Thursday, July 30, 2009

Counter Feminist Encourages Men To Lie

From the Counter Feminist post: E-mail Campaign: Won't you join?:

After you have studied, pondered and completely digested every aspect of the matter in question, consider sending an e-mail to Christina Hernandez, the young greenhorn reporter in Florida who has not yet been sufficiently embarrassed in my opinion.

Please try NOT to sound like a wild, nutjob MRA spewing rabid spittle and brimstone. Instead, compose your message with icy civility and minimal politeness. Take the time to get your spelling and grammar right. And then, elliptically as you please, make her understand that she has achieved notoriety, that her "fame" is au courant for more than just a handful of people.

Kindly do not mention the False Rape Society (or CF) as the 'instigator' of your action. Make it sound like you simply discovered this all on your own, and felt "moved by the spirit" to speak your mind as any concerned citizen might do.

Then, inform anybody and everybody about this, and get them to join in the fun. Spread it through your network! (When I get done posting, I'm going to go and Twitter this!)
What is telling about this effort is that this campaign is in response to 2 alleged false reports of rape in 2 days which are discussed as if they have been proven to be false. This is the core and verifiable mistake made by the reporter at Wink News in the story for which she's being attacked titled: Two fake sexual assaults in two days, but false reporting is rare. From the original story:
Things are starting to get back to normal for students at Edison State College in Charlotte County. Thursday, a woman reported being attacked and raped at knife point in a bathroom on campus. Because of the alleged crime, the school was shut down Friday, but later that night, deputies said the alleged victim made the entire thing up. Both students and staff are trying to get back into their usual routine, but at the same time, the false report could keep real victims from reporting a crime. [...]

"The first thing we were trying to do was reassure people that the charges - the story - was entirely false, and that our campus is indeed a safe learning environment," Dr. Land said.

On Friday, a woman living in Cape Coral said a man broke into her home and sexual assaulted her. Police said she made it up.
Absolutely no supporting evidence is provided to show why either of these reports are classified as false.

One of the common complaints by anti-feminists which come from cases like these is that not all of the cases which are declared false by the police result in criminal charges. Their assumption is that a lack of charges is proof that police are letting proven criminals get away with their crimes when there may not be enough evidence to file charges let alone prove those charges at a criminal trial.

A truth that the anti-feminists ignore whenever it is convenient for them to do so is that the police announcing a suspect's guilt or filing charges against someone is not proof of guilt.

A woman sexually assaulted at gunpoint who was not believed by investigators was awaiting trial on charges that she manufactured a rape report to cover up stealing money from the convenience store where she worked when she was exonerated. This exoneration only happened because her rapist was caught in the act repeating his crime in another county and he then confessed during his police interview. The bias against those accused of lying about rape might have been enough for this woman to be wrongfully convicted if her rapist hadn't confessed.

In a rape which was labeled to the media as a false report in Madison, Wisconsin the police issued a similar statement reassuring the public. The rape victim with vision impairment so severe she was legally blind was labeled as a liar and was later charged after she recanted under duress. The only problem was that her rape had happened as alleged and the police collected, but hadn't processed, the forensic evidence which eventually identified that woman's rapist. Because of this woman's refusal to stop fighting the injustice done to her, her rapist was eventually convicted despite hostile testimony from the investigator who assumed her to be guilty and who refused to admit that he had made any mistakes. One of the core errors was that the investigator refused to believe she was legally blind and assumed her vague description of her rapist's features was proof that she was lying.

In Australia a woman was recently exonerated of filing a false police and had her conviction overturned after her rapist was convicted of raping someone else.

But the possibility of a repeat of this type of injustice isn't what has these anti-feminist men outraged. What has them riled is this line:
Mary Baer, Director of Sexual Assault Services said, "Only two percent of rape reports are false, and that is about the same number of false reports of any other crime."
False Rape Society cites Eugene Kanin's study which classified 41% of the rapes in the study as false reports and calls it the "most authoritative study ever conducted on the subject of false rape reports." The problem with this claim is that this study is only authoritative in that it accepted the police classification of rape cases without question or verification. And if the police say a crime happened and that someone is guilty of that crime, then that's good enough for False Rape Society -- as long as the someone accused also reported having been raped.

The alleged proof that the rate of false reports of rape is significantly higher than for crime in general is frequently given by anti-feminists is no proof at all. An article entitled False Reports: Moving Beyond the Issue to Successfully Investigate and Prosecute Non-Stranger Sexual Assault (pdf) published by The National Center for the Prosecution of Violence Against Women does a good job of examining the rhetoric of those making broad claims against those who report having been raped.

In this story which has anti-feminists riled the two women who have not yet been charged with any crime have been presumed guilty and this is just fine with those anti-feminists. The anti-feminist repeated concern over tainting the innocent with false allegations, false charges and false convictions disappears in a poof of bigotry.

The readers of Counter Feminist which is supposedly against falsehoods are told to create their own falsehoods and to spread the call to dishonesty throughout the Internet. If they are also spreading falsehoods about 1 or 2 actual rape victims that's of no concern to them.


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posted by Marcella Chester @ 9:17 AM   4 comments links to this post


At July 31, 2009 8:27 AM, Anonymous m Andrea said...

So basically, if the police officers choose to believe all the rape myths, which says that most rape victims are lying whores, then the police officers will then choose to believe that the woman standing in front of them reporting a rape is a lying whore.

They will then charge her with filing a false police report, thereby "proving" that most women reporting a rape are lying whores.

This of course will magically have zero effect on the rate at which women who have been raped, will report.

The only thing this proves is that women are kinda stupid. Stop believing that men don't hate you, because it's obvious that they do. Stop believing that this is all some big misunderstanding, because this crap has gone on for millenia and a millenia is long enough for men to grow a brain -- IF they are capable.

Marcella, I'm taking a poll: what do you believe is the original cause of sexism? (You can use whatever definition of sexism you prefer, that part doesn't matter.) Others are welcome to respond as well!

At July 31, 2009 9:26 AM, Blogger Marcella Chester said...

m Andrea,

I don't believe all men hate women. Fortunately, I grew up in a family where none of the men were filled with the kind of anti-female bigotry expressed by bloggers like False Rape Society, Counter Feminist and their ilk.

Unfortunately, the silence from so many men who don't agree with this bigotry helps these bigots present their bigotry as representative of all men.

This does not prove that women are kinda stupid and I find it troubling that you label women who report their rapes to the police as stupid women.

I've been with women as they reported and none of them were stupid. I also know many women who have helped change sex crimes investigations so that they are based on evidence not bigotry. I also know men who are dedicated to justice for victims of sexual and domestic violence.

What I do believe is that a far too significant number of men do hate all the women who don't behave exactly as those men want or expect "good" women to behave and who hate all women who believe in justice and civil rights for all not just all men.

Men who reject this type of hatred and bigotry need to make their rejection clear. An example of this is Pres. Carter's recent announcement that he was withdrawing his membership in the Baptist church because of their stance on women.

At July 31, 2009 11:57 AM, Anonymous m Andrea said...

Ah sorry Marcella, I meant that the women who believe this is all just one big misunderstanding are stupid. More precisely (and suppressing my frustration this time!), they are denying the evidence which is right in front of them.

If the majority of all men are non-sexist, then sexism wouldn't still be institutionalized into our rape laws etc. And, if sexism wasn't inherent, then it wouldn't take twelve thousand years to dog-train them out of sexist behavior and thought patterns. It is extremely easy to train a dog into doing what he already wants to do, and extremely difficult to train a dog into doing something that goes against his nature.

So anyway, I'm taking a quick poll: what do you believe is the original cause of sexism?

I'm sure some folks would prefer to say that finding the original cause is irrevelant, which is of course merely a way to avoid the subject. Treating the symptoms of a problem will only result in new and different symptoms, while treating the original cause will end the problem for good.

Apologies for throwing this at you now, I'm just totally fed up. Looks to me like sexism is going to continue indefinitely because folks are afraid to address original cause.

At July 31, 2009 1:24 PM, Blogger Marcella Chester said...

m Andrea,

Thanks for the clarification. I think the majority of men can be non-sexist personally while institutionalized sexism remains strong.

This is where systemic apathy and the illusion that there is nothing non-sexist men can do which allows those who are actively sexist to continue largely unchecked and unchallenged by other men. I'll quote a popular saying: "Those who are not part of the solution are part of the problem."

Many non-sexist men accept sexist and false claims used to support toxic systems because those claims have been presented as reasonable and those who speak up against these falsehoods have been labeled as irrational.

I don't have time to respond to your poll about the origin of sexism since the answer is too complex to fit into a sentence or two.


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