In the vast catalog of human cruelty, the crime of rape is one of the most grotesque. In its perversion of human intimacy, the corruption of human agency in one case and the destruction of it in another, coupled with the absolutely stomach-churning betrayals of trust that so frequently accompany the act, it is granted a special place of horror in our moral imagination. Indeed, in the eyes of many, the wholesale killing of a human being can be justified more easily than rape, simply because of the disgust inspired by the latter crime.
In our age of moral confusion, rape may stand alone as the one crime that relativism has not been able to dilute. Again, despite a wealth of literature, art, and history that depicts murders that are provoked, morally excused, or even celebrated, our culture still stubbornly insists that rape cannot be provoked, that it cannot be excused, and certainly that it cannot be celebrated.
Imagine a jury nullifying a rape conviction and your mind rebels. No one, if sufficiently persuaded that an alleged rapist is guilty, could possibly consent to let him go free, even if his crimes were committed against a woman whose evil matched the magnitude of an Elizabeth Báthory or an Aileen Wuornos. Indeed, the one exception we seem to have made to this rule that rape cannot be condoned is that many people often grimly celebrate the conviction of rapists (especially child rapists), knowing the treatment that likely awaits them in prison.
Far from the asinine claims of feminists that American society is a “rape culture,” the fact is that our society arguably takes rape more seriously than any other crime. Indeed, it is because rape is considered so uniquely and unimpeachably evil that false allegations of its having taken place are also so heinous. After all, those allegations do not exist in a vacuum.
Because of the hideous burlesque of intimacy involved in the act, rape by nature often leaves only two witnesses: the rapist and the victim. Circumstantial evidence, such as the witnessing of a passed out woman being bundled into a strange man’s car, or traces of rohypnol or ketamine at the bottom of a glass, or evidence discovered from a rape kit, can tip the scales, but the unpleasant reality about rape is that because the act has the potential to leave so few witnesses and so little evidence, the credibility of those who allege its having happened is often dispositive.
And unfortunately, the more people are seen to lie about rape, the more credibility all other accusers lose by association in their quest to gain justice. If thwarted, that quest can often turn inward and end in suicide: in short, the more accusers lie, the more victims may die.
All of which is to say, as someone who, sadly, has suffered along with friends who were victims of this awful crime, who had no reason to lie to me, and who often declined to pursue justice in fear for their own credibility, I hope Christine Blasey Ford, Deborah Ramirez, and Julie Swetnick are happy. They have turned one of our culture’s most noxious charges into a cynical, unserious political cudgel, and in so doing, have blazed a trail paved with forgotten rape kits, and which echoes with the frustrated cries for justice of millions of traumatized women, whose pain will now become that much easier to ignore.
Suffering, and crying out for relief, is supposed to be ennobling. Yet these three women have turned what many recognize as one of the most painful experiences imaginable into an act of mere political theater, and in so doing, rendered it low, diminished, tawdry, filthy, the very things that so many rape victims believe themselves to be. I hope they’re happy.
A Dangerous New Standard
In pushing this scurrilous bilge, the Left has tried to force a new piety upon us all: #BelieveWomen. And we are admonished that whatever we think of the truth of the charges, we must applaud the “bravery” of these women in coming forward. Why?
That #BelieveWomen violates one of the key tenets of our legal system—the presumption of innocence—is obvious. That it, to wax SJW, erases the pain of male rape victims, particularly gay men, and makes cases of lesbian rape intractable, is transparent. That it bears no philosophical content beyond “please vote for us to punish DRUMPF, suburban women,” is contemptible, but hardly grounds for objection in the warped moral universe of #TheResistance.
But what may not be obvious to those pushing it is that it actually makes rape victims more vulnerable, not less. If all women are believable, regardless of evidence, reason, or common sense, then no woman is.
Sanctifying imperfect human beings as a class inevitably results in their being demonized once the world realizes that some of them have feet of clay. Look no further than the Satanic ritual child abuse cases of the 1980s, in which we were similarly instructed to believe the children, without regard for plausibility. Now ask yourself, if a child came forward today to claim ritual abuse by devil-worshipping babysitters, even if it were true, who would listen? Wolf-crying punishes not only those who cried wolf, but all those who are menaced by real wolves in future.
#BelieveWomen, in short, is merely the first step to #IgnoreWomen. A better way is necessary, which is why the correct response to rape allegations was enunciated by President Ronald Reagan on a much different subject: “Trust, but verify.”
And therein lies the rub. It is not for nothing that our society holds to the aphorism that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. The mere fact of Ford, Ramirez, and Swetnick making their claims so late in the process, and about such a politically fraught subject, rendered the claims extraordinary already. The fact that the claims were more than 30 years old rendered them even more so. The fact that Ford, Ramirez, and Swetnick were all political opponents of Kavanaugh’s made the claims look even more incredible, raising the bar for evidence, if possibly, even higher. In other words, nothing less than a smoking gun would’ve made these claims unquestionable. Even if all three witnesses had shown cast iron certainty about every detail of their stories, and absolute unswerving willingness to tell those stories, doubts likely would have lingered, though perhaps not enough for them to matter in the court of public opinion.
In other words, like Harvey Weinstein’s accusers, these women either had to provide a mountain of evidence themselves, or make their accusations with such conviction that the dam would break and the evidence would come out naturally. This is not an unfair standard: toppling a public figure with the kind of unquestioned stature of a future Supreme Court justice is difficult precisely because the political stakes are so high, the emotions so fraught, the incentives to lie so obvious, and doubly so when the charge being made is so difficult to prove, and has so much potentially damaging impact on the lives of other sufferers.
Shot Through With Doubts
It has often been remarked that Kavanaugh, with his white skin, male sex, and privileged, fratty upbringing, is a symbol of everything that #MeToo is a reaction against. If this is true, then so too do his accusers bear the burden of symbolism: that is, of standing in for every afflicted woman who seeks justice against a more powerful man. Because the case is so intensely, unavoidably public, their credibility necessarily has become tied to the credibility of all potential accusers, just as Kavanaugh’s has become tied to the credibility of all those potentially accused.
Were Kavanaugh to fall to these accusations, it would set an example not merely for every Supreme Court nominee, but for what society should assume about men accused of rape, period. Given the high stakes involved in that sort of confrontation, Ford, Ramirez, and Swetnick should’ve known that, in the words of “The Wire,” “you come at the king, you best not miss.”
Well, not only did they miss, but they shot themselves in the foot—repeatedly. To put it bluntly, these women have behaved in every way that fake rape victims out of Incel message board Central Casting would behave.
Let’s begin with Blasey Ford. Since being identified, she has…
- Changed her mind repeatedly about how many people were present,
- Proven unable or unwilling to recall any details that would make her charge falsifiable,
- Refused to hand over the medical documents (such as therapist’s notes) that allegedly vindicate her charge,
- Complained about being questioned by the “white men” of the U.S. Senate
- Complained about being questioned by a female prosecutor (please note: not a defense attorney, a prosecutor, i.e., the sort of person who would represent her if she could still bring a legal case),
- Demanded an FBI investigation despite her unwillingness to be questioned by a prosecutor,
- Tried to rig press coverage of her testimony,
- Thrown her testifying at all into doubt repeatedly despite allegedly wanting nothing more than to tell her story,
- Scrubbed her social media to hide her anti-Trump political affiliations,
- Demanded that Kavanaugh respond to her accusations without knowing what they are, as if her story could change in response to what he says,
- Admitted to being intoxicated during the alleged incident,
- Been refuted by people who she herself claimed would have knowledge of the events,
- Apparently remembered her story only because of memory recovery therapy; i.e. the very practice that led to the false satanic ritual abuse craze in the 80s, and…
- Even in therapy, apparently only was able to name someone from “an elitist boys’ school” as the perpetrator during her session, rather than Kavanaugh himself.
Forget prosecutorial discretion. This is the kind of reasonable doubt a small child in a judge’s wig could recognize.
Extraordinarily Lacking in Evidence
And notice what I have left out of this list of inconsistencies: that Blasey Ford did not go to the police or tell her parents. With all due respect to President Trump, these are the only parts of her story that sound halfway believable coming from a teenage victim of attempted sexual assault. Denial is a common reaction to rape itself, let alone attempted rape, and going to the police, particularly with the feeling that the odds are stacked against you anyway, may feel like it just makes the experience too real to deal with. To say nothing of the multiple reasons why a teenager wouldn’t admit to being at a party where sex and drinking were going on to their parents, which I assume are obvious to everyone who has ever been a teenager.
It is not only teenage victims of would-be sexual assault, however, who don’t tell their parents or the police about those attempts: it is also teenagers who never endured an attempted sexual assault in the first place. And given that Blasey Ford has either refused to provide evidence, or provided evidence that turned out to exculpate Kavanaugh, there is no reason to suspect that she did endure such an assault.
Again: extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Blasey Ford’s claim is extraordinary, but her evidence is only extraordinary insofar as it is extraordinarily lacking.
Bear in mind, too, Ford is the one whose accusations were thought credible enough to warrant a Senate hearing. The accusations of Ramirez and Swetnick, on the other hand, have proven the danger of false or implausible sexual assault accusations merely by existing: before they came forward with stories that it took mere hours to destroy, Blasey Ford was accorded some semblance of doubt. Now that they have emerged, smears in hand, her claim is being viewed as part of the same smear campaign—a smear campaign that has hardened support not only for Kavanaugh, but for Trumpism, period, by virtue of its sheer shameless implausibility.
Suppose a woman did come forward with a true accusation but little evidence, what are the odds of her being believed when these three frauds have poisoned the well? When the reward for rape allegations, no matter how thinly sourced, is to be made a martyr by the Left, showered with honorary degrees, buried in ill-gotten GoFundMe cash from the gullible, and granted virtual sainthood, what institution will not have to take those incentives into account when assessing future rape cases?
What happens when it becomes obvious that women who once had no reason to lie, now have every reason to lie?
And what happens when young men, seeing that teenage drinking and fratty behavior can condemn them as rapists by association without their so much as losing their virginity, decide that there is no reason to strive for goodness, having already been damned by the cultural elite? Will we see more #woke male feminism? Perhaps so, since that phenomenon is almost always cover for sexual assault anyway, but more likely, we’ll see more and more young men deciding that if everyone can be branded a rapist, then rape must not be as bad as all that. If everyone’s a rapist, after all, no one is, so it doesn’t matter. Have sex any way you can!
And women everywhere will have to live with the fact that, even with the most comprehensive accusation with the most thorough evidence, some segment of society will still look at their pleas for justice and respond only by waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Rape Victims as Mere Pawns
Some may think that, having said all this, I bear no empathy for Blasey Ford, Ramirez, or Swetnick. Quite the opposite: If the Supreme Court had four Wahhabist clerics serving on it, and a fifth were about to be confirmed, officially removing any roadblock to Sharia Law in the United States, I would be as desperate as they and their handlers are. And those are the rhetorical stakes for the activist Left: the American tradition of freedom and self-determination on one side, and fascist theocracy and rape culture on the other. Blasey Ford, Ramirez, and Swetnick are well within their rights to try to throw their bodies on the gears of that fictional fascist, theocratic rape culture—their beliefs to the contrary, it’s a free country.
What they are not entitled to do, however, is to steal the suffering of other people whose bodies have been ground under the heel of their peers without their consent.
A rape culture will only come to pass when men see it as the only option to preserve their sovereignty against a third wave feminist, Maoist, defamation culture that treats their innocence as incidental in the fight against patriarchy, and when women who have actually been raped become so cynical about their chances at justice in a world of liars that they accede to rape culture purely to protect their innocent husbands, or sons, or fathers against that same threat, knowing those men will also protect them. In trying to supplant the justice of the Bill of Rights with the social justice Burn Book, Christine Blasey Ford, Debbie Ramirez, and Julie Swetnick have shown us that the dystopian feminism of proof-by-accusation is merely a stalking horse for the ultimate sexual bellum omnium contra omnes.
Rape victims did not ask to be pawns in that battle. They did not wish to be pawns in that battle. They did not consent to be pawns in that battle. Yet, because Christine Blasey Ford, Debbie Ramirez, and Julie Swetnick felt it was the only way to keep the cultural and legal power to which they felt entitled, they forced all rape victims into it anyway. Which is why, when it comes to their demands that we abandon Judge Kavanaugh and refuse to grant him the title of Justice Kavanaugh because he has failed the capricious demands of “social justice,” we must politely remind these women and their boosters that no means no.
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