She asked for it: the impact of rape myths
Quiz on how you are affected by RMA
Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, (2013), pp. 1–29 doi:10.1093/ojls/gqt006
Rape Myths: Is Elite Opinion Right and Popular Opinion Wrong?1
"Once the population has been stigmatized as dripping with RMA, there are two solutions: to remove either rape-supportive people from process or rape-supportive attitudes from people. Donald Draper is unusually unapologetic about recommending the former. Making explicit the elitism that is implicit in much of the rape myth discourse, he sees rape law as representing a tension between elite opinion, which is right, and popular opinion, which is wrong. ‘Elite opinion has controlled the law-on-the-books’, he states, but ‘popular opinion has had more influence on the law-in-action.’ Accordingly, he is quite matter-of-fact about his proposal to abolish the jury in rape trials, as a ‘direct bypass of popular prejudice’. Proposals to screen criminal justice personnel for RMA, or ensure more female representatives, are less extreme points along this spectrum. It might have been assumed that the more optimistic recommendations would be those based on education. It is true that part of Draper’s reasoning for abolishing the jury is his pessimism about the prospects of attitudinal change (although this is in large part because he recognizes that educating people out of rape myths means the wholesale transformation of public attitudes towards gender roles and stereotypes). But in reality, ambivalence towards abolishing jury trial is rarely based on the importance of popular participation in the criminal justice system, and rarely because reformers are ‘bright-eyed optimist[s] [expecting] a sudden sea-change in popular attitudes’. Rather, RMA is seen as too rampant for this remedy to work. Specifically, Temkin and Krahe ´ are tentative about abolishing the jury because ‘reliance on judges and barristers effectively to challenge stereotypes seems rather like pie in the sky’."
"Nor does this problem extend only so far as judges and barristers. Before conducting their research, Stewart and others had expected rape supportive attitudes to differ across social positions, but they ‘became fascinated by the consistency with which cultural myths and stereotypes about rape were embraced at all levels of the justice system and by all parties involved’; for Temkin and Krahe ´, during discussion of the SOA 2003 adherence to rape myths extended as far up the echelons as the then Home Secretary. In sum, rape myths influence the ‘judgments and decisions made by police officers, crown prosecutors, forensic medical examiners (FMEs), juries, and judges’. According to these rape myth researchers, only super elite opinion is right. RMA having such a hold within the body politic, quarantine clearly cannot hold. Those few who are clean of RMA would not have time to process all the rape claims.
Accordingly, the more common reform proposals involve managing, not excluding, people with rape-supportive attitudes. One important strategy is to give them rules to follow, as discretion involves trusting decision-makers’ instincts. The other strategy is education. In itself, educating people is of course a good idea. But education needs to involve an educator who is better informed imparting knowledge to others who are worse informed. In relation to some small segments of rape myth education, these stipulations may be met. If jurors mistakenly believe that physical injuries must accompany rape, or that a woman’s delayed complaint means that she was not raped, then certainly information will help their decision-making. However, this is not true of the training programmes aimed at dispelling stereotypes, let alone the ‘wider educational initiatives designed to target social attitudes’. As we have seen, these involve persuading people to believe that they believe the most perverse rape myths, by labelling as myths what are actually a mixture of fact and opinion, depicting the occasionally held sex myth as rampant rape myth, and putting the worst possible interpretation on ambiguous and complex statements. The message of these initiatives—that those attitudes that are disapproved of are rape-supportive, and those views that are not shared are rape myths—functions to close down, not open up, the possibilities of a productive public conversation about these important and at times vexed questions."
Be afraid, be very very afraid as the matriarchy entrenches itself and spreads its tentacles all around you, especially in your mind.
Time to tell feminism to fuck off, methinks, if men value the quality of their lives and value being men.