In her 1989 book, Defining Rape, feminist author Linda Brookover Bourque argued for a shift in the burden of proof in rape cases to the defense, which would entail that the defense establish, with a preponderance of evidence, that it was most likely that a woman alleging rape against her gave clear assent to engage in sex. This argument is made on page 178 of her book.
This is not an argument in favor of men obtaining consent before having sex. No, she means to alter the principal of western jurisprudence in which the accused is innocent until proven guilty through evidentiary proceedings. Bourque proposes a new, improved system in which for accusations of rape, guilt is assumed by the court, and the accused must present overwhelming evidence of innocence.
Article 11 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which was adopted in 1948 by the United Nations General Assembly by unanimity, describes the principle of presumption of innocence as follows:
Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty according to law in a public trial at which he/or she has had all the guarantees necessary for his defense.
In Western law, it has always been the case that the burden of proof rests on the party who advances a proposition affirmatively.
In the brave new world of radical feminist jurisprudence, for men, the obligation in the face of accusation would rest on the accused, and the presumption would be of guilt.
We call our system of laws, courts and police “the justice system”. And it’s likely that we will call it this for the foreseeable future, but the principle of justice is arguably no longer the foundational philosophy of our justice system. Through a 40 year campaign of lobbying, misinformation, activist education, and biased journalism; the construct we call the justice system is changing into a tool of privilege and control.
Susan Caringella, a sociology professor at Western Michigan University, wrote in her 2008 book Addressing Rape Reform in Law and Practice:
“It is high time to give victims a fair shake, to dismantle the zealous over-protections for men accused of this crime, which have been buoyed up by the myths about false accusations, ulterior motives, and so on, commonly embraced when rape charges are levied.”
Caringella commits the formal logical fallacy of the unstated major premise, or “begging the question” when she mentions zealous over-protections for men accused of the crime of rape. No such protections exist, in fact, men accused of the crime of rape are routinely named, prior to any legal or evidentiary proceedings, or trial, while women making accusations as presumptive victims are protected and held legally anonymous.
Similar to Linda Bourque, Caringella is arguing is for the dismantling of due process and the establishment in legal principle of guilt by accusation for men.
Radical feminist Jessica Valenti recently threw her considerable influence behind this grotesque idea in an article the Washington Post published on Dec 12 2010 called “What the Assange case says about rape in America.”
Valenti suggests that America should model its rape laws on Sweden’s where activists and legal experts want to change the law, so that the burden of proof is on the accused. In fact, although Valenti’s position advocates a monstrous perversion of the concept of justice, she should be thanked for bringing a decades old thread of feminist legal activism into the public light.
While presumptive guilt in accusations of male-on-female rape is wrestled over by activists and lawmakers, another point is missed, and that’s the point that the construct within western society of the rule of law based in the principle of justice is no longer operative in reality. The rule of law still operates of course, but it has become the rule of private law, where criminal and civil laws are applied differentially depending on social class.
In the past 2 years we’ve watched as bankers who made fraudulent, irresponsible loans, and lost, were paid off with a 7 billion dollar bail out, and the burden for paying that debt transferred onto the public. This is private law for the very rich, in which responsibility and risk for the gambling of bankers is transferred to middle class Americans. The very rich have always enjoyed privilege – which actually means “private law” – but another privileged group – women, is asserting a much more powerful hold on legal and social advantage, at the expense of men in our society.
This is expressed in laws like title IX and the violence against women act, in spite of the reality that men are far more likely to be victims of violence. And, soon may be expressed in the legal principle of guilt by accusation. This is the ultimate trump card of feminist utopia, or as I once called it, the lightning-bolt-finger of feminism.
We are not poised as a society to move into a world of male non person-hood, or subjugation. We’re there already; the only question now is a matter of degree.
In the past, I’ve discussed the need to recognize chivalry as a system of social control, attaching social position to the degree of conformity to male service to females. I stated that individual self actualization for men requires the rejection of the concept of chivalry.
I also suggested that the concept of heroism be recognized as one based in the subjugation of personal actualization in favor of the other or of the collective. That the label, hero; is a blind for personal slavery.
The ongoing transformation of the legal system from one based on justice to a system of control of one class of people by another suggests something deeper to men in their self identity and concept of what it means to be ethical. When the law ceases to be an of justice, and becomes one of increasing apartheid, an ethical mandate for self ownership by individuals must embrace the self identification of outlaw.
While it would be easy to stumble into the trap of cynicism and embrace a self serving philosophy that “what’s good is that which is good for me,” I’m going to step carefully around that soft ground, as well as advising other men struggling to define themselves outside the untenable masculine role mainstream society allows – do the same.
What I’m suggesting, or contemplating is a more difficult path than a simple philosophy of self interest. Through most of my lifetime, while there have been laws I disagreed with or thought foolish, I still viewed the larger framework of the law as a pretty good reference point for ethical conduct, for myself as well as others.
Increasingly, with laws that not only criminalize masculine identity, but seek to characterize normal, healthy human behavior as pathological, the law loses its legitimacy as a metric of the normal, the moral, or the ethical. It is not simply a handful of laws which trample on a sane conception of human rights; it is the system of law, perverted into the tool of a hate fuelled ideology which in the philosophy I contemplate, becomes anathema to continued self identity as “an ethical human being”.
This poses a problem, or at least, from this contemplative vantage, it appears to. Without a social baseline which can be trusted, the law being no longer adequate, it may be significantly challenging to judge the rightness of a course of action or decision. Humans, being social animals are influenced very strongly by social pressure, and I don’t need predictive powers to say that censure and condemnation from the cool aid drinking majority will follow the actions of men deciding for themselves to flout socially expected models of masculine behavior. Not just socially expected, but with the shifting of the legal system from one of justice to one of control based on sexual identity, ethical self determination must stray increasingly into a newly defined criminality.
I’m aware that opponents of men’s rights will jump on this and claim I’m endorsing criminal behavior such as rape, and if any hearing or reading this should attempt such characterization, it’s with my blessing. I like it when my opponents tell absurd lies, because it makes knocking the legs out of their arguments so simple.
No, the problem I mentioned a few minutes ago is that in a climate of reactionary criticism, finding a reliable path to ethical self interest may be a substantial challenge. On the other hand, newly forged paths are hardest the first time they’re walked, and may appear much more daunting at the outset than they prove to be in the traveling. I am not afraid of the identity of outlaw.
Now, it’s also easy in contemplating this philosophy to opt entirely out; to go ghost.
There’s a major subset of the men’s rights movement characterized by the phrase Men Going Their Own Way, and for some, this means severance from a major fraction of civil society. While I don’t condemn that option, it is not what I am discussing here. My current and continued identity one that includes a strong and participatory role in the community of my friends, colleagues, associates and so on. I abrade the social conventions which I find objectionable actively and directly, and not by my absence.
Opponents to male rights, like Valenti, have already demonstrated a desire to redefine the most basic act of procreation as abhorrent. To take a physical act which for centuries has an expression of love, and call it an act of violence.
Characterizing Valenti’s intent as perverse is inadequate, but my vocabulary fails to mount the enormity of it.
In England, where radical feminism is a bit farther along than the United States, a man who walks away from a woman in the midst of an argument is characterized as having committed assault on her, by his act of walking away. In France, criticism by a man of his wife is treated under French law as battery. In Scotland, flirting without explicitly obtained consent is a crime. Is anybody confused as to who that law will be selectively enforced against?
As the normal is increasingly redefined as the abnormal and masculine biology and identity named pathological by ideological feminism, to remain a man, right in the centerof activity, rather than a fawning yes-mouthing house pet will carry the stigma, and the legal stamp of outlaw. Not outlaw in the cute, commercialized wrapping of the Hollywood bad boy, no, I mean the old definition. An enemy of the state. Certainly an enemy of the status quo. The ethical, self determined individual is, of course always the enemy of the state – and of any collectivist ideology.
One question which springs to mind is, will feminist ideologues shaping the retooling of western law flinch at the subjugation of their brothers, fathers, and sons? I suspect the answer is no. But do feminist scholars and law makers recognize the consequences of rendering a social class who have traditionally been problem solvers, inventors, philosophers and shapers of their surroundings into legislated criminals by identity?
To that I suspect the answer is also: no.