A Nightmare Scenario

This lovely piece of satire was written by Nick over at Newly Open. As a good number of people can’t hear or see sarcasm, please not that he’s not serious, and please read his post on the subject: A Followup.


A Nightmare Scenario

(This probably needs a trigger warning for sexual assault discussion)

Fetlife is apparently taking steps (link may need a site profile) to prevent users from naming names of the other users who’ve sexually assaulted them.  Of course, people are upset, but I thought maybe I should explain what they’re trying to do here.

Imagine a world in which anyone could just, willy-nilly and without any consequences, accuse men of rape. Why, men would have an incredible burden to bear in such a society! We’d have to be very careful whom we let into our lives, and be sure that anyone we spent time alone with was someone we could trust.  We’d have to avoid being alone with strange women, lest we be hit with a damning accusation out of nowhere.  When going on first dates, we’d have to be sure someone knew where we were, and was willing and capable to act as an alibi if we got a strange vibe.

It wouldn’t prevent us from living our lives, of course, but some part of our minds would always have to be devoted to making sure someone knew where we were and could vouch for us.  At night, walking down the street, we’d have to be careful not to enter dark areas where we couldn’t be seen.  We’d probably want to do most things in groups of other men. In particular, those men who did get accused of such by a good friend or family member would have–justifiable!–trouble learning to trust women again.  And of course, despite the stereotype that would develop, most of the accusations would come from friends and family.

In such a world, the prevalence of rape accusations would no doubt be incredibly high.  I’ve heard estimates that, if such a thing could happen, as many as one in five or even one in four men might be accused of rape in their lifetimes, and even those men who weren’t in that large minority would always have that possibility hanging over their heads.

Luckily, we have people like the Fetlife admins, and basically all of the rest of society, to levy enormous social consequences on anyone who makes a rape accusation.  Of course this means that rape goes wildly under reported, but it does mean that some small number of innocent men are spared tarnished reputations, and that’s–clearly–much more important to us.

See this post for a more clear and serious discussion


An important quote from A Followup:

And make no mistake: when you silence victims, you are assuming that they are lying.  When you block them from making “criminal accusations,” the way the Fetlife admins do, you are treating all accusations as lies.  When you ask a victim to be absolutely sure that they didn’t consent, you are treating them as liars.  When we, this society, treat rape and sexual assault as if they required 100% proof, as if without video tape or clear signs of violence they can’t be prosecuted, things we do with no other crime, we are treating victims as liars.

As Nick says, we must shift the burden of care. He speaks quite well on the “innocent until proven guilty” fallacy when it comes to sexual assault and social issues. Please read it.

Not only would wo/men have to have trust in place before just fucking anyone, but they would also have to treat other human being with respect before, during, and after sexual encounters rather than discarding them like a used tissue. Huh. What a concept.

That is, indeed, a nightmare scenario.

~ by omgrey on August 14, 2012.

8 Responses to “A Nightmare Scenario”

  1. http://www.buzzfeed.com/annanorth/the-6-craziest-things-people-have-said-about-pregn

    this’ll make your blood boil

  2. Yes, men would have to take care in how they treated someone if they could realistically have to deal with rape charges. There are other ways, too — collateral. women can ask for collateral before being alone with a man. I’ve asked for it upon a first meeting, not even knowing where it will go.

    • That could work. I’ve thought of that long term, like through a relationship. A way for them to put their money where all their early promises are. Still, I think having men answer to rape in their communities would make a HUGE difference.

  3. […] What a nightmare scenario that would be. Thank you, again, Nick. Here is a […]

  4. Here’s the thing though, I’m a guy, thirty-something years old. I work with teenagers of both genders on a twice-a-week basis.

    This *is* the reality for me. Any one of those teens could accuse me of sexual assault at any time. Do you know what that means for me? I don’t let myself be alone with one teen at a time. I don’t drive them home alone, especially after dark. I don’t close doors when we’re in a classroom together. If I know I’m going to end up alone with a young lady, I ask another woman to come along with us. It protects me, but it also lets those teenagers know that they’ll never need to worry about being in a compromising situation with me, even though I’ve built their trust. It’s called accountability.

  5. I dont know, Jeremy. Your actions are appropriate to being accountable. But I hear a whiny self-pitying tone (e g, “Do you know what this means for me?) to what you say, as if what you have to worry about, is somehow comparable to what those teens have to worry about. Her risk of being raped, or even taken advantage of, far outweigh yours of being falsely accused,– you could NOT be (falsely) accused of sexual assault at any time — what a baby you are being because it is extremely rare that a woman/girl falsely accused a male. Do knock it off.

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