Friday, February 08, 2008

Behind The Complaints Over Assumptions About Those Accused Of Rape

This is the next in the series which began with Behind the complaint about victims not avoiding danger.

Unless you are very new to the web and online discussions about rape cases, you will have heard people (primarily men) bemoan the unfairness of anybody anywhere assuming that any man accused of rape is guilty unless and until he has been convicted.

This so-called unfairness is often mislabeled as violating men's constitutional rights because it allegedly gives these men the status of guilty until proven innocent. This argument confuses legal status with individuals' opinions about what they believe someone did or didn't do. But as I will show, they suffer from this confusion selectively.

Those held without criminal charges at Guantanomo Bay do have the legal status of guilty until proven innocent. It is easy to see the huge difference between how rape suspects are handled in the US and most countries and how these non-prisoner-of-war detainees are handled. For all the fervency by those who focus on men accused of rape and on the legal right to be treated as innocent until proven guilty, I have yet to find one of these people who has expressed the same concern for those detained for months or years without being charged with any crime.

If they mention these prisoners at all, they will justify a lack of rights because terrorists are dangerous. People are injured and killed by terrorists. Yet rapists are dangerous and people are injured and killed by rapists.

To me this selective support for human rights and public safety is a key indicator that their interest in these is very selective.

The other key indicator of these people's selective interest in human rights and public safety is the assumptions they openly make about women who have been accused of making a false rape report.

I haven't seen any of these men who go on and on about men's right to be "innocent until proven guilty" who live up to their own demands when it comes to girls and women who report rape. Apparently, protecting men from women who report rape is so important that any story about a false rape report must be assumed to be accurate and all those who report being raped must be assumed to be completely unreliable or blatently dishonest until a court proves them to be real rape victims and proves that the accused is guilty.

Once criminal assumptions are okay against those who report rape, the person's claim to be operating from constitutional principles has been proven to be a lie.

Their lie is exposed every time a girl or women who reported rape is assumed to be guilty by the "innocent until proven guilty" crowd as soon as the police or prosecutors get someone to recant or they file charges or make a public statement about the alleged victim not backed up by criminal charges or close a case by classifying it as unfounded.

So why do these people lie?

I suspect the list of reasons is long and varied from simple gendered paranoia to a desire to see only murderous rapists convicted.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 12:23 PM   0 comments links to this post

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