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Impossible standards
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Old 11-22-2017, 10:56 AM
Canarr Canarr is offline
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Default Impossible standards

So... Lena Dunham is in trouble.

After making the bold statement last year that women never lie about rape ("Things women do lie about: what they ate for lunch. Things women don't lie about: rape."), last week she defended a friend/co-worker, Murray Miller, against allegations that he sexually assaulted acress Aurora Perrineau when she was 17.

Dunham's statement, together with Jenni Konner:

"During the windfall of deeply necessary accusations over the last few months in Hollywood, we have been thrilled to see so many women's voices heard and dark experiences in this industry justified. It's a hugely important time of change and, like every feminist in Hollywood and beyond, we celebrate. But during every time of change there are also incidences of the culture, in its enthusiasm and zeal, taking down the wrong targets. We believe, having worked closely with him for more than half a decade, that this is the case with Murray Miller. While our first instinct is to listen to every woman's story, our insider knowledge of Murray's situation makes us confident that sadly this accusation is one of the 3 percent of assault cases that are misreported every year. It is a true shame to add to that number, as outside of Hollywood women still struggle to be believed. We stand by Murray and this is all we'll be saying about this issue."

Of course, both women were predictably shitstormed. Accused of slut-shaming and victim-blaming, neither of which really make sense in this case, but that doesn't seem to be relevant.

Equally predictably, Dunham started backpedaling.

Which leads me to the title of this thread: to claim that "women don't lie about rape" is an impossible standard. How would that be possible? A biologically hardwired moral compass inbuilt in all women? The Spike mind-control chip? An act of God?

People will lie, about any issue, for any reason. Maybe it's for supposedly noble reasons, like sparing someone pain; maybe it's for emotional reasons, like embarrasment or shame; maybe it's for purely selfish reasons, like greed or vanity; maybe it's for malicious reasons, just to hurt someone. And sometimes, those people are women; and sometimes, what they lie about is rape.

No idea what happened here. Maybe he forced himself on her - it's possible, because that happens. Maybe she made up the claim to extort money from him - it's possible, because that happens.

How can someone, by all appearances a mentally competent, adult human, arrive at the conclusion that there can truly be a single issue about which one particular, very heterogenous, group would never lie? How would one arrive at such a conclusion, and what arguments could be used to actually defend it?
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Old 11-22-2017, 03:53 PM
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Greenday Greenday is offline
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I'm just taking a guess, but I believe she probably didn't mean an absolute when she said women don't lie about rape. What she most likely meant was that every single time a rape occurs, we need to stop saying she's lying about it especially if the rapist is someone famous. This happens all the time especially when it's someone famous. "Oh they are just accusing them for the attention/money!" etc. That seems to be some people's go to. She didn't get paid so she cried rape. He emotionally hurt her so she lied to get back at him. It's sickening to see what people will claim as lies to justify what happened.
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Old 11-23-2017, 12:34 PM
Canarr Canarr is offline
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I'm only guessing as well; but considering that she concluded her apology with (bolding mine):

"Every woman who comes forward deserves to be heard, fully and completely, and our relationship to the accused should not be part of the calculation anyone makes when examining her case.

"Every person and every feminist should be required to hear her. Under patriarchy, 'I believe you' is essential. Until we are all believed, none of us will be believed.


I am inclined to believe it's literal.

Yes, we should not dismiss claims of sexual assault out of hand; but neither should we immediately break out the torches and pitchforks as soon as someone points a finger and submits an unsubstantiated claim.

Marie Henein, the lawyer who defended a Canadian radio host against assault allegations, stated in an interview:

Henein said a sexual assault case shouldn't be treated any differently than any other crime "in the sense that the presumption of innocence is set aside or reasonable doubt is thrown out the window."

Henein cited other sexual assault cases that have resulted in wrongful convictions.

"That doesn't mean that everybody is lying. It means that we know as a matter of human nature, some people tell the truth, some people don't," Henein said.
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Old 11-23-2017, 04:36 PM
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jackfaire jackfaire is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canarr View Post
Henein said a sexual assault case shouldn't be treated any differently than any other crime "in the sense that the presumption of innocence is set aside or reasonable doubt is thrown out the window."
She's transposing the justice system with public perception.

It is the justice system that must Presume innocence until guilt is proven. Not only will private citizens not do that but every single time someone is investigated for a crime people in the communities I have lived in assume the person's guilt is assured.
The only crimes I have seen where people assume the person must be innocent are sexual crimes. The public tends to seem to have a "they must be innocent until proven guilty" attitude only about sexual crimes. Any other type of crime people tend to be mentally convicted.

Which is exactly why the police do not discuss ongoing investigations people knowing that someone is or was a suspect even for 2 seconds can ruin their entire life as people rush to judge them.
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