from the press conference.
The media naming her, should be ashamed.
I truly hope as a society we can understand fully you can get raped, have not be beaten to death.
The awareness and education must start at an early age for us to fight against sexual violence. Survivor of rape...Holly

At April 19, 2007 7:41 AM, Anonymous joe said...

Sailorman, Thanks for the detailed explanation, that helps my better understand that angry brought on by the claim of a false accusation.


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