I cannot tell you my name because what I am about to talk about is an ongoing legal matter. I will tell you that I am a feminist. That I fought for the rights of women to be believed. I worked for a rape crisis center in the 80s.
I helped organize and participated in Take Back the Night events. I am friends with therapists and activists who have worked tirelessly for the rights of women and children. I was sexually abused as a child, and it defined my life for a number of years.
I am also a mother. I have raised a beautiful son, now a beautiful, caring man. He is honorable and strong. He has a deep spiritual practice. He is a man sensitive to the needs of women. Because of my involvement in “the movement” and because at some point he became aware of my own painful history, he is empathetic to women who have been abused.Last year a woman, we’ll call her Sarah, accused my son of attempted sexual assault. She said, she thinks he tried to rape her. …
Despite no evidence, despite the fact that she is obviously a troubled woman, despite other attempts by her in the past to accuse people of hurting her in some way, despite her own admissions of wanting to sue others still, despite my son’s spotless record and the support of myriad women who have known him for years, the state has chosen to pursue this “case.”
If you think that women don’t lie to get back at men, how naive can you be? Yet we live in a culture of “women don’t lie,” a culture fostered by women’s groups since the 70s. A culture I helped create and support. A philosophy I believed.
Because why would women lie? The process of coming forward, going through the legal system was so horrific, so humiliating, why in the world would a woman put herself through it?
But that was then. Then, sexual abuse was hidden and women were maligned and humiliated if they dared come forward. And strong, brave women stood up for the rights of their children and themselves.
Now there are women’s groups with a strong political voice. There are women in political office, policewomen, and so on. Men and women now are predisposed to believe women when they accuse someone of rape. It is sometimes a knee jerk reaction that we have not evaluated for its veracity. We have not wanted to hear that women sometimes lie. The system has supported all women even those who lie. They’ve made it easy for them. If it is proven that a woman has lied, they are not prosecuted. They are at most sent to counseling. And being a “victim” can be intoxicating to some. It can let them off the hook for being responsible for their own actions.
But who is going to protect our sons? We who were on the front lines in the 70s when things were bad for women, we have raised good sons. Men we are proud of. Who will stand up for them?
I am now appalled to think that I was one of these women who thought that women don’t lie…and where there smoke there’s always a fire. Despite having raised a beautiful son, I was a sexist. Then I started doing research. There have been studies done since the 80s citing the percentage of rape allegations that are false. Some studies say as high as 60%. People who have been dealing with this for years have tried to tell us that women do lie. But we haven’t wanted to hear.
… Why would women lie?
Why wouldn’t women lie? They lie to protect themselves, to alleviate guilt, or because they are delusional. They lie because they can. For all the reasons that people lie, women lie.
… Our good men are being harmed.
…This hysterical crisis mentality has created a gap between our awareness of the now highly visible victims of sexual misconduct and the almost invisible victims of false allegation. The lesser known victims have their own stories to tell, enough to reveal another long ignored injustice that demands remediation. False allegations of sexual misconduct have deprived a rapidly growing number of men and women of their reputations, their fortunes, their children, their livelihood and their freedom. Wasting the time and money of families and communities, and have left some so desperate that they have taken their own lives.
…It’s time that we admitted what is right in front of us. Not every woman tells the truth and not every man is a potential rapist.
Sunday, May 22, 2011
If you think that women don’t lie to get back at men, how naive can you be? And who is going to protect our sons?
An article named Women Don't Lie can be found at the Elephant Journal (thanks to Instapundit and don't forget to check out the Stephen Baskerville post) as well as at the False Rape Society.