Tuesday, December 21, 2010

This is How it Works

Kate Harding posted this poignant description of What Happens When You Accuse a Famous Man of Rape. What's really depressing is that he doesn't have to be famous. If he has friends and/or family and/or a job and/or any community at all, the accuser can be fairly certain they will all support her rapist by denouncing her. She can also be fairly sure that if the story gets out, many of her own friends and family will be uncomfortable with the whole sordid mess that accompanies such things and will either avoid or actively armchair all the things she did wrong to have merited such an event and the infamy attending it. I've seen it too many times.

It is surprising that anyone ever comes forward. And considering the abysmal conviction rate, I have to conclude that rape culture is still trumping justice, equality and human dignity.

So when (general) you participate in any element of rape culture (rape jokes; immediate distrust of victim's story; deconstructing elements of a rape such as what she was wearing, what time she was out, what she was doing, etc.) you are making the world safe for rapists. That's what all the twitter #mooreandme ruckus is about and why I hope everyone involved is willing to keep at it. It's not about whether or not Assange is guilty. I hope he gets just treatment, whatever accusations may cross his path, at any and every point in his life. But Michael Moore's spreading of false information and publicly mocking the accusations and the accusers is another huge, unneeded step in making the world comfier for rapists everywhere and even worse for the women they rape.

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