And it begins.

Headlines read: “Duke Lacrosse Stripper Cried Rape Before!� and “Duke Lacrosse Gang Rape Accuser Made Similar Claim in ‘96.� Shocker.
News has come out that the woman who alleges that three Duke students raped her filed a report ten years ago that she was raped by three men. Which clearly means she’s lying. You know, because women can’t get raped more than once.

The report was made ten years ago, the case was totally different from this one, and the woman said she didn’t press charges because she was in fear for her life–yet the defense will naturally use this as a way to discredit her accusation. (Rape shield laws may prohibit the information from being given to the jury.)
For continuing coverage, go to Justice 4 Two Sisters.

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47 Comments

  1. ThePolynomial
    Posted April 28, 2006 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    You know, because women can’t get raped more than once.
    I think this whole double claim begs an interesting (and sure to be contentious) question: Are some women more likely to be raped–and therefore more likely to be raped multiple times–than others?
    Of course I don’t mean the victim is at fault (or anything close to it), but I think it’s entirely possible, nay, likely that there are women who come across as better candidates for victimization than others. (I know one who gets harrassed/assaulted to a bizarre degree, and no, she doesn’t dress provocatively, if anyone cares.) Are there certain women who devalue themselves enough that they become obvious targets? Can an incident of rape give you a low enough self-image that you become more likely to be raped a second time?
    It’s a strange issue…I’m just curious if anyone has a reaction.

  2. Posted April 28, 2006 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    That’s the thought that crossed my mind. I mean, it’s horribly stereotypical, but my thought was “Of course she was raped at a young age. That’s how she ended up as a stripper.” And that’s not fair. I know it’s not fair. But I also know that women who strip tend to end up in that line of work because they were the victims of sexual violence in the past.
    North Carolina has a rape shield law, in any case, so this will probably not be admissible.
    I can think of a specific case I’m familiar with where the rape shield law probably should have been waived, and where (I believe) an innocent man was imprisoned as a result. But the circumstances, which I don’t really want to get into here, were especially suspicious. Not so here, where there’s a ten-year gap between the rape instances, where the accounts and circumstances were remarkably different, and where it is entirely plausible, in other words, that she was victimized twice. And presumably the rape shield laws will protect her. They certainly should.
    Cheers,
    TH

  3. warren
    Posted April 28, 2006 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    Intellectually, you are an oaf. You already had that sweet vision of an elitist white-on-black rape in your mind, right? Maybe next time, loser.

  4. Ismone
    Posted April 28, 2006 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

    Polynomial,
    Your instincts are dead on. Women who have been raped once are more likely to have it happen to them again than women who have never been raped are to have it happen a first time. (Bad sentence construction. Need sleep.)
    Also, they did a study where they had women walk by incarcerated sex offenders, and the offenders would point to the ones they would victimize. They mostly picked out prior victims of sexual assault.
    My roommate and I had a long discussion about it today, and we were wondering if perhaps the women were victimized in the first place because of something about them (my roommate’s position) or perhaps that the fact they had been victimized changed something about the way they carrried themselves–some kind of loss of confidence or security. (Mine, although I thought that what she said was also true.)
    Sad to think about.

  5. Zaij
    Posted April 29, 2006 at 1:18 am | Permalink

    That’s actually a little surprising to me, Ismone. I would have thought that what with all the rape counselling services that there are around, they would’ve gotten back a lot of their confidence and not look like victims to those that didn’t know them. Just as a side note, I’m not saying that the victims get completely over it, because I know that they don’t.
    In that study, did the women that had been raped see help groups or were they ones that coped on their own.
    Were the women told that they’d be walking past sex offenders?
    Both of these would change the result of the study significantly, so I’m just wondering as to how significant it actually is.

  6. Ismone
    Posted April 29, 2006 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    Zaij,
    I don’t know all the details of the study. It was mentioned in passing by my Soc. of Crime Prof. about four years ago. From class discussion, it came out that the women knew they’d be walking past convicts, but not told they were sex offenders, and I do not think they were told more than that.
    This may sound pretty bad, but I don’t know that counseling is always that helpful. A friend of mine used to be a rape crisis counselor (the kind with a degree, not a volunteer) and she told me that a lot of the work was helping women sort of deal with their previous illusions of control over their own lives. That’s right, illusions. So while that may help alleviate feelings of responsibility, I don’t think it does much for feelings of personal security.
    My friends are (for the most part) young, so I don’t know how well someone who is raped can be doing, say, 20 years down the line. But the women (and one man) I know now are not doing well, at least with regards to the rape and its repercussions. (Grades may be fine, but social interactions and dating are affected negatively.) Whether there is a shrink involved or not. I’m not saying going to one is a bad idea, but I think that there is only so much that they can do, and most of the work goes to the survivor.

  7. TheManOnTheSteet
    Posted April 29, 2006 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    Wwll, if you are going to make outlandish statements like that, then why not go all the way and say that the reason she didn’t persue the charges 10 years ago was because the accused were black.
    Both statements, (You know, because women can’t get raped more than once.) and the one I just made are rediculous.
    Look at it this way, if a mechanic has a shady past consisting of false charges, shoddy work, and essentially ripping off customers, would you trust her (this being a feminist board, the mechanic must be female donchaknow)? Would you believe in said mechanic? Or would you take her past record and seriously think twice about “believing” that she will be honest?
    Yes, I know. A dishonest mechanic is not even remotely similar to a rape victim/rapist. But the point remains. The past of an individual IS usually telling of a person character and tends to lend credence to their actions.
    Just as the alleged racism of one of the duke boys. If, in fact, he is proven to be the bigot that he is alleged to be, then that DOES, in my mind, tell me something about his character. Thus, if ten years from now, he is accused of a hate crime, I would lean to the side of he may well be guilty because “he has a history”.
    I quote that last part because someone here actually said that. Well, then what’s good for the goos ‘en all that.
    TMOTS

  8. Ismone
    Posted April 29, 2006 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    The fact she failed to pursue the charge says nothing about whether she was telling the truth then or is now.
    So your analogy doesn’t hold. She isn’t known to have lied.

  9. Durga_is_my_homey
    Posted April 29, 2006 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    Are some women more likely to be raped–and therefore more likely to be raped multiple times–than others?
    I think it should be “are men in certain situations more likely to be rapists than others?� and “are men more likely to rape women in certain situations?�.
    The report was made ten years ago, the case was totally different from this one, and the woman said she didn’t press charges because she was in fear for her life–yet the defense will naturally use this as a way to discredit her accusation.
    I know, and the news is playing it like its so similar. The actual report doesn’t say the three men raped her, it says three men drove her to a house and two raped her, for one. Plus if one was her boyfriend, it would be understandable why she’d be scared.
    Just as the alleged racism of one of the duke boys. If, in fact, he is proven to be the bigot that he is alleged to be, then that DOES, in my mind, tell me something about his character.
    There are witnesses and corroborating testimony as to the racist slurs of the party attendees (whether they were Duke players or not, I don’t know). I’m not sure if it is just one of the men. And please, they are men. Then of course pummeling a guy because he wanted you to stop calling him “gay�. I don’t know if any of these guys are rapists, but they sure are pieces of shit and their behavior is their own damn fault. Not the media’s and not the alleged victim’s.

  10. Zaij
    Posted April 29, 2006 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the information Ismone, I’ll look a little bit more into it – I’m a soc student.
    I find it pretty surprising that many people don’t find rape counselling effective. Since there’s supposedly so much unreported rape, you’d think that there’d be a lot of research into making counselling more effective.

  11. Ismone
    Posted April 29, 2006 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    But how much can counseling really do? We can’t counsel a lot of vets. out of PTSD, so why should it be a surprise that we can’t counsel rape survivors out of their trauma either?
    Some life experiences just damage, and you are never the same. To some extent, you can minimize the damage, but I don’t think you can ever go back to how you were before.
    I still think we should do the best we can, but let’s not kid ourselves.

  12. Zaij
    Posted April 29, 2006 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Like I said earlier, I know that you are never the same after a rape. At the same time, rape does seem to affect a large ammount of American so there should be a large amount of research on it.
    And please don’t blame the lack of research, if there is such a thing, on the patriarchy because that excuse is really getting old. The elite grey-haired rich men aren’t really that large in number that they’re trying to keep the (wo)man down.

  13. Posted April 29, 2006 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    And exactly what research project would you conduct that hasn’t already been done?
    The research that has been done tells us that about 85% of rapes go unreported. The possibility that this woman’s previous case was among the 85% shouldn’t surprise us much.
    And defense may try to bring up the previous allegation, but it won’t be admissible in court. The only way they’ll be able to use it is if they find a way to prejudice the jury by way of the media, and there are generally some pretty good safeguards in place to prevent juror bias.
    Cheers,
    TH

  14. Zaij
    Posted April 29, 2006 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    Er. Have you read anything I’ve said? I was reffering to research into better counselling for rape victims.

  15. mim
    Posted April 29, 2006 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    If women are still getting blamed for “asking for it,” I’m not surprised at all if most rapes go unreported.
    And certain people are really more likely to be victims–of robbery, of bullying, of violence in general. For whatever reason, they have an air of vulnerability. Doesn’t let the robber or the bully off the hook one iota.

  16. Zaij
    Posted April 29, 2006 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    Sorry mim, where’s the comment on ehre that said someone is asking for it.
    And I really don’t think anyone was saying the rapist should be off the hook even a little.
    I do, however, feel that a false accusation of rape is even worse than rape for two reasons.
    1) it destroys one persons life for an extremely petty reason.
    2) it is extremely insulting and demeaning to real rape victims.

  17. Tony
    Posted April 29, 2006 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    Um, the only thing insulting and demeaning to rape victims is the notion that being accused of rape is worse than being raped.

  18. Ismone
    Posted April 29, 2006 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    Zaij,
    Now you’re just being snarky without warrant. I have never mentioned anything about the patriarchy, or lack of research either. Although women and men, but mostly women, have had to fight for (and fund) every inch that we’ve gotten as far as better treatment for rape survivors.
    Yes, you did say they never get completely over it, so it sounds like we agree.
    As for false rape accusations being worse than rape, if you had the choice, would you rather be raped or accused of being a rapist?
    For the purposes of this question, keep in mind the number of men who are actually convicted of rape after a police report is filed. (The Bureau of Justice Stats. keeps numbers on this, you can find them on the web.) If you want to be really accurate in terms of the real world, you might want to consider the number of deliberately false accusations that lead to a conviction.
    To save you the research, that number is almost 0. Look on the Innocence Project website if you don’t believe me. Almost every single rape case (if not all of them) that has lead to an exoneration came about because of a person improperly identifying A STRANGER due to flawed police procedures.
    Most false rape accusations aren’t even accusations, they are not leveled at a person, instead, the person falsely reports that s/he was raped, without ever identifying a perpetrator.

  19. Zaij
    Posted April 29, 2006 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

    To be honest, I’m not quite sure why that patriarchy comment came out and I do apologise.
    Being raped destroys your own perception of yourself.
    Being falsely accused and convicted destroys your families, colleagues and friends perception of you, and even if you do get exonorated there remain lingering doubts in many peoples minds. It destroys your chances of getting a decent job because lets face it, who wants to hire a rapist.
    I’m not talking about false rape accusations where the person made a mistake. I’m talking about those that are delibarately malicious.

  20. Ismone
    Posted April 29, 2006 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think that rape merely destroys self perception–and the perception it seems to destroy is a different one then the perception of others that your falsely convicted rapist has to deal with.
    A person who is raped has to deal with the fact that they were not in control. That some other person was able to take something from them, not just a sex act, but self-control. Also, it is not just the assault that is tainted, it is consensual sex, in the future, with partners the survivor desires. That is some pretty heavy baggage.
    So perceptions of control (self in relation to others) and perceptions of sex as sex and desire as desire are all implicated.
    And that is before the rape accusations become public and everyone starts talking about her and what a slut and liar she is.
    A person who is accused may lose some perception of control, but it is not physical control but image control. Also, you are mentioning falsely accused and convicted. I’m a little more likely to agree with you that the crimes are similar in severity (though very different in kind) if you are talking about a deliberate false report that leads to conviction and imprisonment. But that ain’t what happens with most false reports. See post above.

  21. Zaij
    Posted April 29, 2006 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

    Like I said, I was reffering to the malicious kind of false accusation, not the mistaken one.

  22. Ismone
    Posted April 29, 2006 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

    Straw man.

  23. Zaij
    Posted April 29, 2006 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

    Not at all.

  24. Tony
    Posted April 30, 2006 at 12:40 am | Permalink

    Zaij, the consequences you were referring in your post at 9:49 hold whether the accusation is false or not, whether the accusation is malicious or not.
    Putting the accuser aside for a moment, if you think those consequences (which essentially do not include jail time as Ismone mentioned) are worse than rape, then you’re essentially saying that the accusation itself is at least enough punishment. By that logic, we might as well make rape legal because simply by making the accusation the victim can inflict all the justice that is needed. I am only following your own chain of reasoning here to its logical conclusion.
    Look… clearly, while a false accusation which leads to conviction and proportionate punishment is often about as bad as the crime itself (our justice system was deliberately designed this way because it is part of the nature of justice that that the punishment be proportional to the crime), and hence the saying “better that ten guilty go free than that one innocent suffer,” I hardly see why rape in particular is different than any other crimes in this context. Going back once again to Ismone’s point, it would only seem to differ in the rarity of such cases that were deliberately brought about.

  25. Zaij
    Posted April 30, 2006 at 1:55 am | Permalink

    Like I said, during this thread I did, in fact, mean malicious reporting. In truth, I didn’t even think of a mistaken one.
    Consider the punishment that the accused suffers.
    There will always remain doubts about whether they actually did it. Relationships (family/friends/significant other) will never be complete again and there will always be a lack of trust. Any decent employment will be lost and not gained again. If, after a few months/years in gaol it’s finally proven that it was a MALICIOUS false accusation, the man has lost a long time in his life and the woman only gets in trouble for filing a false report.

  26. Posted April 30, 2006 at 4:00 am | Permalink

    And this is “even worse than rape” how?

  27. Zaij
    Posted April 30, 2006 at 4:42 am | Permalink

    Rape is physical and mental, and it is also directed inwards. You’re friends and family won’t hate you for being raped, they’ll support you.
    Malicious reporting is mental and is directed outwards. Your family and friends don’t trust you, you lose your job etc.
    Both the raped, and the maliciously accused had done nothing wrong, however being maliciously accused affects the people you know in a negative way to you, while being raped affects the people you know in a positive way towards you.

  28. Tony
    Posted April 30, 2006 at 5:42 am | Permalink

    Zaij, thank you for continuing to live in your own mental hole and failing to recognize the points of others.

  29. Zaij
    Posted April 30, 2006 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    Tony, thank you for the extremely rude comment. It’s very kind of you and it helps your argument immensely.
    I’m sorry, but I’m running off personal experience here. I know two ladies that have falsely accused rape for two aquaintances of mine (they admitted it later) which seems pretty serious to me. I cannot help but wonder, why do you see that when a woman cries rape falsely, she is not raping a man of both his character and his mental state. It is really quite curious.
    I’ve been labelled an anti-feminist heckler by people on the blog because I’ve asked for feminism to look into the issues that straight white males face. The only group, curiously, that feminism doesn’t cover. You seem to think that if you don’t fit the feminist ideal (I’m only basing this off your comments in this thread), you must be a woman hating chauvanistic bastard

  30. TheManOnTheSteet
    Posted April 30, 2006 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    Durga_is_my_homey:
    So essentially, you have no problem believing that these boys are guilty by proxy because of their past, but you deny that this womans past, which inclused, lies, DWI, attempted assault on a police officer, auto theft, and a FALSE ACCUSATION OF RAPE, is irrelevent. Got it.
    Yes, it was a FALSE ACCUSATION. She didn’t persue it “because she was scared” may be her stance but the facts (police reports) PROVE that there wasn’t enough evident AS WELL AS DISCREPENCIES in her story that lead to the DA at the time not filing charges.
    Believe what you will, but the facts are the facts, and no amount of “victim-spin” will change that.
    Again, (and I hate having to reiterate this everytime but I feel that I must, lest be labeled a misogynist) I am NOT saying that the rape didn’t occure. I am merely stating that ALL facts and ALL aspects of BOTH the accuser AND the ACCUSED character should be looked at fairly. At present, only the “Duke Boys” are being analyzed with impunity. Whenever the accuser’s past is mentioned, everyone goes into the tired old “protect the victim” frenzy.
    Everyone seems to forget that the INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY IS SUPPOSED TO GO BOTH WAYS.
    TMOTS

  31. Durga_is_my_homey
    Posted April 30, 2006 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    Durga_is_my_homey:
    So essentially, you have no problem believing that these boys are guilty by proxy because of their past, but you deny that this womans past, which inclused, lies, DWI, attempted assault on a police officer, auto theft, and a FALSE ACCUSATION OF RAPE, is irrelevent. Got it.

    Wow, these straw-men are getting soggy.
    You people keep coming unhinged based on things you want us to be saying, but no matter how many veins you pop, we never said it.
    Malicious reporting is mental and is directed outwards. Your family and friends don’t trust you, you lose your job etc.
    You’re pretending it flows only one way, as if when somebody is accused of rape – true or not – everybody believes it is true or cares, and THAT is incorrect. Even when a rapist is convicted that often happens and there is always one side of the public who just “knowsâ€? what a “slutâ€? the victim is. And even when a rapist is convicted, the damage is done to the victim’s image, not to mention how she is much of a pariah at this point (remember the OC Rape Case?). I remember in my home state when two teens slipped two female teens the date-rape drug, one ended up dying and they didn’t get a chance to complete the rape because they panicked. The judge let the guy go (only one was tried for that particular crime because he slipped it to the dead girl) because he felt he “served his timeâ€? (the logic was that he didn’t *mean* to kill her. And nope, neither were charged with attempted rape). You’d think what people always say about losing your job, friends, girlfriend and all these things that are supposed to happen would occur. Oh, no. They cheered for the little bastard when he graduated, the whole damn school. They had a party.
    This has always been true in the cases I’ve known; it seems to happen especially when the rapists are young. I’ve known five women who were raped and never pressed charges cause they just didn’t want to deal with everything, one of the woman’s rapist had raped another woman before (who also never told the police). Two of the women’s rapists (one was gang raped, she had gone to some guy friends’ house to get away from her step-dad) could very well have been people I’ve seen around, especially since one was the sister of my babysitter – and a sometimes babysitter of me – and they were people we’ve known from church.
    Out livin’ their lives like nothin’, all of them.

  32. Casey
    Posted April 30, 2006 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    A University Rape case you might not have heard of yet.
    Tomorrow, May 1st is the first day of a trial in Denver against the University of Colorado. An assistant to a former Chemical Engineering Professor Gamow was raped multiple times by him. Over decades there had been many harassment and assault complaints against this professor. CU always protected him. CU finally fired him in 2004, after the football recruits rape case broke, the former assistant filed a lawsuit, and many former victims came forward to testify against him in closed University proceedings.
    Through legal machinations, CU is preventing all former victims from testifying in this trial. They have narrowed it to a he said/she said case and will argue that it was concensual (and she’s a slut).
    Please don’t let CU get away with this and help publicize the case. More background can be found on web “Igor Gamow” “CU” “Boulder” etc. See also Boulder Daily Camera, WestWord, and Rocky Mountain News articles avialable in on-line archives.

  33. prairielily
    Posted April 30, 2006 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    In many cultures, being raped does destroy others perception of you. I remember a Bollywood movie I watched when I was younger, where a young woman got caught in the rain on the way to her teacher’s house for tutoring, and arrived soaking wet, needing to change. And he raped her. And her family? Forced her to marry him.
    And my mother went, “That’s how they do things over there. Why was she taking her clothes off in his house anyway?”

  34. Casey
    Posted April 30, 2006 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    CU Rape case -
    Did I mention that the judge has had CU season football tickets for years? Did bias weigh into his decision not to allow any other victims to testify?

  35. naomi
    Posted April 30, 2006 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    I’ve personally heard several men make jokes about raping women. Do a Google search for a sample. I’ve heard many stories from my family of men who BRAGGED about raping women, particularly black women in the South,where we’re from. But I’ve never heard of a man that bragged about having been raped himself. Kind of puts the being accused vs. being victimized dichotomy in a litte perspective.

  36. Tony
    Posted April 30, 2006 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    Zaij, the point wasn’t to be rude to you truly but get your attention, because you seemed to have dismissed my concerns with one brush as if you hadn’t read them and instead just repeated what you’d already said previously. That disappointed me because I’d read your comments and tried to engage them.
    I’ve never used the words “woman hating” or “chauvinistic bastard” but I wish my vocabulary was easily that colorful. That’s the second time you’ve put words into the mouth of someone here and one wonders whether you haven’t got preexisting notions of the pro-feminist posters here.
    A false accusation of rape is a terrible thing of course but I dont think it can be compared to rape itself, unless the person is actually convicted and serves the punishment. That’s why I was harping heavily on Ismone’s citation of statistics suggesting that generally the only times this occurs is when the suspect is misidentified. That’s also why the justice system is set up the way it is, for any crime, but I won’t repeat again what I wrote before. As for people’s external reactions, some people will rush to judgment while others will rush to defense. Most of the time during these cases there is genuine uncertainty about the accuracy of the charges. If the accuser admits it wasn’t true later as in your stories, I dont think people’s perceptions of the accused would continue to be negative. In fact, the accused would benefit from substantial sympathy.
    Overall I think Ismone and I have addressed your concerns frontally, even if you aren’t fully satisfied. I still think some of the comments you made earlier were demeaning to rape victims in the ways they could be interpreted, which I touched on in my previous post.

  37. Tony
    Posted April 30, 2006 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    One more thing. If you do recognize that it is silly to say being accused of rape, even falsely, is as bad as rape itself when it does not lead to criminal punishment, I do recognize that informal social uncertainty during this period has a cost. However, this comes at the fault of the community and not the legal system. Furthermore, any remedy to the accused’s reputation should be ideally pre-emptory (i.e., by setting a high bar for prosecution) rather than retalitatory, especially when it comes to criminal charges.
    Look at O.J. Simpson, a notorious case, who was found not guilty in the criminal system, yet found guilty in the court of public opinion. His protection from ‘defamation’ was that the accusers had to pass the test of probable cause, and that no one else came forward and admitted the crime. Once both these criteria were satisfied, no one could possibly have exonerated him, and therefore he would always be viewed suspiciously. Since society doesn’t know the truth, there is nothing society can do but deal with uncertainty. If we allow Simpson to sue the Goldmans and Simpsons for defamation, claiming his reputation had been ruined, and this was taken up in civil court, it could deter people from bringing forward murder charges. After all, if the preponderance of the evidence is not on the accuser’s side, they will have to pay charges of defamation!
    Clearly, while we want the trial system to work in bias toward the defendant in so far as the high burden of proof, we also do not want to deter people from bringing forward criminal charges on the fear of reprisal (assuming the presence of probable cause). In your personal case, with the accuser’s admission she has lost probable cause and the accused’s best plan of action is to publicize this as much as possible. The problem is when the stakes are raised, each side becomes less and less willing to address the truth. It’s a horrible situation all around, but I don’t think there is much that can be done, or should be done, since uncertainty will always exist and the US system already has some of the strongest protections built in for the accused in criminal trials. These kinds of things happen outside the legal system even all the time.

  38. Ahlana
    Posted April 30, 2006 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    Zaij – If a rape accusation is so bad and ruins peoples careers… How is Kobe Bryant doing? Is he a homeless bum who’s wife left him? Or is he still making millions of dollars in the NBA and still married? The accusation must have been just terrible for him…
    Also, NPR did a special on this last fall – woman in Iraq who are kidnapped and ransomed back to their families are killed BY THEIR FAMILIES after they are released because the woman /might/ have been raped. They don’t even bother with asking her if she was raped. They just assume and some loving member of the family kills her to make sure she doesn’t shame the family. Just an interesting cultural example of how much rape sucks… for the victim.

  39. Posted April 30, 2006 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    Zajj — I’m very, very aware of the fact that white males do have to face some pretty messy difficulties, and I think that the situation of the white male *is* worth paying some serious attention to, academic and otherwise. I am aware that false accusations DO happen and that they ARE pretty devastating to the accused. However, it’s a situation you really have to look at holistically — most women who get up the guts to go to the police with something so traumatic, personal, and taboo are not just trying to wreak havoc in some poor guy’s life. And since the ramnifications of a rape being committed against someone are so serious, disturbing, and life-altering, even if half of all reports of rape were spurious (which they absolutely are not) they should still be taken seriously and handled verrrry sensitively until some clarity can be gained. One should treat someone who claims to have been raped as if they are a rape victim until it becomes absolutely certain that they are not, because if it does turn out that they were raped, it would have been appallingly egregious to have treated someone going through that like dirt — way worse than whatever damage is done to the accused by taking the accusation seriously.
    On that note, I absolutely don’t believe for a moment that being accused of rape is NEARLY as bad as actually being raped. First of all, even if the ramnifications of it were solely internal (which they are not, especially if we live in a culture that calls a victim’s integrity into question the minute she finds the strength to try to talk about it and gain closure), I think such a violent destruction of one’s internal security, self-image, and self-worth is WAY worse than one’s reputation at the office or among drinking buddies or whatever. I mean, people develop PTSD from that kind of thing, and it affects their view of self and others for the rest of their lives. The falsely accused, while in a regrettable position, really only have to deal with some social drama for a while, and if they’re particularly introspective maybe they feel a little guilt over it and become more sexually self-conscious. While I certainly would not wish this state upon anyone, I am absolutely willing to take that risk when the choice is between either accusing someone falsely or mistreating a victim.

  40. Zaij
    Posted April 30, 2006 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

    “Zaij, the point wasn’t to be rude to you truly but get your attention, because you seemed to have dismissed my concerns with one brush as if you hadn’t read them and instead just repeated what you’d already said previously. That disappointed me because I’d read your comments and tried to engage them.”
    Sorry, can you please point out what I missed.
    “I’ve never used the words “woman hating” or “chauvinistic bastard” but I wish my vocabulary was easily that colorful. That’s the second time you’ve put words into the mouth of someone here and one wonders whether you haven’t got preexisting notions of the pro-feminist posters here.”
    I was quoting someone from this blog before and what he was saying to me. And, er… what makes you think I’m not a feminist?
    “Zaij – If a rape accusation is so bad and ruins peoples careers… How is Kobe Bryant doing? Is he a homeless bum who’s wife left him? Or is he still making millions of dollars in the NBA and still married? The accusation must have been just terrible for him…”
    I think you’ll find, Ahlana, that there’s a large difference between the the rich and influential, as well as the hugely popular, and your average joe when it comes to the legal system.
    “Just an interesting cultural example of how much rape sucks… for the victim.”
    Because I really didn’t know that rape is already a terrible crime.
    “One more thing. If you do recognize that it is silly to say being accused of rape, even falsely, is as bad as rape itself when it does not lead to criminal punishment, I do recognize that informal social uncertainty during this period has a cost. However, this comes at the fault of the community and not the legal system”
    I never said it was the fault of the legal system, but to maliciously report is still a way to get the other person punished.
    “Furthermore, any remedy to the accused’s reputation should be ideally pre-emptory (i.e., by setting a high bar for prosecution) rather than retalitatory, especially when it comes to criminal charges.”
    I don’t disagree with you, but I’m not seeing anything that is like that.
    “If the accuser admits it wasn’t true later as in your stories, I dont think people’s perceptions of the accused would continue to be negative. In fact, the accused would benefit from substantial sympathy.

    Only if they admit it.

  41. Zaij
    Posted April 30, 2006 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

    “Zajj — I’m very, very aware of the fact that white males do have to face some pretty messy difficulties, and I think that the situation of the white male *is* worth paying some serious attention to, academic and otherwise. I am aware that false accusations DO happen and that they ARE pretty devastating to the accused. However, it’s a situation you really have to look at holistically — most women who get up the guts to go to the police with something so traumatic, personal, and taboo are not just trying to wreak havoc in some poor guy’s life. And since the ramnifications of a rape being committed against someone are so serious, disturbing, and life-altering, even if half of all reports of rape were spurious (which they absolutely are not) they should still be taken seriously and handled verrrry sensitively until some clarity can be gained. One should treat someone who claims to have been raped as if they are a rape victim until it becomes absolutely certain that they are not, because if it does turn out that they were raped, it would have been appallingly egregious to have treated someone going through that like dirt — way worse than whatever damage is done to the accused by taking the accusation seriously.”
    I know that most rapes are actually rapes, and not people just trying to wreck their boyfriends lives but we do have to understand that there is such a thing as false reporting and bear that in mind before the accused is strung up in the public eye.
    I agree with you that everyone who comes in with a rape claim should be treated seriously. I fully blame the media for many problems that exist with both the raped and the maliciously accused.
    “On that note, I absolutely don’t believe for a moment that being accused of rape is NEARLY as bad as actually being raped. First of all, even if the ramnifications of it were solely internal (which they are not, especially if we live in a culture that calls a victim’s integrity into question the minute she finds the strength to try to talk about it and gain closure), I think such a violent destruction of one’s internal security, self-image, and self-worth is WAY worse than one’s reputation at the office or among drinking buddies or whatever. I mean, people develop PTSD from that kind of thing, and it affects their view of self and others for the rest of their lives. The falsely accused, while in a regrettable position, really only have to deal with some social drama for a while, and if they’re particularly introspective maybe they feel a little guilt over it and become more sexually self-conscious. While I certainly would not wish this state upon anyone, I am absolutely willing to take that risk when the choice is between either accusing someone falsely or mistreating a victim.”
    I guess that this all just ends up as personal opinion.

  42. Tony
    Posted May 1, 2006 at 12:48 am | Permalink

    “Sorry, can you please point out what I missed.”
    You missed the fact that your arguments apply equally to charges both deliberate or accidental, true or false.
    “I was quoting someone from this blog before and what he was saying to me.”
    But not me.
    “I don’t disagree with you, but I’m not seeing anything that is like that.”
    The pre-emptory protection against frivolous accusations is probable cause (“a reasonable belief that a crime has been committed and that the person is linked to the crime with the same degree of certainty.”) There will be no searches, indictments or arrests unless probable cause has been shown.
    “I never said it was the fault of the legal system, but to maliciously report is still a way to get the other person punished.”
    Yes, which is why the right thing to do if someone you know is accused of rape is to not rush to conclusions. Sorry, but society doesn’t owe these people anything except innocent until proven guilty before the LAW. People’s reactions are variable in each case and their own responsibility.

  43. TheManOnTheSteet
    Posted May 1, 2006 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    “You’re pretending it flows only one way, as if when somebody is accused of rape – true or not – everybody believes it is true or cares, and THAT is incorrect.”
    Strawman indeed. I guess you’ll only get it if you want to. With rediculous assumptions like the above, it’s no wonder that you just don’t get it.
    TMOTS

  44. Durga_is_my_homey
    Posted May 1, 2006 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    Strawman indeed.
    That wasn’t addressed to you. Plus it was a deduction based on an argument as a whole.

  45. Eshew Obfuscation
    Posted July 17, 2006 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    This thread is simply retarded on all sides.
    For one thing, injuries incurred by different people in different ways are incomparable.
    For another thing, why does it seem that many commenters here fail to recognize that Falsely Accusing someone of rape is a TREMENDOUS injury. Let me lay out a scenario, you’re about to get engaged to a guy, and you hire a private detective to run a background check (not unheard of….you’ve known the man for 2 years, but you’re both 27 so there’s a lot of time when you didn’t know him)…Background check comes back and says he was accused of rape when he was 21. Little do you know he was ENTIRELY falsely accused, and not even did he not rape the woman, but he never even met the woman until he went to court. In this hypothetical situation, the woman decides not to marry the man, and when she breaks it off with him she never even mentions what she found out.
    Has this man not then been injured (outside of having to pay for legal counsel, the interruption into his life, paying a bondsman, public humiliation during the trial, etc) by the false rape accusation?
    I think you’d have to be practically insane not to think that false rape accusations aren’t injurious (and while you might not think they hurt as much as rape, it’s not really a contest…I mean it’s like saying “what sucks more, being robbed or having your house burn down?”

  46. MsJane
    Posted July 17, 2006 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    “I’ve been labelled an anti-feminist heckler by people on the blog.”
    Posted by: Zaij
    LOL! GEE, I wonder why.
    (btw Tony, you cracked me up.)
    Zaij, reading your posts is almost like entertainment, they’re so naive and one-sided. I wasn’t sure if I should go get some popcorn and sit back down. Stuff like this is priceless:
    …”being maliciously accused affects the people you know in a negative way to you, while being raped affects the people you know in a positive way towards you.”
    Oh, yes, it’s all so positive! The depth of your research and analysis is breathtaking. Your grasp of psychology is stunning.
    Let me guess. You’re female, around 22, have low self esteem, and feel all embarrassed and guilty about the bitchy girls you know who think they can get back at a man by yelling rape.
    There is such a thing in life as perspective, and priorities. Sit down with some professionals who have had to clean up the emotional wreckage inflicted by rape, incest, physical or emotional abuse, and neglect. Then you’ll get some perspective. Open a newspaper and see what challenges women around the world are facing. Or better yet, volunteer at a rape crisis center, or a shelter for domestic violence, or tag along with a social worker for a day.
    I don’t know what’s worse, men who may not care about the problem, or women who hate their gender and create roadblocks to change.
    How do you think those burkas stay on over in the middle east? It’s not just Islam or male patriarchy. The women help keep that social structure together. Who are the first to call women sluts and whores? Often other women. Who performs the female mutilations? Often mothers or mother in laws. Who is perpetuating the “gossip” of teen dating which drove Turkish parents to arrange an honor killing? Who is passively ashamed of their own sexuality or assertiveness? Who are some of the biggest critics here at home of women who have careers (and neglect their children!). Women. And no one knows that better than Jury specialists. A woman accused? Fill the jury box with other women.
    That is what we have to change. A little unity, a little understanding, a little self-love is not a bad thing.

  47. noname
    Posted October 14, 2006 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    Don’t forget to watch 60 Minutes this Sunday. From what I have heard, it should be very interesting for those who care about the rape allegations.

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