Feminism vs Facts

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The end of 2013 is fast approaching and it’s that list-making time of year. Weighing in at number twenty three in iconic feminist moments was the release of an African-American woman named Marissa Alexander from jail while awaiting a retrial for three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Given that women get lesser sentences for actually killing their target, this case is curious.

So, who is this feminist poster girl?

Feminists will tell you that Marissa is a battered woman “condemned” to 20 years in prison merely for firing a warning shot into the ceiling to prevent her abusive husband from beating her. They have campaigned relentlessly for her release. Radicalwomen.com joined the “Free Marissa Now” campaign pleading with us to “stop the legal lynching by Florida’s mandatory minimum sentencing laws of an African American domestic violence survivor.” The Feminist Wire begged readers to sign a petition with the slogan “Justice for Marissa! Set her Free!” And the Free Marissa Now website boasts a number of feminist organizations that are supporting and funding her legal defence.

The feminist version of the story goes like this: Marissa found herself trapped in her home with a violent husband, who had a history of abuse, and against whom she had a restraining order. She had given birth just nine days before the altercation. When she escaped from the house and arrived at her car, she realized she had forgotten her keys. She then grabbed a gun (for which she had a permit) from the car and fired a warning shot at her estranged husband when he threatened to kill her and made a movement in her direction.

Marissa invoked Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” defence. She was denied that defence and found guilty by a jury in just over twelve minutes. This resulted in the mandatory minimum 20 year sentencing for gun crimes in that state.

Sounds like a travesty.

It also sounds like a hay wagon full of horse shit.

As it turns out, the feminists’ story lacks the following details: Marissa was not assaulted in her own home. Days after giving birth, she left her newborn in the hospital and drove to her estranged husband’s house. At the time, there were mutual restraining orders in place. Her husband was not home so Marissa parked her car in his garage and waited for his return. She eagerly showed him photos of her newborn on her cell phone and an argument arose when he noticed text messages between her and her ex-husband on the phone.

Marissa stormed out of the house and into the garage, where she grabbed a gun from her car and went back inside. Marissa claimed that the garage door was broken, forcing her to return after she had successfully left. Police found no evidence that the garage door was broken. She later claimed that she had left her keys behind.

The supposed “warning” shot was fired at head level and only ended up in the roof after ricocheting out of the other side of a wall. There were two children in the room standing next to her husband when Marissa fired the gun at his head.

Three months after being released on bail Marissa violated the no contact order, went back to her husband’s house and gave him a black eye. When police contacted her, Marissa claimed that she was never there but later confessed.

The “Stand Your Ground” defence places the burden of proof onto the accused to show that their life was in danger. By attempting to use that defence Marissa made her case harder to win. She also refused a plea bargain that would have only sentenced her to three years in jail. Marissa chose to take her chances in court despite enough evidence stacked against her – so much that a jury of her peers only needed twelve minutes to reach a guilty verdict.

Stand Your Ground did not apply to Marissa’s case since she was able to leave the house safely and not only returned but, upon her return, escalated a non-deadly altercation into a deadly confrontation by bringing a gun into the conflict. There was no evidence of bruising or violence to Marissa’s body when police arrested her. The 911 call was placed by her husband who fled the house with his two children and called police to have them remove Marissa from his home.

The prosecutor in the case, Angela Corey, is known for her staunch victim’s advocate stance. Corey has confronted the misrepresentation of Marissa Alexander’s case in the media numerous times explaining that she has a duty to the main victims in this crime: two young children. But no one wants to hear what Angela Corey has to say because it doesn’t make for a good feminist campaign.

Unsurprisingly, when given the choice, feminists are more worried about a black woman than they are about two black children. Of course part of their battle cry is that Marissa won’t be with her own children while incarcerated, and they were forced to choose between the custodial children of a woman and the custodial children of a man. It’s easy to see the complicated scales of equality feminism at work here.

Not being the ones to let facts get in the way of a good campaign, feminists have compared Marissa Alexander’s Stand Your Ground case to that of George Zimmerman and the Trayvon Martin shooting. Their bone of contention is that a white man got away with murdering a black kid under Stand Your Ground, but a black woman was unsuccessful with that same defence even though she didn’t kill anyone.

First of all, George Zimmerman is Hispanic. Secondly, Zimmerman did not use the Stand Your Ground defence in his trial. His lawyers wisely advised Zimmerman that he stood a better chance of acquittal if he kept the burden of proof on the state. Third, they were both shooting at black people.

To help us understand the case better, Melissa Harris-Perry, host of MSNBC, wrote an open letter to prosecutor Angela Corey. It starts like this:

Dear Angela Corey,

It’s me, Melissa.

Angela, there are few times in life that we get second chances to right our wrongs. Well Angela, this is yours.

You have been called a fierce victim’s advocate, so it is way past time that you start acting like it.

Dear Melissa Harris-Perry,

It’s me, Diana.

Melissa, there are few times in life that we get second chances to realize that we acted like complete cunts. Well, Melissa, this is yours.

You have been called an educated woman and it’s way past time that you start acting like it.

As the host of a television show, which has much greater access to the facts of the case than I do, I’m looking forward the explanation of how it only took me two minutes with Google to find out the details of the case that seem to have eluded you.

Since, Melissa, you obviously care about abuse victims, I suggest you remember that two young children watched a psychopathic woman aim and fire a gun at their father’s head. This woman, who you are so passionately defending, has shown herself to be incapable of staying away from the home of a man who allegedly beats her even when restraining orders are in place and her bail conditions stipulated “no contact.”

Since you are trying to educate us about domestic violence, Melissa, I am left wondering why you left out the part explaining how Marissa kept finding herself driving to her abuser’s house. Usually battered wives are “stuck” there because they live with their spouse and the “domestic” part of the violence references their own home, creating the sticky part of “stuck”.

Finally, I am greatly intrigued by your response to the detail that Marissa’s “warning shot” hit the wall at adult head level. You explained with exasperation that “Marissa is three inches shorter than [her husband].” Being rather tall, I had no idea that the ceiling is located in a different place for short people.

Thank you, Melissa, for this enlightening example of how a feminist brain functions.

Sincerely,
Diana

Also posted on A Voice For Men

Is rape different?

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Freedom of speech seems to be a broadly misunderstood concept.

When you believe in freedom of speech and fight to protect it you are not just defending yourself, you are fighting for the right of other people to say things you don’t agree with. A person who supports censorship can not claim to support freedom of speech.

Freedom of speech is one of the human rights granted to citizens in progressive countries. We consider it important. As such, it was shocking to see feminists@law rallying a protest to the London School of Economics (LSE) Department of Law’s recent debate called “Is Rape Different?” It should concern academia that feminist lawyers don’t support free speech. They seem to hold myths about freedom.

The October 30th, 2013 debate was led by Helen Reece, based on an article she wrote concerning deeply flawed rape myth studies and other feminist rhetoric which currently informs the law. LSE’s event description explains the subject thus:

Rape is a heinous crime, and many people believe the conduct and outcome of rape cases insufficiently reflect this heinousness. As a result, rape complainants are treated differently; distinct rules of evidence have been developed; and measures to tackle rape myths are in place. But is all this helpful? Rape is a serious crime but is it a special crime, demanding special treatment? Do our rule of law and fairness pay a price? In this first debate in LSE Department of Law’s ‘Debating Law’ series, LSE academic Helen Reece leads a debate on whether or not rape is in this sense special.

The speakers who questioned rape as a special sort of crime were Helen Reece, reader of Law at LSE, and Barbara Hewson, barrister in Hardwicke Chambers. In favour of rape as a uniquely vile crime were Jennifer Temkin, professor at City Law School, and Nazir Afzal, chief crown prosecutor for CPS North West.

You’ll notice that both sides of the debate had two equally qualified representatives.

The protest now taking place is quite clear in the reason for complaint: people are talking about Reece and Hewson and no one is talking about Temkin and Afzal. The short story — the feminists feel they lost the debate. We all know what happens when a feminist feels bad: The world must stop and do something to fix it.

Specifically, on November 14th, feminists@law declared

We deplore LSE Law’s decision to give a platform to Reece and Hewson’s dangerous and unsupported views and its failure to engage responsibly with the public on such an important and sensitive issue as rape.

They mulled over all the possible courses of action to compensate for the fact that “their views received significantly less media attention” and came up with a solution.

With such a wide audience, we believe there is an onus on the LSE Law Department to ensure that the ideas that are being disseminated do not feed dangerous stereotypes about women being responsible for the sexual violence perpetuated against them.
We invite readers to add their names in support of this statement, using the ‘Add Comment’ function below.

Normally, when a university lecture or event is protested it is a singular speaker who the protesters claim are disseminating “hate speech”. This was not a lecture, it was a debate in which four competing points of view were given equal time. Even Jay-Z seems to understand free speech better than feminist lawyers. “We change people through conversation, not through censorship.”

It’s a sad state of affairs when a rapper would make a better lawyer than a feminist trained in law.

One of the criticisms leveled against LSE by Sarah Keenan and Yvette Russell on criticallegalthinking.com is that LSE defended the debate. It was Barbara Hewson’s presentation that got the most media coverage and LSE failed to apologize for inviting her.

“The @LSELaw account responded defensively to criticism of its decision to host Hewson insisting that she was only one of four panellists and that her views were balanced by the opposing arguments of Temkin and Afzal, and urging critics and the wider public to download the podcast, watch the video and ‘make up your own mind’”

The other complaint was that LSE highly publicized the debate and intentionally chose a controversial subject to get a bigger response from the public. It seems like, for once, feminists were hoping nobody would listen to them. We must put these complaints in context. The feminist point of view was equally given a chance to convince the public that rape is different from other crimes. If they’d used this opportunity better or gotten a better result they would not be, right now, complaining about the publicity.

After creating a twitstorm about the debate the feminists also criticized LSE for using twitter.

I can’t think of a single speaker who agrees to a debate and hopes nobody listens to it or hears about it later. If anything, this farcical reaction is a great chance to learn about which people we don’t want to hire when organizing events.

The emphatic rejection of any discussion about rape and rape laws that feminists cling to is based on the premise that women need to know that they will be believed when they report a rape. In Hewson’s spiked-online.com reply she takes the time to remind these lawyers about how the law works.

This [victimization] ideology dominates official thinking about rape and sexual abuse to a point where the police actively solicit allegations with the promise, ‘You will be believed’. This militates against the idea that allegations need to be investigated.

Luke Gittos, Law Editor, followed up on Spiked with an article on November 20th entitled “We must be free to question rape laws”.

The discussion around issues related to rape is now so rife with intellectual bigotry and dishonesty that it is hard to know where to begin dissecting it. It is no underestimation to say that a portion of those contributing to this debate are engaged in a wilful distortion of the truth and a cowardly drive to close down any challenge to their false consensus.

This wilful distortion of the truth is one of the issues to which Helen Reece is attempting to bring attention. The rape myth surveys that she de-constructed in her initial article were all peer reviewed. That such shoddy academic work can not only pass peer review but become incorporated into decisions about legal reform is reason for alarm. The need for freedom of speech in academia is best proven by the existence of unsupported feminist rhetoric as the accepted worldview.

Academic studies require peer review and RMA surveys have not been properly scrutinized because the manipulated results adhere to popular myths about rape myths. If we are to let these studies influence the legal system, as they demand we do, Helen presents important concerns to be addressed about the research being submitted as fact.

While Jennifer Temkin despaired in the LSE debate that “it beggars belief” we are discussing whether or not rape is different, what’s really astounding is that we are stuck explaining the importance of free speech to a bunch of lawyers. These outraged feminists are highly educated in the very topic at hand and they just don’t seem interested in either truth or justice.

Is rape different? Watch the debate.

Also posted on A Voice For Men

The myth of rape myths

Decorative Scales of Justice in the Courtroom
Are we are all living in a world of mythical delusion? Is the world that you subjectively experience so far removed from reality that you can’t be trusted to sit on a jury? This is the question that vexed Helen Reece, a Reader in Law at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

Feminist discourse asserts that “rape myths” are rampant in society to the effect that they disable the average person from being able to either understand or ascertain the seriousness of the crime of rape. According to feminists, the public is so deeply immersed in “rape culture” or “rape supportive attitudes” that we have trouble recognizing when a crime has been committed. This suggestion is a serious accusation and Helen is a very serious woman willing to tackle this question with logic instead of just agreeing for the sake of getting along.

In July, 2013, the Oxford Journal of Legal Studies published a summary article of Helen Reece’s paper entitled “Rape Myths: Is Elite Opinion Right and Popular Opinion Wrong?” In the article Helen Reece presents a challenge to how feminists are corrupting logic, law, and language.

The claim that rape myths are widespread may be challenged on three grounds: first, some of the attitudes are not myths; secondly, not all the myths are about rape; thirdly, there is little evidence that the rape myths are widespread. To a troubling extent, we are in the process of creating myths about myths, or ‘myth myths’.

While the feminist rhetoric currently shaping the existing “rape myth” studies have had significant influence upon the court system thus far, feminists simultaneously declare that their efforts have had no impact on a “rape supportive” society. By denying their results feminists are able to avoid responsibility for the negative impact that their changes may have caused and to decry anyone, like Helen Reece, who questions the reasonableness of feminist demands upon the legal system as a comprehensive institution that also has a duty to protect the accused.

When the Rape Myth Attitude (RMA) surveys were administered they did not yield the high results expected so researchers decided to “expediate” their process of proving “rape culture” by manipulating the questions. It was their assumption that people taking the test were recognizing the politically correct answers and responding in the presumed “correct” manner, thereby skewing the results. To make the test results match their expectations, RMA surveys made their questions more ambiguous and bell curved the results.

Helen points out that “This is as fallacious as making the driving test practically impossible to pass, then treating the resulting failure rate as evidence of appalling driving.” While bell curves can be useful at times they are particularly problematic in determining “the awfulness of people’s attitudes.”

Academic studies require peer review and RMA surveys have not been properly scrutinized because the manipulated results adhere to popular myths about rape myths. If we are to let these studies influence the legal system, as they demand we do, Helen presents important concerns to be addressed about the research being submitted as fact.

A specific point of RMA survey questioning involves asking people if a woman inviting a man to have coffee means sex. Not only is the wording a key element to the absurdity of this question it begs the question of what normal, every day people use as an indication of sexual receptivity.

Helen suggests that the more people who respond to state that asking someone to have coffee with you is a sign of sexual interest, the more weight it gives to the social norm of an invitation of coffee being a legitimate pickup line.

Surely Skepchick would agree.

The media attention given to “elevatorgate” and Rebecca Watson’s insistence that a man asking her to have coffee with him was sexual harassment, lends to the credibility that asking someone to have coffee with you is an understood euphemism for wanting to fuck. The public should now agree that coffee invitations are, in fact, a sexual invitation. Interestingly, the only people who agreed with Watson were the feminists, seeking to demonize the man who offered the coffee.

The public rejection of this feminist notion, that coffee equals sex, indicates that feminists are more likely to believe this rape myth than anyone else and they have projected their own absurd ideas onto the general public.

Despite the effort to make consent appear black and white, Helen argues that signs of consent in the real world are very messy and that considering the context around a person’s actions is much more important to legal analysis than we are being asked to believe. Due to a lack of proper research in what consent looks like when it goes right and exclusive focus on what it is like when it goes wrong, she feels that “participant’s answers should be treated with respect: the best evidence we have of how women show consent to sex is how people say women show consent to sex.”

Context is everything.

One of Helen’s concerns with feminist methodology in “rape myth” research is the removal of the requirement that rape myths needed to be “demonstrably false.” Without this stipulation we end up with “the oxymoronic ‘true myth’.” This is a case where something is oddly declared to be a myth but it may be factually accurate.

Problematic to the RMA studies is that the surveys purport to show how many people “blame the victim” when, in fact, none of the surveys use the word “blame”. The moral judgements inferred onto the results are actually just a result of researchers injecting their own moral values onto the responses. The only thing determined by the surveys is that a number of people, who may be factually correct, did not hold the same ethical opinions as the researchers.

The law, by design, is intended to deal with facts.

This slippery slope of interpretation by moral comparisons was tobogganed into our narrative by researchers riding on surrogate words for blame, such as “responsibility”. Helen questions whether or not “responsibility” is a good substitute for the word “blame.” Some of the public, including rape victims themselves, will attribute a portion of their actions as having contributed to the circumstances that led to a rape. This is fact. It is quite established that drinking excessively in public contributes to vulnerability. What the survey doesn’t establish is whether or not the public feels that a responsibility factor attributes blame to the victim or whether they were merely agreeing it contributed to vulnerability.

Where the studies report that people hold myths about “real rape,” defined as stranger attacks with weapons involved, Helen Reece queries “What does this even mean? Does it mean that people believe ‘real rape’ is the only sort of rape, the most common sort of rape, or the most serious type of rape? The only strong evidence for any of these propositions is that ‘real rape’ is more likely to lead to a conviction at the end of a trial. But this doesn’t mean that jurors believe the ‘real rape’ myth — they might just find it easier to convict when the evidence doesn’t boil down to whose story they believe.”

When rape attitude surveys are more interested in judging other people on their personal moral scales than in actually establishing fact for the pursuit of justice it is important for people, such as Helen Reece, to defend the institution of the law. As it currently stands, the law has an interest in making sure defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty and making sure they are granted the right to a fair trial.

These surveys declare that the public, the judges, the police, and all individuals involved in the court process are too steeped in myth to be capable of judgement due to “rape supportive attitudes.” That is a big accusation and only people within the legal system are in a position to defend against these accusations.

Helen Reece proposes that proving immorality in mass popular culture is not as cut and dried as feminists would like to pretend. If comparative analysis is done, conviction rates for rape are not actually out of scale with other crimes. She remarks that feminist studies do not even bother to compare their myth myths to attitudes about other types of violations.

The myth that many people believe “women cry rape” is unsupportable because “there needs to be a discrepancy between the proportion of women who people believe ‘cry rape’ and the proportion of women who do in fact ‘cry rape’. A problem is the lack of precision in the data on both these proportions.” Until such data is acquired, the “cry rape myth” might actually be a fact.

Quite often, and for good reason, the law is very focused on the meaning of words and how to enforce those meanings. As much as the law is designed to be followed, the law is also intended to be understandable. Feminist inspired changes to the law have introduced ambiguous words that undermine the clarity of what is expected from the public in order to comply with the law.

Feminists have succeeded in increasing reported rapes but the failure to increase convictions is not due to “rape myths” it is due to an inability to be sure “beyond a reasonable doubt” where the complex sexual behaviour of human beings meets the dubious wording of the new laws about consent.

Of the many reforms made to the legal system, rape is now defined by a lack of active consent instead of the presence of sexual rejection. These changes have been made without acknowledgement or research into how people interact with each other in real life. This does not seem either progressive or productive.

Helen Reece has expressed her concern that where the line between sex and rape in drawn is not as simple as feminists purport, not as mythical as they project, nor as dire as they propose. Her line of questioning is not misogynistic, or even anti-feminist, it is the reasonable doubt presented by people who seek to keep the legal system in line with reality. Helen Reece just seems to love the law, and what it represents.

Feminists claim we live in a rapey dystopia. If you don’t agree with them and fail to convict every man accused of a crime against women, you have an “attitude” problem.

Someone needs to explain to feminists how the legal system was designed and for what purpose. Perhaps that person will be Helen Reece.

Sources:
http://blog.oup.com/2013/07/myths-about-rape-myths/
http://ojls.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2013/03/13/ojls.gqt006.full.pdf+html?sid=abf0e5fb-13fb-4025-9ef6-9b1056e1aaec
Also published on A Voice For Men

Don’t Be That Prosecutor

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Putting more men in jail is a feminist issue. Keeping innocent men out of jail is a men’s issue. It’s no surprise that these two opposing forces have finally met in a public train crash on the railroad of prosecutorial misconduct.

Mary Kellett, a Maine prosecutor, is facing disciplinary hearings for withholding exculpatory evidence to increase her conviction rates regardless of guilt or innocence. In Kellett’s predicament, whether it was a personal hatred of men or a distortion of priorities placing her career ambitions above her duty to uphold justice is something only she can understand but this is not an isolated incident of a singular, sick individual.

Prosecutors have more power than judges and less accountability because what they do is mostly hidden from public view. They decide which cases will be pursued, what sort of plea bargaining will be offered, and what sentencing to seek in each case. All of this happens before the accused gets his day in court and, often, prevents the falsely accused from even having a day in court. The prosecutor is both judge and jury in approximately 95% of criminal cases.

“The disproportionate power prosecutors have under our system means it is vital to have some policing mechanism to ensure they do their jobs fairly. Yet, this is where we fall far short. The system protects prosecutors from civil liability even when they knowingly mishandle cases. And the legal concept of “harmless error” allows convictions to stand unless the prosecutor’s improper actions affected the outcome of a trial.”

The Innocence Project has currently helped exonerate over 300 men who were wrongfully convicted, some of them on death row, for crimes they did not commit. One of the common reasons that innocent men are sent to prison is “government misconduct” which includes both law enforcement officials and prosecutors.

Concern over lack of accountability in the legal system has been ongoing yet the conversation keeps getting waylaid without action. Fifty years after the term “Brady Violation” was introduced, Lawrence S. Goldman notes that “[p]rosecutors who have committed Brady violations, even those which have been later demonstrated to have resulted in wrongful convictions and lengthy terms of imprisonment for persons later proven innocent, are rarely prosecuted.” A Brady violation describes cases, such as Kellett’s, where exculpatory evidence is suppressed when it may have proven the innocence of the accused. Brady violations occur on a regular basis.

If we were to gather up and put on trial “The Brady Bunch” of prosecutors there wouldn’t be a courtroom big enough to fit the guilty family. Such a trial would be most rewarding if the jury was composed of all the people sent to jail for the benefit of the these lawyer’s careers. The sentence, instead of just losing their licence to practice law, should be equivalent to the amount of time spent behind bars that their victims had to endure.

But there will be no such trial in the name of justice, and the concern of the media fizzles out every year without effecting an ounce of accountability. In February, 2012, The New York Times pointed out that instead of working towards greater accountability, the Brady law was instead weakened by adding a clause that it only applied to “material” evidence. The Pacific Standard reported in April of this year that “[e]ven when prosecutors engage in strikingly unethical behavior, they are rarely sanctioned for it, much less criminally charged.”

These are problems that arise when an industry is created that benefits from putting men in jail. And the prison industry is huge.

The question remains as to what truly motivates lawyers to subvert the justice they vowed to serve.

Just as lawyers, police, and judges have no job without crime, professional feminists have no job without “patriarchy” and “rape culture” theory. The efforts of groups likeEdmonton’s SS-A with their “Don’t Be That Guy” campaign are the type of incentive given to people like Mary Kellett to bypass the law and convict as many men as possible. It impresses the public.

In 2007 The National District Attorneys Association (NDAA) produced a report on whether or not lower conviction rates were an indication of poor performance by a prosecutor. They made many observations including that “[p]ublic accountability has become paramount in a world of social interests competing for limited public resources” and that 90% of the media calls they receive relate to conviction rates as a measure of performance.

“Unfortunately, when the media, legislators, and county/city councils rely solely on conviction and plea bargain rates to define “success,” prosecutors may find it difficult to surmount negative public opinion, and worse yet, challenges to their funding needs.” The NDAA produced flow charts and guidelines that include recommendations to reduce the public’s fear of crime as well as promoting the “fair, impartial, and expeditious pursuit of justice.” The report both recognizes the external pressures to increase conviction rates and cautions prosecutors about their methods of collecting performance data.

Given that pressure from special interest groups and the media creates an acknowledged ethical problem for prosecutors, we should be very concerned when “rape culture” advocates create headlines demanding that more rapists go to jail.

In April 2013, The Guardian ran a story that pitted Keir Starmer from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) against Emily Thornberry, a Labour MP. Thornberry was demanding answers for low conviction rates in rape cases.

“’I am disappointed that the proportion of domestic violence cases where no action at all is taken remains stubbornly high,’ Thornberry said. ‘Given that the CPS has rightly made violence against women and girls a priority, I would have expected this proportion to fall.’”

When Starmer attempts to explain that “A case may fail for a whole host of evidential reasons” the discussion turned to funding issues. The faulty premise of Thornberry’s vehemence about increasing conviction rates is the same error made by Lise Gottell in her outrage at the transformation of her “Don’t Be That Guy” message: They assume that false accusations of rape are negligent and that the few who are convicted are always guilty.

In a Global News article on the subject Karen Smith, of Edmonton’s SS-A says of rape “people just don’t lie about that.” She is backed up by Sean Armstrong of the Edmonton Police who assures the public that false rape claims are “extremely rare.” Both of these assertions are not only impossible to maintain when proper analysis has never been conducted, they encourage more aggressive prosecution of all rape claims without concern for the presumption of innocence.

Not only are false rape claims a real problem, there are repeat offenders committing this crime. I offer a partial list of the recently guilty who have been in the news just since last June:

Leanne Black July 9th, 2013. Jailed after five false rape allegations.
Astria Berwick July 4th, 2013. Jailed for 16 months.
Sara Ylen trial set for July 9th, 2013. Also accused in another county of lying about having cancer.
Wanetta Gibson June 17th, 2013. In connection to the Brian Banks case was ordered to repay $2.6M of compensation money for a false rape claim.
Philippa Costello June 23rd, 2013. Jailed for false rape allegations against a soldier.
Linsey Attridge June 27th, 2013. Randomly chose her false rape accusation victim on facebook.
Jasmine Levanna Kurre July 5th, 2013. Convicted of assault after filing a false rape report.
Cierra N. Reyes-Benitez July 3rd, 2013. Plead guilty to filing a false rape report.

The problem with quoting a 2% false accusation rate is that more properly conducted studies result in compelling evidence that it’s closer to 40-60%. The above listed cases indicate that the higher statistic, based on more thorough investigations, is more accurate than what The Weekly Standard calls “The Noble Lie, Feminist Style.”

While the methods and “tone” of men’s right groups may be distasteful to some people, being “politically correct” is not going to stop the current boxcar full of innocent men trapped on the Railroad To Prison. Every time the media parrots agenda driven claims of feminists another Mary Kellett turns the men of her town into fodder for a political machine. Every campaign that characterizes men as inherently evil puts another innocent man behind bars. Every poster that claims men are solely responsible for “rape culture” releases another guilty woman from the jail cell to which she was gleefully sending her victim.

The myths perpetuated by campaigns like “Don’t Be That Guy” are demonstrably part of the motivation for prosecutors like Mary Kellett to convict innocent men. It’s not a problem of one woman in one town, it’s prosecutors everywhere who have no safety checks on their potential abuse of power and mostly enjoy immunity for their crimes when caught. The problem has been well known for decades and nothing has been done about it.

Sometimes justice is served by dropping a criminal investigation but a curious condition arises when people’s careers are put in jeopardy by doing their jobs well. While it is reasonable to assume that those who enter into legal professions do so out of a passion for justice, it is also reasonable to assume that they also care about getting promotions and keeping their jobs.

While some lawyers are more concerned with their careers than the ideal of justice, we should also appreciate the type of lawyers who have teamed up with The Innocence Project to help exonerate the wrongly accused. Decades of concern over Brady violations and prosecutorial misconduct hasn’t effected any changes yet but the court system is being given a chance to make a difference every time a Mary Kellett comes before their bench.

Feminists ask the public to presume defendants guilty until proven innocent then scream when such innocence is proven, declaring it to be poor performance of the justice system. Men’s Human Rights Advocates ask the public to presume innocence until proven guilty which is, not surprisingly, a human right.

It’s time for organizations like Edmonton’s SS-A to become socially accountable and show their professed morality by ceasing to persecute an entire gender while failing to hold the other gender responsible for their own crimes. It’s time for prosecutors to get a clear message that their job is not to appease lobbyists or politicians. It’s also time for the media to stop printing spin articles supporting the idea that defending wrongly accused men is somehow supporting the act of rape. You can’t be a “rape apologist” where no rape was actually committed.

Get the story straight.

When The Brady Bunch offers their defense before the courts, asking why they intentionally sent innocent men to prison, those prosecutors might start naming people like Emily Thornberry, Lise Gottell, Karen Smith, Sean Armstrong, and the media as their accomplices.

Also posted on A Voice For Men