I have been thinking a lot about these two sides of the debate. I am often very hesitant in expressing my displeasure about things that affect me directly. Either I think I am not in a good place to be objective or I think people will discount my beliefs based on personal bias.
However having already addressed and had several responses to the radical feminist statement that all men are rapists I think I should take a look at the other side of the coin.
I have read through 100s of blogs about gender on the internet pretty thoroughly, so while I admit there are some gaps in my knowledge, I feel I have a finger on the pulse of what is happening here.
MRA seem to be concerned with showing that all women are liars especially when it comes to rape, they echo the myths that women commonly lie about rape for revenge and send forth the message that men should be careful who they sleep with lest the woman should find them less than desirable in the morning and cry rape. Let us put aside for a moment the fact that this is nothing new, it is in fact a pretty outdated way of thinking about rape. Let us also put aside any musings about why women may feel compelled to lie about their sex life and look at the deeper issue here.
This seems to show that MRA don't want to come to a harmonious agreement about gender issues they just want men on top where they have always been. When they examine the issue of FRA it is never looked at objectively, MRA only look at the fact that some accusations are false and address the legislation under that premise. However in looking at law and if it should in fact exist it seems to me that it is necessary to look at both sides. The occurence of rape and the occurence of false accusations of rape and decide from there what the best course of action is, because looking at this from only the angle that false rape accusations exist produces a very deep running bias. Let us not at this point get into the deeply flawed studies that are often quoted as showing that FRA is as common as real accusations or nearly so.
I however will not be silent on the issue that arises from speaking of only reported rapes. It is very convenient to leave the majority of rape victims out of the arguement if they don't prove your point isn't it? Just ignore them altogether, because nobody will notice, we are all too used to them being ignored anyway.
It is hard to explain why most rape, sexual abuse and dv victims don't come forward if the system is so biased towards them and condemns the man as guilty upon accusation.
It is hard to explain why there are false accusations in the first place, not that anyone seems to want to go past the assertion that it is due to women having a princess syndrome. Oh if only, if only I was in a society where my body was my own, where going out to a club or pub won't mean some guy taking more liberties then I like with my person. If only I could live in this fantasy world MRA have dreamed up for me.
This leads to the question of the suffering of the falsely accused man. This is still something I am mulling over. The most common serious illnesses (that I know of) associated with sexual abuse are post traumatic stress disorder and dissociative identity disorder. I think dissociative identity disorder is for the most part contributed to childhood trauma so doesn't really apply to men falsely accused. Post traumatic stress disorder is something however I can see arising from false imprisonment (or even justified imprisonment, but nobody seems bothered by that, that is a subject for another post I think).
False accusations of rape could tear apart families, ruin lives, waste valuble years, expose people to shame and humiliation. However is it the same thing as experiencing a situation where a person feels their life is in danger, where they are attacked, shamed and humiliated for amusement and fun? I am not so certain.
I have also been on MRA blogs where there are names floating around of men who have killed themselves because of this, which I admit is horrible, the thought of anyone killing themselves fills me with dread and horror. Rape victims on the other hand don't tend to be known by name, or have cases that can be commented on due to the utter normality of a suicide due to issues caused by rape or sexual abuse. It occurs to me that it should be much easier to find out how men are effected by FRA then women affected by rape on a case by case basis as the names of the accused are known while women are anonymous. Why then is it not so shocking to think about a woman killing herself due to rape as it is to think of a man killing himself due to being accused of rape? It seems to be seen as pretty much acceptable that a raped woman would commit suicide (who would want to live after being defiled like that anyway right?). Her worth gone with her purity. When a man's dignity is challenged however it is a different story.
Another point of frustration is the trend I see to want to convict women who falsely accuse men of rape on the same level as rapists. I state on every page I see (with very little success) that many things must come into play when passing legislation. I reject the idea that it would be fair for women who falsely accuse men of rape to serve the same sentence as rapists, this is completely irrational, I can't even figure out the logic behind this kind of thinking. Let us begin with the fact that they are different crimes, yes different crimes deserve different punishment. These must also be taken into consideration-
Safety of society
Safety of the victim
Justice for the victim
Rehabilitation for the criminal
Deterrent for future criminals of this sort
Yes, MRAs blind desire for females to suffer as much as males has led them to the illogical thinking they abhor. I am not saying women (and men) shouldn't be punished for false accusations, but lets actually look at it in a rational way. Firstly do women who falsely accuse deserve to be punished? Well to me it seems they should be, but to what degree? Is society safe from these women? Do they commonly reoffend? Is the victim protected from further victimisation? Has justice been brought about on behalf of the victim? Can they be rehabilitated? What therapy is useful? Are there many criminals of this kind and if there is does punishment act as a deterrent for this crime? Punishment just for the sake of punishment is barbaric, they deserve hurt because they hurt someone else, has been shown to be a flawed way of thinking, and isn't useful in application to the real world. Noses out of the bible for a few moments people.
Let us on the other hand consider the crime of rape. Well I think it is obvious rapists are deserving of some punishment, what punishment is very much open to debate, I don't think it is relevant to get into it at this stage. It has been shown again and again that society is not safe from people with a tendency to abuse, it is in their mentalities and embedded within their various mental instabilities. Is justice ever achieved for rape victims? Very rarely in my opinion. Can rapists be rehabilitated? I am very confused about the answer to that one myself, any speculation would be appreciated. There are significantly higher numbers it seems of abusers then false rape accusers. I am also unsure it would be a useful deterrent as it seems to be a crime of passion, more than premeditated. Very few of these legal issues about rapists and false accusers seem to be discussed or even taken into consideration by the MRAs and their supporters.
Another thought I am swirling around in this head of mine is the fact that women seem to often show remorse for their accusations. As the MRAs adamantly claim in the flawed study where 41% of rape claims were shown to be false, it came about as a result of confessions. I haven't heard of many (any?) rapists who turned themselves in and left themselves at the mercy of the justice system in order to spare their victim more suffering.
Basically the conclusion I have come to in writing this entry is that rape and FRA are completely different issues that should never be compared to each other, they have very little in common other then on the surface appearing to show gender bias. As usual however when one delves a little deeper the flaws become apparent and the arguement illogical.
Stick to comparing rape of men to rape of women, but even in that comparison the flaws are many, perhaps don't compare at all, and just work on the issues in a way that doesn't try to make one side out to be evil. Yes, I mean statements like these, that are just loaded pointless insults
MRA states: Feminists always interfere in MRA business by saying "what about the womminz"
Radical feminist states: MRA always intefere in feminist business by saying "what about the meeeeenz"
Both these statements fill me with disgust, and show a deep bias in those who use these as a defence. I have a very strange idea, support your views instead of rejecting an issue based on gender, that is the very thing we should be fighting against.
A helpful response to "All men are rapists" is not in fact "All women are liars". Will people ever see the hate behind these generalised type of statements and the hurt they cause?