You know who makes it hard on real victims? Those who use rare false accusations as an excuse to doubt all women. Those who shame sexual women and describe sex as “degrading” to women make it hard on real victims. Those who buy into rape myths make it hard on real victims. The rate of false rape accusations is similar to the rate for other crimes. And we are not even talking about wrongly convicted people. There’s no more reason to fear a false rape accusation than there is a false accusation of car theft. Unless, of course, you make a habit of coercing women sexually or having sex with women who have not clearly consented. But even then it’s highly unlikely you’ll ever be punished for it.
I don’t know if I believe that the men in this story are innocent. A cellphone video of the “incident” (of which the woman is not even aware) shows she wasn’t screaming or fighting, so of course it wasn’t rape! It couldn’t be that the woman was intimidated by the five men and was afraid to do anything. But I am 100 percent on board with Amanda Hess, who explains how rape culture leads to both rape and false rape accusations. Naturally there is a lot of wailing in the comments that follow. Rape allegations that turn out to be untrue are not only put on par with rape; plenty of people think it’s worse and more widespread.
Men lie about rape all the time. They say they didn’t do it. Their friend didn’t do it. But the burden is still placed upon women to not only eradicate rape, but to make sure rape culture has no male collateral damage.