It is difficult to know at times what to say about people like Charles Clymer. Having accused A Voice for Men of refusing to debate women and then ignored all requests for debate or discussion with female MRAs, having publicly promised to send us an article with supposed errors or just plain wrong things we’ve published on AVfM and then ignoring all emails asking him to provide that so we could print it on our front pages (which we would still do by the way) we’ve instead seen him publicly claiming he wants to “start a debate” on places like Twitter and Facebook and then refusing further debate requests (especially, it appears, with women who might question him) and writing silly things like Five Things More Likely To Happen To You Than Being Accused Of Rape, in which, according to Charles, a man is considerably more likely to be hit by a comet, become an NFL player, be hit by lightning, and so on, than to ever be falsely accused of rape.
We shouldn’t have to say so, but all his figures are headache-inducing and wrong. We’re used to seeing bad math from feminists, such as when they behave as if that the vast majority of domestic violence victims are women beaten by men. That’s just a lie, parity or near-parity in domestic violence is no longer scientifically disputable–indeed, it’s hard not to suspect that, in recent years, feminists have turned the rape hysteria knob up several notches because they know the clock is ticking on the Domestic Violence issue: the facts just are not on their side, and they increasingly seem to know it; women are just as violent as men in intimate partner relationships, so what else can they use to gin up fear for women?
But my God, even the Domestic Violence industry has never been so brazen as to be off by factors of thousands, even tens of thousands, like Clymer’s article on rape.
Let’s be clear here that the problem is not because his math is bad per se; it appears from what I can see that he is adding and subtracting and multiplying and dividing properly–as in, he is not asserting that 3+12=5. Instead, he’s applying his math improperly. What he’s doing is very much like noting that about 1.1% of motor vehicle traffic fatalities involve motorcycles, and about 98.1% of motor vehicle fatalities involve cars or trucks, and concluding that if you ride a motorcycle you have a 1% chance of dying, and you have a 98% chance of dying if you ride in a car or truck. So, everybody ditch your SUV death traps and get a much safer Kawasaki Ninja!
Does that sound like crazy logic, wrong in multiple ways at once? Well that’s because it is. But believe it or not, it’s arguably less crazy than what Clymer’s written.
Since that Buzzfeed article does not show his work, we probably want to look at his blog post on rape written a few days before the Buzzfeed piece. That article starts by noting the FBI records about 84,000 forcible rapes per year in the US, and the FBI suggests about 8 of those are false accusations. He then goes on to calculate that, given the average man has sex 99 times per year there are 5.1 billion acts of sexual intercourse each year among men aged 15-39 in the US. Divide 5.1 billion by 6,750, and, “the odds of any sexually-active male between the ages of 15 and 39 has a 750,000 to 1 chance of being falsely accused of rape.”
Furthermore, “Here’s another way to look at it. The National Institute of Justice estimates that men have a 1 in 33 chance of being raped or sexually assaulted in their lifetime. In other words, men are 27,500x more likely to be raped than falsely accused of rape.”
So, he calculated the odds of being accused of rape per sex act, and then declared this was the odds of being accused of rape in your lifetime.
We don’t even have to ask whether the FBI’s statistics are a proper source on false allegations to know this is wrong.
And what Charles does not acknowledge is that the FBI statistics aren’t sufficient by a long shot; they only include reported crimes. I have known men who were accused of rape who were never reported to the police because the woman backed up and admitted she was lying without ever going to the police. I don’t think I’m unusual in that regard; false rape allegations are a very good way to explain away an otherwise-unexplainable pregnancy, getting caught cheating, or even to emotionally manipulate or blackmail someone.
Hell, I knew another girl who accused a guy of raping her in High School; they were both high on drugs and they wound up having sex, and she later told all her guy friends he raped her. She admits she never liked the guy but things got hot when they were doing drugs together at a party. Now, no one went to the police; her friends just found him and beat the crap out of him and it was over. Did he actually rape her? If you ask her today, she’ll admit she was high as a kite, and they’d been willingly doing drugs together, and she herself isn’t sure what happened. I suspect Charles Clymer and other feminist rape hysterics would angrily fulminate that she was raped if she thinks she was raped. I am not so sure what happened there, just as she isn’t; I do know she regretted the sex act they committed while willingly doing drugs together, and her friends beat the crap out of him, but that’s all I know, and it’s really all she knows.
I suppose we’ll have to skip the question of why the man is automatically the rapist if they’re both drugged up or intoxicated. But, we also know for a fact that police almost never believe male victims of female-perpetrated rape, and that government statistics intentionally define rape to exclude most female rapists, relegating most victims of females to “something else.” The entire discourse on sexual assault is polluted because we frequently mix apples and oranges, and different studies ask different questions different ways and using different definitions, and we have a huge blind spot when it comes to female predators and marginalize them constantly.
And yes, there will be women who are raped who never press charges in the first place. Some of them will be cases where it’s because they recognize the circumstances are unclear to outside observers; others maybe because they believe rape hysterics who tell them that the police never believe women–a horrible lie when we know police and prosecutors are often quick to believe women even when there is no real evidence at all, as in the case of Sara Ylen.
Yes Charles, men do get accused of rape by women they’ve never had sex with, occasionally even of raping a woman they’ve never been in the same room with, and still go to jail for it. Of all the people freed from jail due to wrongful convictions by The Innocence Project, the majority were men proven to have been not just falsely accused, but falsly convicted, of rape. That won’t be in the FBI statistics either, Mr. Clymer. And those were only cases where they could prove the innocence of the wrongly-convicted.
If you want a more detailed, blow-by-blow look at how rigorous statistical analysis is done, and all the other ways Charles Clymer’s math makes no sense at all, see Lies, Damned Lies, and Social Media Part 5 by Slate Star Codex (note: Slate Star Codex that is not an MRA blog and from what I can tell its author doesn’t like delving into sexual politics, but it’s too good an analysis not to mention.) That article would be worthy of distribution by Buzzfeed if they wanted to to take a serious attitude about discussions of false allegations, but I have to wonder if they’d have the courage.
In any case, this is a repeat call-out to Charles Clymer (or any other feminist, male or female, who will accept): female MRAs have challenged you to debate questions like rape, domestic violence, feminism, female predation, or even, whether or not the Men’s Human Rights Movement in general or A Voice for Men in particular are hate groups.
You often claim you want debate and discussion Charles. So why aren’t you accepting? For that matter, when oh when will you produce the article you promised us on our supposed errors?
It would be nice if Charles and his compatriots were for real, and genuinely wanted to see progress on issues like rape and sexual assault, and greater understanding and compassion for men and women alike. Feminists and MHRAs supposedly share the same goals. I won’t hold my breath, but if they won’t hear men’s voices, it would be nice if they’d at least talk to women who disagree with them.