Feminism and False Accusation Culture

Posted on January 5, 2015


“The idea that—as pandering anti-feminist goon Christina Hoff Sommers asserted over the weekend—university campuses have a ‘false accusation culture’ is as ludicrous as the idea that Sommers herself is a feminist. Not only do we not have a ‘false accusation culture’ anywhere on earth, we don’t have an accusation culture at all. Most victims never say a word. The price is too high. And, if their joy at the outing, harassment and supposed ‘discrediting’ of Jackie is any indication, Sommers and her cohort would like to keep it that way.”

Lindy West, The Guardian (Dec. 9, 2014)

Alongside the headline of Lindy West’s op-ed, “Rolling Stone threw a rape victim to the misogynist horde,” is a tag that reads, “Comment is free.” It’s a fitting commentary on Ms. West’s commentary, which is cheaper than just cheap.

Not only is false accusation culture real; it extends beyond the quad.

Ms. West’s piece centers on the “Jackie story,” a Rolling Stone “exposé” that ran a couple of months ago about a purported gang rape at the University of Virginia whose details have since proved unreliable.

According to Ms. West, “The result was swift, frightening and predictable [italics added]. Jackie became an anti-feminist rallying point—incontrovertible ‘proof’ that women maliciously (or recreationally, even) lie about rape to ruin men’s lives, and that ‘rape culture’ is nothing but hysterical feminist propaganda.”

Ms. West’s diagnosis is itself hysterical feminist propaganda that’s swift and predictable…and shopworn. Writers like her incite rhetorical food fights. They tweak and pique, and this excites a flood of comments, some of them earnest, some of them dismissive or disgusted, and all of them leading to nothing.

This is a constructive formula: thesis + antithesis = synthesis. There is no synthesis, though. Provocateurs like Ms. West never relent and are only egged on by criticism, even if it’s coolly reasoned. They’re looking for conflict, not a conversation. Their arguments are purposefully outrageous to ignite attention, a motive that not coincidentally underlies many false accusations, especially ones made by women.

The quotation from Ms. West at the top of this post is stressed because it exemplifies the flatfooted feminist m.o.: nonsensical but snarky.

Ignoring the slight to Dr. Sommers, whose discernment Windy Lindy’s doesn’t hold a candle to, here’s a quickie analysis of Ms. West’s assertion that there’s no “‘false accusation culture’ anywhere on earth” (an assertion that only merits a quickie analysis):

  1. Ms. West says there’s no “false accusation culture.”
  2. The proof, she says, is there’s no “accusation culture.”
  3. The evidence of this is that “most victims never say a word” (i.e., most victims never make accusations).

The only victims of a false accusation culture are the falsely accused; false accusers aren’t victims. A false accusation culture doesn’t require that actual victims of abuse ever report anything. Therefore whether actual victims “never say a word” is completely irrelevant to the existence of a false accusation culture. Feminists are encouraged to read this paragraph again and to look up words they may misunderstand, such as false.

There is a false accusation culture, and feminists like Ms. West are the reason why. They’ve made it attractive and rewarding (even ennobling) for people to style themselves “victims.” They’re also, consequently, the authors of what they label “rape denial.”

The culture of false accusation they’ve inspired is why there are so-called rape deniers. Sure, there may actually be people who deny “rape!” is ever rape, but it’s a fair deduction that most resistance to feminist social indictment that’s called “rape denial” is really a manifestation of resentment toward what feminist rhetoric has wrought. Men who’ve wrongly been treated like brutes and sex offenders over the decades since the enactment of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which ensures all men are regarded by the system prejudicially, are pained animals. (Appreciate that while prosecuting rape may be rare and difficult in criminal court, implicating someone as a violent offender in civil court, including falsely, is cake.) What do pained animals do? They snarl and claw at what hurt them (and whatever they associate with it).

Feminists provoke animosity—which rightly or wrongly may be directed toward all women—and then they denounce that animosity as misogyny…which provokes more animosity…which is denounced as misogyny (and on and on). “Rape deniers” may simply be people who’ve been conditioned to distrust accusations of violence from women and to hate feminists.

Unconscious of this, along comes someone like Megan Carpentier, who writes in the same commentary section of The Guardian as Ms. West, “I’m a victim of sexual assault and the law failed. How many of us must speak out for you to believe?” She describes a harrowing experience, to which response is mostly sympathetic, and responses that are guarded don’t challenge the accuracy of her account; they reasonably point out that “these constant calls for automatic belief of accusers signal a desire to move away from the presumption of innocence.” This challenge is what’s commonly represented as “rape denial,” and it’s the challenge of minds jaded by a culture that tolerates and rewards—and thus encourages—false accusations.

Ms. Carpentier says that “of every 100 sexual assaults in the United States, only 40 are reported to the police, only 10 result in arrests, only eight get prosecuted and only four result in a felony conviction,” not appreciating that this can only touch as it should the person (particularly the man) who has never been falsely implicated or known someone who was. Snipes like this one, besides, don’t win over any fence-sitters: “Too many women who are sexually assaulted are not considered sexual assault victims in the eyes of the law—and in the words of more than a few bloviating bystanders.”

The irony of her statement is that feminists are the original “bloviating bystanders,” and it’s their call for selective accountability instead of universal accountability that has aroused skepticism toward allegations of violence against women, including sexual violence.

Feminists blame reactions they themselves have provoked by fostering a climate of false accusation.

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