In a classic “he said / she said” case, who should be believed? Often the absolute truth isn’t discernible to third parties. There should be standards for arriving at the next best thing to certainty, especially in today’s climate.
This greatly accelerated when Harvey Weinstein got caught with his pants down. For decades, he had his pick of starlets young enough to be his daughters, or even granddaughters. On their part, many compromised themselves willingly—though unenthusiastically—as their ticket to stardom. However, when the well dried up, the “shiksas” (let’s be honest here) turned on him with a vengeance about his Portnoy’s Complaint act. When the dam finally burst, the pent-up inward disgust about being used—with or without their compliance—flooded outward.
However, things didn’t stop with him. The avalanche of allegations continues against many others for a variety of misdeeds. Some are truly abominable. Others are more like badly-botched douchebag game. At the low end are several items like “Someone patted my butt a few years ago, and I didn’t promptly correct it by saying ‘knock it off’, but boy howdy I’m telling the world now.” Some stories are plausible and backed by evidence, and others are baloney. The vast middle ground involves classic “he said / she said” incidents.
This began as the righteous comeuppance of a first rate male feminist hypocrite. Now, it’s just one more way of demonizing male sexuality, the whole spectrum from clearly reprehensible to normal but subjectively perceived as impolite. Meanwhile “slut shaming” remains a feminist cause-du-jour, quite naturally.
How do we sort out the elusive matter of what really happened, or didn’t? Is the accuser right, or the accused? Sometimes the truth is somewhere between, though this shouldn’t be a default assumption. With only the word of the people involved, and no other witnesses or evidence, then it’s very difficult to establish anything with certainty. Often the public only has criteria that might point at the truth, but not enough to stick in court.
A single scandal might be groundless, but a long string of charges may be different. On the other side, credence in an accuser wears thin after several fishy claims. Also, when political motivation, financial reward, or attention-seeking come into the picture, then this tends to cast doubt. Finally, the story’s internal logic is a huge clue. Here are a few (of several) actual stories covered here, illustrating how the “sniff test” works.
The narrative: While in a crowded London tube (subway) station, Mark Pearson shoves his fingers into the cookie of an over-the-hill actress. She screams but nobody helps.
The reality: He merely walked past her. No clothes came off. He didn’t even touch her, and his hands were holding his backpack and newspaper.
The tip-off: Security camera videotape confirmed the truth. Although mass surveillance is very worrisome, in this case the 1984-style monitoring exonerated the innocent. JPEGs or it’s not real! Also, if something like this happens at a crowded subway station, neither the perp nor the surrounding crowd would be real British people.
Further, the prosecutor had a Captain Ahab complex. This is madness; the British government did nothing while Pakistani child grooming gangs were allowed to operate year after year, because protecting their citizens would be “racist”. That’s anarcho-tyranny at its foulest.
The narrative: Battered wife snaps after he rapes her. Enraged, she cuts off his penis with a kitchen knife.
The reality: As Lorena herself put it:
He always have orgasm, I never have orgasm. He’s selfish. I don’t think it’s fair, so I pulled back the sheets and did it.
I recommend making sure your woman is always satisfied; it’s great for repeat business. Still, “bobbing it” is a rather extreme penalty for not curling her toes. I also recommend not sticking your dick in crazy.
The tip-off: Well, it was more than a tip off here. The clue is that while talking to the police a little too openly, she suddenly realized that she could go to prison for severely mutilating her husband. That’s when she changed her story.
However, most people in TV-land didn’t hear what really happened. We were told that she wasn’t a bunny boiler, but instead a victim finally lashing out against horrendous abuse. The state erred by letting her switch from the real story to a self-serving lie, and the media didn’t do their job either.
The narrative: College student rapes coed, and in so doing spat on her, bit her, and called her filthy names.
The reality: Crazy chick on campus has very enthusiastic sex, then changes her mind after the fact.
The tip-off: She reported this several months later to a campus tribunal, with the power merely to expel him. She didn’t report it immediately to the city police, with the power to file criminal charges. If it happened as she told it, there would’ve been DNA evidence (from both semen and saliva). Further, the biting would’ve left dentition patterns matching his teeth. That would’ve been a pretty easy case to prosecute, if any of that really happened. Further:
This point hit me very hard one day when I was at the university gym. I saw her over in the corner with some other girl, whispering in her ear and pointing at me. “Great,” I thought.
Based off of her behavior, it’s very obvious that she “got off,” so to speak, on being a victim. She liked the attention that she got from other women and probably manginas. She liked the emotional validation that it gave her. “I was raped,” is synonymous with “I’m attractive enough to be raped,” and she couldn’t get enough.
At first, she merely wanted sex; later, she wanted attention and drama.
The narrative: Lust-crazed student tries to rape coed in the bathroom, and she barely escapes.
The reality: College chick invites guy to the bathroom (ugh) for fun, changes her mind before much happens, then creates drama.
The tip-off: She clearly embellished the story. That always should set off the bullshit detectors. She claimed he hid her clothes in the bathroom. (It’s impossible to hide things from someone who’s watching.) She claimed he locked her in the stall. (They lock from the inside, obviously.) His thoughts were that bad game on his part caused this. I conclude that his only real problem was target selection.
Most of the charges flying around lately are much less serious than the above, but the principles apply. Some say false accusations almost never happen. However, people lie about all sorts of things to destroy reputations, or to make themselves look better. Why should sexual misdeeds be an exception? Especially lately, that’s very effective at getting revenge, while gaining sympathy.
When this soon reaches the point of absurdity, the public will abandon the current “believe all allegations” position and start applying the “sniff test”. Unfortunately, this will make it more difficult for those who’ve actually been victimized to be believed. However, those to blame won’t be skeptics, but rather all the false accusers.