Another false allegation story (Washington Post writer Tom Jackman)

Another false allegation story…so would the public perception of false allegations be comparable to stats on false allegations, or would the public think false allegations were higher or lower than they really are? You already know my answer if you read my blog.

The media continues to highlight false allegations and ignore the huge amount of abuse cases that go unreported. Not only that, when they do discuss false allegations they don’t put them into context. Reporting on these cases tend to tilt the “he said she said” female credibility-questioning scale. It shores up the ‘nice guys’ cred and pounds home the message that accusations –any–can ruin a man’s reputation and career (hence situations like the one regarding the reporting on the gang rape of an 11-year-old girl in the NY Times where they discussed the community’s concern for the rapists’ futures). It also makes people question the very right of women to press charges.

Some of the MRAs that talk of false allegations, for instance, would have you believe that (1) men never make false allegations – and indeed the media don’t report on these, or they call them ‘set ups’ or other such terms indicating skill rather than vengeance and (2) men should be immune from abuse charges (for example, they say they’ve been a victim of a false allegation – well, the criminal justice system did it’s job, didn’t it? – charges were pressed and they were cleared – nobody’s immune from being charged with a crime  -whether they committed or not is up to the justice system to decide). And, I’d add they believe (3) women never get falsely accused. But back to the idea that women don’t have a right to report charges – because, you know, they’d ruin a man’s career (how long have we been hearing this?!) — this is exactly why many women don’t report. [Examples – Women in domestic violence cases, many of whom are dependent on the husband’s income, don’t report. Women raped by a friend in college – don’t report because they don’t want to ruin the guy’s future.] And society often feels the same – it’s why I say there’s more sympathy for the accused than the abused.

Yes, I have sympathy for this man – it sounds like he was falsely accused for a malicous purpose if this story is true. But – come on guys — a fair media would balance these reports out not tip the scales in the accused’s favor all the time.    

Fairfax teacher Sean Lanigan still suffering from false molestation allegations