Anti-Feminist Memes pt. 4: “Most Rape Accusations Are Fake”

Oh boy, was this fun to research. -__-

Captain-Obvious-RapeApologism

feminist meme2

FeministMemeSlut

rape accusation

This last one in my special favorite. See what they did there, they are mocking rape prevention posters. Because that seems like a totally reasonable, emotionally sensitive thing to do.

If you looked only at  Anti-feminists facebook fan pages you would come to believe that there is no rape, there are only fake rape accusations. They use the subject of rape to attack feminism in two ways. The first is to spread around the myth that women frequently make false rape accusations because they do not want to admit to having consensual sex that they now regret.

feminist meme26

As in:  a woman wakes up next to a man after drunkenly having sex with him. She remembers the sex, she remembers saying yes, but now she regrets it. She feels so embarrassed. She resolves right then and there to claim that she was raped instead. That way no one will see her as a slut, and she will receive sympathetic attention instead. The second way feminism is attacked via the subject of rape is to suggest that the Feminist movement identifies all men as rapists.

1.To anti-feminists, false rape accusations are a HUGE epidemic. (but not to anyone else)

More on that second attack strategy in a minute, but first, about these false rape accusations: they happen very rarely.  Let me be clear here, it is not ok to falsely accuse men of crimes that they did not commit, and all people accused of crimes deserve a fair trial, but Anti-feminists talk about false accusations like they happen all the time. They do not. Or that they represent the majority of all rape cases. They do not.

. rape

This meme actually overestimates the number of men falsely accused, as pointed out in this excellent article.

Most women do not lie about sexual assault, and it’s easy to tell apart the ones that do(Same article, quote under paragraph 5.). The big reason that women don’t lie about rape is that  admitting to sexual assault is an extremely shaming experience.

Contrary to what anti-feminists would have you believe, rape and assault victims do not receive universal  sympathy. As illustrated by the recent Maryville incident, victims of rape are the ones targeted  and blamed by their communities, not the perpetrators. This happens especially if the assault happens in relation to alcohol. It is assumed that the accuser is either lying about  consensual sex that she now regrets, or worse, that the assault may have happened, but she was asking for it by behaving in the way she did.  Another good example of victim blaming is the Rihanna/Chris Brown assault case, where fans were falling all over themselves to claim that Rhianna must have done something to “deserve it”

sex+wine

These memes also  subtly shame women for participating in provocative activities. They don’t come right out and say,  “Well, if you got that drunk what did you expect to happen?” but they might as well. Almost all of the rape memes I came across presented a context in which the woman had been drinking. Because it’s not ok to force a sober, chaste woman to have sex, but if she was drunk then she MUST have been ready for lovin’. For your information, alcohol does not turn all women into sex maniacs, ready to screw every man from their boyfriend to the bar bouncer.

These memes are wrong because they present false data, do a lot of victim blaming, and deny that victim blaming and shunning even happen at all.

2.Feminism believes that all men are rapists

 Let’s say you are feminist, and you are having an argument with an “anti”. This is how it’s gonna go down:  First, after you point out that false rape accusations are very rare the anti-feminist will accuse you with, “It does happen SOMETIMES, but I guess you don’t care about men who are abused by the system!” Of course feminists care. Every person deserves a fair trial, including accused rapists. The Scottsboro Boys case is an example of a false rape accusation that led to an unfair trail and ruined lives. I would never want that to happen again. But statistically speaking, a man has a much lower chance of being falsely accused of rape than a woman has of actually being raped. Most rapes go unreported, and very few rapists actually end up convicted and in prison where they belong. So yes, I am spending more time and energy on making sure that women receive justice, since statistically speaking, they don’t.

In connection with the previous conversation, an anti-feminist might throw memes like this one at you:

double sex standard

 This double standard is unfair. But as I’ve pointed out on this blog  before, most  gender stereotypes  affect both sexes very negatively. Feminism does not support these stereotypes.  In this case the stereotype is that women are chaste beings, to whom sex is only an act of love. When they end up in a situation like this, they are viewed as a disgrace and a slut. Whereas men are viewed as horndogs, ready for sex at all times. They should be thankful every single time a booty call presents itself. So when men are abused it isn’t taken seriously, which is horrible,  because men definitely are victims sometimes.

After this discussion the next thing an anti feminist will shout at you is, “Oh so most women don’t fake rape, so I guess you’re saying most men are rapists! Feminists hate men!” Oh boy, this is a big one. The thing about anti- feminist arguments is that most of the time they contort feminist views to make the gender equality movement look like a radical witch hunt.  “So, you want women to gain a better foothold in the workforce? You must want to fire all the men. So, you praise women who succeed in their career? You must hate all the stay at home mothers. You want an anti-gender discrimination law passed in congress? Women are equal already, you must want men to be subjugated .” And on and on it goes until we get to, “So, you are very concerned with rape in this country? You must think all the men are rapists.”

 This argument is meant to discredit feminism, to make the movement seem radical and angry.  No, actually, most men are not rapists. About six percent are.  And they are repeat offenders, about 6 women per rapist. But besides that small percentage, most men are totally awesome. The “feminists hate men” tactic is one that has been used to reinforce gender inequality for decades.

anti suffrage

It was untrue during the suffrage movement, and it’s untrue now.

In reality, I do not believe that the people making these memes respect women.  They believe that women who drink too much at a party are sluts. They don’t really care what the rape statistics are because they don’t really care about protecting the rights of women who they think deserve to have bad things happen to them. Mostly I believe this because along with the memes I already showed you, I also found this one:

feminist meme12

This is gross. There is no excuse, no argument that I want hear to try and validate it.  I don’t care about people who believe this about women, they are not worth the energy,  and I do not wish to have any kind of discourse with them.

Who I do care about are the average people who see these memes and who wonder, “Wait, do feminists today believe that all men are potential racists? That is so crazy! Rape is terrible ,but most men would never rape!” “Wait, do they believe that if a man and a woman have sex together while drunk that the woman was automatically raped? Whoa, feminism has gotten really extreme these days. I believe in equal rights for women, but I’m not a feminist.”

All of the feminists reading this are thinking to themselves, “Well duh, this is feminism 101.” And I would believe that if I didn’t meet so many people who said these stupid, nonsensical words:

“I believe in equal rights for women, but I’m not a feminist.”

This post is for the people who say that accursed phrase. For people who are good at heart, but who are afraid of the feminist label because they fear it will make them seem radical. This is for them.

89,000 women in the united states are raped each year. Most of these rapes go unreported. Of those that are, very few lead to convictions. Along the way, these victims are shamed and humiliated. I am interested in stopping this from happening, and despite what these disgusting memes would have you believe, there is nothing radical about that.

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3 thoughts on “Anti-Feminist Memes pt. 4: “Most Rape Accusations Are Fake”

  1. hello!! and sorry for reading this so long after you posted it!! Like I said, I have really enjoyed this whole series on anti-feminist memes. Do you know that I started calling myself a feminist again in part because of your blog? (and also a class I took on the 1970s women’s health/feminist movement, which was great).

    As for the Sunshine Award, which I talked about but never pulled together, I decided that instead of doing that I would put up a permanent “Blogroll” feature on my blog. I am still working on that because of course it takes me forever to finish anything. But I will let you know once it is posted. I have to write descriptions of each blog and there are about 10 of them, so that will take a bit. Hope that it does not disappoint! Cheers from Alina.

  2. Hello Tara,

    First, I would like to say that I am genuinely (though pleasantly) surprised to hear a feminist refer to men as ‘awesome,’ since my previous encounters with feminist writing, speeches and so on have been the opposite, somewhat reinforcing the ‘man-hating’ stereotype. You seem like an intelligent, rational and humane person so I am quite happy to talk to you (unlike certain other members of the feminist movement).

    I agree with some of the point you make (e.g. The last meme in your article is utterly horrible), but I would like to address some of the points in this article.

    Firstly, the chart you present is based on figures written in the 1975 book ‘Against our will’ by Susan Brownmiller. The 2% false accusation claim she referred to in the book was taken from the alleged quote of a high court judge the previous year, referring to a precinct of New York.

    I am most certainly not here to argue that anyone deserves to be raped, a female friend of
    mine was sexually assaulted in university (what actually happened to her and the nature of the assault, she never told me). However, false rape accusation is still a problem because due to the naming and shaming of those accused in the press, the encouragement of the attitude that ‘he’s not innocent, they just couldn’t prove it,’ and the lack of coverage of those later acquitted or found innocent after being publicly named, they are still judged to be guilty by others and harassed, beaten, discriminated against on a falsehood, commit suicide, or are even lynched, sometimes murdered. Stetson Johnson for example. The other reason it is a problem is the same as the boy who cried ‘wolf’, in that it makes a mockery of actual rape victims, casting doubt upon their claims and making it harder to prosecute actual rapists to the fullest extent of the law, again putting innocent women at risk. In my mind, feminists should logically be against false accusations for this reason.

    Secondly, I am delighted to see that you would uphold due process even in the light of the crime of rape. Unfotunately, I am also extremely concerned that the feminist movement seems to want to abandon due process and the idea that defendants are innocent until proven guilty. For example, scorpiogrrrl blog 2007, where she refers to due process as ‘bollocks’, while geekfeminism wiki refers to it as a ‘silencing tactic’). Amanda Marcotte got into very serious trouble with her comments on the Duke Lacrosse case in 2007, and was later obliged to retract her statement. I understand where their anger comes from, I feel much the same about Islamic terrorism as an atheist, but this is when we must step back, take a deep breath, and deal with the crime with a calm and rational manner, and respect due process. Mccarthyism is no alternative.
    Feminists have made the statement that ‘all men are rapists’ (the most prevalent example I know of is the Slutwalk protests), Janice Turner of the Times has run such a knee-jerk opinion piece in the wake of the Jimmy Saville scandal, and have been supported by male feminists who tell their fellow man that women must think like this ‘for their own safety’ and ‘don’t take it personally’ (an unacceptable argument in my eyes).

    On a minor note referring to stay at home mothers, jezebel has been notably snooty about the ‘time warp wives, a group of women who chose to live as retro housewives, when it’s not really their place to tell them what to do, just as a man choosing to be a househusband is none of my business.

    But my biggest concern is the propensity of elements of the feminist movement to decry any disagreement – however vague – as ‘upholding rape culture’ and ‘woman hating’. I refer to the warren farrell protests at Toronto university, in which a feminist protest group appears to act in a manner akin to a lynch mob. I do not want to see this sort of behaviour in a movement set on such noble foundations (in other words, I expect better), and the silencing of free speech is not the way forward.

    I apologise for be so long winded in this comment, but I wanted to cover everything. I hope you will not assume I am an antifeminist (were I such, I wouldn’t be so concerned), but thank you for reading what I have to say.

    Al

    • Thank you for commenting
      The whole point of this blog is to disprove negative feminist stereotypes. I’ve gotten a lot of comments from anti-feminists on this blog, a lot of angry comments. These are not really the people I expect to convince. No matter what I say their comments are angry, they don’t come here to learn anything. What I want is for people to stop saying that “I support equal right, but I am not a feminist” . The movement has a negative stereotype that it doesn’t deserve. I question how many feminists you have met who say that “all men are rapists” because not only is that not factual, but it does harm to the cause. The notion that feminists think all men are rapists is one that is assigned to feminists to discredit us, and make us seem radical. You may have encountered unfriendly or unthinking feminists, who say things like this, but I don’t think they represent the whole movement. The same goes for the “feminists hate housewife’s ” trope. Sneering at these women would be bad for the feminist movement one because it alienates these women and others from our cause, and two because it reinforces the idea that there is only one “right” way to be a woman. Feminism knows that women should not be hindered by steretypes, so smearing stay at home wives would be foolish and hypocritical of us. I would just tell you that sometimes feminists get frustrated. They say rash things. The internet can be a very hostile place for feminists, we are called cunts, whores, ugly bitches who couldn’t get laid and are angry at men. So yes, sometimes we respond back with anger, with words that you would consider radical. I would still urge you not to judge the movement as a whole as “man hating” and bitter. As to the graphic, yes I know it is not accurate, I link to an article that explains it’s inaccuracies, which is why I found it worth including.

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