Rape Accusations: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

In her article, No Matter What Jackie Said We Should Generally Believe Rape Claims, Zerlina Maxwell makes a frighteningly invidious and Crucible-like case for why we should do away with innocent until proven guilty. With regard to hearing both sides of rape cases she states, and I quote, “In important ways, this is wrong. We should believe as a matter of default what the accuser says”. No doubt she means only when the accuser is a woman.

I want to walk through this terrifying article and dismantle it piece by piece, exposing yet another example of feminism’s growing totalitarian mentality in which one narrative and one narrative only can be heard, no matter the cost, no matter the truth.

Ultimately, the costs of wrongly disbelieving a survivor far outweigh the costs of calling someone a rapist.

No, they don’t. This declaration is problematic for so many reasons. For one, how does one actually quantify the consequences of disbelieving someone who was truly raped versus accusing an innocent man of being a rapist? It seems Zerlina quantifies it by looking between their legs.

I want to add here that at the heart of this statement is a comparison of two paradigms, one which Maxwell clearly prefers to the other. In one world we warp our legal system around the needs of potential rape victims at the cost of all others, while the other is one in which victims of rape, just like every other kind of victim, must adhere to the principle of innocent until proven guilty. In other words, Zerlina would rather an innocent man go to prison than set a guilty one free.

Secondly, we can believe that a woman was raped while acknowledging the person she accuses is likely not the offender. It is not entirely unheard of for victims of sexual assault to identify the wrong person. Believing a rape victim does not require believing who she accuses.

My third problem here is that it seems obvious that being wrongly or falsely accused of a serious crime such as rape and forced under public scrutiny can be comparably terrifying and destructive psychologically and socially. In extreme cases, due to vigilantism, one’s life is put at risk and in the least, your reputation and freedom are anywhere from vitiated to compromised.

Even if Jackie fabricated her account, U-Va. should have taken her word for it during the period while they endeavored to prove or disprove the accusation. 

They did, you irrational twit. Didn’t you read the Rolling Stone article? The university and journalists believed her long before they ever fact-checked, hence the ‘note’ afterward when they realized much of what she said couldn’t be corroborated. Also before inquiry was the dissolution of the fraternity which had students throwing rocks at it as an expression of their outrage. So what we have here are journalists, the university, and its students all believing ‘Jackie’ very strongly and uncritically. In other words, exactly what you wanted and recommend.

The cost of disbelieving women, on the other hand, is far steeper. It signals that women don’t matter and that they are disposable — not only to frat boys and Bill Cosby, but to us. And they face a special set of problems in having their say.

Again, this sentence is problematic because of the assumptions it makes. It is not a matter of automatically believing or disbelieving, it is really a matter of taking seriously a charge against another human being and considering the consequences. If a woman I knew accused someone of rape I wouldn’t believe or disbelieve her, I would take the accusation seriously and critically examine it. I would do the same favor for the accused, I wouldn’t believe or disbelieve his guilt but simply consider it critically in the light of evidence. These are not matters or faith.

Further, nothing about the critical examination of evidence, as is demanded by the standard of innocent until proven guilty, ‘signals’ anything about women’s value. It neither demeans nor deifies them. It just applies a standard we are all subject to under the law and isn’t that what equality is about? The alternative, however, demonstrably signals that men are disposable, especially in the wake of a feminist agenda’s hysterical and paranoid fixation with rape. Indeed, if it confirms their narrative about rape and rape culture then they will sacrifice whoever, whatever on that altar.

In fact (despite various popular myths), the FBI reports that only 2-8 percent of rape allegations turn out to be false, a number that is smaller than the number (10 percent) who lie about car theft. 

Myths? The only myth here is that we can quantify with a percentage how many women have falsely reported rape (for whatever reason). Let’s consider these studies. They assume some things. For one, they assume that in cases where rape was ‘confirmed’ that the correct offender was imprisoned. Two, they assume that because a conviction took place that a rape took place. Three, they assume their sample size is representative of the reality.

More importantly, if we look closer at this FBI report we find that for three years, 1995 to 1997 (section II), the percentage of false complaints were highest for forcible rape specifically; being 8%.  This was significantly higher than all other Index crimes.

What this means is that compared to other crimes nationally, which had false reports averaging only 2%, forcible rape regularly showed four times that. So actually, this percentage is not only high but unusual. You can find the quote by clicking on the link and searching for the word ‘unfounded’.

So according to Maxwell, if a false report is exceedingly rare, and if the FBI is to be believed, rape accusations aren’t the only ones we should take on faith.

Aside from all this, women lie. How do I know women lie? Because they are people. Why lie about rape? Well apparently there are numerous reasons one might, including but not limited to revenge and various alibi functions for anything from infidelity to pregnancy.

Maxwell goes on to lament how hard it is to be a rape victim who engages the justice system, as though this frustrating and humiliating experience is unique to rape victims or worse, that it could justify special treatment that would forego the rights of accused. She then cites that tired, incessant, and laughably misguided study which concluded that 1 in 5 women have been raped.

With regard to that study, one should ask what questions they asked and what they considered to be rape. It is of note that ‘forced kissing and touching’ were included in that ‘1 in 5’, which is not rape by any reasonable definition. It is also of note that the sample was from two universities and hardly representative of the nation.

It goes without saying that feminists, SJWs, and others like Maxwell present arguments that are as dangerous as they are childishly and emotionally asserted. Thoughts of McCarthyism and The Crucible come to mind. This is yet another example of feminism’s new hysteria and the sinister and invidious places it chances taking us. Women should be equal under the law, not above it.

Rape is unique in its difficulty to prove and that has had and will continue to have tragic consequences. This cold and unmitigated fact, however, shall never justify vacating the principle of innocent until proven guilty.

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