Conor Oberst made a mistake.
On February 19th, the lead singer and founder of the band Bright Eyes filed a $1M lawsuit against Joanie Faircloth for falsely accusing him of rape. Faircloth had made the accusation in the comments section of an XOJane article about domestic violence and on her Tumblr page. (All are now deleted)
She claimed that Oberst’s brother got her backstage after a concert ten years ago and that the singer stole her virginity after ignoring her protests when he started touching her sexually. Brief investigation shows that Joanie Faircloth is an Oberst fanatic who, until recently, claimed that attending the concert was the “Best memory ever!”
Either she’s lying about the assault or rape just isn’t what it used to be.
Faircloth refused to retract her statements after Oberst’s lawyers contacted her, leaving Oberst limited options to clear his name. His press statement, printed in Rolling Stone, also announced that “Oberst intends to donate the proceeds of this suit to charities benefitting the victims of violence against women.”
And there is the mistake. Not just the misspelling of the word “benefiting”.
Faced with false rape allegations you’d imagine Oberst would want to help other men who have been falsely accused. Most likely, the idea was to show that he cares about actual victims of rape but, as it turns out, the women’s charities don’t care about him. And they don’t want his money. Emily Davis, the spokesperson for Right to Speak Out demanded Oberst drop his lawsuit because he’s scaring the womenfolk. Her reasoning goes like this:
Even if Ms. Faircloth was not truthful, vilifying discussion of sexual assault by filing such a lawsuit only adds to the problem of under-reporting that enables sexual assault to proliferate at alarming rates.
Vilifying discussion? That sounds a little bit like, hmmm, what do they call it? Victim blaming.
Ms. Davis went even further. She advises us that people are innocent until proven guilty so we should assume that Faircloth is telling the truth which, incidentally, makes Oberst guilty of rape. Let that one circle around in your skull for awhile. Seems rather appropriate that Davis’ brand of logic was published on a site called “Spin”. It’s not too late to switch your charity choices, Conor.
Perhaps he’d like to consider helping out Community for the Wrongly Accused. Or The Innocence Project. Or A Voice For Men. At least we believe the libel committed against Conor Oberst is a serious crime. If Conor would like to see justice done, and wants to help other men like him, he might want to consider donating to men’s rights groups instead of the feminists who encourage women to make anonymous accusations online.
While the feminist site Jezebel claims to understand Oberst’s desire to clear his name they don’t approve of his method. Where Conor’s attorneys have evidence that “[t]he only connection between Oberst and Faircloth was one of artist and fan – a fan who has posted laudatory comments about Oberst elsewhere online,” Jezebel accuses him of using “a classic move”. The only thing problematic when women, who claim to have been raped, are caught praising their supposed rapist after the event is that it creates powerful evidence that they are lying.
But, we’re supposed to chalk this behavior up to one of those weird things women do sometimes when they’ve been raped. No two women react the same way to rape. Rape is a horrible crime that can turn the victim into a crazed groupie compelled to flood the internet with fanpics and gushing praise.
The facts of this reaction to the lawsuit are simple. Feminists run the nonprofits that fight violence against women. Feminists insist that false accusations don’t happen. When you get falsely accused of rape you don’t want to give funding to the groups that wish to silence you. If feminists take money from a false allegation libel suit they have to admit women lie about rape.
But some of us care about truth and justice. As a commenter on Jezebel, called HermioneStranger pointed out:
Wow, MRAs hit this one fast, didn’t they?
I’m sort of surprised he even knew about her accusing him in the comments. There’s “so” much said in the comments about so many celebrities, it seems like keeping track of them to see if someone’s saying potentially libelous things wouldn’t really even be possible.
Who’s got your back, Conor? MRAs (Men’s Rights Activists). That would be us.
This comment also correctly points out that women are rampantly typing libelous comments all over the internet with the belief that the victim won’t see it. It’s sort of a pastime for them. It seems rather unwise to give them more money for their games.
Comments on Jezebel run the gamut of other sins: Saying that Oberst is just filing the lawsuit to get attention. That he’s using his financial privilege to silence his victim. That, as quilta21 says, crimes against men don’t matter.
If, he is in fact innocent, I understand his lawsuit, but I agree that he should drop it.
Maybe, instead he should speak out, talk about it… encourage more survivors of sexual assault to report it, speak up, so that false accusations (if that is indeed what happened) don’t get near as much press.
I’m probably hoping for far too much though
From the same comment thread, GrtWhiteChoclit asks “And what does punishing false accusers do? Does it make you feel better about yourself as a person?”
Obviously we can’t count on women to stop false rape allegations, Grt. They’re too busy spreading False Rape Culture.