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Friday, December 21, 2007

Censorship of Opinions and Facts

Check out what I found on a blog allegedly ''discussing'' the issue of false accusations.

Note: Comments are limited to feminists or those who can be respectful of feminists and their efforts to fight sexual exploitation. If you want to excuse or minimize the behavior of those who harm others, make the person exploited responsible for their own exploitation, call those who label their experiences rape liars, or tell us that we should be focusing on more important issues, please do so elsewhere.

This is typical in most ''discussions'' on controversial issues. It's alright to talk about the issue, just don't say anything that disagrees with us or that might prove us wrong about it. Funny thing is, I read just this morning a report from a college professor who analyzed several hundred rape accusations at his college and local police department who found that one-half to two-thirds of those reports were either outright fictitious (lies) or unsubstantiated (not sure of the distinction between those two categories, to be honest).

Add to that the number of men convicted of rape managing to prove their innocence through DNA testing and it leads one to wonder ... just what is really going on?

Among the possible scenarios (other than the victim lying) include mistaken identity over who the actual rapist was, miscommunication (or lack of communication) between the man and woman leading to an assumption of willingness, and ''buyer's remorse'' where the woman claims rape because she suddenly decided having sex the night before wasn't such a good idea.

Any one of these can cause an innocent man to go to prison not just for years, but for decades for a crime he never committed or did not knowingly commit. It is a bit more serious than putting a man in jail for speeding in an area that has no posted speed limit, but the basic concept is the same.

Years ago women had an almost perfect blackmail weapon, called ''breach of promise'' that they used against men. Supposedly it was a law to prevent rapist men from seducing innocent women with promises of marriage, but it was rampantly used by women to blackmail men instead. Legislations nationwide recognized this problem and repealed the laws.

Today, women have things like ''date rape'' laws and the threat of a man getting branded a ''sexual offender'' or ''sexual predator'' for the rest of their lives to replace this lost blackmail power. Laws that have been instituted to protect women from exploitation have themselves become a form of rape, this time with the men being the victim.

This is another case of a ''wicked issue'' that has no simple solutions. We as a society need open, frank discussion on the topic, not censorship like the Alas blog apparently has.

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