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breeden
ursulav

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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Here by way of nancylebov. It goes beyond saying that I'm afraid of false accusation of attempted rape; it has, in fact, happened to me, so I'm quite well aware that it could happen again. And as I told Nancy, thinking over it, I personally know approximately the same number of men who've been falsely accused of rape as women who've been raped or subjected to attempted rape. Which is actually quite remarkable, now that I think of it, because I don't hang out with other men very much, I have about twice as many female friends as male friends. So while the plural of anecdote is not data, my own personal experience would suggest that false accusations of rape outnumber actual attempted rapes by about two to one.

Despite my strong feelings on this subject, I will respect that it's your blog and not bring up a long series of very high profile false rape accusation cases from the news that it seems obvious to me you should be able to think of off hand, nor belabor the seems-to-me obvious point that it doesn't take many pathological liars who know that this accusation is a reliable and pretty reliably safe way to ruin a man's life if they don't like him for such a problem to be a pretty common experience for men. After all, if a man attempts to rape a woman, he's facing pretty serious legal consequences. If a woman falsely accuses a man of rape, then unless she takes it so far as to do so under oath during the trial, she faces no consequences worse than social ostracism ... if that much, since by and large, nearly all of her personal friends and virtually every woman will believe her rather than him.

I personally know approximately the same number of men who've been falsely accused of rape as women who've been raped or subjected to attempted rape. Which is actually quite remarkable, now that I think of it, because I don't hang out with other men very much, I have about twice as many female friends as male friends. So while the plural of anecdote is not data, my own personal experience would suggest that false accusations of rape outnumber actual attempted rapes by about two to one.

Given the number of women who say absolutely nothing about their sexual assault experiences to anyone (much less a good acquaintance), I suspect that this comparison is considerably off base.

If a woman falsely accuses a man of rape, then unless she takes it so far as to do so under oath during the trial, she faces no consequences worse than social ostracism ... if that much, since by and large, nearly all of her personal friends and virtually every woman will believe her rather than him.

I also disagree with this. I'm not going to belabor you with detailed accounts and statistics, but I sincerely hope that you will seek out more information on the subject and decide for yourself from a position of statistical strength instead of anecdotal observation.

I wasn't asked for statistics. I was asked for my own observations.

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