Tuesday, January 29, 2019

crustacean from the monophyletic suborder oniscidea

My son has been gone for eight weeks, and it's been mostly fine.  The first few days were very sad and hard, and now that he's in another country I think it will get sad and hard again.  I miss him a lot.  

In the recent past I have had two different people raise the specter of the "false rape accuser," one of them in the context of the Kavanaugh hearing, and one when I was telling him about the training I am attending to learn how to be an advocate for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence.  Both of them talked about the ruined lives of the men who are falsely accused, and both times I was so frustrated and taken aback by their ignorance that I responded angrily.  I did a little better with the second one, and reminded him that false accusations are extremely rare and that the best approach is to start by believing.  And here's the thing--I don't know for sure, but I doubt either one of these people knows even one man who has had his life "ruined" by a false accusation (heck, I don't know many men whose lives have been ruined by a true accusation!), but I guarantee that both of them DO know a woman who has suffered sexual violence, probably multiple women, and I am so disappointed in both of them.  What reason could they have for spending more emotional energy on something that rarely happens than on something that happens ALL THE DAMN TIME, TO PEOPLE THEY KNOW, other than misogyny?  

I need to workshop a succinct message that I can deliver calmly and persuasively when I am in situations like this.  I got the facts and statistics out in the second instance (in the first instance I tried to warn him when the conversation starting heading that way by saying, "Are you sure you want to discuss this?  Because we cannot have this discussion and have a lovely evening," but he plowed ahead and started into the lunatic fringe talking points and I think my eyes may have gone obsidian black and I excused myself from the table and didn't speak to him for a month, and our relationship now is at best distantly polite), but I also need to make sure they understand that by focusing their concern on false accusations (rare), rather than on prevention of and treatment for actual assault (common), they have broadcast very loudly to every woman in their circle that they are unsafe confidantes, and that they cannot be trusted with her story.  Because to them, hypothetical men matter more than real women.  Same as it ever was.