A Response to Rape Culture, part 2 of 5

By: Athena Brown

If you’re wanting to just get straight into the facts and figures, this is the best place to start.

To begin with, RAINN (Rape Abuse Incest National Network) refutes “rape culture”, and says promoting such a belief actually makes it harder for us to track down and catch realrapist. They use statistics and information freely available from the Justice Department to make their case, and show for a fact that in a college campus of 1,000 men, 990 of them know and understand that rape is totally reprehensible. They point out well established and well understood psychology, such as that found in DBT, to show that men understand this even when acknowledging disputed claims. They make a conclusive case that the few men who rape must be apprehended and put in prison. Intentionally blurring the goddam lines with nonsensical and unfounded “theories” that have no scientific backing are just getting in the way.

You can read RAIN’s report here:

https://rainn.org/images/032014/WHTaskForceRAINNRecommendations.pdf

This is their report issued to the White House concerning recommendations for addressing rape on college campuses.

Then there’s this notion that rape is absolutely everywhere you look, and the reason for that is due to a culture that trivializes and condones it.

Take a look at President Obama’s speech, from the White House:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/thepressoffice/2014/01/22/remarkspresidentandvicepresidenteventcouncilwomenandgirls

From the link:

—– —–
Today, we’re taking another important step with a focus on our college campuses. It is estimated that 1 lin 5 women on college campuses has been sexually assaulted during their time there — 1 in 5. These young women worked so hard just to get into college, often their parents are doing everything they can to help them pay for it. So when they finally make it there only to be assaulted, that is not just a nightmare for them and their families, it’s an affront to everything they’ve worked so hard to achieve. It’s totally unacceptable.
—– —–

^^^ 1 in 5 women on college campuses assaulted. That’s incredible! That means right here at PSU, which is right next door to me, at least a thousand women have been assaulted. It’s of course very possible that this is true, despite the fact that I’ve never once heard anything at all coming from that campus, ever… which is literally right across the street from me. The same campus that I see when I look up from the monitor. But I can’t judge reality entirely based on personal experience. Maybe rapes are just happening all over the damn place, literally right across from me, at least once a day (1 rape per day x 365 days = 365 girls raped, which is around 1 in 5 in a school of a few thousand), and yet somehow, some way, nobody ever mentions it. I never hear about it. That’s simply astonishing. (Update November 3rd, 2015: While the 1 in 5 claim deals specifically with rape, it’s been pointed out to me that Obama specifically said here “sexual assault”, not rape.  Thanks to Jerry Barrington for pointing that out.)

http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/rsavcaf9513.pdf – A special report from the United States Department of Justice, conducted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ National Crime Victimization Survey.

From the link:

—– —–
“In 2013, college-age females had a similar rate of rape and sexual assault regardless of enrollment status (about 4.3 victimizations per 1,000), while the victimization rate for not college-age (ages 12 to 17 and 25 or older) females was 1.4 victimizations per 1,000. For both students and nonstudents ages 18 to 24, the 2013 rates of rape and sexual assault were not significantly different from their respective rates in 1997.”
—– —–

^^^ 4.3 victimizations out of 1,000 is 0.43%. This percentage is approximately the same as it was in 1997. This sounds far more realistic. So where did this 1 in 5 statistic come from? Hang on, we’re getting there.

This report also confirms the findings by RAINN; that it is a very small number of students who commit rape, and most are uninvolved because they understand that rape is wrong:

—– —–
For the period 1995–2013, more than 90% of rape and sexual victimizations of female students (95%) and nonstudents (92%) were committed by a single offender, rather than a group of offenders.
—– —–

Rapist constitute a very, very small portion of the population, as do most serious criminals. Research suggests that rapists may be accurately described as a type of sociopath.

^^^ Remember: if even one rape happens, that’s one too many. The point here is not to belittle or dismiss the problem. The point here is to investigate the claim of an all-powerful organization of white rich men (or a subconscious attitude of men being more valuable than women, whichever definition of “patriarchy” is being used) that is making it permissible to commit rape by creating a culture that encourages it.

Meanwhile, it is extremely difficult to find accurate numbers on the percentage of those rapists are female, partly because virtually no legal definitions of rape that were used that include forcefully coercing a male partner to provide sex. You can find a point-by-point breakdown which suggests upwards of 40% of rapists are women here:

http://poisonedwell.wordpress.com/2013/10/19/40ofrapistsarewomen/ – however, in all fairness, this number lacks certainty because of the factors I just mentioned, so more research is needed.

http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2013/crime-in-the-u.s.-2013/tables/4tabledatadecoverviewpdf/table_4_crime_in_the_united_states_by_region_g eographic_division_and_state_2012-2013.xls – this is from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division.

The table shows that between 2012 and 2013, rape in the United States, under the revised definition of rape, was around 34.4 per 100,000. That’s 0.034% of the population.

And yet take a look athttp://www.thenation.com/blog/172024/americasrapeproblemwerefuseadmitthereone– “Rape is as American as apple pie” – yes… 34 in 100,000. To put that in perspective, your chances of being struck by lightning are 1 in 83,000. This appeal to narrative, and the energy spent on finding and conflating a crime rate of 0.034% to be “as American as apple pie” so that it fits that narrative, is part of what really sets 3rd Wavers apart from their predecessors.

As I mentioned in another post, did you know that until 1977, rape was punishable by the death penalty by the federal government?http://www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/433/584 Did you know that capital sexual battery is *still* punishable by death in Florida and Montana?

http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/crimespunishabledeathpenalty

I’m uncertain why a patriarchy that trivializes rape, because it doesn’t value women, would strap someone convicted of raping a woman down to a chair and fry him for 30 seconds with 2000 volts of electricity, then wait a few minutes and check his pulse to make sure the f*er’s dead, and do it again if he isn’t. The woman who forced me to either have sex with her or to be thrown out on the streets does not deserve that. This is why the Supreme Court declared such sentencing unconstitutional, but again, that didn’t happen until just recently. In a patriarchy. Where this is supposedly trivialized.

But the horrendous nature of the crime itself, and the potential severity of punishment that comes with the conviction of rape is not the only reason I’m so adamant that proper judicial procedure be used when a suspect is being tried for rape, despite what 3rd Wavers might otherwise suggest. Here are some other reasons.

The Truth About False Rape Accusations

http://sfcriminaldefense.com/wpcontent/uploads/2013/03/KaninFalseRapeAllegations.pdf

From the link:

—– —–
False rape allegations are not the consequence of a gender-linked aberration, as frequently claimed, but reflect impulsive and desperate efforts to cope with personal and social stress situations.
—– —–

^^^ The study shows that over a 9 year period, 41% of all rape accusations investigated turned out to be false.

http://www.falserape.net/falserapeafa.htm – 27% of accusations were later admitted to be false.

A follow up analysis revealed up to 60% of rape accusations to be false:

http://www.mediaradar.org/mcdowell_kanin_credible.php

It is extremely difficult to determine how accurate these studies are; while the qualifiers used for determining a false accusation were fair, the methodology used was not stringently controlled.

However, in 1985, Charles P. McDowell conducted a study of 1,218 rape reports filed in the US Air Force.

Of these, 460 were found to be proven by legal standards, but 212 turned out to be false allegations. And this time, the accusers actually gave their reasons! 20% claimed they did it out of spite or revenge, another 20% claimed it was to compensate for feelings of guilt or shame, 13% said they thought they might be pregnant, 12% said it was to conceal a love affair, and the remaining had various other reasons. That’s a considerable amount of ruining someone’s life forever, and some pretty f*cked up reasons for doing it.

According to the Innocence Project, an organization dedicated to exonerating wrongfully convicted individuals through DNA testing, which you can find here:

http://www.innocenceproject.org/ , there have been 156 cases of post-conviction exonerations based on DNA testing, many of which were sex crimes.

The point again is to show how important jurisprudence and due process are in regards to an investigation, not to belittle or a person’s claim. Every claim must be investigated, but while that’s happening, the underlying principle of “innocent until proven guilty” must be observed, as well as a right of the accused to speak to the charges set against them in a court of law.

Even a study funded from the Office on Violence Against Women shows a number of false allegations:http://www.nsvrc.org/sites/default/files/Publications_NSVRC_Overview_FalseReporting.pdf– shown here, it runs around 5%.

Still, there are hundreds of examples and case studies of false reports, and even one is one too many. Lady Justice holds a double edged sword.

Here's an example of what *actual* rape culture looks like.

http://www.uticaod.com/x1089264182/PoliceTeenliedaboutrapetogetrevenge

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article414332/Womanaccusedcryingrapejailed.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article2242480/Womanjailedfalselycryingrapeexboyfriend.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article1289428/Lyingmotherjailedcryingrapewantedridhusband.html

http://archive.firstcoastnews.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=108705

http://www.bustedinacadiana.com/2012/10/womanchargedwithcryingrapeafterbeingcaughtintheshowerwithawomanslover/

http://metro.co.uk/2014/06/26/jailedlawstudentwhofalselycriedrapesoshehadanexcuseforexamfailure4777434/

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/conoroberstsrapeaccuseradmitstofabricatingclaimsimadeupthoseliesabouthimtogetattention9607313.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/03/meglankersimonshoaxuniversitywisconsin_n_3210326.html(this one’s pretty out-there)

http://www.newsday.com/longisland/nassau/hofstrafalsegangrapeaccuserdanmellndonyewontbecharged1.1475704

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/9044473/Womancriedrapeinrevengeformanforgettinghername.html(yes, you read that right – for forgetting her name!)

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/7223002/Womantiedherselfuptofakerapescenes.html

http://articles.dailypilot.com/20090709/news/dptcoetzee071009_1_extortionnewportbeachwomanjailandfiveyears

This might be a slightly better indication of rape culture than what we find in the US.

From the link (yea this one’s too good to pass up):

—– —–
Within moments of starting to have sex, prosecutors said Coetzee stopped and demanded money. When the man refused, she accused him of trying to rape her and ran out of the room, screaming she’d been attacked.

. . . Over the next two weeks, Coetzee sent the man dozens of text messages trying to extort $15,000 in exchange for her not moving forward with her rape allegation.
—– —–

http://www.nydailynews.com/newyork/manfalselyaccusedraperobberysuescityarticle1.1948927

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgxwPU0WWg#t=54 – Not one, but two cases of women lying about rape. The first one even explains, on video, why she made it up.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8bTyQoDZtec – This woman in Maine lied about being gang raped.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ctec4wwMD6c – Woman even bruises her own neck to make it look like the accused raped her.

False accusations destroy lives.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/yesfalseaccusationsdestroylives/article/2557145

Here’s an example:

http://america.aljazeera.com/watch/shows/americatonight/americatonightblog/2013/10/31/forthefalselyaccusedmovingonfromrapistbrandingachallenge.html

—– —–
“Immediately after the university found him guilty, Warner, already branded a rapist on campus, began to worry about even more serious consequences with the Grand Forks Police Department. But there was hope. As it turned out, the woman had filed a complaint with the police department, but a detective concluded that she had lied. In May 2010, local police discovered that she had given different accounts to witnesses and had “sent Caleb a text message days after the party that indicated that she wanted to have intercourse with him.”

When police issued an arrest warrant for the woman, she left the school and the state of North Dakota, and never returned. America Tonight tried to find her, but did not.”
—– —–

^^^ All of these are pretty damn reprehensible. The president of Lincoln University was dead on the mark; these things must be investigated. Someone’s life could change. And according to some folks, my stance on this makes me an “apologist”.

Stories like this go on and on and on. There’s no end in sight to the number of false accusations made, and the number of lives ruined. I found all those in less than 10 minutes of searching.

In fact, did you know that if you type “falsely accused” into google right now, the first auto-result that comes up is “falsely accused of rape”? Go ahead and try it right now.

Rape search resultsIncredible, ain’t it?

But it gets even worse; according to Bruce Gross, PhD, JD, MBA, and director of the University of South California’s Institute of Pyschiatry, Law, and Behavioral Science:

Essentially, there are no formal negative consequences for the person who files a false report of rape. Not only did the false allegation serve a purpose for the accusers, they actually never have to fully admit to themselves, their family, or their friends that the report was a lie. Although there are grounds for bringing legal action against the accuser, it is virtually never done. Even should a charge be filed, in most jurisdictions filing a false report is only a misdemeanor.”

Okay, so what about that whole “1 in 4 women are assaulted” statistic? Were all those women just lying, or making it up?

Not at all.

Where Do Third Wavers Get Their Statistics?

http://www.iwf.org/news/2432517/OneinFourRapemythsdoinjusticetoo – this information comes from a study done in 1982, and asked subjects 3 questions, one of which was dubious:

“Have you had sexual intercourse when you didn’t want to because a man gave you alcohol or drugs?”

This means any person suffering from addiction may have agreed to have sex in exchange for drugs. It also allows for the possibility that a woman got drunk, had sex, then regretted it when she woke up. Most people regret shit they did the night before when they wake up. This is clearly not the same as a woman purposely being drugged without her knowing and being raped while unconscious.

According to RAIN, alcohol is “not an excuse, or an alibi”: https://www.rainn.org/get-information/types-of-sexual-assault/was-it-rape – you can be drunk, and still have consensual sex. No one would consider that a man with a blood alcohol of .05% can’t see a topless woman and still “want to have sex” (which is consent).

The article says it best:

—– —–
In the past, victims of rape were made to feel that the crime was their fault. Many women around the world still suffer this bias. Today in the United States, the pendulum has swung too far in the other direction. A man accused of rape often is convicted in the court of public opinion without evidence.
—– —–

In essence, what we have actually created is a kind of “reverse-rape culture”, where rape isn’t trivialized, it’s the exact opposite; it’s made into an abomination that’s more horrible than any other crime imaginable.

We are not fixing the problem by doing this. We are making it worse.

Then there’s this study:

http://www.uic.edu/depts/owa/sa_rape_support.html – this one makes some pretty serious claims, like over 50% of women have been victims of abuse! Fortunately however, you can find the actual study here:http://www.soci270.carvajal.ca/documents/KossTheScopeofRape.pdf

If you read the actual study (take plenty of caffeine before you do), you’ll see that one of the questions used to determine sexual abuse was the very same question used in the study covered earlier. What’s more, other questions, such as “have you ever had sex with a man when you didn’t want to because you were overwhelmed by his arguments and pressure” are just as ambiguous. I’ve had sex with a girlfriend before, even when I didn’t want to at first, because she kept bugging me for it. This question is mixed in with other questions that are definitely what we would call rape – such as “have you ever had sex when you didn’t want to because a man threatened or used some degree of physical force (like twisting your arm) to make you”.

There are a total of over 300 questions on the survey, but only 10 are shown, and the percentages for absolutely all incidents are added up together to make the 54% number.   That’s why it deviates so incredibly far from peer reviewed reports like those presented by the Department of Justice and FBI. It would otherwise be surreal and unworldly to consider that over half of all women just walk around being raped everywhere they go; it would be like the movie The Purge almost every single day.

I’ve actually met women who honestly believe that all men everywhere are just waiting for the right opportunity to assault them. They find pages like this, and it reinforces that view. This is what makes “rape culture” so utterly toxic and poisonous; as a mental health professional, I work with people who are suffering from PTSD brought on by sexual assault and rape. It is exceptionally difficult for these people to recover when they find nonsense studies telling them that women everywhere are raped all the time, and imply that all men everywhere are rapist, when nothing could be further from the truth.

Click here for part 3, where we’ll examine more statistics – including the 1 in 5 statistic, and where they actually come from.

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