Skepchick Quickies, 5.3

Sorry for the delay!


Jen is a writer and web designer/developer in Columbus, Ohio. She spends too much time on Twitter at @antiheroine.

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  1. On the note of the skinny jeans thing.

    HOW HARD IS THAT TO TEST?! Find a woman (NOT THE VICTIM HERE) who is willing to have another person (preferably her husband or someone she trusts) forcibly remove skinny jeans from her. Test it more than once, test it dozens of times, see how often it works (I’m guessing very often!) and you’ve DISPROVEN THIS MYTH.

    Christ, why is the legal system up so much pseudoscience forensics’ asses while avoiding tests you would likely have no shortage of willing test subjects for?

  2. @LtStorm: besides which, plenty of women put on and take off skinny jeans on their own, with no help. WTF, jurors, WTF.

    When people ask, “What rape culture?” these are the examples I point them to.

  3. @marilove: I like how they suggest it takes more than the woman having her legs together for a moment to get the jeans off. You’d think that’d be exactly when she’d be trying to keep her legs together rather than apart.

  4. Honestly, even if they could prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the pants could not have been removed forcefully (which of course they cannot) this still presumes that she could not possibly have been raped after she took her pants off willingly.
    I don’t care how damn far they got consensually. When she says no and he does not stop, it becomes rape.

  5. @LtStorm: And what about, oh, I don’t know, the threat of possibly being beaten to a bloody pulp, stabbed, shot, or otherwise harmed or even murdered if you don’t comply with the rapist? JFC.

    This whole thing makes me sick.

    And the next time someone talks about the “last bastions of sexism” I am pointing them to this fucking article and telling them to shut the fuck up and use their brains. This is a perfect example of why such ridiculous, ignorant, stupid claims piss me off so much.


  6. I’ve read the linked article about the skinny jeans defense but I haven’t done any other research. If the article is a correct reporting of why the man was acquitted then this is just disgusting. However as we have all seen time and again the news media can be very lazy. This may not be everything to the story or could be an outright distortion of the story. It seems so incredible to me that a jury could reach this conclusion based on a pair of jeans that I think there has to be something else going on.

  7. @Gabrielbrawley: It’s not incredible. This has happened before.

    Besides, do you know how often rapists get off scot-free? A lot. The woman is almost always questioned.

    The Sydney jury sent a note to the judge during the trial asking for more information about ‘how exactly Nick took off her jeans’.

    The note from a jury member added: ‘I doubt those kind of jeans can be removed without any sort of collaboration.’

    The not guilty finding follows two other courts – in Seoul and Italy – dealing with the question of whether a woman wearing the tight-fitting jeans can be raped.

    In the Seoul case in 2008, the court overturned a seven-year sentence of a man convicted of raping a woman wearing skinny jeans.
    But in the same year an Italian court upheld a rape conviction, ruling that ‘jeans cannot be compared to any type of chastity belt.’

    The article is pretty damn clear about what the Jury said to the judge. There wre notes passed! And yet, you still don’t believe it? Why, exactly? Again, this sort of thing has happened before. Juries aren’t exactly known for believing the victim in rape cases.

    And you, of course, kinda don’t believe the woman and essentially question her claims of rape, why, exactly? Because oh dear, of course no jury would ever be that stupid! I mean, really, clearly the woman must not have been raped because what jury would be that sutpid? Except … they are, all the time. There were even examples in the very article posted, and yet you *still* questioned it, and therefore questioned the victim.

    I know waaaaaaay too many women who have gotten almost no help from the police or any other authorities when they were raped — this is *super* common on college campuses. Why would a jury be any better?

  8. @marilove: I almost didn’t read the article because it is from The Daily Fail, but I read it anyway and checked on other sites. The story is the same as you outline it above. We’ve criticized that particular paper before for crazy articles. Unfortunately it is true.

  9. @Skept-artist: Yeah, I had read the account elsewhere (LTStorm linked the article I read).

    It just really upsets me that, even when there is blatant evidence that a woman was yet again screwed in the judicial process after being raped, people STILL think there has to be “more to the story” … when “there has to be more to the story” was why she was screwed in the first place, and why so many women are screwed every fucking day.

  10. @marilove: I didn’t say I believe or disbelieve the woman. I wasn’t addressing her. I was addressing the article and the media. I have read to many articles that were so poorly written or researched or just out right lies to believe what I read in a single source. I didn’t think it came across that I was blaming the victim. The article can be clear and still be factually inaccurate.

  11. @Marilove: I get your point. I made the mistake of reading comments in the article, which I already knew would make me angry and head-desky. However, I didn’t see Gabriel’s comment as ‘question the article=question the victim’. I took it as ‘uh oh, what’s the Daily Mail screwing up now?’ because that’s the context that was already on my mind.

  12. I was on a jury for a rape trial where the victim was wearing skinny jeans. It was never an issue for the defense, and they were not above blaming the victim.

    While I assume trial rules are different in different locations, it’s not the job of a jury to come up with theories for either the defense or the prosecution. Their job is simple, they are to decide if the prosecution did it’s job of proving guilt.

  13. I was on a jury where one guy wouldn’t convict an obvious rapist. If the rapist hadn’t gotten on the stand and admitted that he had sex with her when she was underage, he would have gotten away scott-free. Luckily, the guy was stupid enough to get on the stand and he was old enough and got the full 7 years with no parole because the judge could see the obvious. I wanted so badly to ask the obstinate juror if he had raped in the past and couldn’t bring himself to condemn another rapist.
    Rape protective pants, yeah, right.

  14. @Gabrielbrawley: But from every report, it’s not factually inaccurate. You only think it may be factually inaccurate because, to you, it seems far-fetched. But it’s not far-fetched, and there were even (factually accurate) examples of similar cases with similar results in the article you read, and everything was easily verifiable with some quick googling.

    Here is a comment from the NY Daily Article that was linked:

    For those who are saying that she could have been coerced to take them off by threatening her with a weapon, that is true, but she is not quoted as saying so, unless the article has left that out. She said she struggled, so apparently she did not feel threatened by any kind of deadly weapon, and nowhere did she mention him coercing her. Sounds like she couldn’t come up with a believable story.

    Victim blaming is not new. None of this is surprising or unusual or uncommon. That people believe it is, even with the evidence in front of their faces, astounds me.

    @Skept-artist: His only evidence that the Daily Mail article was somehow “not believable” was that what happened seems far-fetched, or too crazy to believe — yet there were several examples of similar cases with similar results. A quick google search would have yielded more. More searching to verify this article (like LtStorm did) would have been easy. But that wasn’t done. This is a problem.

  15. @marilove: Every report I have been able to find seems to be almost the same as the Daily Mail article. I said at the time of my original comment that I had only read the linked Daily Mail article. I’ve been trying to find other articles about this but haven’t been having luck. It feels like I am reading cut and past articles. The only other information I could find was that the jury was 6 women and 6 men. I’m surprised that the prosecution wouldn’t ask for a mistrial if a juror was expressing doubts that pants could be removed by force. Do Australian courts have a mechanism for a mistrial? At the least I would expect the prosecution to ask for that juror to be removed and replaced with one of the alternates.

  16. @Gabrielbrawley: I assume the NY Daily News fact-checks.

    Why is this so unbelievable to you? This isn’t even the first time that a woman wearing jeans has been told that wearing jeans means she couldn’t be raped, because they are too difficult to take off! This has happened before, almost the exact same circumstances!

    I still don’t know why you or anyone else would find such blatant victim-blaming so surprising but, perhaps because I’m a woman and have experienced it myself as have many of my female friends, is one reason why I am not shocked.

  17. @marilove: I guess because it is so stupid. I guess I want the article to be wrong because it shows a frightening level of stupidity. I don’t want to think that you can get 12 people together in a room and be able to convince them that pants can’t be removed against the wearers will.

  18. This strikes me as the latest in a long line of lame misogynistic excuses for rape: “It can’t be rape if. . .” It’s clearly bullshit. There doesn’t exist an article of clothing in the world that can’t be removed by force, and force is the typical MO of a rapist. Simple as.

  19. @Gabrielbrawley: I make these kinds of logical leaps all the time. I read or hear about something so ridiculous I can’t imagine how it would be true.

    Victim blaming is nothing new. But this is more like saying that there’s no way a rapist could figure out how to take off skinny jeans- and that is just bizarre. I don’t see this acquittal as victim blaming- I see it as evidence for jurors having sub-70 IQs.

  20. @Gabrielbrawley: It is stupid, but it’s also stupidly common. I guess as a woman, I think about this sort of thing more often than you. I also think it shows how nice a guy you are that you honestly think that 12 people wouldn’t be so stupid. Or maybe it just shows how cynical I can be, because I’m not at all surprised at this. It is amazing how common rapists get off scot-free, while the victim gets blamed.

    I could come up with some sad examples that have happened in the U.S., but I really don’t feel like it, because it is depressing and I don’t feel like being depressed today.

  21. @Displaced Northerner:

    I don’t see this acquittal as victim blaming- I see it as evidence for jurors having sub-70 IQs.

    Er, what? What the fuck. No. It is victim-blaming. It’s obvious, blatant evidence of victim-blaming! Hell, for the fourth or fifth time: This shit has happened before, almost exactly the same circumstances! Cops, jurors, other authority figures, parents, peers — they all use stupid excuses to blame victims. Skirt too short? It’s the victim’s fault! Jeans too tight? It’s the victim’s fault! Got drunk? It’s the victim’s fault! It is all stupid, but it is all victim-blaming.

    It is nothing new, and to me, it is not surprising. A spade is a fucking spade and victim-blaming is victim-blaming. Yes, it shows how stupid the jurors are, but victim-blaming in general is fucking stupid and those who blame victims tend to be lacking in the critical thinking skills department. Just go read some comments on the articles linked on this, and come back to me; stupid people victim-blame all the time, and stupid people land on jurors all the time. Hell, JUDGES, people who are supposed to be smart, victim-blame all the time.

    Saying it is not victim-blaming and instead saying it’s “just really about how dumb the jurors were” takes away from severity of the victim-blaming problem we have in our society, and makes it seem like it’s “not a big deal”. Try telling the victim of the rape who now has to live with this verdict for the rest of her life that it really isn’t victim-blaming. I bet she’d love to hear that.

    Indeed, I take this as evidence that people in general just don’t trust women and that victim-blaming runs deep in our society. It is so ingrained in our society to not trust women, people come up with completely outlandish reasons and excuses to blame female victims, even when the evidence points the blame squarely on the rapist.

  22. @marilove: I worry about this. I have two sons and a daughter. I have told my sons over and over again that no means no. I do everything I can to raise them into the kind of men who would never rape. I worry about my daughter and am trying to raise her so that she is less likely to be a victim of rape or anything else. I spent years as a sex offender officer. I have sat through too many therapy sessions for rapists and child molesters and listened to them elocute their crimes. When I read something, like this article, that seems so absurd I think of all the other articles that made absurd claims that were later shown to be wrong. I don’t want to live in a world where “tight jeans” is a sucessful defense against a rape charge.

  23. @marilove: Take from it what you’d like. Blaming skirt length for a rape IS victim blaming. It would also be victim blaming to say that she somehow brought upon her rape by wearing skinny jeans. It is not intrinsically victim blaming to say that a woman cannot be raped in skinny jeans- it is, however, extremely stupid.

    While I agree that many people are much too quick to say that a victim made up a rape because she regretted a decision to have sex, I also don’t believe that to be victim blaming. It’s a symptom of the misogynistic society we live in all the same, though.

    I also resent the implication that I am minimizing the toll victim blaming has taken on rape victims. I agree (and you can read it in my previous post) victim blaming happens all the time- and it’s a travesty and it’s wrong. It’s a shame that because someone doesn’t use the same label you do in one instance you immediately accuse her of telling rape victims it’s ok for society/jurors to blame them for their assaults.

    We’re not on different sides of this issue. We both see misogyny. I just don’t see how the statement that skinny jeans prevents rape is somehow blaming the victim.

  24. Would it be inappropriate to say that the Electron Boy story made me inordinately happy, and that I found the “Weapons of Mass Dilution” article very funny?

    I’ve read so much news recently that has made me angry, feel helpless, and otherwise make me hate humanity so much that I find myself feeling terribly depressed by it all….

    In any event. Electron Boy is probably the best thing I’ll read or hear about this week.

  25. @Displaced Northerner:

    ” ‘I doubt those kind of jeans can be removed without any sort of collaboration.‘ “

    They were implying that the jeans were “tight” and therefore she had to have helped take them off, and therefore she was not raped because she may have helped take off the jeans. They are implying that she consented, because the jeans were too tight, and therefore she had to have helped take them off. They are essentially telling her that she did not do enough to prevent the rape. Had she been able to successfully keep her pants on, then maybe (emphasis on maybe) that would have been enough; but no, because the skinny jeans were taken off, she *must* have helped, and therefore must have consented – and if not, it’s her fault, because she should have done more to prevent the jeans from coming off. They are saying that if she had helped take them off, she couldn’t have been raped, that she should have done more to prevent being raped, but literally keeping her pants on. But we all know THAT IS NOT TRUE. She was clearly in danger. If I were in such a situation, I’d probably take the jeans off and let myself be raped, if I was in any fear for my life, because I don’t want to die.

    It’s victim-blaming, plain and simple.

    And again:

    Indeed, I take this as evidence that people in general just don’t trust women and that victim-blaming runs deep in our society. It is so ingrained in our society to not trust women, people come up with completely outlandish reasons and excuses to blame female victims, even when the evidence points the blame squarely on the rapist.

    Many people are so reluctant, and so unable, to believe women, that they come up with excuses and far-fetched reasons to blame the victim, or to claim that she is lying. It happens all the time.

    While I agree that many people are much too quick to say that a victim made up a rape because she regretted a decision to have sex,

    How is this not victim-blaming, exactly? Telling a woman, “Now, now, you didn’t actually get raped; it’s your fault, you just regret having sex!” It is quite literally blaming the victim!

  26. @Gabrielbrawley: You may also want to teach your sons that a woman who is incapacitated cannot consent. It’s not just “no means no”; it’s a bit more complicated than that. And many boys just don’t know, because they aren’t taught properly. Of course, knowing you, I suspect your sons respect women and would never, ever take advantage of a woman. You are good people, and considering your past work, surprisingly non-cynical. :)

    I don’t want to live in a world where “tight jeans” is a successful defense against a rape charge.

    Oh, but we do, and ignoring it or pretending it doesn’t happen doesn’t really help matters. It sucks, and it’s sad, but this is the world we live in.

  27. What strikes me most about this skinny jeans rape story is how the jury seems to be satisfied with their explanation. They assume she helped to take the jeans off, therefore she consented. So what’s her motive now for going through the absolute hell of trying to prosecute rape? This strikes me with every rape acquittal (for reasons other than misidentification of the assailant). Any woman who wants to prosecute rape in this society knows what she’d have to go through in a trial, and it’s ridiculous to think she’d go through that for a chance at… revenge? Spite? What?

    Following through their claimed logic just proves they have no logic. Victim blaming for wearing tight jeans, while abhorrent, is the only explanation as to what could be going on in their minds. Well, and the fact that juries are specifically selected to possess poor critical thinking skills in the vast majority of cases.

  28. @marilove: We agree here. That is victim blaming. We disagree on whether not trusting women is victim blaming. I think that telling a victim she was not raped is belittling; it is cruel; it is traumatic; and it prevents future victims from reporting an assault. Not believing someone and blaming someone are different to me. They’re both wrong. They’re both traumatic. They’re not the same. As I understand the definition, blaming requires admission that an event took place- then placing the responsibility for that event on the victim. Not believing the victim means that there is no acknowledgment that rape even occurred. Both are terrible. Both are misogynistic. Both are traumatic for the victim.

    We can keep arguing semantics, I suppose- but just because I disagree with your word choice does not make me an enemy here. I agree with every word you wrote in your posts, except that not believing a victim is blaming the victim. I think it’s a separate but (arguably) equal betrayal of a victim. But we can keep doing this, if you’d like.

  29. @marilove: Yeah, I’ve covered that and that if your partner is drunk they can’t consent because they aren’t coherent. I cover rape and consent every time I have the sex talk. And I have that one every couple of months. It is the kind of information that needs to be repeated over and over again. My daughter is 13 now and I am having these discussions with her now also.

  30. @marilove: Well, to be fair, her taking her pants off doesn’t make the rape okay or mean she was consenting either. So, to be generous to Gabrielbrawley, he could be arguing that it doesn’t matter the state of her pants or whether she willingly took them off or not, it’s entirely irrelevant to her being raped.

  31. this does not seem like the day to drop by and leave a sexually comedic comment tangentially related to today’s new stories as per my usual modus operandi. maybe tomorrow, people.

  32. @Displaced Northerner: Under all of that, however, is an undercurrent of, “tsk tsk, she should have known better /she shouldn’t have done this / she should have done this”. To me, it all speaks of blaming the victim.

    @LtStorm: Right, and I did say that in my wall of text. I even said I would take my own pants off and “allow” myself to be raped if I thought it would keep me alive. Because I would. I like being alive, you know? And I think most people would do the same.

    But I wasn’t replying to Gabriel in that comment anyway. :D Sorry if my wires got crossed.

    @hotphysicsboy: Nonetheless, I am happy your abs made an appearance anyway. ;)

  33. This is on a par with the judge who told the jury that the victim was “dressed too attractively” when she was wearing jeans, a turtle-neck and a buttoned shirt.

    I can think of an easy way to get even skinny jeans off someone: Throw the victim down, sit on her chest, unzip the jeans, pull them down. The jeans don’t have to be completely removed to commit rape – stuck around the ankles they impede the victim if she tries to escape. Teh stupid of juries, it burns.

    [Having spent several hours in a jury lounge recently, waiting to be assigned, I was not at all heartened by the overheard conversations. ]

  34. This case is retarded, and to be honest I’m quite glad it’s no-where near where I live because it’s the sort of thing that makes me mad enough to consider ‘alternate forms of justice’. That would end badly for me.

    I am worried a bit by @marilove’s view though. While I agree with the majority of her points, it does seem to me to err on the side of ‘never question the victim’. I think @Gabrielbrawley was fine to question the news story (esp given the track record of the source). When it comes to any sort of legal dispute with two sides (from shoplifting to rape) you should always take a LOOK at the truth of what both sides are saying, not start from one side or the other and work back.

    @BHitt I agree completely: if someone starts a sentance starts with “It can’t be rape if. . .” it’s rape. The fact there is even an attempt to justify an action means the statment will be wrong. If it wasn’t rape, a justification wouldn’t be necessary.

  35. @lisavilisa:

    Sadly, they already do this. Rapists often choose victims that they can later blame to get away with it. For example, certain rapists don’t target passed-out women simply because they offer no resistance; they pick those victims because they know they can get away with it.

    I would just like to add that I’ve recently realized that our society views property rights as more important than bodily rights. For example, if you invite someone into your living room, most people would agree that that person doesn’t have the right to go into a bedroom and disturb a sleeping baby, or to rifle through your bathroom cabinet, or to waltz into the kitchen and help themselves to your food, unless you give them permission to do so. So even if the victim willingly let a man take her pants off, why should he have the right to do whatever he pleases after that? It’s so ridiculous that we consider real estate ownership as being stronger than ownership of our own bodies.

  36. @catgirl: it’s so ridiculous that we consider real estate ownership as being stronger than ownership of our own bodies.

    Ah, but men are the only ones entitled to own their own bodies; women are chattel, doncha know?

    A young woman I knew told me about a frat how-to book – one of the bits of advice was pick a slightly unattractive girl, as nobody would believe her – my goodness, if a frat sex god were going to rape anyone, it would be one of the really pretty girls! Srsly! The university, when presented with the rape manual, kicked the frat off campus. I somehow don’t think that solved the problem.

  37. Tangentally related to the skinny jeans…a personal experience with molestation:

    My uncle (who happens to be autistic) would invite my brothers, cousins and myself to his bedroom (he lived with his parents, he wasn’t high-functioning) to play video games on the Super Nintendo. I’m not sure if I was the only one he ever touched, but during the game time he would slip his hand down my pants and touch me. I remember trying to stop it by changing into my younger brother’s jeans and wearing a belt, figuring the fit would be too tight for him to get under. It wasn’t.

    It’s ridiculous that that sort of question would be entertained by a court.

    -_- face to the extreme.

  38. @qyiet: To follow up on my previous comment and reply to this, I think the standard should be more along the lines of, “If you’re going to question the victim, you’d better have a damn good explanation for why she’d put up with the hell of a rape trial” (Misidentification of the rapist being by far the most likely case).

  39. @qyiet: My point is that a victim isn’t to be blamed for being raped. Ever. Questioning a victim on the circumstances of what happened is not the same as blaming them for the rape and nowhere was I or Gabriel talking about that, so I’m not sure where you got that from, unless I am not understanding you correctly.

    My point with Gabriel was that this story WAS valid, and there were several more easily found and reliable sites, with a record for fact-checking, that were reporting the same story, and also the *several* other similar examples given in the story were easily verifiable as well. Initially I thought he was trying to say something like, “The victim may be lying, I don’t trust the daily mail, so something else must be up!” but if you read the rest of our exchange, you’ll see that I jumped the gun a bit and in the end, he was just flabbergasted that such stupid people who make such stupid decisions on juries exist, while I was not at all shocked by it.

  40. I imagine misindentification of the rapist easily ranks second for reason so few rapes see proper justice.

    Not to say that that’s the victim’s fault.

  41. @Infophile: Ah, so is that what @qyiet was trying to say? No wonder people don’t believe women. They constantly must be “questioned” about the validity of their rape claims, because we alllll know that women just love going through the hell that is a rape investigation and trial.


    Why can’t people trust women? This is the same mentality of anti-choice people.

  42. @LtStorm: That’s a big part of it I’m sure, yes, but it’s not the whole story. Society’s tendency to distrust women is perhaps the biggest reason. Most rape cases don’t even MAKE it to trial, for various reasons, but a big reason is the police and other authority figures making it damn near impossible to prosecute.

    A friend of mine was raped on a very well known campus, and the campus authorities made sure she was not able to prosecute, even though she had evidence. This has happened to other women before and since, on the same campus, and this university is not the only one who does this crap, by far. They take advantage of women (and some men, I’m sure) in vulnerable positions, so they can sweep rapes under the rug. Their reputation is more important than the women who were victimized. It’s scary how common this is, and not just on university campuses.

  43. @marilove: Sadly, it’s far too easy to see that happening.

    The reason I brought up misidentification of the rapist is because I’m curious how many rapes only go to trial because someone found a scapegoat they can prod the victim into accusing.

    Namely because of this case where the victim’s boyfriend had a motive, the chance, and a scapegoat in a foreign student. All he had to do was manipulate the victim to avoid getting blamed himself.

  44. @LtStorm:

    because someone found a scapegoat they can prod the victim into accusing.

    I’m not so sure how common that is, though, because society as a whole is reluctant to convict rapists even when the evidence is clear, for fear of possibly “ruining their life” if it’s a “false accusation”. It’s very, very common for people to claim the victim is lying because she just wants to get revenge, or for other ridiculous reasons.

    It’s much more common that the *victim* is told to be lying and that she either didn’t get raped at all (she consented and now regrets the “sex”) or she must otherwise be incorrect on what happened. I guess tagging the wrong offender might fall into that somewhere (“You are wrong! It wasn’t him!”) but I just don’t think it’s that common. I think it’s much more common that she’s told she must be lying about the rape and it was conensual and therefore a crime didn’t happen at all, or that she is told it is somehow her fault (too short a skirt; getting drunk; whatever).

  45. Also … I’m pretty confident that the rate of false convictions in rape cases is pretty fucking minimal. It’s hard enough to get convictions from rapes cases that are cut and dry (like this one). I do not for one second believe that false rape convictions happen on any kind of regular basis.

  46. @marilove: I think Qyiet’s thoughts are very worthwhile here. If we are being good skeptics, we should be looking at hard evidence about false rape convictions rather than gut confidence. Infophile’s comments in particular, advocate excessive credulousness.

    Commentary by Neufeld and Scheck of the (rather esteemed) Innocence Project in the research report “Convicted by Juries, Exonerated by Science: Case Studies in the Use of DNA Evidence to Establish Innocence After Trial” commissioned by the National Institute of Justice, report a 7-year study showing the primary suspect in rape cases being exonerated at a rate of ~25% with a sample size of 10,000 individuals using FBI data. (search on “postconviction DNA” to find the relevant text in that .gov txt document).

    I submit that such evidence supports suspicion of quite a disturbingly high rate of false rape conviction.

  47. @Magnus H.: And statistics show that false rape convictions happen no more than *other* false convictions. Yet people only seem to focus on rapes, and ignore almost everything else, why? Oh, that’s right; because women can’t be trusted. False convictions happen. But they don’t really happen any more or less in one crime or another. We shouldn’t be focusing on “false rape convictions” but rather making our justice system stronger so that false convictions in general are lessened. But people tend to ignore the false convictions of every other crime, but are suddenly very, very interested in false convictions when the subject of rape is on the table.

  48. Erhhm ok, well we were talking about rape specifically though and in particular, evidence about false conviction rates so I disagree that the interest in the subject is sudden or unfounded. I’m certainly willing to look at published data showing that false rape convictions happen no more than other false convictions. It seems entirely plausible that that should in fact be the case.

    But shouldn’t that fact alone make you reconsider the stance that “we should just trust women”? If false rape convictions happen at a rate equal to other false crime conviction rates, then we know they’re happening all the time and this should be all the more reason for requiring solid evidence for an accusation. No one should be simply trusted on their word in a court of law, male or female. Conviction should rely on proof beyond reasonable doubt using evidence and no matter what the subject at hand is, we simply have to live with the budensome fact that humans of all types, being what they are, are always capable of deceit and fallibility of judgment.

  49. I was on a jury where one guy wouldn’t convict an obvious rapist. If the rapist hadn’t gotten on the stand and admitted that he had sex with her when she was underage, he would have gotten away scott-free. Luckily, the guy was stupid enough to get on the stand and he was old enough and got the full 7 years with no parole because the judge could see the obvious. I wanted so badly to ask the obstinate juror if he had raped in the past and couldn’t bring himself to condemn another rapist.

    That juror may have thought that having sex with a younger person was not necessarily rape. And as long as the younger person was past puberty, why should age be an issue? But the law is the law and must be followed. If you really beleive the concept of “statutory rape” is absurd, push to repeal it. AFAIK, jury nullification is illegal. That juror should have been kicked off before the end of the deliberations.

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