In the aftermath of “Jackie’s” claim of being a gang-rape victim at the University of Virginia (has the school reinstated the fraternities, by the way?) falling apart under the weight of her lies, we get this from Zerlina Maxwell, of The Washington Post, a woman who represents herself as an actual lawyer, as well as a writer of newspaper articles.
This is what we mean in America when we say someone is “innocent until proven guilty.” After all, look what happened to the Duke lacrosse players.
In important ways, this is wrong. We should always believe, as a matter of default, what an accuser says. Ultimately, the costs of wrongly disbelieving a survivor far outweigh the costs of calling someone a rapist.
So, I guess all those black men who were lynched—without even the nicety of a trial before an all-white jury, mind you—on a woman’s mere accusation of rape were correctly hung.
This is not a legal argument about what standards we should use in the courts; it’s a moral one, about what happens outside the legal system.
Because women are outside our legal system. Because it’s the moral thing to do to string someone up—literally or figuratively—and get around to an investigation afterward. Never mind that that’s just going to spring-load the investigation to justify the lynching regardless of any actual facts. Which is what Maxwell and her ilk are trying to do with “Jackie.”
The victimization of the accused, apparently, has no importance. After all, he can’t be a worthwhile human being, else a woman wouldn’t have accused him in the first place.
Never mind that, to alter this lawyer’s closing argument just a touch,
The cost of disbelieving [the accused man], on the other hand, is far steeper. It signals that that [men] don’t matter and that they are disposable….