Men’s Fear of False Accusations

By:  H.T., Website:  Rogue Black Nerd

A few years ago, I was going through a breakup with an ex that I owed money.  While I acknowledge I did owe her money, the fact was that at one point she did attempt to use the threat of falsely accusing me of rape to the police to get more money.  To get the problem off my back, I gave her the money and went on with my life.  I bring up the issue of false accusations not to justify said fears, but rather to unpack the core of why so many men fear being falsely accused and by extent the ramifications of a public that is far more credulous of accusations in the age of #MeToo.

The often sighted example of many men’s fears about false accusations is the case of Emmett Till.  In 1955, Till, a 14 year old black boy, was falsely accused of harassing Carolyn Bryant and was later abducted and murdered by Bryant’s husband and brother-in-law.  To describe his murder as brutal and the state of his remains as ghoulish would not do it justice, but would be an accurate assessment.  If anything sums up my feelings on this case, along with the later recanting of her testimony decades later by Bryant, it’s simply this image of Emmett Till’s parents at his funeral.  This image, to me strikes a much more visceral effect as while his remains are hard to look at, you can’t look away from the heartbreaking image of his mother at his funeral.

In 2015, Brock Allen Turner was arrested after being caught by two students sticking his fingers in the vagina of an unconscious woman.  Originally, Turner was set to serve 14 years for 3 of his charges, but after much intervention, including an open letter by his father saying that the trial has been a huge emotional burden on his son, eventually his sentence was reduced to 6 months with time served and 3 months probation.  While Brock was banned for life by USA swimming and is a registered sex offender, it can’t be ignored that he got off far lighter on an individual level than he should have.  While it’s clear that he will go on the rest of his life being the modern face of the college rape epidemic, the fact is he still won’t fully suffer the full brunt of his choices as fact is he comes from a rich family that could likely find him a good job in a high place, up and away from the reality of it all.

Then there’s Brett Kavanaugh, who according to Dr. Christine Ford back in the early 1980s tried to hold her down and rape her at a party.  Then there’s Deborah Ramirez, who claims around the same time shortly after Ford’s accusations took place said Kavanaugh exposed himself to her at a party.  And then there were the accusations of Julie Swetnick that says Brett took part in parties where men would drug women.  Now knowing what I know about all accusations, even if Kavanaugh DIDN’T rape anyone, at the very least he knows who did or is on some level complicit in the assault of women, Dr. Ford likely being one of those women.

I bring up these three cases because they embody what men fear about accusations of rape.  We fear vigilante justice, we fear being killed or being railroaded on a lie, we fear that even if a man is brought to trial for raping a woman we know that it’s likely that certain men can get off light despite being convicted, and when accused that even when said accusations come with very few corroborations, we still face the danger of having all that we worked for set on fire in front of us.

Yes, it’s true.  Aside from the case of Till, the other two cases could have been avoided if they just didn’t do what they did or normalize such behaviors that lead to what they did.  No, one man alone can’t stop an entire culture in one fell swoop, but men like Kavanaugh who get to their high places of power make said cultures enter decline by denouncing it on high.  When I see men like Kavanaugh getting angry over being faced with said accusations, it’s understandable WHY he’s so visibly angry, but the reality is that this is a man realizing that even if he gets away with this and gets appointed, he’s still going to have to face the reality that he, his old buddy Mark Judge who has gone on to basically be Roosh V pretending to be Hemingway, and many other men like him created this backlash where men like him who did these things with impunity and left many women with zero to lose by coming for them.

So this goes back to the original question:  why do men fear false accusations so hard?  The reality isn’t that feminists will ride them out of society on a rail, it’s that all structures for defending themselves are either ineffective in modern culture or are in a way complicit in them getting away with things as far as they have and in the end can only hide them so much from the consequences of their actions.  In my own case, I simply handed the money over and went away because even though I knew I didn’t do it, my life as it stands on its own would not help me if I was brought before a judge and jury.  Fact is, I’m a poor black man with a history of mental illness and violence, sadly one of those being the time when during a mental breakdown, I attacked my mother and then infant brother.  While me and my mom still to this day have issues as far as getting along, I would not justify my actions towards my mother that night as murdering her is something I’ve long since understood wouldn’t solve our problems and would hurt far more people than just her if she was murdered.  That all being said, pulling what is public knowledge about me in a legal system that has proven over and over again that it is nothing if not at the least a highly classist system of power would sink any defense I could mount.  I won’t deny there is an issue of racism in the American legal system, but if growing up in Michigan has taught me anything, courts will gladly put away poor white men for selling drugs to feed their family but straight up let rich white men get away with defrauding people to where the poor white man is left without a job and left with no other option but to sell drugs.  Make the poor man black, and the judge will exile him away to a cage for so long that he could go into prison when Carter is President but never get out till Obama’s second term.

I bring up the legal system because for all that I argue that men accused should be given their day in court, the fact is the legal system has proven it’s far too flawed to be trusted with such cases as, yes, the last time we saw a high profile case of a rich man go to prison for sexual assault, it was Cosby.  This is not to say Cosby is innocent, but despite depositions and DAs given his cases and refusing to try him because of his fame, this is how we go to where Cosby at the tail end of his life was only given 3 to 10.

We live in a legal system that refuses to properly try cases of rich and powerful men accused of horrid sexual acts.  Whether you want to believe Michael Jackson was a pedophile, the fact is in 2005, around the time of the end of Michael’s case and ultimate acquittal, financier Jeffrey Epstein was hit with accusations of running a pedophilia ring out of his home that is alleged to have given underage girls to many rich and powerful men, allegedly including Prince Andrew of York, Bill Clinton, and even Donald Trump.  When Epstein was tried for his case, among his legal defense team was Ken Starr, who worked with Brett Kavanaugh in creating the report that was used to facilitate the impeachment of Bill Clinton over his perjury in the Monica Lewinsky case and in 2004, defended Erik Prince’s Blackwater from killing 4 unarmed civilians in Fallujah, Iraq (read:  they committed a war crime as mercenaries) and Alan Dershowitz, who despite numerous amounts of evidence of abuse and an eventual murder attempt of his wife, defended Claus von Bülow both in his original trial and retrial and most famously was an appellate adviser to OJ Simpson when he was tried for killing his ex-wife, of whom he had a history of physically abusing and stalking.  It should also be noted that Dershowitz is currently serving as a consultant to the defense team of Harvey Weinstein and is a vocal defender of Donald Trump.  Despite watching America drag Jackson’s name through the mud over accusations that clearly didn’t hold well enough for a conviction, Epstein was given every which way to avoid jail time for more than 13 months.

I say all this because the harsh reality of it all is that we do need a huge cultural shift, and I think no matter what solution is proposed we must take into account these facts:

  1. Men in places of power, wealth and privilege in high places will fight to hold their power both legally and illegally.
  2. Law Enforcement is just as complicit in in the sandbagging of justice for women who are abused by men in varying levels of power.  Keep in mind, many LEOs have histories of domestic abuse themselves.  Essentially every agency on a federal level has a history of either committing terrible acts or being complicit in them being carried out.  It should shock no one that the FBI failed to investigate Kavanaugh’s accusations when Muller era FBI had an extensive history of framing Arabs as terrorist suspects to make themselves look good, and Hoover era FBI with COINTELPRO ruthlessly left a trail of bodies and ruined lives in Hoover’s craven pursuit of communists.  Add that along with the fact that the FBI covered up the murder of Viola Liuzzo due to the involvement of an FBI informant, and you should have an idea of how the FBI feels about women.
  3. The statistic for false accusations are a very low number and shouldn’t be seen as a huge impending epidemic.  To simply avoid being implicated in said accusations, men don’t need cameras, or written statements, or witnesses.  The reality is that we simply need to take into account how much of what we consider normal treatment of women is actually harmful.  No amount of bravado or any possible attempt at getting sex should justify putting yourself in a moral gray area with women as far as consent.  Any woman that requires you to go that far just to get her attention is a red flag walking in many different ways and the best option is to just walk away.
  4. In retrospect, we should go back and hold the living accountable for how they treated women along with ceasing to romanticize men who abuse women.  I can look back at my own actions with women over the years and can admit I fucked up and can & should do better, but I think the hard reality is that as a culture, men and women need to come together and stop tolerating actions of men who do terrible things to women.  Men shouldn’t treat it as cool or try to say “but women get to do…” as a defense, and women shouldn’t treat men who do these actions to other women as cute, or sexy, or strong, or tolerate it in anyway.

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