Sunday, April 3, 2016

I Don't Get Why People Think Women Lie So Much About Being Raped

The picture below is a screenshot from the pop star Kesha's Instagram account. 

If you'll recall, this was the woman who was in a high profile, public fight with her producer, whom she alleged raped her. She recently lost a court case against Sony Music in which she tried to get out of that contract. Here's what she says happened afterwards, and I completely and totally 100% believe it.

Think about the relative incentives involved when it comes to the truth of rape and sexual assault. Who has the incentive to lie?

Is it the perpetrator, who by lying avoids going to jail as a felon for decades, or is it the victim, who by lying gets ... what? Revenge on someone? What does the victim of a rape "get" by going public with a rape allegation? 

For starters, she (it's almost always a she) usually gets called a liar. She also risks her reputation, her career, her privacy, her relationships, everything--and still almost ALL the time, her rapist goes free. 

By contrast, a man who lies about having committed a rape risks NOTHING and by admitting to it guarantees himself a felony conviction.

So.

As between the victims of rape and its perpetrators, there is a far greater incentive for the rapist to be lying than there is for the victim. Indeed, there is a stark disincentive for a woman to make a rape allegation, even if it's true, much less if it's false.

That's the simple, objective, mathematical logic of actions and their consequences.

Does that mean a person is never falsely accused of rape? Of course not. But too often the benefit of the doubt goes to the accused rather than the accuser. And yes, the accused is constitutionally entitled to the benefit of the doubt. IN A CRIMINAL PROSECUTION. Which again, hardly ever happens, because of the evidentiary problems associated with "he said/she said."

The sad thing is, a rape victim hardly ever gets her day in court, because even before an investigation can begin, everyone believes what "he said" and not what "she said," even though the incentive for what "she said" to be true is so much more objectively powerful. 

Objectively, when it comes to rape, "he said" and "she said" are simply not created equal.

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