Friday, July 01, 2011

TRIGGER WARNING: Another "false" rape claim, more open season on women

It seems that the case against the former head of the IMF is about to fall apart because of credibility issues with the complainant. There are reports that she lied on her immigration paperwork about serious issues, such as being raped in her country or origin, and may have been involved with organized crime.

The comments on that article deserve a trigger warning. They're horrible. The old tropes about 'half of rape accusations are false' and 'women are all lying whores' and all that.

Even though the FBI consistently pegs "unfounded" rape accusations at 8%. That "unfounded" category isn't just "false," but cases in which the evidence is inconclusive. Or police and prosecutors can't make a winnable case.

With apologies to those police officers and prosecutors who truly care about justice for rape victims, there are too many of their colleagues who still harbor the prejudice that women invite rape or make up false claims and treat complainants thusly. When was the last time you heard of a cop berating a man for wearing an expensive watch or driving an expensive car, as though it were inviting people to steal it?

What all of this means for the two people most closely involved, I don't know. I know what it means for the rest of us: better not have the misfortune to be in the presence of a rapist. No matter what happened, you made it up because that's what us lying whores do.

When does it STOP being open season on women?

ETA: I should really correct the above. If you have the misfortune to be in the presence of a rapist, you'd better be perfect if you want justice. Never lied. Never sinned. Never flirted. Never had sex, or if you did, only in the missionary position with your husband/lord/master. Whether the maid in this case lied about the rape allegation or didn't (and if the news reports are correct, she probably did), what the result means for the rest of us is that only those women who can meet the impossibly high Pure Woman Standard (TM) will be judged credible. The rest of us, who've led lives, stumbled, picked ourselves up again, flirted, dated, drank, made mistakes, and otherwise fully engaged the world around us, are screwed.

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