Sunday, May 03, 2009

Gender Responsibility For Gendered Crimes

A man named John from Arizona wrote this rejected comment on my post "The Responding Injustice That Doesn't Just Happen":

I'd like to point out that quick arrests have been pushed thru legislative bodies around the country by lobbyists. Dont want cops going arresting people before the evidence is in? Get nut jobs like New Yorks president of NOW to stop injecting gender politics into every corner of life.

The reason you have, cops disbeliving is simple, the standard of proof has been lowered to nothing more than a statment, and too many of those statements turn out untrue. Quite frankly false rape accusations are more harmful to real rape victims then general disbeilf.

Noone wants to belive something so horrible can happen to a woman, but when people only pretend it happens to them it makes it eaiser to dismiss those it really happens to.

To be perfectly honest I can not for the life of me understand why every woman isnt outraged at false accusers

Before I get to the claim at the beginning of this comment, I want to focus on John's closing statement. If all women are supposed to be outraged at false accusers because most are girls or women then all men, including John, should be at least as outraged at rapists.

Most rapists are boys or men (95.4% of single offender assaults in 2007 according to the DOJ) and the number of sexual assaults against those 12 and over (approx. 248,300 times in 2007) far exceeds the number of fraudulent rape reports. Yet John doesn't express any outrage at rapists. They don't even merit a single direct mention in his comment.

That, "something so horrible can happen to a woman," is as close as he gets to acknowledging the actions of rapists. But rape isn't something that happens, rape is something which is committed by another human being -- most often male.

If the number of rape attempts plummeted then making a successful false accusation of rape would be nearly impossible. Therefore, eliminating all the ways rape is supported (including using false allegations to protect rapists) would fix 2 problems, 1 of which he clearly opposes. Nothing in his comment indicates that he is working on achieving this goal, which should be his goal as a man -- if his own standards are valid. He does give us an excuse for his lack of outrage over the actions of boys and men who choose to be rapists and for his easy dismissal of valid reports of rape.

Women. We are the target of his outrage.

With that attitude it is no surprise that he can rationalize culpability away from those who falsely accuse rape victims or who refuse to fulfil their fiduciary duty in most rape cases.

The lowered standard of evidence complaint John makes is interesting since what was eliminated from rape statutes was a higher standard of proof which allowed rapists to get away with rape if there were no neutral witnesses available to corroborate the testimony of the victim. If neutral witnesses are needed to get justice then they are needed in all crimes since there are false reports of all types of crimes.

This would mean that the only muggings and armed robberies which should be investigated would be those involving injuries and forensic evidence from the mugger or the presence of video which proves guilt without the testimony of the victim. Any testimony which cannot be independently confirmed must be considered meaningless. This would include defense testimony.

If we must uphold a standard of proof then we must do so in all crimes including those where men are the victims. Yet in no other type of crime do so many investigators boldly announce that they will not do their job because of false reports.

John, through his criticism of NOW clearly does not distinguish between timeliness of arrests (which requires timely investigations and evidence evaluation) and making arrests before the investigation is complete. He sneers at gender politics but his position is gendered since he supports rolling back the rape laws to a system designed by and for men.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 8:33 AM   2 comments links to this post


At May 03, 2009 7:07 PM, Anonymous Frank BC said...

I noticed John's spelling is as inaccurate as his point of view. I beliEve you missed some "E"s. Realize our quality of life as people depends on the "E" being present. (E-quality)

At May 06, 2009 6:54 PM, Blogger DvaBeyondSilence said...

In response to the accusation of false rape reports and stats: Through personal experience, I have learned how far men will go to cover their actions and it is frightening. In the cases of acquaintance rape, or domestic violence cases, there is a time frame to take into consideration wherein the female victim may choose to question her abuser/rapist to learn of his full intentions as their actions in the realm of relationship are more difficult to wrap one's mind around. During this time, he will attempt to coerce her into signing statements of untruth or insist that she recant. While these statements may be signed, there is no conversation over the safety aspect or how far he has gone to provide his own "insurance" that she will "cooperate". In these cases, what appears to be a false accusation is in fact, a furtherance of an abuser's actions...all to protect his hidden life from the eyes and knowledge of others around him. If she/the victim has children, you can bet he has included them in his threatening actions.


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