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Author Topic: B&U feminism discussion, continued  (Read 1054 times)

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Offline EphiralTopic starter

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B&U feminism discussion, continued
« on: April 12, 2013, 06:25:52 PM »
Continued from this thread.

And the FBI put it about 8%.

You make it harder to lie about it and hide relevant information, you keep to reasonable standards of charges and especially of evidence, and you remember that "reasonable doubt" is, ostensibly, supposed to work in favor of the accused.
The problem here: Let's take your 8%. Now, anything that makes it easier to sling charges of "false accusation!" is obviously going to lower the reporting rate. 8% of reported cases are false. (That emphasis will be important in a minute.) Of those 8%, about 25%, or 2% of accused parties, are going to wind up being arrested, let alone tried. Meanwhile, 82% of cases go unreported. (This is the number most favourable to your position. Certain categories are lower, but I don't feel like getting the detailed numbers to properly adjust it up.) Run the numbers, and over 95% of cases never see the inside of a courtroom, while only 0.36% of accused parties are falsely charged with anything. Now, where should we focus the overwhelming majority of our attention?

EDIT: Clarified just how ridiculously tiny the falsely-charged subset is as compared to the total.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2013, 11:40:22 AM by Ephiral »

Offline Hyena Dandy

Re: B&U feminism discussion, continued
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2013, 02:32:06 AM »
Quote
Run the numbers, and over 95% of victims never see the inside of a courtroom. Now, where should we focus the overwhelming majority of our attention?

I don't think anyone is implying that that's a good thing, or that we shouldn't try to do something about it.

But... What do you practically propose that we do about it?

I'm not interested in 'Oh, this is a bad thing.' I'm interested in a solution. A very dear friend of mine has been raped twice. Another has been raped enough that over a Skype conversation, she said very plainly "Oh, my brother's friends are outside. I'm going to close my window, they probably want to rape me again" as if that was a normal thing for her.

Note that I'm not just saying they CLAIM that. I totally believe that they were.

I'd very much like to have the people who are responsible for these things arrested and put in prison. It's disgusting.

But what can we do about it? And I'm not saying that in a "I can't think of anything, so let's not try." I really want to know what we can do about it. The statistics of how often rapists get away with rape are incredibly depressing. But what can we do about that? And I mean that as honestly as I can. What concrete action can you, or anyone else, think of that will help bring justice to those who are unfortunately denied it? I see these statistics, and I feel very bad about them. But I haven't heard any concrete solutions to this. Just saying 'all these people never see justice' is just awareness-raising. And, in a case like this, awareness raising is important, because so many people seem to think that there just... Isn't a problem. But for those of us who actually think there is a problem, and want to do something about it... What can we do?

"Focus our Attention" isn't really a call to action. My attention is well and truly focused on this. But my attention is also focused on the Arizona Cardinals every Fall, but for all my focus, they still went 4-12 last year.

I don't mean to be flippant, because I'd like to think my ability to do something about this is greater than my ability to get Bill Bidwell to pick up a non-shitty quarterback. But what do you propose we do once our attention is focused?

Offline meikle

Re: B&U feminism discussion, continued
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2013, 02:46:55 AM »
I don't think anyone is implying that that's a good thing, or that we shouldn't try to do something about it.
Have you read the conversation that Ephiral is continuing from?  I think the point being made is in contrast to the idea that what we should be focusing on is making laws to protect men who are falsely accused of rape (ie, Reno's point.)

Offline EphiralTopic starter

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Re: B&U feminism discussion, continued
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2013, 07:14:55 AM »
Have you read the conversation that Ephiral is continuing from?  I think the point being made is in contrast to the idea that what we should be focusing on is making laws to protect men who are falsely accused of rape (ie, Reno's point.)
Yeah, this. That said, what do we do? Well, step one is raising awareness, because the common perception is that it is nowhere near as bad a problem as it is. (For example, see the conversation this comes from.) Education campaigns on what rape is would be a good idea too; they've got a proven track record in lowering the incidence of rape, and one of the major causes of underreporting is the belief that it can't be rape if it wasn't violent. Once it's well-accepted that this is a major issue, the next step is to change the common dialogue surrounding rape. Speak up, vocally and clearly, against victim-blaming wherever it occurs. Make it as culturally unacceptable as, say, racism. Do that, and a huge amount of this problem goes away. Finally, put pressure on lawmakers and on the justice system to handle rape with the same degree of attention and effort that they do every other crime.

Offline Kythia

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Re: B&U feminism discussion, continued
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2013, 11:35:44 AM »
Continued from this thread.
The problem here: Let's take your 8%. Now, anything that makes it easier to sling charges of "false accusation!" is obviously going to lower the reporting rate. 8% of reported cases are false. (That emphasis will be important in a minute.) Of those 8%, about 25%, or 2% of accused parties, are going to wind up being arrested, let alone tried. Meanwhile, 82% of cases go unreported. (This is the number most favourable to your position. Certain categories are lower, but I don't feel like getting the detailed numbers to properly adjust it up.) Run the numbers, and over 95% of victims never see the inside of a courtroom, while only 0.36% of accused parties are falsely charged with anything. Now, where should we focus the overwhelming majority of our attention?

EDIT: Clarified just how ridiculously tiny the falsely-charged subset is as compared to the total.

Not that I disagree with you in any way, Ephiral, but it seems you're making the assumption that 100% of the 82% of rapes that are never reported to law enforcement are genuine.  That is, victims are truthful to researchers or whatever and never falsely claim to be have been raped.  I would actually imagine that the "false rape" percentage amongst unreported rapes is higher than the 8% for reported ones as that could well be a reason why it was never reported.

The net effect on your figures is a)unknowable and b)not likely to be huge.  But its been annoying me enough that I felt it worth mentioning.

Offline EphiralTopic starter

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Re: B&U feminism discussion, continued
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2013, 11:42:39 AM »
Mmm... valid point, and wording updated to correct for that. Even assuming the false-positive rate remains the same, that still means that 88.9% of cases are real victims who never get so much as a chance at justice. I'd say this massively outweighs the 0.36% falsely-charged rate.

Offline Tamhansen

Re: B&U feminism discussion, continued
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2013, 12:20:27 PM »
actually, if you want to juggle numbers Ephiral, use the right ones. That 8% has nothing to do with true or false. It is an FBI statistic for 'ungrounded' claims, or claims with no substantiating evidence. Unrelated to whether the victim was actually raped or not. However, false accusations of rape and sexual assault are higher than for any crime, at least according to FBI figures, and that should definitely be addressed. No man or woman should be suffering false imprisonment.

As for underreporting of rape, yes this should be a priority, but as stated before this is mostly because a lot of women have a skewed view of the justice system. And that is what needs to change.

I do paralegal work for an organisation that among other things assists women, and men that have suffered sexual abuse in its many different forms, and the biggest problem we are coming against is that people think no one will believe them, while in fact there are legions of people out there willing to stand by and fight for rape victims.

But, yes we have to be sceptical sometimes just to assure we don't ruin innocent people with false accusations as well

Offline EphiralTopic starter

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Re: B&U feminism discussion, continued
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2013, 01:09:39 PM »
actually, if you want to juggle numbers Ephiral, use the right ones. That 8% has nothing to do with true or false. It is an FBI statistic for 'ungrounded' claims, or claims with no substantiating evidence. Unrelated to whether the victim was actually raped or not. However, false accusations of rape and sexual assault are higher than for any crime, at least according to FBI figures, and that should definitely be addressed. No man or woman should be suffering false imprisonment.
I was using the figures as reported to me. The FBI's organization of these figures is a goddamn mess - if you have more accurate figures on false reporting rates (as you seem to), please show them to me so I can correct my figures.

That said... uncomfortable question time. 8% of claims have no substantiating evidence. 25% of reported incidents result in an arrest. What about the other 67%? No innocent person should have to suffer through prison, true. But no innocent victim should have to suffer in silence while their attacker walks free. And a significant number will actually have to face their attacker on a regular basis. (Remember, most rapists are friends, family, or partners.)

EDIT: Holy shit, just saw this:
Quote
That is, a report of rape might be classified as unfounded (rather than as forcible rape) if the alleged victim did not try to fight off the suspect, if the alleged perpetrator did not use physical force or a weapon of some sort, if the alleged victim did not sustain any physical injuries, or if the alleged victim and the accused had a prior sexual relationship. Similarly, a report might be deemed unfounded if there is no physical evidence or too many inconsistencies between the accuser's statement and what evidence does exist. As such, although some unfounded cases of rape may be false or fabricated, not all unfounded cases are false.
It's Wikipedia citing an article that no longer appears to be available online, so I am hesitant to accept it, but... is this in any way close to the truth? If so, that stat is seriously artificially inflated.

As for underreporting of rape, yes this should be a priority, but as stated before this is mostly because a lot of women have a skewed view of the justice system. And that is what needs to change.

I do paralegal work for an organisation that among other things assists women, and men that have suffered sexual abuse in its many different forms, and the biggest problem we are coming against is that people think no one will believe them, while in fact there are legions of people out there willing to stand by and fight for rape victims.

But, yes we have to be sceptical sometimes just to assure we don't ruin innocent people with false accusations as well
First: This "skewed view" comes, in large part, from incidents in which law enforcement did act dismissively, blame the victim, or fail to act at all. It's entirely possible - probable, in fact! - that your typical victim's assessment of this risk is far higher than the reality, but that's not something that needs to be fixed in the victims. The underlying cause - the risk itself - is what needs addressing. Overestimation of its probability is just basic "humans are horrible at statistics".

Second: I'm not saying we don't need to be sceptical. This is why there is a justice system that rests on a presumption of innocence. What I'm saying is that we don't need to be extra-special sceptical of this one particular crime when that very attitude is already making it difficult for victims to come forward.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2013, 01:19:52 PM by Ephiral »

Offline worthlessfem

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Re: B&U feminism discussion, continued
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2013, 02:23:54 PM »
Rape has got nothing to do with feminism or antifeminism.

For what it's worth the arguments on both sides strike me as pretty dubious.

And you can prove anything with statistics.

A lot of the time rape IS rape; a lot of the time it isn't.

And a lot of what feminists want is reasonable; a lot of it is special pleading and trying to create a culture of entitlement where just having a vagina is supposed to give you superior privileges over people without one.

So I'm a bit cynical about both sides of the argument.

And before anyone jumps down my throat I WAS raped at the age of 18 and (surprise, surprise, Mr Akin) I got pregnant. My eldest daughter is now 13 and she's started asking me questions about my rape and I'm finding it hard to give her honest answers.

Offline Chris Brady

Re: B&U feminism discussion, continued
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2013, 02:52:16 PM »
Rape is just another form of Bullying.  Bullying is about dominating and showing your power over the victim.  It's violent, fear and oppression rolled into a convenient label.  It's wrong, it's monstrous, and can lead to self-esteem and self-worth issues, all the way to suicides and criminal activity.

It's that rape is sexual that it gets more attention, and that it's seen as a mostly female thing (as in mostly women being the targets) that it gets a lot more reaction to.  Thing is it can happen to anyone, and it hurts everyone, just like bullying does. I say that both crimes should be treated and dealt with as harshly as possible.

Offline worthlessfem

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Re: B&U feminism discussion, continued
« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2013, 03:59:07 PM »
Rape is just another form of Bullying.  Bullying is about dominating and showing your power over the victim.  It's violent, fear and oppression rolled into a convenient label.  It's wrong, it's monstrous, and can lead to self-esteem and self-worth issues, all the way to suicides and criminal activity.

It's that rape is sexual that it gets more attention, and that it's seen as a mostly female thing (as in mostly women being the targets) that it gets a lot more reaction to.  Thing is it can happen to anyone, and it hurts everyone, just like bullying does. I say that both crimes should be treated and dealt with as harshly as possible.

Have you ever BEEN raped? I have.

Have you ever looked at the statistics on rape victims? Overwhelmingly they're pretty, fertile and young.

Rape is NOT about power or bullying (though of course it IS a form of bullying but then so are many aspects of sex - if you think about it from one point of view ALL sexual penetration involves a certain amount of force for instance) - it's about sex.

And there are so many grey areas - it's becoming increasingly common for not only the lunatic fringe of the feminist movement but even the law to claim that CONSENSUAL sex can still be judged as 'rape.'

The REAL thing about rape is that it IS totally non-consensual and that it IS putting your own sexual gratification before that of the other person.

 If you think rape can only happen to females you're very out of touch; it's an everyday reality for male prison inmates, for instance. And increasingly females are being arrested for raping men - especially female paedophiles (that's the British spelling of the word by the way so don't tell me I can't spell correctly!)

There is hysteria about rape on BOTH sides of the fence. Feminists grossly exaggerate the number of genuine rapes just as antifeminists grossly underestimate them.

Of course rape is a horrific crime and has to be punished severely. I WAS raped over a period of three days and I gave birth to my rapist's child so DONT try and tell me I don't know what rape is!

But what we need is honesty instead of bovine excrement and patronising politically correct nonsense from the trendy fascist brigade!

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: B&U feminism discussion, continued
« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2013, 04:18:01 PM »
Well, 'worthlessfem', I think the point of seeing rape as being first off about power and not about sex (sexual arousal) is that many rapists want to show the victim that "I am in control, you are in my hands, you're lying on your back and I'm pinning your body to the ground" (whether literally, in body, or mentally and sexually). To show that to his/her target, or to people looking on, or to their own bruised ego. Violently or without much obvious violence, punching and restraining, that's a need many rapists want to satisfy. If it were about arousal and gleeful delight, those feelings in the rapist would get blocked, far more often, most people don't feel that aroused by the notion that the girl they want to get into bed with is completely unwilling and has to be forced.

Even eighty-year old women get raped occasionally, and women are near traditionally gang raped in war as a means of breaking down their resistance and pride in themselves, and those same qualities in their husbands and children. These are things that bring out how rape is often 95% about demonstrating power, and forcing the victim/s to recognize that power.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2013, 04:34:37 PM by gaggedLouise »

Offline Chris Brady

Re: B&U feminism discussion, continued
« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2013, 04:29:47 PM »
Wish I could find where I saw this, but I remember reading an article stating that most rapists do not do it for the pleasure.  Trying to find it with no luck, but it claimed that most sexual assaults are about power over the victim.

BDSM is about Sex as Power, after all.  (But thankfully, the right way uses trust and communication.  The wrong way IS rape.)

I've never been raped, no.  But I've been close to few who have.  One of which hung herself.  We were both 14.  February 17th, 1988.  I still wish to this day I could have helped her.  But then as now, I have no idea what I could have done.  Wish I did.

Also, I knew a couple of boys who were raped, one by a Boy Scout leader, the other was his Soccer coach.

I've also been bullied, my entire school 'career' I was.  I know how much damage that can do to your self-esteem and worth.  And I know a couple of guys who tried to kill themselves because of it.  One of them is a quadriplegic who still wants to kill himself, his family watches him closely now.  The other, we've lost touch over the years.

Honestly, having seen the after effects and how it affected the people in my life, they are both horrific crimes that aren't some phase.  They happen at any age at any place.

The problem with bullying is that people still equate it with schoolyards and grade schools, which is wrong.  It doesn't stop there.  What do you think threats, coercion or 'knee breaking' is?  It's bullying someone into doing what you want, like being quiet, or paying a loan on time.  Bullying happens at all strata and ages, hell, the bloody Canadian Government tried to bully the teachers into accepting every abuse they could by trying to pass a bill that would make Teacher Strikes a CRIME.  Using kids and students as the weapon.

Either way, both crimes should be punished as hard as possible.  I HATE with unreasoning rage rapists and bullies, they are the lowest form of scum.

Offline Chris Brady

Re: B&U feminism discussion, continued
« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2013, 04:31:34 PM »
I'm going to step away from this for a bit.  It's bringing back bad memories and rage I've thought I dealt with decades ago.  Apologies if I offended.

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: B&U feminism discussion, continued
« Reply #14 on: April 25, 2013, 04:48:12 PM »
One more point: No short definition of rape (and sexual assault), and no theory about rape, is going to cover ALL instances, every single time when someone could creditably claim to have been raped. But it's the same with most kinds of human or natural behaviour that might occur in many places - some  bit of conscious generalization and trimming down is necessary if we'd like to discuss them at all. The trick is to remian aware that the many instances of X are still real, in themselves, and can be checked back with, they are not just reflections of the wider concept of X.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2013, 04:49:19 PM by gaggedLouise »

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: B&U feminism discussion, continued
« Reply #15 on: April 25, 2013, 10:41:06 PM »
Hugely difficult topic.

First off, the problem of victims being disbelieved or denigrated is obviously very real, and affects men just as much as women. If Jerry Sandusky's victims had had any confidence of their accusations being weighed fairly, or treated seriously, he would have been caught and tried far sooner than he was. So-called "men's rights advocates" seem to conveniently forget this when they treat the whole issue as somehow being feminism-gone-mad, and in many cases their concern about false accusation seems overblown in ways that it wouldn't be if they were taken male victims into account, which they should. Because of this, the air of misogyny that hovers over them as a result is in part their own doing.

So, how real is the problem of false accusation? False accusation is hard to track through statistics available to us because, AFAIK, nobody keeps statistical track of demonstrably false accusations; even if they did, it would be difficult to tell from such stats how much false accusation really happens. It's not even easy to tell from whether the victim's story tracks and is self-consistent or not, since being actually raped carries enough mental trauma with it to confuse recollections in ways that can make a story look false when the actual incident did happen.

Yet with enough motivation, there's plenty of reason to believe it happens, and not infrequently*. To take an historical example, it was a commonplace of interracial relationships in the Jim Crow era -- especially those where the man was black -- that the white female would claim rape if the relationship was discovered; it was easier to do so, and easier for her cohort to believe, than the alternative. (EDIT: In fact she would be heavily pressured to claim it, and it would be just as inescapably clear to her how complete and lifelong her social ruination would be if she didn't.) In the present day, the ideology of always believing the victim has had a salutary effect on making people feel safe in reporting a crime... but has also made it a fairly reliable way of ruining, or provoking violence against, someone one dislikes. And I do strongly suspect I've seen incidents of this kind of false accusation play out in real time. A couple of them involved girls who showed no sign of having been raped -- and there are signs to look for, as one can learn from work at women's shelters and in other areas of social work; a person's behaviours and sense of bodily trust with other people tend to be affected in ways that are hard to fake -- and reported the claim to circles of their friends but nobody else (and fights and incidents did indeed materialize as a result). One other involved an attempted claim against an educator who was fortunate enough that his accusers botched their attempt to construct a convincing story so badly that they had to come clean about having lied. Had they been more competent, there is little doubt he would have been ruined and forced to resign. IMO given the temptation of that kind of power, anyone who says that the false accusation theory should be dismissed out of hand is on shaky ground; experience and history teaches us that humans of any sex will be tempted to abuse any kind of power at their disposal, and this kind of power is no different.

[* EDIT: "Not infrequently" is a bit ambiguous. To clarify, I'm not someone who will cite the infamous Kanin "study" and tell you that 40 or 50% of rape allegations must be false. I'm someone who thinks that a 5 or 6% rate of false allegation, which is probably likelier, is too frequent.]


Because of the lack of tracking and how much comes down to intuition, it's hard to quantify how much of a risk false accusation really is. But it's probably worth coming down hard on proven instances of it precisely -- however few they may or may not be -- because they have real potential to poison the well for real claimants, which is a massive betrayal. Outside of this, actually observing the "presumed innocent" clause of the justice system -- while insisting that victims' claims be weighed fairly and without bias or automatic denigration -- is probably the only really constructive course of action. Anyone who insists on discarding one or the other element of this binary, no matter their motives, should be made aware that they're making a dangerous error.

As for the larger problem: educating people about what rape is and that it is unacceptable is obviously the most important step. As far as this goes, the "rape is about power" heuristic is far from the whole story but is certainly useful.

This is not to say that power and sex are readily separable; plenty of rape is about power as a part of sex, or sex as a part of power. But there's a great deal of it that is very purely about power. When someone takes the time during a home invasion robbery to rape an eighty-four year-old woman, they aren't likely doing it because it's the sexiest thing imaginable, but as an intimidation tactic. There are, for that matter, entire prison gangs built around the concept of rape-as-power (most infamously the dreaded "Numbers" gang in South Africa, but they're far from alone and their members are not selective as to sex, it demonstrably becomes just a way of communicating dominance to those who become naturalized to it [google the story of Mogamat Benjamin if you have a strong stomach and want to know what I mean]). Military and paramilitary groups in the battlefield also use it, and other forms of sexual humiliation, often in precisely this way and sometimes according to the dictates of specific, carefully-worked-out torture manuals: that's what the naked human pyramids built by the American occupants of Abu Ghraib were about. They were enacting a policy.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2013, 01:38:42 AM by Cyrano Johnson »

Offline EphiralTopic starter

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Re: B&U feminism discussion, continued
« Reply #16 on: April 26, 2013, 02:55:06 AM »
FBI stats say 8% of reported cases are found without merit. (This is not the same as "false and malicious"; it merely means "no supporting evidence discovered".) So we have at least an upper ceiling on the possible numbers of malicious reports. And yes, I think that charges should be laid if a case can be demonstrated to be knowingly fabricated. But I'd argue that we need an extremely high bar for evidence here - there's a strong possibility for a chilling effect, where any random victim can wind up afraid they'll be prosecuted if their story doesn't track, or if there wasn't a kit done, or any number of things. If we can't find a way to set the bar high enough to prevent any such deterrent effect? Then I'd rather not prosecute those cases, which amount to at most 1.4% of the total, in exchange for encouraging the 82% who never even go to police to come forward. I'm all about minimizing the total damage.

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: B&U feminism discussion, continued
« Reply #17 on: April 26, 2013, 11:31:08 AM »
The high bar already exists in present-day standards of evidence, it's just a matter of ensuring it is actually observed: that law enforcement isn't going out of its way to make reporting a crime humiliating and intimidating or throwing out cases because they didn't think the victim bit and scratched enough.

Offline EphiralTopic starter

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Re: B&U feminism discussion, continued
« Reply #18 on: April 26, 2013, 03:11:07 PM »
The high bar already exists in present-day standards of evidence, it's just a matter of ensuring it is actually observed: that law enforcement isn't going out of its way to make reporting a crime humiliating and intimidating or throwing out cases because they didn't think the victim bit and scratched enough.
I have little issue with this in principle. A 25% arrest rate, to me, points to major systemic problems that need addressed, and this is where I think official priorities should focus. Unofficial, societal priorities should probably be on victim-blaming in general.

Offline Chris Brady

Re: B&U feminism discussion, continued
« Reply #19 on: April 26, 2013, 06:13:55 PM »
I have little issue with this in principle. A 25% arrest rate, to me, points to major systemic problems that need addressed, and this is where I think official priorities should focus. Unofficial, societal priorities should probably be on victim-blaming in general.
Are you sure?

The problem with statistics is that they don't show cause and effect.  They seem to, but they don't really.

Take that 25% for example.  How many of those are from people coming years after the fact?  Where the case is so cold few barely remember it?  How many of them are victims being blamed?  How many of them are cases that are ongoing, but for whatever reason, the police can't mention?  And how many are not even reported because the victims were cowed into not doing so?  And how many go unreported because the victims believe nothing will ever be done about it?

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Re: B&U feminism discussion, continued
« Reply #20 on: April 26, 2013, 06:24:32 PM »
Unofficial, societal priorities should probably be on victim-blaming in general.

I think the major systemic problem is likely continued gaps in general education about rape and sexual assault, about which education about victim-blaming is a part. Social priorities, official and otherwise, are probably best served by closing those gaps, especially (but not only) in law enforcement.

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Re: B&U feminism discussion, continued
« Reply #21 on: April 26, 2013, 06:41:49 PM »
People just have to decide what they want more... the guilty to be punished, at the price of some innocents being punished in the process, or avoid the unjust punishment of the innocents, with the price of a few guilty walking free...

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Re: B&U feminism discussion, continued
« Reply #22 on: April 26, 2013, 06:44:12 PM »
Are you sure?

The problem with statistics is that they don't show cause and effect.  They seem to, but they don't really.

Take that 25% for example.  How many of those are from people coming years after the fact?  Where the case is so cold few barely remember it?  How many of them are victims being blamed?  How many of them are cases that are ongoing, but for whatever reason, the police can't mention?  And how many are not even reported because the victims were cowed into not doing so?  And how many go unreported because the victims believe nothing will ever be done about it?
Looking at the clearance rates for violent crime as a whole, it's abysmally low. That 20+% gap, like it or not, is pretty unique to rape, and speaks of systemic failure in handling it somewhere along the line. And no, it's not low reporting rate - this is a percentage of reported crimes. The reporting rate is a bit south of 18%, by FBI data. (18% was the highest subcategory. I'm too lazy to properly weight and adjust the rates to reflect the actual across-the-board rates, so I'm willing to be generous and go with it.)

People just have to decide what they want more... the guilty to be punished, at the price of some innocents being punished in the process, or avoid the unjust punishment of the innocents, with the price of a few guilty walking free...
Um, no. See above - rape in particular has shitty reporting and clearance rates. This has nothing to do with questions that should be asked of the justice system as a whole. (I for one, would say I want neither of these things - "punishment" is not a worthy goal of a justice system.)

Offline consortium11

Re: B&U feminism discussion, continued
« Reply #23 on: April 26, 2013, 07:20:00 PM »
Looking at the clearance rates for violent crime as a whole, it's abysmally low. That 20+% gap, like it or not, is pretty unique to rape, and speaks of systemic failure in handling it somewhere along the line.

I'm not sure if I'm misreading the table or not but from my (possibly limited) understanding I don't think the link you've provided show clearence rates for forcible rape are "abysmally low", even just compared to other violent crimes.

Forcible rape had a clearance rate of 39.2% and assault-to-attempted rape at 41.6%. That puts it considerably higher then all forms of robbery (including armed) and on comparable levels to aggravated assault with a firearm (41.1%), albeit lower than the other forms of assault (which end up around 60%). Back of a matchbox maths adding up all the clearance rates and dividing by the categories gives an average of around 42%... which basically the clearence rate for rape.

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Re: B&U feminism discussion, continued
« Reply #24 on: April 26, 2013, 07:36:34 PM »
...huh. Didn't notice that, and it throws my earlier numbers into question in a significant way. Will need to check which comes out as more reliable: FBI stats or the BJS numbers I cited earlier. My apologies.