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Are false rape accusations the fault of feminism?

Holly Pervocracy's SlutWalk sign, which apparently causes false rape accusations.

If you thought the “meat market” guy from a couple of days ago – you know, the one prattling on about the “market makers of pussy” —  was risibly wrongheaded, here’s an even more insidious attempt to reduce the complexities of human sexuality to a question of “supply and demand.” Over on The False Rape Society blog, Pierce Harlan has a new post with the title:

False rape claims: increasingly a tool to skew the current economies of sex, where sex is cheaper than most women prefer

As you might imagine, the post itself is based on some fairly twisty blame-the-victim logic – with some feminist-bashing thrown in for good measure. Let’s wade through the muck here.

According to Harlan, the “cultural tenets governing sexual encounters” have gone all loosey-goosey in recent years, due to birth control, a general loosening of sexual mores and “the feminist-inspired norms that pressure young women to ‘party like the guys.’”

I assume you have all read Mary Wollstonecraft’s classic A Vindication of the Rights of Women to Get Totally Wasted and Fuck Some Dudes.

But, alas, feminists totally don’t understand the law of supply and demand –and that in the market of sex, they are the supply and not the demand  (because it’s not like women ever really want to have sex themselves).  As a result, the feminist-inspired young women of today are totally flooding the market with cut-rate pussy.

As Harlan explains:

The experts tell us that men have a much easier time obtaining sex than they did in days long gone. …  Women who’d prefer to put a higher price tag on their sexuality are finding themselves locked out of the market.

The results are all too predictable.  Women are having sex more often when they secretly are conflicted about it. We’ve frequently reported here about the proven gender “regret asymmetry” where young women have much higher levels of after-the-fact regret than men following sexual hook-ups.  Regret too often is transmogrified into feelings of being used, and feeling used too often metamorphoses into a false rape claim.

Does Harlan have any evidence to back up this hypothesis? Yes. And it comes straight from his ass.

Having studied the false rape phenomenon closely for a number of years, it is my conclusion that young women are increasingly resorting to false rape claims as an inappropriate method of skewing the current economies of sex, which favors men and which makes sex cheaper than most women consciously or subconsciously prefer.

In other words: he has spent the last several years searching out news stories on false rape accusations to post on his blog. Because there are almost 7 billion people on planet earth, he has been able to find a fair number of such stories. So he’s concluded that there is some sort of “false rape epidemic” going on. In other words, his conclusion seems to be based almost entirely on what’s known as the “availability heuristic,” which, as Wikipedia puts it, “is a phenomenon (which can result in a cognitive bias) in which people predict the frequency of an event, or a proportion within a population, based on how easily an example can be brought to mind.”

Were I to start a blog entitled “The Dudes Peeing on Things You Shouldn’t Pee On Society,” guess what? I too could cite many examples, drawn from the newspapers of the world.  Were I to do this for several years, my brain would be stuffed full of stories of men urinating on just about anything that can be urinated on, from prayer rugs to cough drops.  This, through the power of the “availability heuristic,” might convince me that we faced an epidemic of inappropriately urinating men, and that this epidemic was getting worse by the hour. (I mean, before I started specifically looking for such stories I almost never heard about this terrible social ill.)

But back to Harlan and his argument, such as it is:

Women are pressured by feminist-inspired norms to make themselves more available to men than ever, but they have also learned that crying rape after-the-fact is a culturally accepted, indeed, feminist approved, antidote to sex they feel was too cheaply obtained.  Instead of saying “no” up front, they are retroactively saying “no” — with false rape claims — after-the-fact. And society has given this backward state of affairs its imprimatur.

One solution? Women need to stop having so much sex — for the sake of teh menz. Or as Harlan, still working the creaky economic metaphor, puts it:

One cure is to enhance the value of female sexuality by decreasing the supply and thereby reduce both regret and false rape claims.

But, darn it, this won’t work, because women are out there marching in the street for the right to, you know, have sex when they want to with consenting partners without being shamed for it.

That, of course, can never happen in a society where “slut walks” are celebrated as liberating events, where colleges excuse women from underage drinking charges so long as they report they were raped, and where false rape claims are routinely excused and implicitly encouraged. In short, it can never happen in a society that encourages young women to be promiscuous and to then tell rape lies when that promiscuity results in an unfavorable sexual experience.

Harlan ends his piece with a call to lock up false accusers for a long time.

Certainly malicious false accusers should be charged. Women who identify the wrong guy in a lineup? No.

And it would be nice if Harlan extended the sympathy he shows for falsely accused men to real victims of real rape, a much larger group of people than the falsely accused. But instead he writes pieces like this one, and links in his sidebar to a host of misogynist blogs that, among other things, routinely joke about female victims of rape and murder, that urge men on juries in rape trials to vote to acquit the accused even when he’s clearly guilty, that claim that age of consent laws are inherently man-hating, and that think it would be great if sex robots and artificial wombs rendered women obsolete.

Those actually interested in helping those falsely accused – rather than supporting Harlan’s retrograde agenda — would do better to support The Innocence Project, and to stop reading Harlan’s drivel.

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8 years ago

Rape is one of the most Heinous crimes possible. Therefore falsely accusing a man of committing such crime is a hate crime in itself. A few days in prison does not do enough justice to women attempting to put innocent men in prison.

5 years ago

Prosecuting the complainant for malicious rape claims if the defendant is found not guilty would be a disastrous legal precedent!!

The problem is such a low percentage of rapes (in the UK) even get to trial. They only get to court if the police believe there is sufficient evidence and there often isn’t. If it goes to court there is only a 2% rate of conviction.

This leaves many cases unproven and rape survivors open to accusations of malicious false rape claims (and potential prison sentence). In the case of domestic abuse this could be the ultimate “weapon” meted out by an abuser, to their significant other.

If someone genuinely makes a malicious false rape claim, I don’t underestimate the harm to someone’s life and I don’t suggest I have the answers – if anyone has any thoughts to add, I’m interested to hear them?

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