Making Up The Figures

Wrongful acquittal of rapists is the empress without any clothes. Let us now be the small boy who points this out. Campaigners are forever serving us with statistics about how many rapists “get away with it”, either by not being prosecuted at all, or else by being prosecuted but acquitted. Sometimes the figures quoted are very high, around 80%, which provokes, as it is intended to, much righteous indignation. But no one ever asks what such figures actually represent and how we know that they are true.

In 2007 a brave police attorney complained, in the very sandpit of the bien-pensants, that the Norwegian media reported all rape allegations as if they could not possibly be anything other than true, and as if bad police work was the only thing preventing them resulting in custodial sentences.

We certainly have figures for how many men accused of rape are acquitted in court, for how many are convicted and for what they are sentenced to; similarly, we have figures for how many complaints are received by the police; and finally, we have figures for how many women tell feminist organisations that they have been raped. The last statistics are not quite in the same epistemological category as the former two, since some influential feminist surveys have been in the business not of asking women whether they have been raped, but of telling them that they have been; but this is another story.

What, in all this deluge of figures, we do not possess, however, is statistics for how many men have raped a woman and gotten away with it. What we have instead, and what mendaciously purports to be the same thing, is figures for how many men have been acquitted in court, combined with the feminist axiom that every man who is accused of rape really has committed that crime. Similarly, we have figures for how many women have complained to the police, combined with the axiom that no such complaint is ever unjustified. Yet again, we have figures for how many women complain to one another that they have been raped, combined with the axioms that no woman ever lies or is mistaken about such things, and that there is no valid disagreement about what constitutes rape. All three axioms are false.

Let us clarify this with a thought experiment. Suppose that, while you are on holiday in Paris, some mistaken, mendacious or demented Londoner accuses you of raping her – whether behind a bush on Hampstead Heath or in her flat after a date is of no consequence in this context. Given such an alibi, the police are unlikely to proceed against you; and should they nevertheless do so, you will sooner or later be exonerated, if not in crown court then on appeal. The question becomes, are you now another item in the statistics of “acquitted or unprosecuted rapists”? If the answer is no, this can only be because the pressure-groups undertake a parallel investigation of the woman’s case and come to the same conclusion as the judicial apparatus; I have never heard of this happening, and it is improbable that the ideologues who assert that women never lie about rape would expend energy on such a thing. If, however, the answer is yes – if, that is, you have been added to the statistics for rapists who “got away with it” – the question then becomes how many other indubitably innocent men are included in the statistics of the “rapists who got away with it”?

All this is not to say that the set of “rapists who got away with it” is empty. Far from it; but we should here beware of one of the great Silencing Techniques, which is to pretend that anyone who says that some men are falsely accused has actually claimed that all men are falsely accused. Those thus excoriated for being “pro-rape” are likely to retreat in confusion, which thus allows the ideologues to continue proclaiming that the number of men who have gotten away with rape is equal to the total number of men accused by a woman (or by some empire-building organisation for indoor unemployment relief) minus the number convicted. This number is very far from zero, but unless women are as absurdly truthful and infallible as the campaigners assert, it must necessarily be somewhere between the number convicted and the number accused. Precisely where between is probably unknowable.

Another source of error is mistaken identity. DNA matching is revolutionising many fields, from forensics to our understanding of female infidelity as a mammalian strategy. It is said that statistical study of rape proceedings alleges that in 80% of cases the DNA evidence shows that the man identified could not possibly have committed the crime. Such a woman may indeed have been raped, but not by this particular man. Why, then, was he ever a suspect? The choices are honest misidentification and dishonest misidentification; the latter case suggesting revenge on somebody who has not raped but has otherwise annoyed the complainant. It follows that the campaigners are correct in saying that many men rape and get away with it, but only insofar as an innocent man may be jailed while the actual rapist goes free.

Whether they care enough about the fate of the innocent man to permit doubt to be cast on the principle of female infallibility is, however, another question. They might care somewhat about the women who will be raped by the actual perpetrator who has been fortunate enough to see an innocent locked up in his place, but not sufficiently to permit doubt about their methodology.

Posted on September 16, 2011 at 08:52 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink
In: ON PC; OR "WHAT WOULD MS. GRUNDY SAY?", All Men Are Rapists?

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