Why “She Lied” is Too Convenient

Check out this moving commentary by Kristal Brent-Zook about the Hofstra student’s false rape claims and the public reaction. An excerpt:

I’m having Duke deja vu right now.
Because for every African-American woman who is courageous enough to report a rape, there are 15 other African-American women who choose to keep their assaults quiet.
How many of us can honestly know for certain that our own mothers, sisters, aunts, grandmothers, or girlfriends haven’t been raped at some point in their lives?
The problem is that cases like what happened at Hofstra and at Duke somehow end up canceling out in people’s minds, the real violence that takes place against women every day. It’s more convenient for us. It feels better to say, “See, she lied.” It excuses the rest of us from having to face, in any real way, the violence that surrounds and impacts each and every one of us in our own lives, and in the lives of the women we love.

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73 Comments

  1. oswid_
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    > The problem is that cases like what happened at Hofstra and at Duke somehow end up canceling out in people’s minds, the real violence that takes place against women every day
    I agree. But there is the reason for it: goverment applying its power to the innocent is much more dangerous than goverment not punishing criminal. What is the balance? 1 innocent person in jail = 100 criminals free? I don’t know.

  2. davenj
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    There is no balance. And that’s why it’s so scary.
    One thing ought not take away from the other here, but part of living in a society under the rule of law is the fear of the misuse of the justice system. The power to essentially destroy one’s life is potent and dreadful.
    So that’s part of the reason why people latch on in cases like this.
    However, I don’t think there’s a “one is more dangerous than the other” thing here. Both are dangerous, and it’s hard to truly assess danger here when there are two goals (protection of society and protection of the individual) that don’t always overlap.

  3. Comrade Kevin
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    I agree that environment dictates future behavior to some extent, but I wonder if it is an absolute certainty that a man who witnesses his mother being physically abused is then predisposed to acting in kind himself. Under that logic, any male who is sexually abused or witnesses sexual abuse in childhood will have a propensity to be an abuser himself. That is often the case, but it isn’t always the case.
    Stories exist of men who were so repulsed by scenes of physical violence in their family when they were children that they vowed never to act the same way when they became adults. Absolutely I agree that we ought to never tolerate violence anywhere it occurs. I’d like to know more about where it occurs and if there are means of determining via statistics what factors make it likely.

  4. Mighty Ponygirl
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    My favorite line is when I talk to male friends who foam at the mouth over this case and want this woman to go on trial for the false accusation, because “she’s hurt all those women who really were raped.”
    Yeah, because having a woman trying to decide if she wants to risk prosecuting her rapist because if she can’t make enough of a case he can turn around and sue her is a great way to help women who have been raped.

  5. TD
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    There is a huge difference between insufficient evidence and a provably false allegation.
    The Hofstra case wasn’t dropped because of a lack of evidence, it was dropped because they could prove she lied.

  6. oswid_
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    Of course, both are dangerous. But sometimes it is zero-sum game. And you (me, us) are forced to compare them.

  7. Jack
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    So then you don’t think she should be prosecuted? Is that how you feel about everyone who lies about a crime committed against them, or just her?

  8. The Flash
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    There’s an explicit fear, that many men have, that this addresses, of any woman they sleep with turning around and calling it rape when, as far as the man can tell, it was consensual. The hysteria surrounding this case is in part due to people who are more afraid of being accused of rape than they are of their loved ones being raped.
    But it also plugs into something deeper, about shifts in power structures and media that ARE unfair. I once saw a standup comic do a routine where he said he had been making some money by babysitting, and this 8-year-old kid had wanted to stay up late or watch TV or something. So, the standup comic said no, and the kid said, “If you don’t let me do this, I’m going to tell my mom that you touched my penis.”
    Which got a laugh because it verbalized a tension that’s prevalent, that now that we’ve started reordering power structures to enable disempowered groups to assert their rights, we’ve suddenly made it so that they can assert those rights unjustly. These Hofstra guys may not have had the same kind of national media whipping that the Duke guys got, but as a white male recent university grad, I can tell you, the Duke thing was one of the scariest things I’ve ever seen on the news, because even now, those guys’ lives are ruined, and in a very real way, I feel like it could’ve been me. So how many convicted rapists had accusers who didn’t get caught making up their stories? WHAT IF IT HAPPENS TO ME AND MY NUTSO ACCUSER IS JUST A LITTLE SMARTER OR MORE BELIEVABLE?
    So at a time when, at least to the non-feminist’s mind, the pendulum has swung to the point of compelling normal guys to feel like they’re walking on eggshells in trying to interpret their own, and other people’s, statements and reactions, there’s a need to show that not everything that looks like rape is actually rape, and that while there is a much larger world out there of bad things that are totally unequivocally bad and should be stopped, there’s also a world of nuance where innocent people are getting ruined by policies deisgned to protect someone else. Obviously, most people want policies to protect themselves first, and others second.
    And also, at a time when an accusation of rape has effectively condemned a person to infamy, if not outright attack, regardless of ultimate vindication, and when someone can, teflon-like, slip through after supporting a wild accusation against an innocent man (I’m looking at you, Sharpton), there’s a legitimate reason to seize upon a clear story that shows where some of the flaws are in the system.

  9. PDXHopeful
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    Regarding your comment about guys feeling like they’re ‘walking on eggshells in trying to interpret their own, and other people’s, statements and reactions’… I agree it must be difficult. And yet I’ve also seen many men whose response to that isn’t to ask more direct questions of their partners/potential partners, or to improve their social skills so they are more confident in their assessment of others’ feelings, but to sit back and complain about how harrrrd it is.
    I know it goes against a lot of current socialization, but both men and women are capable of being empathetic, considerate human beings. I should know – I’ve got a brother who’s one.

  10. cattrack2
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    Call me naive, but I don’t think the Hofstra or Duke cases outweigh the (too) many everyday examples we have of rape. Its impossible to tune into the local news without hearing about a rape case. And, in general, I think society views sex crimes as particularly heinous. In this case there was a rush to judgement & prosecution…on the sole accusation of one person & without corroborating or physical evidence.
    So, in my mind, this serves merely as a cautionary tale that there are 2 sides to every story.

  11. Phenicks
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    There was a girl who lied about being raped- her accuser was sent to prison on her word and raped in prison.
    There is NO recourse for that. He was violently violated in a way that she had the priveldge of never knowing. Making him the whipping boy for unpunished rapists everywhere is SICK AND SADISTIC because it says that simply having a penis makes someone a rapist and that’s just pure unadulterated ignorance and hatred.
    There should be EQUAL outrage over false accusations at the accuser as there is on true accusations aimed at the accused/rapist. A person who lies about it rapes the accuser in that they literally take YEARS of their life away and sometimes almost gurantee that the accused WILL BE raped while in prison.

  12. aleks
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    Sometimes this conversation starts to sound like the Abolitionist in Amistad who can’t wait for the slaves to be executed because of what magnificent martyrs they’ll make.
    No rape occurred, which is a good thing, even if it interrupts some activists’ preferred narrative. There wasn’t a crime or wrongful act until the accuser decided to risk the lives of five innocent people rather than own up to her actions. Nothing had or has happened to her. She lied for her own convenience.

  13. lucierohan
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    How exactly does this case interrupt the anti-rape activist’s narrative? Anti-rape activists basically say that rape happens too much, that it usually happens to women, that women are often blamed to their own rape, and that the rapists too often gets nothing more than a legal slap on the wrist (and i know i know! his reputation is DAMAGED….poor fucking him).
    The popular anti-rape narrative does not, however, suggest that women NEVER lie about rape. So I don’t really get what your point is.

  14. lucierohan
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    sorry for all the grammatical errors.

  15. aleks
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    “She Lied” is Too Convenient

  16. lucierohan
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    I know what the article is called, thanks.
    The commentary in no way defends the false accusations in the Hofstra case. It’s just examining the case is a wider context. So yeah…I still don’t get what you’re saying. Maybe you should explain your problem instead of condescendingly reposting the title of the piece.

  17. A male
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    I will reiterate my own position on “false” accusation. To me, a false accusation is deliberate, malicious, fraud. Like planting narcotics in my car or a dead body in my backyard in an attempt to harm me because you bear a grudge. Official reports or statistics on “unfounded” accusation of rape aren’t false accusation.
    A mistaken ID or misunderstanding (as when posters ask, was I raped?) is not false accusation. Being intimidated into identifying the wrong suspect is not false accusation. Acting under stress (allegedly what occurred in the Hofstra case if the boyfriend theory is true) or the symptoms of an identifiable mental condition is not false accusation. Accusers in those instances should receive help.
    Here is one organization’s official stance:
    http://www.oregonsatf.org/resources/docs/LE_Rec_Practice_False_Reports_Unfounding.pdf
    See: Considerations for Referring a False Report for Prosecution
    What do I believe about the real problem of rape, which is unrelated to the number of false accusations? For convenience, see RAINN or federal statistics.
    http://www.rainn.org/

  18. cattrack2
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    The title minimizes & dismisses the lying…because its inconvenient to the narrative.
    Now it may be unfair to the author since writers generally don’t write headlines, editors do, but to Aleks’ point when this story first broke one of the Feministing commenters said something chilling: “The guys videotaping the incident was a violation of consent”. This is the same as dismissing vehicular homicide by way of noting that the victim was jaywalking. Why not just say the guys “asked for it” and be done with it?
    Since it turned out to be their only defense against heinous charges & a rush to judgement, its a good thing they videotaped it.

  19. Mighty Ponygirl
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    No, this isn’t how it works. When a rapist is acquitted, or when the charges are dropped, the immediate reaction of the public is to turn on the accuser.
    For example, in the Duke case, the medical examiner found that a rape did indeed occur. Witnesses at the lacross frat described the accuser as looking drugged when she arrived and she promptly locked herself in the bathroom. People were so busy finding out who this dirty black stripper was who DARED impugn the good name of those poor rich white boys that they didn’t bother to put two and two together to realize that she had been drugged and raped and probably came to her senses thinking that the rape had occurred at the Duke lacrosse team’s frat.
    A woman was raped. She brought a false accusation against the lacrosse team, possibly because she was still drugged from being raped before and couldn’t put together a coherent timeline of events and saw their other misogynist behavior (of the sort that emerged in that email about strangling strippers) and tried to connect the dots and it led her to a false allegation.
    But God Damn if we don’t want to lynch that dirty black ho for trying to go to the police and seek justice when a rape occurred.
    So yeah, Hoffstra might have been an open-and-shut case of making shit up. Or she might have been scared of getting beaten by her boyfriend for cheating on him and in desperation declared she was raped–so lets throw her in prison for being scared of being beaten by her boyfriend! Maybe she was, in fact, raped and recanted when she realized that the video them having sex with her after she consented under duress would just make her into a huge evil slut that the media could play with as long as the case was open and she recanted to end it quicker. Maybe she just made shit up for the pure malicious joy of making shit up. But once we start throwing people in jail because we’ve decided they made shit up, then it’s a pretty damn easy step to just throwing victims in jail because all women are a bunch of lying bitches out to ruin good men–ESPECIALLY when the victim is from a disadvantaged group and the men are from an advantaged group. We have the whole span of human history to back this up.

  20. lucierohan
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    “The title minimizes & dismisses the lying…because its inconvenient to the narrative.”
    I would understand this point more is the article was called “Why the Lie Doesn’t Matter” or something to that affect. But anyone who thinks the author doesn’t care about the impact of false rape accusations hasn’t read the article, and has instead relied on lazy assumptions about the author’s POV. And I think it’s unfair for you to dismiss her point by falsely attaching the view of an anonymous poster to her much more nuanced analysis.
    Ultimately, all aleks added to this conversation was a characterization of anti-rape activists as vultures, just waiting for women to be “martyred” for their cause, and pouncing to condemn innocent men. And THAT is exactly the “convenient” approach to this case that the author was talking about.

  21. bartelbe
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    This is the problem with using the legal system to try and regulate human behaviour. It is a very blunt instrument. Let us say you are a member of a jury trying a rape case. There are no witnesses, the forensic evidence is very inconclusive. The victim comes to the stand, and tells her story. It is very difficult for her, you feel sorry for her, angry about the questions the defence asks. Then the accused comes and tells his story. Now you feel sorry for him, he claims he is the innocent party.
    You retire to decide the verdict. It now comes down to deciding who do you believe. You don’t want to set a rapist free, and you don’t want to lock up an innocent man. You have also been reminded that you must be certain beyond reasonable doubt, to convict. What do you do?
    Now I have described a perfect trial. One were the prosecution knows how to their job, the judge doesn’t hold any sexist assumptions, the defence council isn’t some unpaid court appointed lawyer who doesn’t care. However even in that situation, it is still very difficult to get a conviction. I would hate to ever be put in the same position as that jury.
    Now I don’t like the laws inability to deal with rape. I don’t want a world in which my sister, and my friends can’t go out in absolute safety. However I don’t know how to reform the system to make it work any better. All the suggestions put forward by feminists seem to involve watering down the presumption of innocent or changing the rules to make a fair trial impossible. I think this is why false rape is such a hot button topic. The only way to justify such reforms would be to assume every rape accusation was true.

  22. Mike M
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

    This was (a) case of rape where an allege victim accused 5 men of raping her this was quickly dismiss the girl recanted her story after knowledge of a video showing that there was no use of force is it possible to see from a video if she was intimidated? or that she was drugged or drunk? can anyone tell for sure if she is consensual just by looking at a video probably in bad lighting. At first I was quick to file this as a false allegation case until I questioned the evidence of the videotape I do not believe an healthy young girl would venture herself in an isolate place with 5 men while intoxicated unless there was some type of fear or intimidation that cause her to act
    carelessly and because the case was dismiss does not prove the innocence of the alleged accusers
    but I have the suspicion the videotape would be used against her and she would not had a chance to
    tell the true story fearing she would have had to
    defend herself in a barrage of questioning that could have humiliated her even more.

  23. cattrack2
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    Errr, Lucierohan, I did read the article, and if you read my post, then you know that I pointed out that the questionable aspect of it was the headline, not the content. As for Aleks’ comment, he simply pointed out that for some (a minority I personally think) the case is an inconvenient truth since it conflicts with the narrative they wish to assert. Regardless of the author’s broader point, the headline’s suggestion is of a piece with this highly questionable strain of thought. Had the headline simply said, “Just because the Hofstra student lied doesn’t mean all victims lie”, this post wouldn’t have elicited much comment. But then, in that case, its unlikely that it would’ve been posted to Feministing. There are commenters here who are apologists for this student. No doubt about it.

  24. aleks
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

    Acting under stress (allegedly what occurred in the Hofstra case if the boyfriend theory is true) or the symptoms of an identifiable mental condition is not false accusation.
    I don’t want to tell my boyfriend I cheated on him, so I’ll accuse the people I had consensual sex with of rape. Maybe they’ll go to jail, maybe they’ll be physically and sexually brutalized there, maybe they’ll be stigmatized as vicious animals for the rest of their lives, but I’ll avoid the stress of acknowledging my infidelity and he won’t dump me for cheating on him. Whew, that’s a lot less stress in my life.

  25. aleks
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

    By George you’re right, I wouldn’t willingly have sex with five men either, so she couldn’t possibly have. Hang them high.

  26. aleks
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

    Or she might have been scared of getting beaten by her boyfriend for cheating on him and in desperation declared she was raped–so lets throw her in prison for being scared of being beaten by her boyfriend!
    Not for slandering and falsely accusing people of serious crimes they didn’t commit, but for being scared of being beaten by her boyfriend.

  27. Pantheon
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

    Someone who was drugged and made an honest mistake is one thing, but being afraid of someone isn’t a good excuse for attacking 4 other innocent people.
    I don’t want anyone being prosecuted because the police couldn’t find enough evidence to substantiate their claims. But in this case, they have video evidence proving that the girl lied, and I think its fair to prosecute her for that. Framing someone for a serious crime is a serious crime, and in this case they know she lied on purpose.

  28. Pantheon
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

    Apparently she recanted as soon as she heard a video existed, before she saw what it showed– so I don’t think its a case of the video being selectively edited or anything like that.

  29. lucierohan
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

    “As for Aleks’ comment, he simply pointed out that for some (a minority I personally think) the case is an inconvenient truth since it conflicts with the narrative they wish to assert.”
    Neither you nor aleks has yet to say what exactly this narrative is. That’s what really annoys me. You’re referring to this vague agenda without substantiating its existence with specifics.
    The title (still can’t believe anyone would use it to devalue this woman’s whole argument) makes perfect sense in the context of her larger point. People DO think, because of cases like these, that they can ignore the much larger epidemic of REAL rape. Hence the convenience of reducing the incident to “she lied.”
    And I don’t see why the author should have to accommodate any reader (not referring to you, but anyone) who’s going make up their mind by taking the title and ignoring the content.

  30. JessWin
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

    “The Hofstra case wasn’t dropped because of a lack of evidence, it was dropped because they could prove she lied.”
    People aren’t arguing that she didn’t lie. Something was presented that contradicted details in her original story, true. But let’s at least interrogate the presumption here that the video proved she was not raped because it “looked like sex.”
    Let’s also throw in the long history of women not reporting rape (or, being intimidated by the consequences of reporting) – these considerations at least make us look a little skeptically on the rhetoric that presents false accusations as always malevolent and always actually false. Looking at the history of women and rape in the United States, we’d have to ask, “How do we know?”

  31. aleks
    Posted October 6, 2009 at 12:36 am | Permalink

    The problem is that cases like what happened at Hofstra and at Duke somehow end up canceling out in people’s minds, the real violence that takes place against women every day.
    The problem isn’t that innocent people were accused of serious crimes they didn’t commit? The problem is that they weren’t convicted, thus proving that some accusations don’t hold water. “in people’s minds” is about the weaselliest phrase you can use. In whose mind, exactly, does this “cancel out” genuine rape?
    It’s more convenient for us.
    Who’s “us” and how is it more convenient? I suppose it’s more convenient for the guys who didn’t rape her that her accusation turns out to be demonstrably untrue, as opposed to them actually being rapists if she had been telling the truth, but that’s a pretty fucked up way at looking at it. Don’t you think it would have been even more convenient for pretty much everyone for her not to have lied in the first place, since in reality no crime was committed until she started lying? Well, except for her, if we’re supposed to speculate that her boyfriend would have beat her if she’d told the truth. The boyfriend she cheated on, about whom we know nothing, and who played absolutely no role in this farce, it turns out, might have been the real villain.
    It feels better to say, “See, she lied.”
    As opposed to pretending she was telling the truth and throwing five people in jail? Sure, I admit I feel much better knowing that a woman wasn’t raped and five young men aren’t rapists. The thing is that she did lie. No rape occurred. That’s a good thing, right?

  32. aleks
    Posted October 6, 2009 at 12:41 am | Permalink

    People seem to see that as payback for the rapists who walk free. At least some menz are being punished, even if they’re not the actual guilty ones.

  33. aleks
    Posted October 6, 2009 at 12:49 am | Permalink

    Where’d that “always” come from?

  34. A male
    Posted October 6, 2009 at 1:45 am | Permalink

    If that woman lied, there was something wrong with her at that time.
    This is my opinion of intentionally malicious:
    MSNBC: False Rape Allegation Thwarted By Police Camera
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgxwPU0W-Wg

  35. A male
    Posted October 6, 2009 at 2:29 am | Permalink

    Unlike videos of alleged false allegation I link to on YouTube, I have not seen the Hofstra video to have an opinion about it. Have you? I don’t know what is on it.
    I can’t read the minds of the woman or the men involved either, nor do I have testimony on what they do or say in private (like boasting to a girlfriend in an email about setting those boys up, or conspiring to commit that fraud with a friend in an email), to be certain of their acts and intentions. If I were on a jury or personally involved, I might be able to know the truth.
    All I know is, those men were fortunate to have the video, because millions of others don’t.

  36. aleks
    Posted October 6, 2009 at 2:40 am | Permalink

    She’d rather send 5 innocent men to jail than take responsibility for her actions. Yes, there’s something wrong with her.

  37. Gopher
    Posted October 6, 2009 at 2:41 am | Permalink

    Hey there MRA troll! Utterly rediculous post and you didnt even try and give a faux argument to support it like some of the others. Shameless.

  38. A male
    Posted October 6, 2009 at 2:41 am | Permalink

    “People aren’t arguing that she didn’t lie.”
    I submit to you that I cannot be certain of the truth of the case (nature of incident, accusation or alleged reasons for accusation and retraction) and declare I remain open minded. What I do know:
    Those men are lucky there was a video. Most victims, and most innocent accused, do not have such evidence.

  39. Gopher
    Posted October 6, 2009 at 2:43 am | Permalink

    You

  40. aleks
    Posted October 6, 2009 at 2:47 am | Permalink

    I’m very willing to stack the seriousness and quality of my arguments up against yours to determine who’s the troll.

  41. Gopher
    Posted October 6, 2009 at 2:48 am | Permalink

    Their lives are ruined? By what evidence can you make that claim? They werent convicted so then why would their lives by ruined? And I’m sure theres plenty of people out there that feel sorry fo rthem. I bet you cant even name their names. I dont think their identity is as common as you’d think. I mean, they were privileged, I doubt their lives are “ruined.”

  42. aleks
    Posted October 6, 2009 at 2:59 am | Permalink

    That’s the most constructive thing you’ve ever said, unfortunately it’s obviously untrue. I quoted her, she didn’t quote me. Perhaps on closer inspection you’d notice that my question is labeled a reply to hers, and that I used quotation marks. Sorry little troll, try again if you must.

  43. Farhat
    Posted October 6, 2009 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    I’ve heard many coaches advise athletes to routinely videotape or at least record audio of all sexual encounters. It is safer and easier for both sides in case of disagreements later. Given that mobile phones are cheap and can generally record audio and oftentimes video it would be a good idea to record at least the first few encounters with a new person. (Disclaimer: may be illegal in some places without consent of the other party)

  44. Farhat
    Posted October 6, 2009 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    I’ve heard many coaches advise athletes to routinely videotape or at least record audio of all sexual encounters. It is safer and easier for both sides in case of disagreements later. Given that mobile phones are cheap and can generally record audio and oftentimes video it would be a good idea to record at least the first few encounters with a new person. (Disclaimer: may be illegal in some places without consent of the other party but the charges are likely less than what you would get if there is a false rape allegation)

  45. lucierohan
    Posted October 6, 2009 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    Even if recording sex without the consent of your partner is legal, that doesn’t make it less shitty.
    How bout asking the woman for her permission and explaining why you want to do it. Sure it may prevent you from getting laid, but at least you won’t have to deal with the (i hope) guilt of violating about person’s privacy.
    Don’t you think the woman should have to opportunity to say “ok if you want to record this, you’re not the person I want to have sex with”?

  46. Mighty Ponygirl
    Posted October 6, 2009 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    I’m sorry, are you asserting that *millions* of men are falsly accused of rape? If so, where’s the room in those statistics for women who really are raped?

  47. gadgetgal
    Posted October 6, 2009 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    Hi – in most countries this is illegal without all parties’ agreement, and in fact just recording sex in some countries is illegal whether there is permission or not, so not very good advice to give to a sports person who might travel to any of these countries! It is also not always safer because whoever has hold of that original recording could do anything with it (i.e. distribute it on the internet), which is why it’s illegal.

  48. ekpe
    Posted October 6, 2009 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    and you know this how? are in in the bedrooms at these most sensitive times, or when these agreements to have sex are entered into?
    there is not getting around the fact that even in the presence of consent, the absent of a video tape or some sort of objective evidence, women wield the ability to cry rape when it suits them. and they will be defended even when they recant, as evidenced by this thread

  49. cattrack2
    Posted October 6, 2009 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    Lucierohan–for an example of the ‘apologist narrative’ just see this thread, its in plain sight. If Ponygirl’s argument doesn’t operate as an excuse for the girl’s behavior, nothing does.

  50. gadgetgal
    Posted October 6, 2009 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    Hi – thought I’d add to your comment about the legal system. It’s very true that some of the suggestions for reform put forward have less to do with fairness in the eyes of the justice system and more to do with increasing the rates of conviction, which is very noble, but, as you quite rightly said, not necessarily the right way to go. There are a couple of ideas that have been suggested in the UK (England specifically, as these already exist in Scotland), one of which has to do with jury trials being inherently unfair, and also the lack of any other judgement than “innocent” or “guilty”. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are faults with these too, but I think in the case of rape it may go some way to forming a solution to the current situation without resorting to unfairly loading the case either for or against the accused.
    As I said, in the case of jury trials, bias was found depending upon the background/biases of individual members of the jury, the appearance of the accused/accuser and also the lack of knowledge when it came to the law, which is why you can choose to have a trial in front of three judges in Scotland instead, which can be fairer and have less bias involved. Also with the “not proven” verdict, which again can be controversial, it does take away the either or situation we have now – if you’re not guilty then you HAVE to be innocent, or vice versa, even if it there is only SOME reasonable doubt and a lot of circumstantial evidence!
    This is all up in the air, though, and I do agree that the best solution is to work with what’s there as most of the time it would be adequate if done properly. It’s just been found over here that the majority of rape cases in the UK go unreported and are not investigated:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8266014.stm
    This just goes to show that we don’t know how well the laws work at the moment because very little work is being done to actually police and investigate the crimes! Fortunately there is a review underway because of this:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8267866.stm
    They think a lot has to do with the ingrained attitudes of a lot of the police force, and the lack of investigation is because of it. If more is done to make sure the crime is recorded and investigated I bet a lot more convictions would come out of it, and with no changes to the existing laws. Then this whole thing wouldn’t even be an argument anymore, because more rapists would get the punishment they deserve and women wouldn’t feel as though the media/police/justice system are all unfairly biased against them.
    See? Problem solved! Now onto world peace…

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