On October 5, Senator Susan Collins (shown, R-Maine) voted to limit debate on the confirmation of U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, whom the Senate confirmed the next day. Not long after the cloture vote, the group dubbed Women’s March, a fanatical feminist phalanx led by Muslim terror apologist Linda Sarsour, offered its opinion: “This is who @SenatorCollins is … RAPE APOLOGIST.”
Tweeted Sarsour, whose tolerant coreligionists in the Middle East punish a rape victim for dishonoring the family unless she can produce four Muslim men as witnesses, “Senator Susan Collins is the mother & grandmother of white women in America who gave us a Donald Trump presidency. The 53%. She is a disgrace & her legacy will be that she was a traitor to women and marginalized communities. History will not treat her kindly.”
Before that, Sarsour tweeted that because Collins is white, she just ought to shut up. “A white woman Senator is talking about presumption of innocence that is never offered to Black men in America. You are watching white supremacy live on the Senate Floor.”
How “white women,” meaning race, is connected to this we are not given to know. We do know that Christine Blasey Ford was every bit the member of the “white elite” in high school as Kavanaugh, the man she accused, with zero evidence, of attempted rape.
But Collins was not the Lone Ranger. Women’s March also called Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley and the rest of the Republicans on the committee “rape apologists.”
The sisterhood’s point? Disagreement with a woman is forbidden. Questioning a “survivor” is forbidden. Any doubts are forbidden. We must “believe women” and “women must be heard.”
But must we really “believe women” unconditionally, without reservation, when they cry rape? Leftist civil libertarian Alan Dershowitz, the Harvard lawyer who defended O.J. Simpson, says no. Claims such as those against Kavanaugh, he said, must be investigated, not simply “believed.”
“I think it’s so important to investigate that because if it turns out that was made up,” he said on Fox & Friends, “it puts the lie to the notion that you should believe all victims, that no women ever lie, that nothing’s ever made up.” Dershowitz was furious when it initially appeared that Kavanaugh might have to testify in committee before his main accuser, Christine Blasey Ford. He told Breitbart’s radio program, News Daily: “[Ford] should testify first, make the accusation, lay it out, and then [Kavanaugh] should be asked to respond.”
But the Democratic lawyer’s main point was reserved for the media lynch mob that had, within minutes of Ford’s foggy accusation, declared Kavanaugh guilty: “The presumption of innocence,” he said, “still has to apply.”
Notwithstanding the claims of the anti-Kavanaugh women and their leftist supporters, who targeted the judge with a suspiciously timed cascade of allegations that escalated in absurdity, the simple truth is this: Recent history shows that women do lie about rape. And frequently so.
Some of the most egregious and devastating liars are college women.
In August, 20-year-old Nikki Yovino, a student at Sacred Heart University, landed a three-year prison term for falsely claiming two football players raped her. Why did she lie? “She admitted that she made up the allegation … because it was the first thing that came to mind and she didn’t want to lose [another male student] as a friend and potential boyfriend,” the affidavit for her arrest warrant stated. “She stated that she believed when [the potential boyfriend] heard the allegation it would make him angry and sympathetic to her.”
A more amazing rape lie, one still peddled by the “victim,” came from one Emma Sulkowicz at Columbia University in 2013. But Sulkowicz went beyond just lying about a lubricious tryst in which she happily participated. After the police and the university exonerated the young man, Sulkowicz, who bills herself as a “performance artist,” began toting a mattress around campus to express the awful “weight” she carried on her shoulders as a rape “survivor.” The sophomoric faculty at Columbia permitted her to submit a write-up of this ridiculous stunt, Mattress Performance (Carry That Weight), as her senior thesis. Sulkowicz actually hauled the mattress across the stage at graduation.
Meanwhile, Sulkowicz and her supporters waged a campaign of shunning and harassment that included students showing up in the accused man’s classes and staring at or photographing him. As the New York Times put it, he “found himself alternately hounded and ostracized, and condemned at a campus rally and on fliers posted around campus.” He sued, and Columbia settled in 2017, reiterating in the settlement that he did not rape Sulkowicz.
Yet even after that, Sulkowicz continued to play the victim. Just last year, taxpayer-subsidized National Public Radio gave her airtime, calling her an “activist and survivor.” Survivor is another loaded code word meaning that a woman cannot be challenged about something she said, in this case, rape. Of course, Sulkowicz isn’t the survivor. The victim of her lie is the survivor. He survived a full-scale assault on his character.
Nor was “Jackie” a “survivor” of gang rape at the University of Virginia. Yet Rolling Stone passed off Jackie’s lurid rape fantasy as gospel — until someone asked a few questions and the tale crashed and burned like the Hindenburg.
Jackie’s story surfaced in the leftist magazine in 2014 in a long piece by feminist scribe Sabrina Rubin Erdely. “A Rape on Campus” told the story of a university where “throngs of toned, tanned and overwhelmingly blond students fanned across a campus of neoclassical buildings” living and studying in an open environment of sexual violence. At a drunken frat party one fateful night in 2012, maniacal rapists cornered “Jackie” in a room, then threw her on a glass coffee table. It shattered, and they took turns raping “it” — as the article described how one rapist referred to Jackie — atop the shards of broken glass. Jackie was a broken young women. An associated dean responsible for such matters was callously indifferent. The university was callously indifferent. It was “hiding rape,” as the protesters claimed. Enraged students hurled rocks at the fraternity house.
Campus rape hysteria swept the nation. Thomas Jefferson’s university was a “rape school.” Except that not a word of the story was true.
By the time police and the Washington Post finished asking questions, one thing was clear: Erdely had written fiction. Rolling Stone paid nearly $5 million to the falsely accused fraternity and the dean accused of indifference, then settled a third lawsuit for an undisclosed sum with three fraternity members who rightly claimed the story falsely called them rapists. The University of Virginia delivered a scathing report that said Erdely and her inquisitors at Rolling Stone failed Journalism 101.
Jackie went unpunished. And she is still officially unidentified in the media because she was a “victim.” She’s a “survivor,” like Mattress Girl.
Erdely wrote a similarly discredited tale about rape in the military in 2006, eight years before the artfully crafted fiction about the University of Virginia, but those fictional accounts paled beside an even more shocking hoax that transfixed the nation.
A black stripper claimed that a group of rich, white lacrosse players at Duke University raped her after an escort service sent her to dance at a party. The nation, again, was spellbound as the tale unfolded: Rich, privileged white boys raped a poor, black, single mom, forced to take off her clothes to pay the bills. Such was the “believability” of the story, largely because the media have cemented a false, anti-white stereotype in the public’s mind, that even one of the defense lawyers thought his client was guilty. The New York Times led the media in publishing one story after another repeatedly convicting the accused. Professors at the school publicly humiliated them. And the prosecutor wouldn’t listen to them. He even clapped his hands over his ears when one tried to tell his story. That prosecutor, Mike Nifong, withheld exculpatory DNA evidence and was, in the end, disbarred and jailed for prosecutorial misconduct.
It was another rape lie — from a stripper later convicted of murder. The result? Compelled to “believe women,” Duke paid millions in damages to the young men.
Many of these campus stories get legs because of the carefully crafted, feminist propaganda campaign that universities aren’t places of learning, but instead dangerous hunting grounds where predators thrive in a “rape culture.” And that narrative from the sisterhood — that the young man sitting next to a cute freshman is very likely a predator — is itself rooted in a flatly mendacious statistic: i.e., 25 percent of women are raped or nearly raped in college. That number has been thoroughly debunked — much like the myth that women earn 77 cents for every dollar a man earns — yet “survivors” and “activists” repeat it with religious devotion. Indeed, it’s a dogmatic teaching of campus feminism.
Photo: AP Images
This article appears in the November 5, 2018, issue of The New American. To download the issue and continue reading this story, or to subscribe, click here.
Its purpose? To browbeat men — be they students or administrators — into accepting feminist ideology: gender courses, sensitivity training, shame over white male “privilege,” and, of course, the presumption of guilt. That it defies common sense is unimportant, although common sense is what The Manhattan Institute’s Heather Mac Donald applied in proving it false without even appealing to the real number:
If the one-in-four statistic is correct … campus rape represents a crime wave of unprecedented proportions. No crime, much less one as serious as rape, has a victimization rate remotely approaching 20 or 25 percent, even over many years. The 2006 violent crime rate in Detroit, one of the most violent cities in America, was 2,400 murders, rapes, robberies, and aggravated assaults per 100,000 inhabitants — a rate of 2.4 percent. The one-in-four statistic would mean that every year, millions of young women graduate who have suffered the most terrifying assault, short of murder, that a woman can experience. Such a crime wave would require nothing less than a state of emergency — Take Back the Night rallies and 24-hour hotlines would hardly be adequate to counter this tsunami of sexual violence. Admissions policies letting in tens of thousands of vicious criminals would require a complete revision, perhaps banning boys entirely. The nation’s nearly 10 million female undergrads would need to take the most stringent safety precautions. Certainly, they would have to alter their sexual behavior radically to avoid falling prey to the rape epidemic.
The real number? According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, it is 0.61 percent.
Tawana Brawley’s Big Lie
That leaves one more history-making case that shows women do, in fact, lie. Indeed, they not only lie, but also persist with lies no matter how outrageous they are. Like Sulkowicz, sometimes they persist years after they are proven liars.
It’s a case of “nevertheless, she persisted,” as the recent feminist slogan put it.
Thus came Tawana Brawley, a black girl whose tale of rape and abuse paralyzed New York City in 1987. Brawley was found wrapped in a garbage bag outside an apartment in which she used to dwell. “KKK,” “b***h,” and “n****r” were written on her torso with charcoal. She was nearly catatonic, blinking her eyes to answer questions and mumbling the word “neon.” The perpetrators? Six white men. Two carried badges, while another earned his daily bread before the bar — lawyer by day, racist rapist by night.
Exacerbating the case were the charlatans who took up her cause. As a retro report in the New York Times recalled, “Ms. Brawley’s spokesman was the Rev. Al Sharpton — a dapper television personality and political commentator these days, but a fiery street activist back then. At a news conference, he named suspects.”
According to Sharpton, not just the cops, but even the governor and state attorney general were racists. As the Times recalled, “He called Gov. Mario M. Cuomo a racist and warned that powerful state officials were complicit. When asked whether Ms. Brawley would speak with the state attorney general, Robert Abrams, Mr. Sharpton said that would be like asking someone in a concentration camp to talk to Hitler.”
The story reached operatic heights when Brawley’s other advisors claimed that the Mafia, Ku Klux Klan, and Irish Republican Army conspired with the state to cover up the evil deed. But Brawley lied. Her boyfriend divulged that she manufactured the tale because she had disappeared without permission for four days and wanted to avoid a beating from her mother’s boyfriend.
End result? The accused district attorney won defamation lawsuits, one for $345,000 against Sharpton and his fellow hoaxers, and one for $190,000 against Brawley. Because Brawley ducked payment for 16 years after the judgment, she must pay more than $400,000. Her victim began garnishment in 2013, but has said he doesn’t want the money. He’ll forgive the debt if she admits she lied.
Sharpton got a show on MSNBC.
Do women ever lie about rape? They certainly do, according to the same news media that implored us to “believe women” and convict Kavanaugh without evidence:
Headline: “‘Every district attorney’s nightmare’: Two men exonerated in 1991 rape claim,” USA Today, May 7, 2018.
The woman lied.
Headline: “Man convicted of rape is freed after sister-in-law finds deleted Facebook messages that prove his innocence,” USA Today, January 3, 2018.
The woman lied.
Headline: “Teen who said she was abducted and raped by black men pleads guilty to lying about it,” Houston Chronicle, February 24, 2018.
The woman lied.
Headline: “Lesbian fantasist invented 15 rapes and sexual assaults which saw man jailed to get sympathy from girlfriends, court hears,” Daily Telegraph, August 24, 2017.
The woman lied.
Headline: “Jury orders blogger to pay $8.4 million to ex-Army colonel she accused of rape,” Washington Post, August 11, 2017.
The woman lied.
And one more, vis-à-vis the campus rape accusation business: Reason recently detailed the case of a young man at Unversity of California-Davis, who spent $12,000 defending himself against a false charge of sexual assault. After the woman helped initiate some sexual touching, and also touched him, she changed her mind and leveled the phony claim.
So, again, the woman lied.
But anecdotes only prove that the women in question lied. They don’t prove how common (or uncommon) such lies may be.
Writing in the Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review in 2000, Edward Greer noted the obvious, applying the common-sense test: “The assertion that women don’t lie about rape also rings untrue because men and women often lie about everything else in the legal system.” Greer demolished the sisterhood’s statistic that purportedly proves “women never lie,” or at least not often: that only two percent of rape claims are false. Utter nonsense, Greer wrote. It is an “ideological fabrication,” and “as far as can be ascertained, no study has ever been published which sets forth an evidentiary basis for the ‘two percent false rape complaint’ thesis.”
How many rape reports are false? Between 25 and 41 percent, depending on the study cited.
“With the cooperation of the police agency of a small metropolitan community,” researcher Eugene Kanin wrote in 1994, “45 consecutive, disposed, false rape allegations covering a 9 year period were studied. These false rape allegations constitute 41% of the total forcible rape cases (n =109) reported during this period.”
That was a small study, but another covered a community of 100,000 people near Glasgow, Scotland. “The medical investigators undertook a study of all cases of alleged rape in the commuter communities under his jurisdiction,” the authors wrote in Police Surgeon in 1979.
Of 34 cases of alleged rape, “15 were thought to be genuine, 3 probably genuine, 6 probably false, and 10 definitely false.” The journal reported that “all women making false accusations were found to have social, medical, or economic problems, or were attempting to cover up some problem.” Among the problems were teenagers out past parents’ curfew, prostitutes who weren’t paid, and wives caught in adultery. Brawley fit the first category. The breakdown? Twenty-nine percent of the rape accusations were false, which is less than 41 percent but a whole lot more than two percent.
Other data come from lawyers working for The Innocence Project. In 1996, it found that “every year since 1989, in about 25 percent of the sexual assault cases referred to the FBI where results could be obtained (primarily by state and local law enforcement), the primary suspect has been excluded by forensic DNA testing.”
That means at least 25 percent of the accusations in those cases were false.
One can stipulate that some false accusations are innocently false — the woman is honestly mistaken about the attacker’s identity — without undermining the point that many false accusations are, indeed, outright lies, as the Scottish study showed. Indeed, it’s a safe bet that most false accusations are lies to begin with, or become lies after the victim admits, if only to herself, that she isn’t sure she was raped or who raped her. That’s what happened in the case of Brett Kavanaugh’s third accuser. She retailed a yarn about regular weekend gang rapes, then admitted she didn’t know if it was true.
Frighteningly, some women argue, the data don’t much matter because “innocent men rarely face rape charges.”
“It’s exceedingly rare for a false rape allegation to end in prison time,” Sandra Newman wrote at the Quartz website in 2017. “According to the National Registry of Exonerations, since records began in 1989, in the US there are only 52 cases where men convicted of sexual assault were exonerated because it turned out they were falsely accused.” Those data might certainly be true. But the problem is this: For each one of the 52 exonerated, the conviction rate was 100 percent.
Citing the bogus two-percent figure, but allowing that feminists confess a possible rate of 10 percent, Newman continued with the narrative that false claims don’t much matter for the victim:
Furthermore, in the most detailed study ever conducted of sexual assault reports to police, undertaken for the British Home Office in the early 2000s, out of 216 complaints that were classified as false, only 126 had even gotten to the stage where the accuser lodged a formal complaint. Only 39 complainants named a suspect. Only six cases led to an arrest, and only two led to charges being brought before they were ultimately deemed false.
So a formal complaint was lodged in nearly 60 percent of the false cases, while 18 percent of the falsely accused men became suspects. Nearly four percent were arrested and/or charged. But note the writer’s repeatedly using “only” to minimize the impact of a possible lie. For the victim, there’s no “only” about it.
Nor does the writer consider the professional wreckage a false accusation causes. Forgetting about a wrongful conviction, the charge might ruin a man forever. As Mattress Girl’s victim learned, and the Army colonel who lost his career learned, jail isn’t the only consequence of a false accusation. Careers and reputations are at stake. Not to mention the emotional and psychological toll of such an accusation. Tawana Brawley’s lie helped push the falsely accused district attorney’s marriage over the edge.
The Women-never-lie Myth
Writing at Slate, Cathy Young, a regular contributor to Reason, explained that “feminists have been creating their own counter-myth: that of the woman who never lies.” Noting that false accusations might be as high as 10 percent, Young recounted psychologist David Lisak’s study of rape on a campus:
Of the 117 cases that could be classified, eight — or 6.8 percent— were determined to be false complaints; that conclusion was reached when there was substantial evidence refuting the complainant’s account. But does it mean that 93 percent of the reports that could be evaluated were shown to be truthful?
More than 40 percent of the reports evaluated in Lisak’s study (excluding the ones for which there was not enough information to classify them) did result in disciplinary or criminal charges. However, 52 percent were investigated and closed. Lisak told me that the vast majority of these complaints did not proceed due to insufficient evidence, often because the complainant had stopped cooperating with investigators.
But why would the complainant stop cooperating once the process had begun? Fear of reliving the rape? Or remorse over lying?
Another reason a case might not go forward? Legally, the “elements of the crime of sexual assault” were lacking. And other allegations “stem from conflicting definitions of what constitutes rape and consent — particularly in sexual encounters that involve alcohol.” Alcohol, indeed, is the common factor in many campus “rapes,” where official policy is to believe the woman, then charge the man if she was drunk, and thus unable to “consent.” But what if he was drunk, too?
That question aside, Young explained the peril of the “believe women” movement, which can “create a dangerous environment … a climate in which an exoneration is often presumed to be a miscarriage of justice.”
Wrote Young, “A man can be publicly vilified on the basis of an anonymous accusation on the Internet nearly a decade after the alleged rape.”
Yes, and he can be vilified on national television every day for three weeks on the basis of murky allegations nearly four decades after a flimsy accusation of attempted rape. That’s what happened to Brett Kavanaugh.
“False rape accusations exist,” the headline concluded, “and they are a serious problem.” Which brings us back to Women’s March, which would call anyone who agrees with Young a “rape apologist.” Not so. Collins and the men so accused deserve an apology.
Photo: AP Images