So, today I found myself reading a comment thread attached to this article (clean link) about the rape allegations against Ben Sullivan, current President of the Oxford Union. It seems that there are people out there who not only believe that anyone accused of rape should be automatically granted anonymity, but who believe that if that if the accused is not convicted of rape, the accuser should go to prison instead, and take the sentence the accused would have received. You know, for their vicious attempts to ruin the accused’s career.
Seriously? What the fuck? What fucking planet are you on?
In fact, let’s talk about that planet. Let’s name it Misandry-Prime, because – according to some of the commenters on that thread – any policy other than the aforementioned arrangement – is “a prime example of misandry”. On Misandry-Prime, where such a policy makes sense, I propose that the following must all be true:
– On Misandry-Prime, nobody ever watches the films of Woody Allen or Roman Polanski, or Charlie Chaplin, because allegations of rape have permanently tarnished their careers. In fact, every single one of the following people can’t show their faces in public again, because of how dramatically their careers went down the toilet at the first indication that they might have sexually assaulted someone: Al Gore, Jimmie Page, R. Kelly, John Travolta, Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, Mike Tyson, Jerry Seinfeld, Dominique Strauss-Kahn… and if you add in accusations of domestic violence, let’s not forget Michael Fassbender, Charles Saatchi, Mel Gibson, and Sean Penn. Not a single one of them are still household names. All of those men – their careers were completely ruined the second someone came forward about being assaulted by them, regardless of whether the jury found in their favour or not, or even whether the case made it to court! Not a single person spoke up for them!
– On Misandry-Prime, whenever someone comes forward about a person who sexually assaulted them, they are instantly and automatically believed. There is no groundswell of support for the accused – no, not even for Ched Evans or Julian Assange – and there are definitely no aggressive smear campaigns against the accuser.
– On Misandry-Prime, rape accusations are magic! They alone have the ability to ruin someone’s reputation, and they will do it instantly, in the time it takes to click your fingers, the moment anyone suggests that rape might have occurred. Nobody has ever had their reputation ruined by allegations of murder, or theft, or drug abuse – on Misandry-Prime, it is rape accusations and rape accusations alone that can do this. Since rape is the only criminal allegation that could possibly damage someone’s career, rape trials are the only ones that need to take place in complete secrecy!
– On Misandry-Prime, real rape victims come forward in the sure knowledge that they would be believed and supported – and even though rape trials are all entirely secret, they have a psychic ability to sense when someone who assaulted them is on trial, which means they can still add their own evidence to the trial!
– On Misandry-Prime, the media circus that surrounds rape allegations is ~*~super-exciting and fun~*~! It doesn’t involve having every aspect of your body, personal life, sexual history, moral character, etc, constantly publicly scrutinised with the aim of determining whether you were “asking for it” or if you were sufficiently attractive for someone to bother raping, and there’s never any kind of smear campaign designed to make you out to be a crazy, irrational, slutty, ugly, attention-seeker who had sex and then changed their mind afterwards! Nope, it’s just a fun way for a bored party girl to get onto a lot of chat shows, get the attention she craves, and wreak dramatic revenge on a man who she probably just doesn’t like because he rejected her or something.
– On Misandry-Prime, the juries ALWAYS get it right. It’s just logic, you guys – if the jury couldn’t prove the defendant did it, then obviously the defendant didn’t do it! This means that it’s standard legal practice, if the prosecution fails to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the crime in question, that the plaintiff always subsequently gets arrested for perjury and sentenced to whatever punishment was waiting to be lined up for the defendant. This is why people who can’t prove that someone mugged them or burgled them end up in jail half the time! And this is why, on Misandry-Prime, there needs to stop being an exception for rape!
So, on Misandry-Prime, perhaps this ass-backwards idea makes some kind of sense. But since we don’t fucking live there, let’s stop with this bullshit, alright?