Welcome to some more scary men versus women division

“A compelling new entrant in the contest for the world’s worst IDP article contest being held by Radio NZ and The Spinoff”

Someone sent me that, with a link to this at RNZ: Welcome to the scary party, young men

By Anna Connell

There might be some truth behind US President Donald Trump’s claim that it’s a “scary time for young men”, but not in the way he thinks.

Mr Trump’s assertion that it’s a “scary time for young men in America” because “you can be guilty of something that you may not be guilty of” comes as his nominee for the supreme court, Brett Kavanaugh, faces several allegations of sexual misconduct.

It’s nearly impossible to argue Mr Trump is referring to a genuine fear with his comments. Simply put, false accusations of sexual assault are rare – only 2 to 10 percent of sexual assault reports in the US are found to be false, and it is equally rare that false accusations lead to convictions.

According to the National Registry of Exonerations in the US, there are only 52 cases where men convicted of sexual assault were exonerated because it turned out they were falsely accused. Meanwhile, it’s estimated 1 in 6 American women will experience rape or attempted rape in their lifetime. Welcome to the scary party, young men – it might be a scary time for you now but, as someone on Twitter said, it’s been a scary millennium for women.

Mr Trump is using abstract fear here, tapping into a vein of anxiety about a disruption to a comfortable, ordered way of life. A way of life where boys could be boys and men could be men. Where women knew their place and a slap on the bum wasn’t ‘unwanted sexual touching’. Where white men held all the power and women weren’t making runs at the White House.

This resonates with his supporters because, in the face of rapid societal change (and that is what we’re experiencing), your options are to embrace the unknown or retreat to the safety of the past.

Please don’t burn my feminist card for saying this, but I have some genuine empathy for this position. In this instance, Mr Trump is somewhat right – it is a scary time to be a young man but not for the reasons he suggests.

The roles men and women play in modern western societies have changed at a rapid pace. Where once men had a sure sense of their identity as the breadwinner and head of the family, women now work and sometimes earn more than men do.

Where sex was just something men did to women, with or without consent, it’s now something women insist on enjoying and being an equal party to. Where once men could largely ignore domestic and child-rearing obligations, they are now expected to play a role at home, or even stay there while women go to work.

Let me be clear, this is all a good thing, a great thing, a necessary thing, and plenty of men are wholly comfortable with it. But that change has happened at a rapid rate and I worry that men don’t know how to talk about it without fear. Those who do talk about it often dwell on the past, reverting to values and mores that are fast fading.

Where and how do young men discuss the now and the future? Where do they find good role models? Where do they learn and talk about sex and consent that isn’t a porn site or a sniggering playground conversation?

A lot of men versus women generalisations here.

Many men are excellent role models. Most men don’t sexually abuse or rape women (or other men).

It’s really hard to be empathetic about all this when women are only just gaining some space to make their fears, rightful anger, and desire for change acknowledged. But somewhere in there, I think we have to make some space to acknowledge that many men are full of fear too. That fear might not be justified and it’s hard for many women, myself included, to see it as anything other than entitlement and privilege, but it is fear nonetheless.

It’s a scary time for young men, not because they might be held accountable for their actions, but because their fear is being weaponised for political gain, encouraged by those who gain the most from division and hate. Acknowledging that might just be the first step in diffusing its power.

There is an issue with the possibility that some men might be “encouraged by those who gain the most from division and hate” – but Connell seems unaware that she is also encouraging gender division and hate.

 

15 Comments

  1. Blazer

     /  October 5, 2018

  2. High Flying Duck

     /  October 5, 2018

    “Over the course of the last year alone, a woman was sentenced to ten years in prison for making a series of false allegations of sexual assault and rape against a total of 15 men in the U.K. A New Jersey man filed a $6 million suit against a woman who had accused him of rape—an accusation that led to his expulsion from Syracuse University. After “a months-long investigation, which included a medical exam, rape kit, and bloodwork within 26 hours of the incident, found no evidence [she] was assaulted, drugged or even had a sexual encounter with [the man].” Nine current and former Minnesota football players have opened a defamation and discrimination suit against the university after four players were expelled and one suspended following a Title IX investigation when a subsequent police investigation led to no charges by the county attorney office for an alleged gang rape.

    Still, it’s reasonable to argue that these were simply extreme or unusual cases that garnered disproportionate media attention. Confronted with stories like these, activists routinely point to data that shows the rate of false claims is only about 5.9 percent. However, they invariably neglect to mention that this figure only covers those cases that were unequivocally proven to be false by authorities. It does not include cases dropped due to insufficient evidence or otherwise left unresolved because the victim withdrew from the process, or was unable to identify the perpetrator, or mislabeled an incident that does not fit the legal definition of sexual assault. The number of cases that fall into one or more of these categories is 44.9 percent, not including the 5.9 percent figure, above. It’s therefore impossible to tell what the true percentage of false accusations is, but even a 6 percent (or one in 17) chance that an innocent person may be convicted ought to be too great a risk.”

    https://quillette.com/2018/10/04/on-the-fallibility-of-memory-and-the-importance-of-evidence/

  3. david in aus

     /  October 5, 2018

    Faulty arguments and conclusions here. “According to the National Registry of Exonerations in the US, there are only 52 cases where men convicted of sexual assault were exonerated because it turned out they were falsely accused.” ” Meanwhile, it’s estimated 1 in 6 American women will experience rape or attempted rape in their lifetime.”

    The author is comparing exonerations of cases that go to trial with all accusations. Most accusations do not go to trial, perhaps due to the lack of evidence, and we do not know how many of them were false. Ford’s accusations would never go to trial as there is no evidence.

    When we suspend reason and skepticism, we delve into the realms of religion where only faith is required. Social movements where groups are pitted against another armed with only belief are likely to end very badly.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  October 5, 2018

      Truth and falsehood are inevitably blurred where non-verbal communication is occuring perhaps exclusively and interpretation is everything. Coupled with a lack of witnesses that makes it inevitable that rape accusations being mostly an issue of consent will rightfully lead to lower comviction rates than other crimes.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  October 5, 2018

        In Hamilton, a law student decided to see if it was possible to have a man convicted on no evidence except an accusation. She chose a victim, made the complaint and an innocent man went to prison. He was lucky that his parents were well-off enough to hire a detective (I forget the details, now) and were able to produce evidence that the whole thing was a lie. I hate to think what it cost.

        Meanwhile ‘Wendy’ (only her first name was revealed) finished her degree and joined a law firm. If she had any sense, she’d change her name. No penalty for the financial and social cost to the victim and his family as far as I know; I think that she should have been struck off. I wouldn’t want her as my lawyer !

        Men have been accused of rape when the ‘victim’ spent the night with them and had sex with them. Who spends the night snuggled up to their rapist and has sex again in the morning?

        • lurcher1948

           /  October 5, 2018

          LINKS or its just an urban myth, if it was true you would have posted a link

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  October 5, 2018

            Rubbish. It was a wellknown case and was on the news and had a current affairs programme about it. The boy left university but later went back and finished his law degree.

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  October 5, 2018

            His name is Nick Wills. Look him up. There are many entries online about him and his case. He was accused by a girl in his hall of residence, who only had her first name revealed.

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  October 5, 2018

            Have you looked up this story yet ?

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  October 6, 2018

              I couldn’t believe that someone from Rape Crisis wasn’t worried that an innocent man had been accused, had his life changed forever, had spent time inside and (then) decided to leave university after a year away. Her view was that something must have happened at some time to the ‘victim’ (despite the fact that the lying bitch had admitted to making the whole thing up) Therefore it didn’t matter that someone else was being accused of something he hadn’t done and could have spent years in prison for this. If there had been a real assault in the past, it was acceptable to Rape Crisis that someone else was to pay the penalty….while the real person was free to do it again. I wonder if the RC woman would have felt that it was all right to send her to prison for a crime that she hadn’t committed.

            • Gezza

               /  October 5, 2018

              I found that one but it’s not the nick willis case. The only thing I could find on nick willis was a bsa complaint about a doco shown on 60 minutes nz about his case. The complaint was dismissed.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  October 6, 2018

              It’s Nick Wills.

              If you look up something like Hamilton Law Student falsely accused of rape it should work, as there are so many entries about this story.

            • Gezza

               /  October 6, 2018

              My mistake. I was actually searching for Nick Wills. This has links:
              https://www.peterellis.org.nz/people/NickWills/index.htm

  4. Alan Wilkinson

     /  October 5, 2018

    It’s always amusing when “feminists” claim women don’t lie. There are plenty of women who lie like flatfish and women are more likely to realise that than men. As I’ve noted before, the most dangerous ones are those who believe their own lies.