Wednesday, November 06, 2013

What are rape apologetics? [EDITED]

To say that someone is not a rape apologist because "they don't support rape" is an empty statement.  It's a straw man.  NO ONE SUPPORTS RAPE OUTWARDLY.  But their attitudes towards survivors end up supporting rapists just the same.

 From RationalWiki:

"Rape apology or rape apologetics are umbrella terms for any arguments suggesting that rape is infrequent, misreported, over-reported, not that big a deal, or that it is even excusable in some circumstances, such as within a marriage or if the victim was provocatively dressed. 'Apology' in this case means defense or justification, like in Christian apologetics, and not a statement expressing regret."

Rape apologists (like "The Truth Be Told," Michael Dill and Reed Shelger) may accuse women of misreporting rape, or "crying rape" to get what they want. Accusations of rape against partners or other acquaintances are sometimes disbelieved by others and perceived as a spiteful reaction to some other grievance.

Statistics, however, show that rape is dramatically under-reported.

Rape apologists contend it's not rape if...'s not "forcible"

Rape apologists frequently refer only to "forcible" rape when condemning rape or proposing legislation relating to rapes and their consequences. This explicitly excludes statutory rape, which is the only legitimate reason that the term "forcible rape" even exists. It implicitly excludes rapes committed with date-rape drugs, along with many marital rapes and those committed by people the victim knew, because those rapes are apparently less rape-y than the stranger-in-an-alley scenario, which is statistically less common.

 ...or if she asked for it!

The victim can be alleged to be either a promiscous whore who dressed like a slut or, more generally, put herself in a dangerous situation; if young, be a temptress and manipulative Lolita who was dressing, looking and behaving older than her chronological age: just ask some judges in Montana, lawyers in Texas or Polanski supporters.  Or ask a regular commenter on this blog, "The Truth Be Told," who commented after this post:

"Get your hands on the video and you will recant everything you wrote about her being left there. She didn't want to leave. she was upset about what happened with her "So called" boyfriend, who under testimony called her a booty call, snubbing her at the club and not paying any attention to her. So, what does she do? she goes around the club showing off her assets and then approaches him later on and punches him in the face. This is her testimony. If you are going to report get it right."

Another way to trivialise -- and implicitly normalise rape -- is to recharacterise it merely in terms of "rough sex" or "a gangbang" or euphemistic terms which take the emphasis off uncomfortable words like "rape" or "assault", and remind the reader or listener that, "hey, it's just sex, right?"  The message is pretty clear: rape's not such a big deal, but you should just put up with up and get it over it.

Worries about false rape allegations are pretty much statistically bunk.  Maybe 2-8%.  The 8% comes from the FBI which is recounting "unfounded" cases.  This statistic is almost meaningless, as many of the jurisdictions from which the FBI collects data on crime use different definitions of, or criteria for, "unfounded." That is, a report of rape might be classified as unfounded (rather than as forcible rape) if the alleged victim did not try to fight off the suspect, if the alleged perpetrator did not use physical force or a weapon of some sort, if the alleged victim did not sustain any physical injuries, or if the alleged victim and the accused had a prior sexual relationship. Similarly, a report might be deemed unfounded if there is no physical evidence or too many inconsistencies between the accuser's statement and what evidence does exist. As such, although some unfounded cases of rape may be false or fabricated, not all unfounded cases are false.  (Gross, Bruce (Spring 2009). "False Rape Allegations: An Assault On Justice". Forensic Examiner.)

Very few people would be so motivated by some other factor that they would willingly subject themselves to the hell that is rained down upon rape survivors. While our culture often makes reporting a rape worse than the rape itself, when it comes to male victims, it’s damned near impossible to report at all.

For those who stubbornly wish to believe that bitches be lyin’, I can point them at studies. I have before and will again. Or I could have them read this story.  [CONTENT NOTE FOR THAT LINK: Massive trigger warning for graphic description of violent sexual assault and horrific treatment by law enforcement.]

Now, some of them will say: “That’s just an anecdote.” And that is true. It is just one data point behind the 2-8%. Since we are Good Skeptics, we know to look beyond anecdotes.

So let me add in a study of police attitudes toward rape victims. It would seem EEB (in that story above) isn’t alone, then. And if we could factor in the victims who never reported at all because of stuff like this, that “false” rape allegation statistic would drop like a rock. Since they don’t, the statistics are skewed, making “false” allegations look more prevalent.

Now add the horrific treatment victims experience from defense attorneys who believe they’re scum. I can tell you from experience this can be worse than the rape. It can be a form of torture, and like torture victims, some rape victims will recant just to make the pain stop. Magically, their allegation is now “false.” But they’re no less raped, and the rapist is no less a sexual predator.

Add in the fact that some rapists have a lock on society or community and can crush their victims (potentially like this case, if the poor girl wants to keep training-- think about her walking into an academy and wondering if a training partner is thinking she's a whore, a liar, a bitch.) If their victims had the courage to report, they’ve soon got their buddies to sweep the crime under the rug. And another several ticks are added in the “false” rape allegation column.

Add in children who receive such a terrifying reaction to their attack that they recant just to protect themselves. More “false” rape allegations.

What about victims who aren’t supported by friends and family because many cultures make it easier to believe the victims are filthy, disgusting, crazy liars rather than people suffering from sexual assault? I think you know what happens to the statistics by now.

Add in the fact that some police departments don’t make a distinction between “reports that are actually, genuinely, provably false” and “reports that can’t be prosecuted due to statute of limitations, lack of evidence, or some other reason, but no doubt the victim was assaulted.” Both numbers end up counting under “false” allegations, although a sizable percentage weren’t false at all.

Add in about a trillion circumstances I haven’t remembered to include. Compare that to the enormous number of rapes and sexual assaults.

The reality is that false rape allegations are a tiny bit of flotsam on a sea of rape. Even if that 2-8% number were accurate, it would still be far too small to use to discount rape allegations out of hand. The fact that even that tiny percentage is inflated by cases like EEB’s should ensure that every decent human being treat survivors’ reports as provisionally true. The idea that most or even many rape allegations are false is an extraordinary claim requiring extraordinary evidence. Those who continue to insist otherwise have forfeited any right to be considered good people.

To be fair, here's a thought-provoking article titled Five Things To Consider Before Calling Someone a Rape Apologist.

BUT here are what I see as the leading apologetics about the acquittals in the NYE rape case:

1.  Those poor boys' lives are ruined.
2.  It's just buyer's remorse.
3.  She should be prosecuted.

People saying that garbage just don't get that losing a criminal prosecution doesn't mean the jury thought a witness or any witness lied.  It's not a finding that the complaining witness was perjuring herself.  It doesn't mean the jury believed no rape occurred.  It simply means the prosecution didn't persuade the jury beyond a reasonable doubt.

The boys' lives are not ruined except for the fact that they now think they are the persecuted victims, and they now know mistakes not to make should they ever choose another foray into crime.

The concept of this being a false claim of rape due to morning-after regret is disproven by the videotape showing her being dropped on her head while blacked out (hard to argue she wanted that or was not too intoxicated) and the testimony that she was left unconscious and naked on the cold concrete (not the typical way to leave your willing sex partner.)

There are mechanisms in place to penalize those who lie on the stand... they're called perjury prosecutions.  Just because those idiots were acquitted doesn't mean the survivor lied.  Get over it.


The truth be told said...

Get your hands on the video and you will recant everything you wrote about her being left there. She didn't want to leave. she was upset about what happened with her "So called" boyfriend, who under testimony called her a booty call, snubbing her at the club and not paying any attention to her. So, what does she do? she goes around the club showing off her assets and then approaches him later on and punches him in the face. This is her testimony. If you are going to report get it right.

Carlo R said...

The thing with these "men" who have been accused of rape, such as these two and Irvin, is that their excuses and reasoning don't portray them as good people regardless if it were not rape. Irvin admits he was present and tried to participate in "running a train." The young woman was a slut who wanted it. OK, so we have a man who thinks engaging in an act that most would consider immoral and even revolting, with a woman who is depraved and nasty, is acceptable. These latest two engaged in a morally questionable act that speaks to their character and upbringing in a negative way. This is what Irvin, the "master," produces from his academy? I get it, their supporters are happy for them however they should probably tone down their celebrating and not engage in social media retaliation since it only reminds everyone of the fact we are dealing with two morally depraved persons who behaved like pigs. If the victim really is a whore what does it say about them and their characters? What does it say about them when they record it? What does it say about people when they stand up for these two as though nothing they did was wrong? At the very least you would think they would find the situation shameful and a source of embarrassment. Or is the whole "boys will be boys" excuse rearing its ugly head again?

And she would be welcome to train where I train. The same cannot be said of those two disgraces to BJJ.

SavageKitsune said...

Hey, "Truth Be Told"- if you have the straight scoop, and you stand behind your opinions, why are you still hiding behind an anonymous temp account? If these are the facts, you shouldn't have any problem with us knowing who you are. You shouldn't have any problem with your teachers and teammates seeing your commentary.

Ryan said...

I'm not sure what makes me more physically ill, the fact that those two monsters got off or how many people in the BJJ community are showing their rape apologist colors... Great post though and sums up pretty much everything I would want to say.

Also, truth be told, even if she did punch her boyfriend, that makes it ok for him and someone else to brutally rape her? I don't understand what your point is.

Kirsch: said...

let me share quote-- the person is speaking about the girl who was left unconscious on a parking lot concrete floor by the accused after they had sex with her:

"Her strength and resolve in the face of what has happened is truly one of the most humbling and inspiring experiences of my life.

I have shared with her my feelings on the matter and both of us are focused and committed to supporting her full recovery and violence prevention for ALL women going forward … I’ll speak to you more about that later in this letter.

One of my biggest priorities in these past couple of weeks has been to express to her my sincere and deepest apology. And that too is what this letter is about.

I want to publicly apologize to her for me not knowing, not sensing, and not having the awareness to know that this was even possible.

My wife keeps saying I couldn’t have known,
my mom says I couldn’t have known.

Everyone I’ve confided in said I couldn’t have known,
but that doesn’t change my wishing I could have.

They keep saying the same thing over and over…

any reasonable person would understand that you couldn’t have known.

And that may be true but while that’s a convenient position to take,

the truth is I didn’t know and I wish I had.
I will go to my grave wishing someone ELSE from my team
would have been there for her that night."

Guess who wrote these tender words? THE GUY WHO PAID FOR THE DEFENDANTS' LAWYERS.

Can someone who on the side of TLI and the defendants please provide a cogent argument as to why we should believe that the defendants and LI aren't complete scumbags, regardless of whether or not they are guilty of rape? And, if they do not qualify as scumbags, then who does?

The truth be told said...

I'm not feeding you any personal information about me. Nor do I care about your Identity. The facts are the facts and now both men have been released and acquitted. Even the juror commented on why they couldn't convict either of them on even the lesser added misdemeanor abuse. They couldn't tell if consent was withdrawn. So the sex was consensual but the jury couldn't agree if it was withdrawn and if it was, when? no body beat her, robbed her, kidnapped her, or brutally raped her. But here we all are condemning them when consent was given. Yes they were bad decision by "ALL". Poor Judgement by "ALL". She is just as responsible as everyone else. So the gist is.... that two men spent 10 months in jail because she didn't want to be shamed all embarrassed. Maybe she should be sent to jail for falsely accusing people of something that really didn't happened.

Carlo R said...

Truth be told, you should read your own posts to see how ignorant and uneducated you seem. First you say the jury couldn't tell if consent had been withdrawn. What does that mean? It means that in their opinion it could have been but they were unable to judge clearly about it. They didn't say that consent was definitely withdrawn. This brings us to your final comment about her being sent to jail for lying: if the jury was unclear about consent it does not follow that they believe she was lying.

Also, if consent was withdrawn then it was not consensual. When you say the sex was consensual because the jury couldn't tell if consent was withdrawn you are making more errors in logic and the law. The jury couldn't tell if consent was withdrawn so therefore it couldn't tell if the sex was consensual. When you say the sex was consensual you are lying. The jury doesn't know so how do you know? This is clearly a case when a not guilty verdict does not equal a verdict of innocent. This is based on your assessment of the jury.

One more time: you are obviously ignorant, uneducated and a liar. And anyone who qualifies rape with brutal is a misogynist who engages in rape apologetics. I mean, are you implying that there is something we could call a gentle rape? I should also point out that when you say she was not brutally raped you don't leave out the possibility that she was raped. You are only saying it was not brutal.

But hey, I'm sure these two fellows are actually good people. You would let any one of them date your sister or daughter. You would even let them both take her out at the same time.

RGSmithK said...

Maldonado’s father and brother, aka ‘the truth be told’, aka ‘dardar23’...

What a class act you are… it's amazing how you both never fail to show your true colors.

Prolific and avid writers, humble and wise men of integrity. Truly remarkable!

SavageKitsune said...

I'm not even going to bother to engage in debate with people who hide behind anonymous temp accounts. On some level, they KNOW they're wrong- that's why they're ashamed to stand up and be seen. They're just trolling.

Hey, I want a "Georgette's Merry Band of HaterZ" patch.