Archive for the ‘not helping’ Category

Roger rejects “modest reforms” in rape trials.

Sunday, August 28th, 2011

A double dipper today with two posts dealing with Roger Canaff and his blog. In this post, Roger is critical of Florida Attorney Roy Black and his recent article suggesting “modest reforms” in rape cases.

Now, I have several issues with Roy Black and how he makes his argument. He brings up Jamie Jones and the Halliburton case. I do not believe that is the same thing as DSK or Kobe or some random guy off the street who has been accused of rape. What Black is requesting is something that I also have said would be a good idea, and that is to extend the rape shield laws to protect the name of the accused.

This shouldn’t be too controversial. If we are truly a nation that treats people as innocent until proven guilty, then we should not seek to parade them in front of the media and splash the name of the accused all over the place.

Of course, like the author of the other article Roger criticizes, Black invokes the flawed Kanin Iowa study that “showed” 40% of rape accusations to be false.  This is why Black is not helping his own cause. When you bring up flawed studies, you are not coming to the table with clean hands and as such you make your own demands less likely to be agreed to.

However, Roger also has some issues with his rebuttal. Black believes it is easy to make a false accusation. It is. I know. It was very easy for my false accuser (who Roger personally knows) to make her claim to police. She just made it up and called the cops.  Roger uses unreported cases of rape as proof that it is not easy to make a false claim. Yes, you read that right. Roger states:

The idea that rape is an accusation “easily made but not easily defended,” for instance, never existed in reality, but only in the minds of men who could enforce this paranoid fantasy in courts of law.  In fact, most victims don’t report being sexually assaulted; it remains a chronically under-reported crime and a tiny percentage of victims ever see their rapists legally punished.

That rape is under-reported does not change that a rape charge is easily made if it is false and that it is not easily defended when you handcuff the defense.  Roger also claims that rape shield laws prevent cross examination but in fact some laws in some states do indeed prevent certain things that some might view as relevant from being asked. Now, is what a woman was wearing or how she was dancing relevant? Absolutely not. If a woman is walking around in nearly nothing she still has her body autonomy and as such should not be touched without her consent. But in the article linked to in my last post, it described a case where the emails by the accuser describing a desire to participate in BDSM were ruled inadmissible under rape shield laws. Now, the conviction was overturned on appeal. However, how much extra jail time was served because such evidence was barred from trial.

This is why Roger fails in his argument. He claims that the defense is allowed to bring up relevant information at trial when we have evidence that on occasion it does not. He also fails to disproves that false claims are easy to make yet hard to defend against. I would say this makes Roger 0-2 but he is wrong about so many other things I have lost count.

The presumption of innocence and Title IX

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

The Department of Education under Obama has sent a “Dear Colleague Letter” to colleges and universities regarding their responsibilities under Title IX when it comes to sexual harrassment (including claims of sexual violence).

Now, I was prepared to write a lengthy blog post describing the PDF (that is rather large) but I have found another article that basically describes my displeasure with this letter. I highly suggest you read the link. However, if you do not feel the need to read even that, I will give you the very short version.

Even though Title IX only applies to schools, it is requiring that compliance with Title IX requires that any claim of sexual assault by one student on another be treated quickly, take place regardless of law enforcement involvement, and be treated under the lower “preponderance of the evidence” standard than the “clear and convincing standard” that is used in criminal procedings.

Now, I have no problem if claims against a school for sexual discrimination are decided via the lower standard. However, to require that students accused of sexual assaults be punished swiftly under preponderance standards is horribly unjust.  The requirement that the school protect the accuser from retribution during the investigation is reasonable. However, instead of creating a duplication of resources, the Department of Education should just require that all claims of sexual violence reported to the school to be reported to the local police and then require the school to help the police in their investigation of the alleged crime.

Of course, the “Men’s Rights Activists” (MRA) have jumped all over this one. And nobody should blame them for being angry. They should just blame them for how they respond. Posts like the one I shared earlier describing the letter are reasonable. Responses to the initial post here just go too far and are not helping. Yes, some are correct that it seems like the mere accusation could enough to get a kid kicked out of school and that is absolutely wrong. However, it is not schools who are coming up with this horribly flawed set of guidelines, it is the current administration who  (for reasons I cannot determine) are rejecting the presumption of innocence. They are absolutely wrong about this and if you care about the presumption of innocence you should contact the Department of Education and share your displeasure with this letter in a clear, concise and rational way (i.e. not like many MRA will).

Can you tell me what is wrong with this video?

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

There is a “Men’s Rights Advocate” (MRA) site that posted this video:

The author of the post claims that the video is a “piece of misandric garbage”.  I do not see how this ad is in any way hateful to men. It just encourages parents to raise their children to not be rapists.

I have created the tag “not helping”. It will be reserved for those people who claim to be supportive of certain causes but whose actions give those causes bad names. It is not limited to MRA but from what i have seen so far, it is likely to include many examples from MRA websites. Claiming that a video like this is hateful to men is not helpful to the cause of spreading the word about false accusations of rape. All it does is make you look hateful of women,. Why? Because there is nothing wrong with teaching your kids to not rape. Period.