Inside a certain kind of person, all too common these days, hides a tangible imperviousness to logic and reason. The internet has proved to be a positive Petri dish for them. Such persons would be harder to come by were it not for the dreadful failings of our educational system, particularly in the teaching of science and mathematics. No, I’m not going to fulminate against that, tempting though it may be. Instead I’m going to try to provide sufficient reason for some of you to change, despite whatever insufficient academic antecedents you may or may not bring to the table. Specifically, I’m referring to my fellow males of the species. Women are invited to read on for amusement, or not. I presume to provide no instruction here for what women know already.
If you’re a bettin’ man, as the saying goes, and you were invited to place bets every time a woman alleges rape, you would get rich very quickly if you placed your chips each time firmly on her side of the table. Contrary to what you have been told (and quite possibly what you have endlessly repeated yourself), allegations of rape in the absence of witnesses or forensic evidence are not he said / she said propositions. They are almost always true. Experts differ in their estimates, but false allegations of rape are rare – on the close order of one to three percent.
What is more, when an allegation of rape is false, it is frequently pretty easy to spot. The person making the allegation has something fairly dodgy about them and about their claim. Not always, but often. So when a woman alleges rape you are already looking at the statistically probable truth. Additional pieces of evidence make it likelier still.
Yes, a man is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Or, put more correctly, the burden of proof rests with the prosecution. Lynch mobs are never encouraged. But then, lynching the man is seldom the problem anyway. The usual problem is it’s the woman everyone wants to lynch.
How is that, you wonder? Take a look at the questions inevitably asked of the women: what was she wearing? Had she been drinking? Was she being provocative? What was she doing alone in the first place? And, everybody’s favorite, why didn’t she report the rape sooner?
The alert reader will notice that the last question (why didn’t she report the rape sooner?) is best answered by examining the first few questions. The knee jerk tendency to blame the woman for what the man did is common among the ignorant and explains a woman’s reluctance to report it at all. And the final question is, despite all else, typically asked without a hint of irony. It would actually be hilarious were it not so tragic.
E. Jean Carroll alleges Donald Trump raped her in late 1995 or early 1996. Shortly after it occurred she told two friends about it, both of whom confirm her contemporaneous confidences. Ms. Carroll kept silent about the rape because she knew Trump was powerful, she knew that he would lawyer up against her, and she knew many ugly and stupid questions would be asked of her because she was a woman and the chips are always stacked against women in these cases.
Donald Trump is a confessed sexual assailant. He has had rape alleged against him before, and in addition to Ms. Carroll, around twenty other women have come forward to allege everything from inappropriate touching to sexual assault against Trump. This case will probably never appear before a prosecutor, but make no mistake about it, Donald Trump, president of the United States, is guilty. He is a rapist. He is, in short, unbackable, and you should unhesitatingly bet heavily against him.
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.