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Because one can of worms is never enough!

Okay, gang, I'm off to spend an evening canoodling with my significant other, and will not be on the internet.

Please be civilized to each other in the prior post, I beg of you, while I'm not here to bounce. This is one topic where emotions run really high, and I don't want to have to close threads because I think it's an important topic to discuss, and we're all basically on the same side. If the conversation DOES get ugly, it's okay to say "I don't see anything productive coming out of this," and step away.

It's okay to be pissed. Just be polite.

However, before I go, for the purposes of discussion, one thing I've run across in this discussion (and other posts related) that I hardly ever run across is fear vocalized on the part of men that they'll be accused of rape or sexual harassment when they're just tryin' to get lucky as best they can.

Now, my kneejerk reaction is to scoff a bit, I confess--that's a kneejerk, and I make no bones about it--because, well, being female, my fear is that some dude is gonna rape me, then carve me up like a christmas ham in the basement and wear my skin around like a little hat. This is the sort of thing I worry about. My kneejerk, therefore, is something like "Pfff! You think YOU have problems?"

And that may well be unfair. Hell, granted that fear is not a zero-sum game, it's definitely unfair. Everybody has a right to be scared of ill treatment.

But--thing is--every single woman I know, with no exception I can think of, knows somebody who has been sexually assaulted or abused. In fact, with VERY few exceptions, that person is either somebody close to her, or her own self. These aren't stories, this is...y'know...something that we basically just live with. Life sucks, lots of people get hurt, we brazen on through because the only alternative is to curl into fetal position and weep for humanity.

However. It occurs to me that I may be doing men a disservice in general by dismissing this fear just because it seems like women get so much more of the short end of the stick. Suffering, too, is not a zero-sum game. So. I'll ask two questions then:

A) If male, are you afraid of being falsely accused of rape? Is this a Major Fear--i.e. something you worry about every time you're trying to get to know a woman? (Hell, is this something you worry about if you're, say, alone in a parking garage with a female in the next aisle getting into her car?)

B) If either gender, do you personally know anybody who has been falsely accused of rape? (Not friend-of-a-friend stories, but you, yourself, are at least the level of on-line acquaintanceship with them.)

(Okay, two and a half.)

Somebody'll probably suspect that this is a snarky passive-aggressive way to get men to admit that this is a load. It's not. Honestly. I'm genuinely curious. For all I know, a staggering percentage of men really do go into a relationship in mortal terror that they're going to end up with their testicles in a vise. I KNOW what it's like to be female, but I've never yet been male (at least not in this life!) and I honestly don't know what my own response to the discovery that this might genuinely be a widespread problem would be. 

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Okay. Not male, so no answer to question A.

In response to B: No, I do not personally know anyone who has been falsely accused of rape. However, I also do not personally know anyone who has been sexually abused or assaulted. So either my circle of friends is remarkably lucky, or I'm remarkably unobservant. Or something.

Remarkably unobservant, dear, but it's one of the things we love about you. I know of at least three people, two of them you know, and one of them you know reasonably well - like, in a 'make conversation with them in the halls' kind of way, not an 'invite them to your house' kind of way. No, I won't tell you who - but I know you'll understand because, you know, not the kinda thing you blare all over hell and creation, aye?

That being said, I'm female so a) does not apply, but nor do I know of any instance of b) except in a 'made the paper' kind of way; but then it's 'was found innocent', not necessarily 'WAS' innocent. I do however know of a couple of men accused of low-grade sexual harassment (ie inappropriate comments, personal space invasions, using a height advantage to look where looks are not invited, etc) who got away scott free because people were uncomfortable reporting it, or because the authority figures in question wouldn't act without better proof. *shrug*

He doesn't have to be remarkably unobservant, most real victims tend not to tell anyone about their abuse. Sadly not even to the authorities. Like you said, it's not something you blare all over hell and creation.

"She". Jenevieve is a girls name. ;) And speaking as as a very close friend, she and I are BOTH remarkably unobservant.

But your point still stands in all it's particulars. I wish people could talk about it more openly - but there's an element of shame and fear, even in very mild cases, that's so very hard to overcome...

Anyhow. Tangent. Sorry. What you said is correct, and I agree.

"Jenevieve is a girls name."

On-line it can be anyone's name ;)

True! But I also said in my very first sentence in the original post that I am "not male".

I do find it interesting though that you assumed I was male. Was there any particular reason?

I'm guessin' it's the male icon. Even though we all know and love the good doctor, it's been throwin' me following this thread, because it IS all about gender, and there's a DUDE there!

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