Sexual grievance lobby recoils at app designed to protect innocent men

Amelia McDonell-Parry had a hissy fit over the “We-Consent” app that aims “to encourage discussion about affirmative consent between mutual partners” by recording a 20 second video of consent being given/received.

First, McDonnell-Parry rolls her eyes over the fact that the creator of this app was a “dude.” Because, presumably, “dudes” have nothing positive to contribute to the public discourse when it comes interactions between men and women. The only voices that count are those of Amelia McDonell-Parry and other members of the sexual grievance lobby.

Second, McDonell-Parry notes that these apps are “icky” (a grown-up term, no?) and unnecessary because they were “created in support of the false narrative which says that women lie about being raped all the time, and thus men need to be protected from bogus accusations. Nothing could be further from the truth.” She insists that False rape accusations “are exceedingly rare.”

Let’s pause and review the facts as opposed to the sexual grievance lobby’s talking points. (To quote McDonnell-Parry, let’s cut the shit, dude.) Wanna use numbers, McDonnell-Parry? Okay, let’s use numbers. Consider a survey that the sexual grievance industry relies on. Here’s how it comes down: 15.6 of rape reports can reliably be classified as false, just 7.8 percent of rape reports can be classified as true. Or how about this–again, using surveys the sexual grievance lobby relies on: an economist proved their one-in-five stat is way too high. Not his opinion–he used their own numbers. Scary, isn’t it?  But, I mean, if you want to use numbers, we can use numbers, too.

Third, McDonnell-Parry tosses out what she, apparently, thinks is a rhetorical question. “Seriously, people, specifically DUDES, is it really so hard to know for sure if the person you’re having sex with wants to be there?”

Okay, again, let’s look at the facts. A new Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation survey reveals that a full 44 percent of college women think that when a woman gives a guy a “nod in agreement,” that isn’t enough for consent. Only 51 percent–the barest of majorities–think “a nod in agreement” indicates consent. So, McDonnell-Parry, if 44 percent of all college women think their nod in agreement does not signal consent, then, yes, I’d say it really might be that hard to know for sure if she wants to “be there.”

Further, feminist Brett Sokolow, the leader of the campus sexual grievance industry, last year wrote that “in a lot of these cases [involving accusations of sexual assault], the campus is holding the male accountable in spite of the evidence – or the lack thereof – because they think they are supposed to . . ..” And: “We see complainants who genuinely believe they have been assaulted, despite overwhelming proof that it did not happen.” Read it again–“overwhelming proof.” Sokolow added that he sees “case-after-case” where “sincere victims . . . believe something has happened to them that evidence shows absolutely did not . . . .” He suggested mental health issues play an important factor in these false accusations. It’s easy to have misunderstandings in the bedroom when one party concocts rape out of whole cloth.

Further, the National Institute of Justice has said that when it comes to rape surveys, some people don’t give accurate survey answers, but it also noted the possibility that men and women may have different perceptions of the same incident. Of course, that doesn’t matter to the sexual grievance lobby. The “yes means yes” movement thinks that “consent is to be determined from the perspective of the complainant.” To hell with men’s perceptions.

As for McDonnell-Parry’s insistence that the new app is unnecessary in this era of affirmative consent, the co-author of California’s affirmative consent bill in the state assembly, Bonnie Lowenthal, D-Long Beach, was asked how an innocent person is supposed to prove consent.She said this: “Your guess is as good as mine.” Nice.

But McDonnell-Parry doesn’t bother with any of those facts. Nevertheless, she is correct about this: the app cannot guard against someone changing her mind after she’s given consent. Let’s consider the reality: if a trier of fact sees a woman giving clear consent via this app, it’s going to be pretty damn difficult to convict the guy of rape for something that happened later that night. Prosecutors likely won’t even bother with cases like that–and, no, that’s not necessarily a good thing. The goal here is not to “get away” with rape, it’s to protect those who are legitimately innocent. The second worst enemy of the wrongly accused (after their accusers) are sociopaths who rape–they diminish the credibility of every guy accused of rape. It’s in everyone’s interest to get them off the streets.

On the flip side, if enough college kids started using this strange app, when a hapless college boy who failed to use it is wrongly accused of rape, the fact that he didn’t use it might be cited as proof that there was no consent. That, too, is not a good thing.

I scarcely think I need to defend this blog’s credentials when it comes to concern for the wrongly accused, but the new consent app strikes me as a barometer of a sad hook-up culture where drunken barnyard rutting has displaced the staid, time-honored rituals of courtship and delayed gratification. I wouldn’t say the app is “icky,” perhaps “distasteful” is more appropriate.

This app is a lot of things I don’t like, but please don’t try to tell me that misunderstandings in the bedroom are not a serious concern, or that the men of the hook-up culture have no need to worry about proving consent, because they do. So what’s the solution? We need to come up with better ways to protect the innocent or else we’re going to see more and more things like this app, as “icky” and as distasteful as they might be.

[Ed. note: this post originally appeared at Community of the Wrongly Accused and is reprinted here with permission.]

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