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The feminist movement denies rape victims justice

Simple question: when reading about any accusation of rape or sexual assault, compared to five years ago, have you become more or less likely to believe the accuser?

To ask the question is to answer it. I can remember a time when if I saw a rape trial reported in the newspaper I had as few preconceptions as I now have in a case of murder. Stop for a minute and think how strange it is that in cases of murder nearly everyone would still say that the guilt or innocence of the accused is the very thing we have a trial to decide, and with the onus being on the prosecution to prove it.

For the information of younger readers, rape trials used to be like that. Of course I had heard that in some far-off times and places a woman accusing a man of rape was automatically believed. Everyone thought of this as an evil we had outgrown. The usual example cited was the southern states of the United States during the era of racial segregation. In those days a black man accused of rape by a white woman was presumed guilty. Anyone who even raised the possibility of his innocence was denounced as being indifferent to, or even wanting, the rape of white women.

One of the books I studied for English O-Level was To Kill a Mockingbird in which an innocent black man is accused of rape by a white woman. One of the books I studied for English A-Level was A Passage to India in which an innocent Indian is accused of sexual assault by a British woman. The lesson was clear: beware the human tendency to let rightful outrage at how evil rape is overwhelm rational assessment of whether a particular accusation of rape is true. Although I believe that To Kill A Mockingbird is still fairly popular as a set book, that lesson is no longer fashionable. I write this just after Professor Christine Blasey Ford has finished giving her testimony. Until a minute ago the Guardian headline was that “Christine Blasey Ford has been hailed as a hero”. And unless I’ve missed it, you will not find any hint in its pages that anyone other than pantomime-villain Republicans has failed to join the acclamation. In this the Guardian is, as ever, copying the US press.

And thus the #MeToo movement died. It did some good while it lived. Some sexual predators were exposed, some rapists brought to justice. We should not be surprised at how many of them were left wing icons: they were the ones who were being allowed to get away with it. Remember how Harvey Weinstein’s first reaction when it came out was to try to buy off the anger by saying he would “channel his anger against himself” by fighting the NRA and President Trump. He tried that trick because it had always worked before.

But it’s over now, though the corpse may kick for a while. Senator Dianne Feinstein killed it off by sitting on the letter that accused Kavanaugh all through the nomination hearings only to release it at the last minute. That is not the action of someone who has a disinterested concern for justice. Frankly, it is not the action of someone who actually believed in the accusation they were passing on.

Whatever the results – whatever the truth – of the testimonies of Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, from now on half the US (followed after a short delay by the rest of the developed world) will assume until it is proven otherwise that similar accusations in the future are just another tactic in Dems vs Repubs. Even those who strive not to assume anything, those whose horror at the way Kavanaugh has been treated is rooted in a belief in the old fashioned principles of impartial justice, will find it almost impossible to avoid that fatal twitch of cynicism. The burned child fears the fire.

If nothing else, we are getting a show. There have been so many weird developments in this case today that I cannot keep up. I gather that someone else accused Kavanaugh of rape and then recanted, and that two separate men have accused themselves of being the person who assaulted Christine Ford.

We in the UK blazed the trail. Read about Operation Midland for a demonstration of how once the idea of “believe the victim” is in the air it inevitably attracts liars and fantasists from miles around. Never forget that in addition to bringing misery to those they falsely accuse and their families, liars and fantasists such as “Nick” are parasitical on genuine victims of rape.

Is to the disgrace of the feminist movement that it insisted that rape victims should no longer be entitled to justice.

Instead they have the dubious privilege of being forced into the same category as “Nick”. Their testimony will be heard all right, but only on the understanding that it doesn’t matter. Its hearers are forbidden to believe it, because they are forbidden to assess it at all.

The injunction to believe the “victim” – that is, the accuser – in all circumstances cannot be obeyed. Belief does not work that way. If you are forbidden to even consider the evidence in an accusation then you can never come to believe it. Oh, you can be made to say you believe it. You can be made to scream that you believe it. You can be made to scream that you believe it so loudly that you can no longer hear yourself think, which is the aim of the process. But that is not belief.

Related post: If you don’t care whether a rape really happened, you don’t care about rape.

24 comments to The feminist movement denies rape victims justice

  • Patrick Crozier

    The way I look at it is that the purpose of feminism – certainly as far as its leaders are concerned – is to create the conditions for a communist revolution. They are utterly unconcerned about the welfare of women.

  • Flubber

    The purpose of feminism is to weaken the family.

    By persuading women that the rote to happiness is shagging around like gay men and a go-grrrrrrl career, they have doomed legions of women to spinsterhood and lots of cats.

    For example, see the drastic mess that Laurie Penny is evolving into…

  • George Atkisson

    Flubber –
    I feel sorry for the cats. They deserve better. Of course, 48 hours after she passes, they WILL eat her face, so there is that.

  • Myno

    This has the hallmarks of a fear/loathing response. Loads of people get trampled to some degree by the process our species calls Coming of Age. I’m left with my own typical scars, but lacked for much data on how others of either sex felt they had fared through that tumultuous period… until #MeToo came along. Suddenly, an outpouring of experiences that probably should have been shared previously, but now the cultural dam has burst, and it is upon us. Amongst this flow, I have heard woman citing times they were harassed, and did nothing official about it, often saying that at that point in their life that didn’t think it would do any good to bring it up to their friends, much less the authorities. But now that RoeVWade is in the water, they fear for themselves and their “sisters” in the coming Dark Times, and they express their loathing of the Other Side of the abortion debate/debacle. That fear and loathing motivates many women to take a stance best countered by that famous quotation from A Man For All Seasons. Yet they are so filled with anger and fear that they listen not to reason, of any stripe. Emotion sweeps the streets. Civility is the falling domino.

  • George Atkisson

    Myno –
    What’s really bizarre about the entire Roe v. Wade issue, is that even if it were struck down at the Federal level, it would still be legal in any state that supported abortion. It’s not a legal/illegal dichotomy.

  • CaptDMO

    In the US…
    Originally, Chivalry of course. Title IX, Rape Shield testimony law, Alien Spouse law, “Family” court rules, among other previous State variations of domestic violence-“the man goes to jail, period”.
    (“Shocking”, previously undisclosed and disingenuously un-cited, Homosexual (M&F) domestic violence “data” buffered THAT!)
    And yet, Aesop’s tale of the Shepard’s Son, (The Boy That Cried Wolf) has been freely accessable to MOST Americans since pre mandatory accredited Public School/College!

  • bobby b

    “But now that RoeVWade is in the water, they fear for themselves and their “sisters” in the coming Dark Times, and they express their loathing of the Other Side of the abortion debate/debacle.”

    This is why I’m hoping that the ruling in RvW retains its power.

    The issue of abortion triggers such a strong, passionate, sometimes unhinged response in many people – on both sides – that a return to state determination of the issue guarantees that each and every state election would become centered on that one issue, forever.

  • James Strong

    A man in the Question Time audience on BBC TV last night made a very good point –

    We should not refer to ‘victims’ until guilt has been established; until then they are complainants.

  • James Strong quotes another:

    We should not refer to ‘victims’ until guilt has been established; until then they are complainants.

    I disagree, as there are two substantially different cases.

    Case 1 is where (with total or a large degree of certainty) the crime was actually committed, so there is a victim. For example with murder or stranger rape. The question is whether the particular accused did commit the crime.

    Case 2 is where there is no certainty that any crime was committed, through the complainant does so claim. In this case, there is doubt over whether the complainant is a victim of the crime they allege. It is often the case, in these circumstances, that there is no or little doubt as to the accused being guilty – but if and only if the actual committing of the crime is substantiated.

    Somewhat unusually with the Ford/Kavanaugh issue, we have a third case. It is questioned whether the crime (or even non-crime unpleasantness) actually occurred. There is then the issue, with others stepping forward and ‘confessing’ as to whether the complainant (if having a legitimate complaint) was or has become confused as to who committed the crime or non-crime unpleasantness (all that time ago).

    Best regards

  • llamas

    George Atkisson wrote:

    ‘Myno –
    What’s really bizarre about the entire Roe v. Wade issue, is that even if it were struck down at the Federal level, it would still be legal in any state that supported abortion. It’s not a legal/illegal dichotomy.’

    And you put your finger on the heart of the matter.

    Presently, the Roe v Wade decision applies throughout the US, regardless of the inclinations of any individual state. If it is overturned, the situation will return to the pre-Roe condition, where some states permitted abortion and some outlawed it, as their legislatures decided.

    Abortion-rights supporters cannot tolerate this wanton exercise of democracy – to them, it is all-or-nothing, they cannot accept that it might be legal in some places and not in others. They also cannot accept that there might be graduations in what is and is not permitted. Presently, abortion on-demand is (essentially) lawful in the US (through the Roe decision) up to very late gestations, far beyond what is generally permitted in other countries and certainly well-within the period where the fetus may be considered viable (beyond 22 weeks). In Sweden, for example, abortion on-demand is only permitted up to 18 weeks and any abortion after that period requires state approval. In Norway, abortion on-demand is only permitted up to 18 weeks, after which state approval is likewise required. In France, 12 weeks. In Germany, likewise 12 weeks. And so forth. It’s ironic that in many of the so-called ‘more-enlightened’ nations that are so-often held up to Americans as being examples to follow, abortion laws are typically far-more restrictive than what abortion-rights advocates in the US would possibly tolerate.

    As it is by-no-means certain that there is a nationwide majority in favor of abortion, and since there will certainly be large parts of the nation where abortion may be prohibited or severely-limited if Roe is overturned, abortion-rights advocates are hanging onto Roe with every possible means at their disposal. They obtained the current status of abortion by judicial fiat rather than by a democratic process – note that I do not say this is right or wrong, merely that this is how it was done. They know that, if the status of abortion is to be decided by more-democratic processes, that access to abortion may be seriously-limited or even eliminated (as compared to the current situation). And they know that the issue of abortion rights is one of a small and shrinking number of issues that still have traction with a key, but aging, demographic of female voters. For an increasingly-aging cohort of female legislators, abortion is one of the very-few issues they still have.

    So it’s not a legal/illegal dichotomy. It’s a judicial/electoral dichotomy – and abortion-rights advocates know that, if it becomes primarily an electoral question, they will lose, and lose heavily. That’s why all the fuss.

    llater,

    llamas

  • Paul Marks

    Very good post Natalie.

  • pete

    The UK conviction rate for the crime of FGM is 0%, lower than the rate for rape which feminists find disappointing.

    I don’t hear those feminists demanding that we should scrap the normal rules of evidence for FGM trials so that this figure can be raised.

  • Mr Black

    I’d be inclined to disbelieve any claim of previous crimes if the accuser were a leftist and the target was on the right. Genuine claims are taken to the police and dealt with through normal channels, if the claim ever hits the media before the trial, I know with a fair degree of certainty that it’s a politically motivated fabrication. And I’m prepared to see guilty men go free under such doubtful circumstances if only to punish the left for what they have created.

  • Steve P

    Mr Black: Better that nine guilty men go free…. as the Guardian -reading classes are so fond of saying.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    This is a watershed moment in the western world.

    Woman says X happened. Man says X never happened.

    Woman can’t say where X happened. Woman can’t say which month X happened. woman can’t say how she got to the house where X happened. Woman can’t say how she got home from the house X happened.

    Woman says A and B were there at the time that X happened but both A and B say they don’t remember it happening, and indeed can’t even recall a social event like the one the woman describes ever happening,

    United States Senators call man “evil” and say that anyone supporting mans SCOTUS nomination is “complicit in evil”. Another United States Senator says that man “does not have the presumption of innocence”. These statements are made before any evidence is provided, before any witnesses corroborate the woman’s account, before any claim is filed in a court of law, before the man has a chance to address the allegations made against him. Most of all the man is called evil and is said to not have the presumption of innocence before man has a chance to even defend himself. Not called evil by random twitter trolls but by some of the most powerful politicians in the United States: powerful, high level Senators.

    This mans reputation and family is permanently destroyed. I do not believe he is guilty but would I let him coach my daughters basketball team? Probably not.

    The norms of society have changed. This man’s reputation has been permanently destroyed by a coordinated and calculated political smear job but what’s worse is that due process has been circumvented and the norms of legal proceedings like presumption of innocence.

    Presumption of innocence can’t survive in a democracy. And that’s what just died – not de jure and not always. But de facto – sometimes.

    The political motivations of the political operatives, politicians and lawyers who have permanently destroyed an innocent mans reputation are too strong to protect the integrity of due process and the de facto presumption of innocence – sometimes.

    This trend will continue and indeed accelerate. this situation has further degraded the basis of presumption of innocence and empowered women across the USA that they too can make accusations that lack evidence or corroborating witnesses and be believed because they #deservetobebelieved

    The legal definitions of slander and defamation must be expanded to legally resolve future cases in which a man’s reputation is destroyed over an unsubstantiated allegation with no legal merit whatsoever.

  • Carol Scott

    This will never end until women who make allegations which are shown to be false are charged and convicted. For what its worth I believed Mr. kavanagh and am horrified at what has been done to him and his family and I watched the whole thing from start to finish.

  • bobby b

    “Presumption of innocence can’t survive in a democracy.”

    The concept of presumption of innocence would be meaningless in a monarchy. In a democracy, it at least has a chance.

    . . .

    US Senator Barry Goldwater once said that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.

    Approximately one-quarter of the US equates legal abortion with liberty for women, and restrictions on abortion with enslavement of women.

    The left’s biggest fear about Kavanaugh is that he’ll be the swing vote to overturn Roe v. Wade.

    The left is merely following Goldwater’s lead. What’s one guy’s reputation compared to (in their minds) the enslavement of an entire gender? I bet everyone can think of some one cause or principle for which they would be willing to sacrifice some innocent judge’s reputation.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Well, I was practically born a “presumption of innocence of the accused” girl. In a trial; but even as Jane Six-Pack on the sidelines, I try to give the benefit of the doubt.

    But in forming opinions, “benefit of the doubt” is a more suitable attitude, I think. That can be overcome by a preponderance of the evidence; and from what I saw of the hearings, the preponderance of the evidence is that every dam dim Dem on the Judiciary Committee ought to be drawn & quartered, skinned alive, dunked in boiling oil, and stuck starkers in the locks as a feast for ants and vultures.

    What a disgusting crew!

    .

    Of course the dimdams want to defeat the nomination … slowly. Midterms, and at all cost paint any candidate put up for any post by the Heffalumps must be defeated. 2020! We need a few good, consciencious, righteous hard-Progressive-Left Supremes, so stonewall the nomination process for all Trump picks, unless he caves in and nominates — oh, say, Mazie Honorululu or whatever, and Mizz K. Harris, and R. Blumenthal, and that Coons excrescence.

    .

    Now that you all know what I think, and before the radioactive cloud floats to UK from Near Chicago, I thought persons might be interested in Ms. Mitchell’s memorandum to the Republicans in the Senate detailing her findings. PDF at

    https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/4952147/180930-Rachel-Mitchell-Memo-Kavanaugh.pdf

    Chain to getting there:

    1. https://www.axios.com/brett-kavanaugh-rachel-mitchell-prosecutor-memo-2c3233cc-1d42-416b-af04-02700aa9a711.html

    2. https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/supreme-court/evidence-doesn-t-support-claims-against-kavanaugh-judiciary-committee-prosecutor-n915236

    The latter is NBC’s news report. I was trying to find some evidence that the PDF is legit. Not that I consider NBC a reliable source….

    [WARNING. Do not watch embedded Scarborough video past the first woman speaker, on pain of losing lunch.]

  • I bet everyone can think of some one cause or principle for which they would be willing to sacrifice some innocent judge’s reputation.

    Merely for the record, I believe – and would bet – that you’d lose this bet, were it possible to settle it.

    There are things people truly believe, and there things people choose to believe. Some people do due diligence on their beliefs; others believe what they wish to believe – sometimes self-indulgently, sometimes with an insolence that goes beyond that. I have no difficulty in separating my regret that we have no first amendment in the UK from my knowledge that here – unlike in the US – it was not unconstitutional for the UK parliament to vote in the hate speech laws. I can truthfully call it many things – a gross betrayal of British norms, a disgusting contrast to the restraint Churchill observed in WWII, etc. – but I have no difficulty distinguishing that from the fact that Britain has a a tradition, not a first amendment.

    I have every right to treat with the utter contempt they so richly deserve those who pretend the US constitution mandates Roe v Wade – and an equal right to despise any of them who pretend the difference is because their rage at abortion denied exceeds mine at free speech denied.

    Self-indulgent self-willed belief is very cheap. Honesty is less so, but it too exists.

  • bobby b

    ” . . . I believe – and would bet – that you’d lose this bet . . . “

    Niall, if it were possible, would you travel back in time to 1939 and kill Hitler – if the only cost that had to be paid was to destroy the reputation of some one innocent man?

    I’m guessing that most people would say yes. After that determination, as they say, we’re only quibbling about price.

    “There are things people truly believe, and there things people choose to believe.”

    Your argument above sounds suspiciously like “the difference is, I’m right and they’re wrong”, and my point had nothing to do with right and wrong. My point was that we ought not be surprised when someone adheres to Goldwater’s very correct observation, even though the principles he meant when he spoke of liberty are bastardized by the left.

    When you consider yourself to be a Warrior For Justice, and the opposition to be Evil Incarnate, it’s a very small step to decide that the end justifies any means, no matter how despicable.

  • Niall, if it were possible, would you travel back in time to 1939 and kill Hitler – if the only cost that had to be paid was to destroy the reputation of some one innocent man? (bobby b, October 2, 2018 at 1:29 am

    Bobby, my point was about what people truly know as opposed to what other people dishonestly pretend to know. Your scenario folds into its premise the idea that I actually, truly, know that Adolf Hitler is Adolf Hitler. I was talking about the sort of people who just know that Donald Trump is Adolf Hitler. In the 30s, I could know much about Adolf but I could not, in the modern sense, know that he was Adolf Hitler.

    For the record,

    – in 1943, I would have bombed Hamburg, knowing while I did so that I was converting many men, women, children and babies into melted fat; knowing while I did so that some of my victims would be slave labourers, some would be Jews in hiding, some would be Germans who disliked Hitler, etc.

    – Churchill spoke of truth in wartime needing ‘a bodyguard of lies’. I can imagine perpetrating (and enjoying) ‘the man who never was’ or similar. (Goebbels suspected that this seeming German intelligence coup was actually ‘a typical English joke’ but was shy of pushing this view, so popular was it at Hitler’s headquarters.)

    – Although I believe Jeremy Corbyn channels Hitler’s national socialism rather more than any other politician in the UK today, I have never lied about him. I do not find the scenario of defeating him by gross falsehoods plausible but do not see myself doing it anyway.

    I offer these for clarification.

    BTW your scenario seems confused in the sense that I am apparently killing Hitler, not discrediting him. Is the idea is that I frame someone innocent for the killing of Hitler? I think we’d have to get a lot clearer on the details, but the time machine makes it all so unlike the imperfect-knowledge judgements of reality that I doubt it could be meaningful anyway.

  • bobby b (October 2, 2018 at 1:29 am), perhaps a more useful counter-example to your hypothetical scenario than my equally hypothetical reply above is the case of George Orwell. Orwell wrote of Hitler:

    I should like to put it on record that I have never been able to dislike Hitler. Ever since he came to power – till then, like nearly everyone, I had been deceived into thinking he did not matter – I have reflected that I would certainly kill him if I could get within reach of him, but that I could feel no personal animosity. The fact is that there is something deeply appealing about him. (Review of Mein Kampf, written in March 1940)

    This neatly encapsulates both Orwell’s willingness to kill Hitler and his unwillingness to lie, not only about Adolf but about his own feelings.

    At the end of ‘Homage to Catalonia’, which exposes with contempt many a propaganda lie of the side he hoped would win, Orwell also warns the reader to:

    beware of my partisanship, my mistakes of fact, and the distortion inevitably caused by my having seen only one corner of events

    (and he is right to say this – his prejudices do indeed lead him into some errors and omissions).

    In the spirit of this ‘do due diligence on what you believe’ comment, the above quotations are not my usual ‘from memory’ ones: I have verified them both. 🙂

    An example of how far Orwell would and would not go is his publishing ‘Animal Farm’ in 1945, just after Labour’s election victory. During the publishing process, he had to answer a publisher query on an issue of trading better proof-reading and/or cheapness against an earlier printing date. Orwell chose the slightly slower speed of getting it into print. He told friends one of the reasons he did so was because he realised it would therefore appear just after, instead of just before, the election (which he feared Labour might lose, given Churchill’s popularity) and he realised the book’s net effect would be to influence some voters against Labour.

  • Julie near Chicago

    “If the facts are on your side – use the facts, but if the facts are against you – attack the character of the opposition.”

    –Saying well-known in legal circles.

    [ I like its applicability to the present disgraceful “Hearings” that I may well repeat it here from time to time. Be forewarned. ]

  • Stephen W. Houghton

    The Parable of Naweristan

    In Central Asia, there is the land of Naweristan. It is inhabited by two tribes or ethnic groups the Azari and the Bakahari. The Azari make up a little less than 51 percent of the population and Bakahari a little more than 49 percent.

    Since Naweristan is electoral democracy, the Azari are naturally in a position to control the government, especially since they are more likely to register to vote than the Bakahari and thus make up 53.6% of the voters. It is thus not surprising that in many instances the law favors Azari in disputes with Bakaharri. One indication of this imbalance is that Bakahari make up 93 percent of the prison population.

    Naweristan society also tends to favor Azari. They own more than 60 percent of the country’s wealth. By convention, an Azari may assault a Bakahari without consequence as long as no permanent damage is done, this is in fact a stock scene in Naweri comedy, but the reverse is not true. Azari make up 60 percent of college graduates, they earn more than 58 percent of masters degrees and more than 51 percent of doctorates. Azari are widely and traditionally considered by Naweri the epitome of moral goodness and rectitude, while Bakahari are considered violent and brutish.

    Bakahari fill the most dangerous jobs in Naweristan society suffering more than 90 percent of the work place fatalities. The combat arms of the Naweristan Army are made up almost exclusively of Bakahari who represent 88 percent of combat fatalities. The Bakahari have an average lifespan five years shorter than Azari. It is perhaps not surprising that Bakahari make up more than 75% of suicides in Naweristan.

    Which of these groups would you consider oppressed?

    Now consider, that disturbingly there is a growing ideology, rooted in the traditional view of Azari as caring and Bakahari as brutish, that holds that Naweristan is a society in which the Azari are oppressed. That Naweristan is a Bakahariarchy in which the needs of Bakahari are prioritized over the needs of the Azari, all evidence to the contrary notwithstanding. The latest move by this Azari supremacist movement is to openly consider the testimony of Azari of more probative value than that of Bukahari. This is being called “listening to Azari.”

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