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Why are people so defensive towards alleged rapists?

(707 Posts)
PinkyofPie Thu 28-Jul-16 15:40:43

If you're charged with a crime that goes to court, unless there's a reason to retain anonymity (such as it involves your child therefore naming you effectively names them) the press can name you if they wish to do so. Be it burglary, assault, theft or rape.

So why, every time a rapist is on trial, do people hop about saying "innocent until proven guilty" "they shouldn't be named they're tarred for life now" etc. But literally NO other crime.

A few days ago my local paper posted a picture on their FB newsfeed of 2 men on trial accused of raping a 18yo in the park. The above comments were there and even calls to "name and shame" the victim shock and also "will she get sentenced if they're found not guilty". Perhaps because "not guilty" does not mean innocent and if the law worked that way even fewer women would report rape than there is now

One of the men accused also posted mocking both the trial and people who actually had sensible comments. I looked at his profile, which is public, and there's lots of people saying "good luck mate" for today (verdict) and memes about liars getting their comeuppance.

Today both men were unanimously found guilty by the jury in just 7 hours.

No comments so far on the post about their guilt.

Can anyone offer an explanation as to why people take this attitude with rape, and only rape? The poor survivor has had to read all that sympathy for them sad

PinkyofPie Thu 28-Jul-16 15:51:50

I tell a lie.

Someone has commented calling her a slag who's had more dick than she has hot dinners angry

PinkyofPie Thu 28-Jul-16 15:52:49

That commentor actually works for a public sector body. I have screen shotted his comment and will be sending to his work

StealthPolarBear Thu 28-Jul-16 15:57:26

Good for you

DoinItFine Thu 28-Jul-16 16:01:09

OMG shock

I think in many cases it is men who have been "careless" about consent frequently the past and want to pretend they are not rapists.

WilLiAmHerschel Thu 28-Jul-16 16:01:29

I have just been reading about the rape trial of Scott Kuggelejin. The victim is questioned on whether her no actually meant no and told that telling Scott that she is on the pill was an invitation for sex.

And this rape case where a millionaire was found not guilty of rape using the defense that he slipped and fell on to the victim, which will stay with me forever as a reminder of how little the justice system cares for women.

When it comes down to it I think some people don't actually believe in rape because they view us as walking orifices waiting to be filled.

StealthPolarBear Thu 28-Jul-16 16:06:45

Slipped and fucking fell?!

BeMorePanda Thu 28-Jul-16 16:07:19

because sadly many people think women are not to be trusted, and they are not to be believed, and she probably "wanted it really", would you look at that tight top she was wearing. sad

Conversely many also actually have such a low opinion of men they can't understand how on earth men be expected not to "rape" what with all their really important needs, ball aches and whatnot.

Oh wow that "I slipped and fell" defense was unfucking believable!

Atlas15 Thu 28-Jul-16 16:11:28

How can you slip and fall into someone's vagina? and the court actually believed him?!

BeMorePanda Thu 28-Jul-16 16:13:58

Its a quality rich men are endowed with.

cadnowyllt Thu 28-Jul-16 16:31:53

The "slipped and fell" defence - it's so literally incredible that a jury would ever believe such nonsense. There's more here than meets the eye.

FreshwaterSelkie Thu 28-Jul-16 17:26:33

Oh, loads of reasons - rape culture, tendency to believe men over women, out-and-out misogyny, goady fuckery, being nasty bastards...Today I've been thinking about motivated reasoning - the drive to justify beliefs that you hold, in the face of contrary evidence, to ease cognitive dissonance. So some men look at sexual assaults and rapes, and they see stuff that they know they've done, and they're sure they're not a rapist, so how can the accused be? he can't! because that would make him a rapist too.

Same with some women - they look at situations that they know they've been in, but they don't want to believe they were raped, so they have to deny that the woman in the situation was raped either.

Xenophile Thu 28-Jul-16 17:35:36

They do it because allegedly a rape allegation ruins a man's life, which it really doesn't, because the chances are almost nil of him ever being convicted. Even if he is convicted, he'll probably get an extraordinarily lenient sentence and then his family and friends will launch a witch hunt against the woman who DARED to speak out after their friend/relative raped her. If he's good at something, his rape of women will be excused, even if it's rape of children. If his victim is pretty, she'll have been asking for it. If she's not pretty, then he would never lower himself to raping that.

As has been shown, if he comes up with a defence, no matter how stupid or ridiculous, he is likely to be believed. EVEN if he has admitted in his first police interview that he has in fact raped his victim, when he changes his statement it will be believed by the majority.

People, both men and women, make excuses for rapists all the time. Was she drunk? What was she wearing? Had she ever had sex before? She went home with him, what did she expect?

Rape apologists, the type who think that men accused of rape deserve an anonymity that no other crime affords the accused, often use analogies that compare vaginas to possessions, so I'll use one myself:

I might have lent someone £50 before, but if they take £50 out of my purse without my permission, they should be charged. Even if I left my bag unattended in the pub. Or got drunk and dropped my purse. Or used such a small purse that it was hanging tantalisingly out of the top. Or if I had waved the note in front of their face all night and then decided not to lend it to them.

If men can stop themselves stealing money from you in any of those situations, they can stop themselves raping someone in similar ones. And if they can't, then their names are as public as the man who steals.

Note, I didn't use the tea analogy, because apparently the concept of not wanting someone to pour boiling tea down your throat is "open to interpretation".

I sometimes despair.

Heebiejeebie Thu 28-Jul-16 17:41:43

I think it's partly because 2 people can consent to sex and therefore it's a she says/he says argument. Whereas in most other crimes, consent is unlikely to be a defence 'the householder asked me to break in and nick his telly'. NB I am not condoning this.

Mide7 Thu 28-Jul-16 18:39:48

I think there are two issues in the Op's really. One being the way victims are viewed and the other being the way rapist are viewed.

Rape isn't like the other crimes IMO and there is (rightly) a stigma attached to it.

I think you can believe women about rape but also have an issue with the way it's reported.

ChocChocPorridge Thu 28-Jul-16 19:18:23

I think it's as others have said - rape isn't seen as violence, but rather, unwanted sex.

I think he said/she said is a cop out - after all, two people can have a punch up and no charges need be brought if they both consented to it (eg. Boxing, MMA etc). If someone is punched and says it was assault, then they are believed, hell, aren't there even rules about bare knuckle boxing?

Personally I think we need a total change - I think that rather than the current situation, where the man gets to decide if he thinks the woman could have reasonably been consenting, the woman gets to decide if she's consenting - ie. It's automatically rape, unless the woman says otherwise.

That'll have men treating sex as the important, possibly bringing new life into the world, and the potentially maiming or death consequences of pregnancy. It'll make them be bloody sure that the woman wants the penis where he's intending to put it!

cadnowyllt Fri 29-Jul-16 09:06:01

If someone is punched and says it was assault, then they are believed

No they aren't, not without supporting evidence such as injuries, supporting witness statement from a nurse/doctor at A&E for example, etc - because without that its he says/he says, again.

PinkyofPie Fri 29-Jul-16 09:50:58

But cad if 'man assualted pensioner' appears on the local newspaper FB feed, there's outrage and calls for him to have the book thrown at him. People accept that there's enough evidence to bring a charge and take it to trial. There's no complaints about the fact he is named or that his picture is in the paper. However They do not hold the same views or outrage when it is 'man rapes woman'. Why not? I don't get it at all!

Update on the story - the newspaper had to take their story off FB because someone named the victim sad and they have also reported today that the rapists (which annoyingly they have referred to as the 'defendants') shouted "this is a joke" in court when the verdict was read out and one went to attack a member of the victim's family.

Sentencing this morning. Hoping they get a proper sentence

cadnowyllt Fri 29-Jul-16 10:22:59

Pinky - In such cases, the Pensioner is typically beaten up black and blue -injuries consistent with a hard beating - there's the supporting evidence needed to take the case to Court.

I don't think in a 'Man rapes Woman' with similar supporting evidence that there'd be very much in the way of complaints of him having been named - as in many things, it all depends on that facts. Its with cases of 'he says/she says' evidence only, that folk started to wonder about natural justice of naming pre-trial.

meddie Fri 29-Jul-16 10:38:12

But thats not true Cadnowyllt. In the case of Ched Evans it was his own testimony that led to him being charged. He admitted sneaking into the room without invitation. He basically didnt see anything wrong with inviting himself in to 'have a go' with a women who had never invited him there in the first place.
Yet people still deny he's a rapist, He himself provided the supporting evidence, yet she was the one disbelieved and victim blamed and harrassed online.

cadnowyllt Fri 29-Jul-16 11:11:31

Meddie - as far as the law is concerned he isn't a convicted rapist, the Court of Appeal has set aside his original conviction and the case has been listed for retrial. The reasons for setting aside the conviction have not been made public.

Evans' testimony and his defence was that he had her enthusiastic consent. She said that she had no recollection of it. Witness statements set out that she was drunk and CCTV showed her unsteady on her feet. The prosecution's case was that she would have been too drunk to consent and that this would have been obvious to Evans at the time.

Time will tell as to what new evidence was presented to the CoA. The CoA aren't renowned for it's flights of fancy.

PinkyofPie Fri 29-Jul-16 11:58:14

Sorry cad but I disagree - unless there's a post on social media of the rape victim's vagina, we aren't going to see evidence with our own eyes, yet people still don't have the brains to think "well there's enough evidence to take it to trial so that must be something". It isnt just "he said/she said" in the vast majority of cases.

I think PPs are correct in that men often see their own ungentlemanly actions when they read these stories - maybe that they've had sex with a girl who's been blind drunk - and don't like to think of themselves in the same category as 'rapist'. So rather than think "maybe I shouldn't have had sex with her" they think "how dare someone say this man is a rapist". Male entitlement all over

PinkyofPie Fri 29-Jul-16 11:59:23

And Ched Evans is a potential rapist, we need to keep that in mind rather than falling over ourselves to make excuses for him

Maybebabybee Fri 29-Jul-16 12:02:47

I really don't understand what people found so perplexing about the Ched Evans case.

He had sex with a woman so drunk she couldn't consent.

That is rape. End of story.

JamesTiberiusKirk Fri 29-Jul-16 12:02:51


They do it because allegedly a rape allegation ruins a man's life, which it really doesn't, because the chances are almost nil of him ever being convicted.

And if he is falsely accused of rape? You think there is no stigma attached to those kinds of allegations, even if they are never proven / no charges pressed?

From a slightly different perspective, I wonder how many people are booking Cliff Richard for gigs these days...

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