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The Internet Hate Machine’s Nuanced Response To The UVA And Stanford Rapes

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Angry Man-Plaint 2: Women lie about rape and we should take those false accusations just as seriously as we take rape.

The argument that lots of women lie about rape is the kind of thing that the group in power says to discount and dismiss the rage of those who aren’t in power. It’s the argument that, when women lobby accusations against men, they do it for reasons like jealousy, embarrassment, or regret. It is no more than classic victim-blaming: “She wanted it,” “She’s lying,” “She was drunk,” “She was dressed like a slut.” I am always surprised how quickly most discussions of rape try to turn the perpetrator into the victim.

Have women ever lied about being raped? Of course. People lie about everything. But the idea that it happens so frequently that every rape accusation should be cast in doubt is wrong. Does that mean we should also believe every allegation from the word go? No. But when someone says they’ve been raped, I prefer to start by giving them the benefit of the doubt. That’s what we do with people who claim to be victims of other crimes. Does the fact that the majority of rapes are perpetrated by men against women have anything to do with the fact that it is the only crime in which a victim has to prove she didn’t deserve it? Survey says: Likely.

There are also a lot of men out there who are concerned for the reputations of all those men who are falsely accused of rape. On the rare occasions that it happens, I am in full agreement with you. But I would also say that a comment thread about a man allegedly caught raping an unconscious woman in public is an inappropriate place to air these feelings. All that does is make you look callous and self-serving. Go elsewhere.

Angry Man-plaint 3: Turner is innocent until proven guilty.

Dudes. The guy was allegedly found with his dick in an unconscious woman. Can we please just not?

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Reading the comments left on Wednesday’s post has made me feel angry, sad, and afraid: angry that people can be so uncaring and unsympathetic, sad that there are still so many men out there who feel contempt for women, and afraid for my daughter and other girls who are coming of age in a world that still blames them when they are brutally violated. I’ll never understand the anger that some men feel towards women who say they’ve been raped, but I hope that today…just today…each and every one of them loses his keys, spills his coffee, and gets his penis caught in a car door.

That’ll help.

(Photo: Chameleon’s Eye / Shutterstock)

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