"... these three individuals [David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann,] are innocent of these charges."
North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper, Apr. 11, 2007
Reason Magazine contributing editor Cathy Young writes [excerpts]:
The feminist anti-rape movement emerged in the 1970s for very good reasons. At the time, the belief that women routinely "cry rape" out of vindictiveness or morning-after regrets often caused victims to be treated as if they were the criminals.I agree with most of what Young says; and says very well.
But "rape-crisis feminism" (as the writer Katie Roiphe dubbed it) replaced one set of prejudices with another, such as the notion that women virtually never lie about rape. As the radical feminist law professor Catharine MacKinnon wrote in her 1987 book, Feminism Unmodified, "Feminism is built on believing women's accounts of sexual use and abuse by men."
Making the credibility of women's accusations against men a cornerstone of your belief system is a sure prescription for bias. The Duke case amply illustrates this. As [NC Attorney General Roy] Cooper pointed out at his press conference, there were serious questions about the woman's credibility from the start. Her claims were not corroborated by any physical evidence, or by the other stripper who was with her at the party. She herself gave contradictory accounts of what happened. Yet for a long time these questions were swept aside.
The Duke case also makes it clear that the feminist dogma on rape is far from benign. It is hostile both to men and to basic principles of justice. (emphasis added)
Consider the hateful rhetoric of Wendy Murphy, a former sex crimes prosecutor who is now an adjunct professor at the New England School of Law in Boston. She appears frequently as a legal analyst on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, and other channels.
On the air, Murphy made numerous false statements about the Duke case (documented by K.C. Johnson, a history professor at Brooklyn College who blogs about the Duke case at Durham-in-Wonderland) and repeatedly referred to the accused men as rapists.
On one occasion, she fumed: “I’m really tired of people suggesting that you’re somehow un-American if you don’t respect the presumption of innocence, because you know what that sounds like to a victim? Presumption you’re a liar.” […]
Meanwhile, on the website CommonDreams.org, Gail Dines, professor of American Studies at Wheelock College in Boston, argued that the focus should be brought back to the young men's misbehavior because "they saw the hiring of two black women to strip as a legitimate form of male entertainment."
In other words, the same feminists who rightly tell us that a rape victim should not have to be an angel to deserve support apply such a different standard to men who may be falsely accused of rape. (emphasis added) […]
A presumption of guilt against affluent white males, [NY Times columnist Nicholas] Kristoff wrote a few months ago, is no better than a presumption of guilt against poor black males—the Scottsboro boys—in the 1930s.
The past 30 years' progress in the treatment of rape victims needs to be balanced by better safeguards against unjust prosecutions. The Duke case, which has given a face to the plight of the falsely accused, may well turn out to be the start of such a change.
If feminists want to retain their credibility as advocates for victims of rape, they need to drop the habit of knee-jerk support for every accuser—and to show decency and compassion toward the victims of false accusations.
But as far as “rape-crisis “ feminists are concerned, I don’t agree that for them to continue to advocate “for victims of rape” they must “retain their credibility.”
What they must do is retain the political, academic and media influence they’ve developed and used to advance an ideological agenda at the expense of reason, fairness, and due process.
“Rape-crisis” feminism is not about credibility; it’s about power and getting more Tara Levicy’s into the hospital emergency rooms; and supporting DAs like Mike Nifong who “believe the woman.”
Young’s entire column is here. I hope you read it.
Hat tip: Anon JinC commenter