Assault, abuse, sexual assault
We need to talk about false rape allegations. But it won’t be the conversation you’re used to hearing. These are some of a number of reasons why I have formed a pretty unpopular position when it comes to sexual assault allegations. I always believe victims.
No matter who the accused is I always believe the victim for two reasons.
First one in their right mind makes false allegations. Also the statistical likelihood of making a false accusation is so low that to me it just makes sense to believe victims.
This is the only time in which I feel guilty until proven innocent just makes more sense. I fully acknowledge that this is not an opinion most people support and I am also fully aware that this could potentially lead to destroyed careers of people falsely accused.
But I do feel like in this current climate with sexual assault of running absolutely rampant we have to standby people who make these allegations until we can re-write legislation that properly protect people in work environments and social situations.
Second, the data doesn’t support what rape deniers claim. Compare ape cases against other violent crimes. There is no influx of false accusations.
In fact, false rape reports fall between 2% and 10% of cases. This is on trend with the false accusations of other violent crimes. Why aren’t people talking about a fear of false murder allegations? Why are we never hearing about false armed robbery allegations?
A new perspective
If someone is making a false allegation they are not in their right mind. Consider everything that someone has to go through in order to make a claim against someone when it comes to sexual harassment or sexual assault. It doesn’t make sense for people who have their wits about them to do so.
The false allegations are few and far between. More often than not come from someone battling some sort of mental health issue which is another issue entirely. No one is coming forward with these types of allegations looking to get famous or make a fortune. It just doesn’t happen.
I think when it comes to female perpetrators of this type of crime there is absolutely a double standard. We see it all the time and cases of pedophilia where female teachers or nuns have violated children.
Women should be held to the exact same standards men are held when they commit these types of crimes.
However all perpetrators need to be held to a higher standard. And punishments need to be much harsher and conviction rates need to be much higher. This is the only way we’re going to change the rape culture we currently have.
The reality is that due to power dynamics, men are the only ones who can dismantle the rape culture we currently live with. I’ll happily tell you why.
Unfortunately, men are more likely to listen to other men then they are to listen to a woman. This translates to racism issues as well.
When talking about white privilege and white fragility, WP are more likely to listen to other white voices then to BIPOC. It’s a sad reality, but one that we have to admit and work with, so we can make our way towards a tangible solution.
Far too often do I hear/see a man behaving in a way that props up our rape culture and when I turn to see if any man will correct this behaviour by educating this individual, they are silent.
Do your part
Are you really supporting women if you are not actively looking to make the world they live in safe? Do you really care about women’s well being if you do nothing when you see/hear specific behaviours that you know is wrong?
For my fellow WW, it’s worth mentioning that I have found accessing concepts of racism much easier by looking at them through this same lens.
There are marked similarities between the two systems of oppression and I have learned a lot more about racism by comparing the two then I have when examining them independently.
Perhaps the same will be true for you.
Similarly to racism, just as WP will never know what racism feels like, cis men will never know what living in a rape culture feels like. Women should educate the men in their lives on what our day-to-day experiences are like.
It will surprise you all of the ways in which you have modified your behaviour to safely exist in this world. There are so many things that have become second nature to me that I don’t even give them a thought.
When I try to shed light on this issue with cis men, they are always absolutely shocked … just like white people are shocked by the depths of racism.
The Next Step
We can change our rape culture. It starts with increased levels of awareness and diligent accountability. It also starts by believing rape accusations.
I’d love to know…
How do you actively dismantle toxic masculinity?
What is the best advice to offer a woman who has come forward?
Question of the Week
Should the internet be selectively censored?
Studies have proven that exposure to certain forms of online content leads to an increased likelihood to dehumanize a specific group of people or even commit violent acts against them. Two significant examples to point to are violent porn and hate crimes. What are your thoughts on online censorship for some types of content? Should censorship exist? If so, who controls it, and to what extent? Can we trust them to remain ethical with this control? If not, how do we justify the harm that comes to people as a result of a lack of censorship? Who would be most negatively impacted and why?
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