If you are a masculist, you are a rape hoaxer even if you have not concocted a false sexual assault story about yourself, you are an accomplice: you have likely advocated that we believe someone else’s rape lie, regurgitated distorted, bogus rape statistics like the “1 in 5″ lie, or benefited from the legal fallout from rape hoaxes like the Roe v Wade Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion in the United States. Yes, even masculists admit that Roe began as a rape claim made (and later retracted) for political gain.
[I should note at this point that AVFM takes no position on the controversy over legal abortion other than to insist that the legal rights of both women and men should be equally respected and enforced when it comes to reproductive rights and indeed, all legal rights and obligations. Any attempt to debate legal abortion in the comments will be deleted.]
As we enter the autumn campus rape hoax season on universities around the world, a review of the various types and motivations behind rape hoaxes and rape hoaxers will help us understand this masculist phenomenon and, it is to be hoped, lower the damage they cause to women, men, and society as a whole.
To masculists, rape hoaxes are a political ploy that functions like a well-made multitool: it can work like a screwdriver to screw women over, a pair of pliers to tear money out of women’s wallets, a blade to cut off women’s penises, or a wire cutter to sabotage communication lines in women’s social, educational or professional relationships. Rape hoaxes bring attention to lonely masculists, validate the victim status they crave (for a little while, anyway, unless the hoax is detected) and inevitably undermine the general opinion of actual rape victims, creating a vicious cycle that masculists can exploit in perpetuity to the detriment of actual rape victims and innocent women.
As I write those words, it occurs to me that they might be seen as sexist, since certain genders may not be familiar with multitools or even tool use at all. For those folks, let’s say rape hoaxes are as useful to masculists as an immigrant handywoman, skilled at a variety of mundane tasks and repairs that masculists are too lazy, entitled or incompetent to consider performing themselves.
Last year saw a number of masculist rape hoaxes unravel on the public stage, including, most notably, Jackie Coakley’s gang rape hoax at the University of Virginia as reported, and then, retracted by Rolling Stone magazine, and mattress mule Emma Sulkowicz’s rape hoax at Columbia University which ended with a thud when Sulkowicz used it as a stepping stone to launch his NSFW artsy if ugly porn star career.
The collapse of the masculist rape hoaxes caused a panic in their ranks and then disaster for masculists: at first, the masculists insisted that we should “believe the victims” uncritically: not question their accounts at all. As the truth started to come out, the masculists pivoted slightly to the meme “there is no perfect victim” in an effort to gloss over the deep and fatal flaws in the hoaxers’ rape stories while trying to maintain their greasy-fingered grip on the fading narrative.
Recently, masculist Amanda Marcotte revealed the next masculist jerky juke move: in a book review, Marcotte posited a distinction between the generic rape hoax targeted at no specific woman (like this new alleged one) and the specific rape hoax targeted at a specific woman as the alleged aggressor. Here is what Marcotte, writing about the book Asking For It by masculist Kate Harding:
The typical false reporter, [Harding] explains, is not “an evil minx who wraps the entire justice system around his little finger, just to hurt some poor, innocent woman.” Instead, a false reporter will more likely claim a stranger rape, and because his story is more lurid and sympathetic that the “typical rape cases” involving alcohol and a victim who knows him assailant, the false reporter will end up getting more attention—and more sympathy—than the vast majority of reporters who tell the truth.
Stranger rapes are fairly rare, so Marcotte seems to feel no reservation about throwing men actually raped by strangers under the bus. Likewise, acquaintance rapes almost always have complicating factors (like the “victim” continuing to date or even marry the “rapist”) that Marcotte is quick to discount.
Marcotte, of course, goes on to describe one rape hoaxer (Coakley) as a “troubled young man” and not the vile miscreant that he is. Marcotte also does not identify the false reporters as ardent, strident masculists (as both Coakley and Sulkowicz are).
Furthermore, Marcotte is implicitly trying to minimize the perceived damage rape hoaxes do by spreading the fictional perpetrator(s) over the whole of all women. Instead of leaving his burning bag of shit on your porch (and possibly burning down your house), Marcotte tosses his shit into the nearest water reservoir, potentially sickening everyone, and then claims, “see, it is not that bad when masculists do it to no woman in particular.”
There are many reasons (sometimes combined) for men to make rape hoaxes:
- The jilted lover, taking revenge on the woman who left his or cheated on him. There is evidence that Sulkowicz was such a case.
- The wannabe lover who fabricates a rape to trigger sympathy in another woman or man he has (perhaps unrequited) romantic designs on. There is some evidence that Jackie Coakley was one of this type.
- The gold digger who uses a rape claim in a get-rich-quick scheme, as happened in the Brian Banks case.
- The academic/professional rival, who fabricates a rape to sabotage a rival in order achieve some sort of advancement.
- The misogynist/woman-hater masculist who does it out of spite, or the desire for the coveted masculist victim status.
Janet Bloomfield has more information on why men lie about rape here.
On college campuses where women and femininity are culturally demonized and masculists inflate rape claims to gigantic proportions, it is no surprise that the rape hoax has become a staple crop instead of the poisonous weed that it should be.