Women across our great nation are facing a dilemma. We have spent generations trying to develop our credibility, to show men that we are worthy of equality…that we are people. As a result, women have more power now than we’ve had at any point in history, but what some of us seem to lack is the responsibility that comes with our newly found freedoms.
Sexual assault is a sticky subject. It damages a woman’s security and her ability to trust. This degree of violation can leave her feeling powerless, vulnerable, and polluted. For many, it can take years to recover from…some never do. To make matters worse, victims are often not believed because some cases are difficult to provide evidence for.
A perfect justice system would see that sexual assault victims are listened to and their words are accepted at face value, but this system has a flaw—women who lie about their attacks are believed, while those who really endured it are having their cases thrown out. There’s no proper balance.
Within our ranks are groups of our sisters who use lies and falsify statements to their own end. Embittered, perhaps disregarded by their particular love interest, they take to the judicial system to plot out revenge for their battered hearts. Without a statute of limitations on sexual assault, “survivors” of a non-existent crime can come forward with their fabricated ordeals after months, or even years from any interaction with the accused. After so much time, evidence is not expected and the victim’s words are all there is to admit as proof of the incident. A manipulative woman (let’s call her Jane) can alter facts rather seamlessly and, too often, compassionate people who simply want to see justice done fall for the deception.
But what happens when the victim is the accused?
What defence does a man (let’s call him John) have against such a smear to his character when he is, in fact, innocent? Fighting the accusation in court can take years. This depletes his life savings, affects his health and mental state, and hurts the reputations of John’s family and friends. It takes a once vital and life-loving man and turns him into an introverted recluse, afraid to show his face in public where the judgmental stares and whispered accusations follow him everywhere.
At the end of it all, John is found innocent. People are outraged that the court system could allow this monster to go free, despite solid information proving he could not have done the things he was blamed for. They continue to slander his name, every minor blemish in his personality is blown up by the media in an effort to demonize him. Women won’t go near him. Being acquitted doesn’t change anything for him—John’s life is devastated.
And what if he decides, instead, to forgo the years battling the accusations in court and accept a plea bargain? Accepting a lesser charge instead of fighting for his innocence means John won’t have to sell his house to try and bear the cost of defending his name. This is not, by any means, a guilty admission to the charges he was initially given. This is nothing more than a man deciding to make the best of a bad situation. Still, an admission of any charge seems to be enough of a discredit for close-minded individuals to continue deprecating him.
And what of Jane—the woman who lied?
After completely crushing the man’s honour and defaming his family name, Jane walks away like it was just a minor inconvenience.
This woman is the reason we can’t be taken seriously. She is the cause of women’s rights to be set back fifty years. She is the reason why real victims are losing their voices. She tied up the judicial system, caused another person irreparable harm, and vilified our gender. Jane needs to be held accountable for these actions…she needs to be the example to other women who try to act like a victim when there is no just cause to do so.
We have to take responsibility for our own conduct to ensure that innocent people don’t suffer needlessly. It’s time to disprove the regrettable notion that bitches be crazy. But, thanks to women like Jane, we’ll never be taken seriously.
Image source: Kstudio / Freepik