Last night, a regular commenter in the Men’s Rights subreddit — inspired by a thread on 4chan — posted a link to an online form on r/mensrights under the headline “Feminists at Occidental College created an online form to anonymously report rape/sexual assault. You just fill out a form and the person is called into the office on a rape charge. The “victim” never has to prove anything or reveal their identity.”
This headline is not only inflammatory but untrue: Yes, Occidental College has an online form that allows victims of or witnesses to sexual assault to report the incidents to the school. But, as a statement at the top of the form makes clear, the point is to collect data on how much sexual violence there is at the school, who the victims are, and so on.
If the person reporting the crime names the alleged perpetrator,
a member of the Dean of Students Office will meet with that person to share that the person was named in an anonymous report, review the Sexual Misconduct Policy, and inform the person that if the allegations are true, the behavior needs to cease immediately. Information shared in this form alone will not result in anyone going through the grievance process.
I’ve put the last bit in bold to emphasize a point: No one will be charged with anything based only on information gathered using this form. As would be clear to anyone who thought about the matter for more than a few seconds, it’s rather difficult to investigate, much less prove, a rape if you don’t actually know who the victim is.
Somehow this rather elementary fact eluded the OP, and virtually all of those who left the hundreds of comments on the popular post.
Indeed, a host of Men’s Rights Redditors were so convinced of the innate evil of the online form they all had the same bright idea: let’s flood the school with false reports of rape and break the form. Here are some of their comments. (There are more in the thread.) Note the number of upvotes each of these suggestions got. (Click the images to see the comments in context on Reddit.)
While a few commenters stood up to point out that in fact the school will not charge anyone with anything as a result of anonymous information gathered by the form, they were outnumbered by Men’s Rightsers gleefully reporting that they in fact had reported false information. Among them:
It’s one thing to criticize an anonymous reporting system because of its potential for abuse; this is something else entirely.
The post has been up for 17 hours at this point, with more than 700 net upvotes, and some of the calls for “breaking” the form have been up for nearly as long. The moderators of Men’s Rights have done nothing to stop their subreddit being used to interfere with a school’s attempt to assist rape survivors — including men.
“Breaking” a school’s rape reporting mechanism is apparently a form of Men’s Rights activism.