So, person A is making a name for hirself as an advocate for oppressed groups M and N. Person B, an ex of person A, says, "Hold on, this person raped me at a con, they aren't as pure as they claim to be". Person C, a friend, and probably now lover of person B, says "Yes, I was there, it was baaaad" and describes something eerily similar to a previous case described in fandom circles a couple years ago, with different people, and then spreads this among groups that are innately hostile to groups M and N. Person A says "I've been accused, I admit no guilt, see you in court." essentially "I won't play along with trial by net."

These accusations come immediately on the heels of person A's success - not a surprise, I guess, since such things tend to bring skeletons out of closets. But the fact that person A had a ton of nasty harassing phone calls just the week or two before, to the point that they had to involve the police and change their number, and that they were also subscribed to a slew of disgusting porn email lists, makes the timing a bit more... suspect.

I call the question, ask "qui bono", because something stinks, and doesn't pass my BS filters. Person C and hir choir gets downright nasty, accuses me of enabling "rape culture", "victim-blaming" and other melodramatic sloganeering.

What's worse is, A, B and C are into BDSM, so at the time, C supposedly wasn't sure if it was a "scene" or not. But there was no scene monitor, but they may not play that way.

But the whole thing just reeks of a virtual lynch mob, and I feel that degrades accusers in rape cases. Just like the Julian Assange thing felt like the rape accusation was only useful as a political tool to "get" Assange.

Was there rape? I don't know. Was there miscommunication? Yes, from what I've read! Is that miscommunication rape? I can't say, and I hate that I can't. In a BDSM scene context, "no" may not mean "no", the safeword does.

But I can't jump in with both boots on person C's say-so. Person B didn't ask for that, and they are the only one with the right.

People who know me know I often take the side of the underdog. When I see sharks circling and people throwing around slurs due to this kind of accusation being made, I start to think that there's more in play than simple justice and wanting to warn people against trusting this person's activist credentials.

Person A hasn't made any brownie points with me either, posting hir accuser's whole name in public in what limited response they have made. So that stinks too.

Now, someone whose opinion I trust has said that person A has a history of not respecting boundaries. That I will believe, because the person who has said it is credible to me. That kind of behavior can lead to rape, and needs to stop.

The worst actors on the drama front are person C and the chorus of hate and drama. The jerking knees, the instant "off with their head" condemnation, and rush to judgment make me furious, and wade in with both rhetorical fists swinging.

Would I share a room at a con with either A, B or C? Not a chance - I don't want any part of their drama. Would I 86 any of them from a con I ran? No, because my standard of proof hasn't been met, either for rape or excess drama. Would I invite any of them to a party? No, too much drama for my personal comfort.

I've left names and specifics out of this for a reason: The issue is really a meta one, of where the line is on the use of rape accusations as a political tool, both in real world politics, ala Assange, and in fannish politics.

Rape accusations are a special breed of criminal accusation in our society, because of the twisted culture that makes "consent" a murky mess, because of the intersection of reputation and crime, because of the "he said, she said" nature, because some people assume consent where it isn't, because some people believe in "surprise sex" as sex, and a whole lot of other reasons. But using it as a political weapon is abhorrent to me. It trivializes it, IMO, and that's wrong.




I must apologize to the person whose journal that some of my objections to this erupted in. They didn't deserve to end up at the nexus of my fury at the level of wank this whole thing has engendered.
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