Friday, May 13, 2011

I was once falsely accused of rape

Many critics of the MRM say that activists are bitter and vengeful, the same way that men say that feminists are bitter and vengeful. They may both be right. Whether the bitterness is properly directed is the key - is it directed at the cause of their problems, or at a convenient scapegoat? (To say nothing of the righteousness of said bitterness.)

So, upon reflection, I do not surprise myself when I am interested in men's rights, yet have had been falsely accused of rape in the past, and generally been unlucky with women as well. It has all occurred, it seems to me, under the auspice of control, and my newfound power and happiness comes from freedom.

Back in college, a woman came onto me, quickly escalating an encounter from meeting to sex within a week. Seeing as how I only lost my virginity at 21 (perhaps half a year earlier?) I was ecstatic. I didn't know if the sex was quality (turns out it was alright, compared to what I have experienced since), but I didn't care.

One night, we had drunk a few wine coolers and were on track to do the exact same thing we had done the last two times - make out, strip, fuck. That was when she started acting weird. She'd coo pillow talk into my ears, promises of pleasure, then back away and say she wasn't up to it. Alright, I say, no prob at all. I was used to not getting any. We'd watch TV or something. Then she'd start again. We went back to the bedroom. She stopped before I got her panties off. She said she just didn't want to do it. Well, um, ok. Let's get dressed and go get something to eat. She didn't want to do that either. She started again, and the final time, she had to push me off of her. Not violently, but it wasn't a gentle hand on my forearm. She had to stop being the mysterious, genteel flower and be real. She said no, and she raised her voice a little. I stopped, seeing that she was completely out of the mood. I asked her to leave; I was frustrated and wanted to go do something else. I never raised my voice. She got mad. "You're just going to throw me out, aren't you?" She stormed out and went straight to campus police, saying I raped her.

I tend to side with conservatives in the recent Slut Walk argument. Women who dress skimpily endanger themselves, and it's not because men need to be trained. It's because we are not in a police state. Protect yourself on a personal level. No one else can do it for you all the time. I'm not one to say that they can't dress like a slut if you like. But you have to reap what you sow. And yet, even as the line over the battle of the sexes is clearly drawn, do I see that what I did was nowhere near the current battle lines. It just wasn't rape. It wasn't even sexual assault.

However, I would like to stress the severity with which this devastated me. I was a hapless beta, or even an omega, living with a single mother since 13, never told that is was okay to be a sexual being. I hated myself, got precious little sex, and was a total mangina for years and years. I was controlled by women, and therefore no quality woman would want me.

Does this mean that uncontrolled libido is okay? No. What I did was a small mistake, nowhere near a crime. I haplessly misread a woman's desires and intentions, after a sexual relationship was already established. But the hair-trigger of rape accusations has men unwilling and unable to stop injustice. Is the task of stopping all rape everywhere worth the destruction of innocent men's lives? Innocent men's careers are ruined, jobs lost, jail time is served. Yes, rape is decreased. But at what cost?

Here's the remainder of the story. The campus police came to talk to me, saying that they could talk the two of us into intra-university arbitration. They didn't want to go to the police for several reasons. Foremost, it's all he said/she said - no real justice would be accomplished. Second, they didn't want the hurt the college's reputation. I'd like to think they also knew that criminal allegations destroyed lives, and they were trying to protect me. If so, I feel honored.

We ended up hammering out a deal that sent me to on-campus counseling, provided no charges were filed. I do remember stating that the agreement I signed must have an explicit statement saying that this agreement is not an admission of guilt. (I felt smart for thinking of that one.) I went to the milquetoast male counselor, cried once as we talked about my lack of success with women, and in the end did not too much of consequence. I think the counselor was looking for signs of empathy (or lack of), and wanted to make sure I wasn't some sort of psycho solipsist.

I also talked to a panel of my fraternity brothers and sisters of the sorority she was pledging. I told my side of the story, and was told by the sorority that she was most likely "fishing", and that they knew about it well. Fishing for what, I don't know. Attention? Money? She ended up dropping out of her pledge class. I even heard she later left school.

Months later, I was in a parking lot with friends, and she saw me from a few rows away, and shouted at me, calling me a rapist, and hoping I burned in hell. This happened again at the department store where I worked. I left the sales floor to get away. I also heard second hand that she actually went to the real police a few months later, but wasn't taken seriously.

It seems like an overwhelming majority of people stood up for me. Thank you all! Some might call it "the patriarchal system", but I can definitely say I didn't get away with anything. If anything, her false accusations could be seen as criminal. However, the hassle of doing something about that quickly became evident. I would say that, no matter the bias, the fact that so many people sided with me shows me that the accusation was wrong.

Even as my head and heart knew I was in the clear, I still carried the weight of being bad, because I was a man. I was completely victimized in the scenario, not only by the accuser, but also by the women in my life that created an environment that did not include men, and even actively denigrated men. I didn't know about dating, rape, the legal world, or even just women in general, except what women told me, which as we know can be misleading. I was a blank canvas that was painted with dark colors.

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