A headline that’s seen all too often in the world today. Women come forward with their stories of abuse, often many many women, only to have their assaults trivialized as tall tales or publicity stunts.
It’s no wonder to me why these men are acquitted. Aside from the obvious such as white privilege, they are (often) acquitted by other men. It is a sort of boys club, where one doesn’t necessarily have the others back, they simply – when faced with the choice – don’t have the woman’s back. You see, men acquit other men because of reasonable doubt. The margin of error within the justice system. “What if it was me?” they think to themselves, “What if she IS lying?” This faulty logic weighs on them and weighs on them until the inevitable happens, they acquit because, well, women lie.
A tragedy, born from years of rhetoric, starting with religious texts and traveling through our ears and culture like fire to the earth. It’s made worse from us allowing it to continue. There is such a long history of women made out to be liars I don’t even feel the need to bore you with great details. Let’s paraphrase it:
Adam and Eve live in a dope posh garden, but Eve is a liar and ruins everything.
This leads to centuries of religious art depicting women in almost snake-like forms. They seem deceitful. For one of the first times in history, snakes are seen in a more negative light due to their very association with women; They we’re formerly admired as being apt and skilled in stealth.
Women fall into their subservient positions within society. We begin to structure our civilization around the idea that women only bring certain things to the table. Child rearing, cooking, cleaning, sewing, maintaining a household, and sex. This change in the female role is a drastic shift from the female warriors and deities dipicted in early cultures. At some point we lost face. We went from being respected contributors in society to being relegated to a secondary role in all things. But why this sudden change? Was it when we began to interperet the bible as prophecy? Who or what turned us into liars?
In just 2008 college students surveyed said they believed up to 50% of the reported rapes on campus were lies, this is in comparison to the real number ranging from 2%-8%, which is roughly the same for people lying about any other crime or injustice happening to them. So why are we so hard on women? It’s not just the men either, we are ruthlessly hard on one another even when is comes to circumstances of rape and cycles of abuse in and out of the home.
While doing research for this article I found this thread on reddit. Its basically a thread dedicated to navigating “women’s little lies” in the dating world. Whyyyyy. Why is consent a game? Why do the men on this thread feel entitled to challenge what a disinterested female is saying to them?
Back to acquittal and our courts:
Recently an Oklahoma court made headlines when a court ruled that, “… state law doesn’t criminalize oral sex with a victim who is completely unconscious.”
Excuse me, WHAT IN THE FUCK? Hmm, I wonder if rapists have a track record of using drugs or alcohol to render their victims unconscious. I wonder how many children are victims of sexual abuse that originates because they’re asleep (unconscious) in their beds.
The fact that we are still discussing the details of what constitutes rape is utterly ridiculous.
There aren’t people making statements like, “He/ She sort of raped me, like a little bit, kind of.” That’s because there is no in-between. Rape is non-consensual assault, it’s a physical attack of a sexual nature, and we are letting go unpunished again and again. Setting lower and lower standards, particularly for young men.
What’s worse is that, in these recent cases, the men are found guilty and still only serve ONE DAY to three months in jail before being released on probation. It’s no wonder that this is occurring when marital rape was only made illegal in all fifty states in 1993. I was eight years old. When you think of it in those terms, it’s not all that surprising.
We need Mandatory Minimum Sentences for rapists. That’s the bottom line. The minimum sentence should not be up to interpretation. If you rape someone it should be with the knowledge that your life is OVER for the next 5-10 years. Your athletic ability or social status should have no bearing on the judgment. Federal courts have Mandatory Minimums. These are set by Congress. In some cases, a “one size fits all” approach to sentencing is ineffective and benefits dangerous criminals. However, in cases of sexual assault, I think Mandatory Minimums on a state level need to be considered.
Do you think that men support other men because they ‘know’ women lie and wouldn’t want to be falsely accused of sexual assault themselves?
What about these instances of young college athletes found guilty of the crime and sometimes serving decades less than the “minimum sentence?”
Tell me your thoughts in the comments below.