The new witch-hunting craze

Caption: At last we’ve closed the Gender Witch-Hunt Gap.

One interesting thing about moral panics is that, no matter how many times they?re exposed, people always seem to be just as eager to lap up the next one. Often, it seems, because the moral panic du jour plays to one group or another?s prejudices.

The left scoffed while the right freaked out about Pizzagate. The right looked on in disbelief as the left promoted wild conspiracies about Russian election hacking. Right extremists were convinced Obama was going to round up gun-owners. Left extremists are convinced Trump is secretly building Muslim concentration camps.

In the late 90s there was the strange outbreak of ?Stolen Valour?: men falsely claiming to be Vietnam veterans. Some were just trying to big-note themselves, but many more were trying to cover up for bad behaviour. An abusive husband blamed his violent behaviour on PTSD from his Vietnam service. But then, his wife saw the movie Hamburger Hill and realised that his war stories were stolen from a movie script. His ?trauma? was fake: he was just an abuser.

False rape accusations are relatively rare, but at the same time much more common than many would believe. They are also the most common of false accusations of wrongdoing. Like ?stolen valour?, many are people trying to cover up bad behaviour ? women caught cheating on their partners, for instance ? but in the ?#MeToo? era, there is also a great deal of social cachet to be won from victimhood. Take the almost universal acclaim from the left for Christine Blasey Ford. ?Mattress Girl? Emma Sulkowicz parlayed an alleged assault into a career.

Just like ?stolen valour?, some cases are following a script, word-for-word. Quote:

The complainant, whom I?ll call Chloe, wept as she labored through her testimony. At several points, she was so overcome by emotion that court proceedings had to pause for a break?as an observer in court that day back in 2016, I can attest that Chloe appeared highly credible?

I felt sorry for her?even though I suspected that the story she?d just told us was about to fall apart?

On day two of the preliminary hearing?we learned that Chloe had almost 20 different social media accounts which she used to promote her work as an activist?Chloe cursed like a longshoreman on Tumblr, posted hundreds of sexually charged images to Instagram, and created videos to educate young women about sexual violence on YouTube?

Yesterday?s Chloe had presented as a sheltered girl, raised in a strict Christian household, and terrified that no one would love her now that she?d lost her virginity. Today?s Chloe was another person entirely. End of quote.

As it turned out, not only was ?Chloe? playing a role to the hilt ? she was also following a script almost word-for-word. Quote:

The defense produced a poster board containing a collage of phrases that Chloe had collected from Project Unbreakable?a web site featuring photos of dozens of women holding handwritten signs emblazoned with the words their rapists had said to them during or after a sexual assault. Chloe had typed out phrases from these signs onto a social-media page?Eighteen of these phrases from the website and collage had found their way into Chloe?s police statement about her own alleged sexual assault. She claimed that all these words had been spoken to her by the accused. End of quote.

Even when she was caught out, ?Chloe? continued to play the victim role. Quote:

Eventually, Chloe simply refused to testify any further. When she didn?t show up to court following two days of cross-examination, slowed by the prosecutor?s many objections, the prosecutor told the court that Chloe?s mother had called in with information that Chloe was suicidal. End of quote.

Men say, these days, that they?d rather be accused of murder than rape. At least an acquittal of murder (unless you?re O. J. Simpson) almost always clears the accused?s name. Men cleared of rape or sexual assault are still regarded with suspicion. Just ask Brett Kavanaugh. The man accused by Emma Sulkowicz had his academic career ruined.

The process is the punishment.

Feminist harpies are openly advocating abandoning due process and presumption of innocence: the ancient cornerstones of our legal system. Feminists on Twitter gloat that they?d rather hundreds of men be falsely convicted than not. We are told to ?believe survivors?, a circular argument that demands suspension of all critical judgement.

That isn?t justice, it?s a witch-hunt: another moral panic that no-one seems to have learned a damned thing from.