Marc Randazza: If the #MeToo pendulum swings too far, it may hit someone innocent
Every woman who is assaulted is not a “statistic,” she’s a person — and every man who has had to face a false accusation is a real person as well.
I know women who have been sexually assaulted and who have not gotten justice. All I have is their side of the story, and that has been enough for me to believe them — because I know them, and I know their character, and thus I believe them — without any reservation at all.
Professionally, I am representing multiple women in this situation – at a deep discount – because I believe in their right to tell their story without being sued for it. But for my pro bono representation, the Steubenville rapists would likely never have faced justice. I earned my battle scars in the fight for “me too” before “me too” was even a thing. And, every woman that I’ve represented in this capacity has gotten my services for free or super cheap.
But, I *also* know men who have been falsely accused — by vindictive lying women. I have seen at least two men’s careers destroyed by false accusations made for personal gain and vindictiveness.
I know men who have faced the real prospect of prison for a completely made up story by a woman scorned.
So, when you ask me to “believe women,” I can tell you “I do, very much so.”
But, I am not prepared to believe anyone uncritically. And, if you ask me to, I’d ask you to imagine your son, brother, or dad *falsely accused* and staring at a plea bargain statement … with dread and tears in his eyes, and being told “look man, it is her word against yours, and you could be facing 20 years in prison if this goes the wrong way, so maybe you should sign it, take the lower charge, and try and move on with your life. At least you know you won’t get 20 years.”
Imagine that. Imagine pleading to a crime you never went anywhere near committing – but you’re faced with that conviction or the chance of your entire youth behind bars. Not being able to fathom that risk, you lie … and you say you did something bad. Just not as bad as you’re accused of.
And now you wear that letter forever — because of a vindictive lying woman. I’ve seen it.
Or picture another guy with a successful career. And then someone decides to target him with a false accusation because it benefits her. The accusation is enough for the purge. The accusation is enough to say “well, dude, I believe you, but in this day and age, someone with this accusation is just not someone we can have around.”
It is easy to imagine the woman who has not gotten justice — because she is much more common. We probably all know a lot of women in that situation. I refuse to discount their experiences. I’ve stood by their sides, professionally and personally, and I will continue to do so.
But, don’t ask me to discount these guys’ experiences either, and don’t ask me to uncritically believe anyone – because I don’t uncritically believe anyone about anything.
Don’t try and tell me that false accusations don’t happen. And, don’t try and tell me that they are statistically insignificant. Because every woman who is assaulted is not a “statistic,” she’s a person — and every man who has had to face a false accusation is a real person as well.
It was not ok when women were blamed for being attacked. It was not ok when women were afraid to come forward. And it was not ok when they were told “get over it,” or whatever. It still happens — but it wasn’t ok when that was the norm.
But be careful how far you want to push that pendulum — even if you’re a survivor. Because you may have a son one day, who has that pen shoved in his hand, and who looks at you and says “mom, I really didn’t do this, but I’ll see you in two years, instead of 20, if I sign. And everyone here believes her, uncritically.”
Marc Randazza is a First Amendment lawyer and the managing partner of the Randazza legal group.
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Missing from this is the context of the specific case. It’s all well and good to ask for evidence in an impartial manner and to believe women and men, but none of that accounts for the politics here.
None of this accounts for a consistent record of malfeasance on the part of Democrats to push a “guilty until proven innocent” standard. That’s what Obama’s “dear colleague” letter was all about: a giant power grab on America’s campuses, coupled with an effort to turn the rule of law on its head once the poisonous ideology took root and then oozed out into society just like other SJW efforts have (see: Silicon Valley’s culture of censorship).
There’s no benefit of the doubt to be given here. The other side isn’t just wrong, they’re evil.
The Social Justice pedagogy from law school to kindergarten must be removed from cirriculum nationwide. It/they are subversive and repugnant to our Constitution. Somehow for the present Social Justice has to be confronted and repudiated for what it is. How? I don’t know. I do know it is the root cause of all our problems.
I think that anything which can be abused will be abused. There is no doubt that that there are plenty of #MeTooLiars busy destroying anyone who rejected them, or who simply ignored them, or who replaced them. How many women make false claims that hubby has inappropriately touched their children or worse as a preemptive strike in a divorce?
I spent time on the edges of the innocence project. Trying to work to remedy wrongful convictions in the criminal justice system. Social Justice and its rise, ‘ran me off’.
There must be direct intervention into curricula, either at the direction of the board of regents or under threat by defunding from the state.
I figure if Hungary can do it, there must be some legal authority for other state institutions to do it.
Of course on a national level, we should eliminate all subsidies for university. The business model of higher education drives most of this because the oceans of money support a lot of interest groups.
Missing here are all the assaults and harrassment that women heap on men. I know, I have been a victim in the workplace. Because I am a man, however, I worked through it and am stronger than before. I could have sued, but why waste all that time?
Be ready women, men will no longer stand for your BS as well.
Good. Men enabling, encouraging and rewarding bad behavior from women because they fear crucifixion from the left if they don’t play along are part of the problem as well.
Time to investigate the democrat party Social Justice Scheme Team. media-lawyers-politicians. The Social Justice Complex.
Because of what the left has done to Judge Kavanaugh there will be far fewer people willing to believe the women Attorney Marc Randazza represents.
What is happening to Judge Kavanaugh and his family is disgusting and reprehensible. What it is doing to the “rule of law” is terrifying. And in the long run it will harm actual victims far more than men.
Politics once again destroys.
This is another example of how the Left destroys everything it touches.
One of the most disgusting people to speak up Mira Sorvino.
Please correct me if I am wrong because I did not pay that close attention, and I do not want to accuse someone unfairly.
Her story is: that Weinstein made a pass at her, she turned him down, he blacklisted her. This is most certainly a wrong, and if she sued she should get serious restitution, but it is not sexual assault, and she is not a “survivor”.
Yep, that’s civil sexual harrassment, not assault.
Who’s the author? I’ve never seen him on here before today, but I like his writing.
He has a blog of his own, and he writes occasionally at Popehat.com.
I warn you that he was a perfect gentleman in the above post; all his writings are not so polite, often “not safe for work”. But they are great stuff and might even cause you to re-calibrate some of your personal indicators, even add a click or 2 of left windage.
He is also the guy you want in your corner when the fecal matter impacts the fan blades.
I don’t understand people like Ron Fournier, Maureen Down and other white liberal journalists saying that Kavanaugh’s anger at being accused is proof of his white man privilege. I keep thinking back to the case of Dutchess County prosecutor Steve Pagones. In 1987, a friend of his, 28 year old part time police officer Harry Crist, committed suicide. Tawana Brawley and Al Sharpton said the suicide was proof that Crist had been the one to rape Brawley. When his friend Steve Pagones stepped in to defend Crist, Brawley and Sharpton turned on Pagones and falsely accused him of raping Brawley three dozen times!! Pagones, an angry white man fought back and filed a defamation suit and won.. Sharpton never apologized. The liberals press makes me sick
and that has been enough for me to believe them — because I know them, and I know their character, and thus I believe them
Funny, that. Those are exactly why I never believe the woman. Or, more accurately, because (1) I know better, and (2) it doesn’t matter.
Re (2), I need corroborating testimony, I need evidence; and if I have those, her story is superfluous. And, therefore, so is my faith in her claims; if I believe the evidence but not the story, then it doesn’t matter what the story is.
I have seen at least two men’s careers destroyed by false accusations made for personal gain and vindictiveness.
I believe there’s far more to it than that. The major factor in most cases of which I’m personally aware has more to do with human perceptions of reality, rather than outright malevolence. The male universe and the female universe are not only different, they’re mutually inconceivable. I don’t know which perceptions are closer to reality, since I live entirely in the male universe, but they can’t both be reliable.
I’m terrified of what the #MeToo movement is doing to women.
I’ve reached the age where many of my women friends and family have stared down the big C. Upon a cancer diagnosis they have undergone months of debilitating treatment. They’re nauseated constantly; have no energy; lose their hair; have their breasts cut off. Yet every one, when the doctor proclaimed her cancer-free, has immediately embraced her status as a “Survivor”. Anyone who has participated in “Race for the Cure” events can testify to the tens of thousands of women who proudly proclaim themselves Survivors. And they would be appalled if anyone labeled them otherwise, as it would minimize their fight.
By all objective measurements, Christine Ford is highly successful. She is well educated, has a husband, children, a good profession and a home in an affluent community. Yet during her testimony she regressed into the persona of a disheveled, confused, 15-year old girl. She became the poster child for the label ”Victim”. And, even more troubling, thousands of women follow her lead, proudly proclaiming themselves Victims, too.
I’m not for a moment minimizing the trauma of a sexual assault. Putting aside the question of who did what to Dr. Ford 36 years ago, compare what she claims to have experienced against what a cancer patient must endure. Why is one a perpetual Victim and the other a proud, defiant Survivor?
I hate that so many of my gender are now embracing a label that will bring them nothing but unhappiness. How can this madness be stopped?
For the record, more men are afflicted each year with prostate cancer than women with breast cancer, and with a worse outcome. No one has yet run a race for them, just sayin.
Great idea! Maybe YOU should start one! I’ll sign up to walk in it (my running days are over).
My point being that people can overcome significant trauma and still survive to live long, productive drama-free lives without the need to become permanent victims. I’ve never understood the emotional draw of that lifestyle or why so many women seem to be promoting it.
Being a “victim” brings sympathy. It also lowers people’s expectations of you.
I seldom agree with Bill Maher, but maybe twice a year he says something which I can get behind. Recently he said that he understood the need for the #MeToo movement. What concerned him, and me, was it turning into #MeCarthyism. Well said.
Me Too can come after You Too.
In “Heterophobia,” Daphne Patai explains how supporters of the “Sexual Harassment Industry (SHI)” don’t care about false reports because men’s feelings, careers, and reputations are trivial in the grand scheme; how the SHI seeks to lessen the distinctions that make a judicial system possible, so that jokes are akin to boorish behaviors are akin to assault; and how the SHI focuses on helping women to understand their occasional unpleasant experiences as “oppression” and uses the language of victimhood (“survivor,” for example) to overstate the negative so that the “diversity” and “sensitivity” consultancies have more business.
“Survivor” is a lot like Dr. Ford’s “PTSD,” don’t you think? And why didn’t her parents and brother sign the letter that spoke of her integrity? And more.
I don’t believe Ford for a second. What I do think from info that wasn’t scrubbed prior to her surfacing was she engaged in rather self destructive sexual behaviour while in high school that she feels guilty about and has tried to convince herself she is some sort of victim to absolve her of her “sins”. She happy to alter her story she tells herself to take down Kavanaugh….a strategy she discussed and posted not too ago was necessary to keep off any more jurists that were cut from the Scalia bolt of cloth. Weird how that info isn’t viewed as important….
As Dr. Ford testified you could notice the paternal guidance of her attorneys, especially the male. He told her to raise her right hand as she was sworn in, and other times just seemed to guide her. Dr Fordseemed very frightened most of the time. Lawyers must have lied about her fear of flying, as she is a jet setter, they didn’t mention to her the Senate would fly to her for private interview. Everyone else in the world knew about their offer so why didn’tshe? Did they keep her locked up? This poor woman has been manipulated and is to be pitied.
I would not call her “poor woman”.
From my corner, she looks like a B with an itch.
Trial attorneys just DO guide their clients through the sometimes arcane process of a trial.
When the jury moves or speaks, you rise to your feet.
When the judge addresses you or you address the judge you rise.
One of the multiple layer of stuff you have to juggle mentally is being prepared to hop to your feet to make an objection, even while you’re listening intently to what was just said, reviewing deposition testimony for contradictions or openings, etc.
There’s nothing sinister there.
Thinking we already passed that rubicon
I have had 2 different woman accuse me of crimes I did not commit.
The first time I was accused I was 19 and had an iron clad alibi of well respected people. One of which was a navy chaplain and another was the Chief of Police of a neighboring town, we all were sitting in my girlfriends basement playing penny poker with her parents. I spent a night in jail, had to post bail and had several thousands in legal fees defending this.
Second time I was in the middle of a divorce. My soon to be ex wife chose to make a false report and say that I had shown up at our home and beat her up. Charges were filed and a warrant was placed for my arrest. When they finally got around to asking my lawyer where I was he said the look on the police and prosecutors face was priceless when he told them I had been in China for 3 weeks prior to the alleged event and would be there for another 4 weeks. Naturally the charges were dropped but I still had to go through the process of expunging my record again.
Funny thing is that even though I was able to prove without a doubt that both of these woman were lying and filing false reports, they never faced charges for it………………
Some couple friends of ours were going to get a divorce (the wife was cheating on him) and before they got the lawyers, she told him that, if he didn’t give her EVERYTHING she wanted in the divorce, she’d accuse him of molesting their young daughter. She was QUITE serious. They never divorced because he was killed in a car highjacking for his Porsche and she became a VERY rich widow.
Whether an accuser is believed or not is irrelevant, in our society. Thousands of totally unbelievable accusers a year have their accusations investigated. But, if there is no corroborating evidence to support their accusation, it is worthless and treated as such.
I take exception to the feminist mantra that “no one believes a woman who claims to be the victim of sexual assault”. This is total BS and has not been the case for, at least, the last half century. Such women ARE believed, conditionally. But, an unsubstantiated claim of victimhood is not enough to take action against another person. And, to raise an unsubstantiated claim that another person was responsible for a criminal act upon you, which causes that person harm, creates a liability for the accuser. That is why we generally prefer these accusation to be made to LEAs which usually operate under laws which require some confidentiality until a charge can be corroborated or debunked. All people are capable of lying, for a variety of reasons. All people are capable of misinterpreting things [there are several noted pieces of literature which deal directly with that. What has happened as a result of the feminist movement is that our society has been brainwashed into believing that women are always victims, never perpetrators. That they are always honest, never dishonest. And that they are NEVER wrong or mistaken. Now, it has been taken a step further, and it is to be assumed that all men are predators, dishonest and wrong. And, this was done solely to give an advantage, in life, to women.
Dr. Ford has NO RIGHT to publicly bring uncorroborated and salacious charges against Judge Kavanaugh. Just as Kavanaugh would have any right to do the same to Ford. And, the idea that anyone is free to slander a “prominent” person and be protected, under that law, is simply insane.
Here is reality. Both men and women lie. Both men and women engage in various levels of predation [we are predators after all]. Both men and women commit crimes and engage in evil acts. In other words, neither gender is wholly saint or sinner. They’re just human beings. With a human being’s failings.
“Dr. Ford has NO RIGHT to publicly bring uncorroborated and salacious charges against Judge Kavanaugh.”
Sure she does. It may not be right to, but she manifestly has a right to bring charges against anyone she pleases, subject to the law of false charges.
She has no obligation to adjudicate her own experience, real or imagined. She has essentially an unfettered right to seek redress, just as would you. She could…and should…have dealt with it at the time, and that failure greatly weakens her case, but it doesn’t vacate it.
Sorry, Charlie, but NO ONE has any RIGHT to prefer PUBLIC charges against anyone, without some sort of corroboration. If they do, then they are subject to the laws governing libel and slander. The key word is PUBLICLY.
See, a RIGHT can not be abridged. You can not be held liable for exercising a RIGHT. But, you can be, and often are, held liable for making unsubstantiated public charges against another person. So, publicly making unsubstantiated charges against another person is NOT A RIGHT.
Sure it is, Nancy. If something of mine is stolen, and I name a neighbor who I saw on my property at the time of the theft, I have a perfect right to relate that to the police. Or any-damn-body I care to.
What in the world are you trying to prove?
They do. What should be regulated is the circus that devious legislators are allowed to create surrounding due process in avenues that have absolutely nothing to do with criminal or civil justice.
But a vetting process, or this kind of hearing, is outside either criminal or civil law.
For instance, if the vetting process uncovers information that makes a candidate for a cabinet post a no-go…by someone’s very harsh standard…they are done. There is no standard of due process, and no appeal, no review.
Now, here, there HAVE been standards in the past. They’ve been trampled under the feet of very partisan Deemocrats out of desperation. They should not be allowed to walk away from that.
But you can’t blame a witness as Mac.22 seems to want to do.
These are VERY separate issues. The wrong here was done by the Deemocrats just screwing the process, which they knew quite well and ignored for effect.
Wow, are you really an attorney?
Let’s take a look at your example. You find some of your property is missing and you go o television and publicly accuse your neighbor, who you saw on your property during the times that the property went missing, as the thief. You better be able to prove that, or you are going to end up paying him a judgement if he sues you for slander. It is alright to say that you believe or are even sure that you saw your neighbor on your property during the time frame of the theft, but as you did not see him actually take your property, you can not name him as the person responsible, aka the thief.
Now, let’s take the Ford-Kavanaugh situation. Ford categorically states that she was attacked by Kavanaugh. She does this publicly. She names four witnesses who she infers will corroborate that identification. None of the witnesses corroborate her identification. In fact, none of them even corroborate that the alleged party occurred. In addition, what evidence exists [mainly Kavanaugh’s calender] seems to prove that he could not have been at any party with Ford, let alone commit the act which she alleges. If her unsubstantiated claim causes him harm, she should be liable for that. The only reason that she will not be geld liable is because Kavanaugh is a “prominent person”.
Also, there is a difference between reporting your suspicions to LE, for an investigation, and broadcasting them to the entire world. But, it it turns out that your neighbor could not have been on your property, then you may still have a problem.
Wow, you pretend you were a LEO?
So, any time a crime victim makes a report to LE, they are doing a dirty they have no right to do?
“And, the idea that anyone is free to slander a “prominent” person and be protected, under that law, is simply insane.”
Really? How 11th Century of you. The law of defamation evolved to provide just that protection…to allow the most common of us to denounce the most exalted of us without fear. It contains more than adequate protections for the denounced, and appropriate protections and penalties for the denouncer.
What other way do you want?
You are free to make any claim that you want, as long as it is true. That is fine and is the basis for the defense in most libel and slander cases. However, we also have the public person defense, in libel and slander cases. Basically it holds that a “public figure” can not sue for defamation, unless actual malice can be proven. However, the courts have not limited the definition of public figure only to public servants, such as politicians, but also to businessmen, entertainers, and a number of other groups. This is simply not fair. No one should have to deal with slanderous or libelous acts, which cause them harm, because of some arbitrary status. If a person is going to accuse another of anything which causes that person harm, which is untrue, and which the person making the claim failed to corroborate or provide evidence to support, that person should be held liable for any damage to the person negatively affected. If such is not the case, then what we have is a society where both libel and slander are allowed. Not a place where I want to live.
What other way do you want?
Do you support a class of nobles who we all should be afraid to speak against?
It’s not only sexual abuse allegations. Family courts destroy men lives all the time.
Not long ago, a friend of mine went trough it badly. His ex came up with the most ridiculous accusations. Some of us went to court to testify, several times. The judge never even bother to listen to us.
This is an interesting thread title. I see three possibilities. The pendulum hits the intended (it has not as the intended was Trump), it hits the unintended (the 100 or so prominent democrats who have gone down in flames, Weinstein, Franken, etc), or it hits the innocent (I’ll throw Kavanaugh in here).
It really was the worst thought out strategy EVER. It has evolved into the truest form of a demand, where there are no stated limits, as opposed to request, which is always limited in terms of time frame and scope. It may have been intended to address issues of actual assault, but in the last year we have seen it expanded to making a pass and trying to get to 2nd base as a teenager. The latter is both bad and good, bad because it has thrown the confirmation into disarray, and good because pretty much every guy, both conservative and liberal, realizes that they are now a potential target. I think it will be a huge boost for the #walkaway movement. And now, I think we are about to cross a new threshold where the standards for sexual assault are now drawn at “that dress does make your ass look big” and “those glasses make you look somewhat crazy and retarded” (guess who 😉 ).
And worst, it minimizes those who were actual victims. I’d say it was ripe for satire, but Larry David already did it perfectly on “Curb Your Enthusiam,” where he hosted a dinner that had both a holocaust survivor and a contestant from the TV show “Survivor,” and they ended up in a huge argument about who had it worse. Life is now truly imitating art in the #metoo movement.
How do you know she is much more common? How do you know that more true accusations are disbelieved than false ones are believed? What statistics are you basing that on, and how reliable are they? I see no a priori reason to suppose that true accusations are more common than false ones.
One can see why the left wants to eliminate the Bible from public life. Genesis 39, Joseph goes to prison after a false accusation of sexual assault on Potiphar’s wife. Law of Moses – requirement of 2 or 3 witnesses to establish a fact in court. Jesus repeats that requirement for the church age. Paul tells Timothy, do not accept an accusation against an elder except on the basis of multiple witnesses. And the golden rule, “treat others as you would have them treat you” applies in this case (what about of you’re on the receiving end of such an accusation?). Nowhere does the Bible suggest “believability” is the standard we should view as decisive of anything (after all, people that are good at pretending make big bucks – we call them actors). It’s not hard to imagine a world where “accusation” = “truth.” There will be a rush to accuse, even if only out of self defense.
Excellent point. She has no corroborating witnesses. In fact, the witnesses she claims have denied it. Lindsey Graham said it right: “This is the most unethical sham since I’ve been in politics!”
It “may” hit someone innocent?
Where has Mark been the past week??
This is stalinism. It WILL hit someone ‘innocent’ – namely, political opponents to the left.
The great irony is it has been Lindsay Graham alone who has spoken out about it. Where is McConnell, Grassley, and the rest of the GOP wimps on the Senate judiciary committee??
All of your “Stalinist” wing-flapping is a dirty joke. You haven’t the first idea of what life under Stalin was about.
Interestingly, I caught you calling for executions and castrations in the last few days.
How Stalinesque of you.
Tom Cotton is lit up…!!!
Now THAT is how you stay on message, a message that happens to be the truth and lays the blame squarely where it belongs … at Feinstein’s feet.
‘… picture another guy with a successful career. And then someone decides to target him with a false accusation because it benefits her. The accusation is enough for the purge. The accusation is enough to say “well, dude, I believe you, but in this day and age, someone with this accusation is just not someone we can have around.” ‘
Having undergone this exact scenario a year ago I really want actual evidence.
What the D’s are currently teaching the nation is that women will lie about rape and will do so just for political gain.
They are also teaching the country that they will always and uncritically believe every accusation, no matter how absurd, if the victim of the slander is on the Right.
Simultaneously, they demonstrate that when there are multiple, credible (police reports, rape kits, sworn testimony, etc) accusations against a prominent Democrat they will not only give him a free pass but will organize to destroy the reputation of the victims.
So, for the Left, rape is merely a weapon in their political arsenal. They don’t care about the victims at all – whether they be women who were actually raped or men who have been falsely accused. Doesn’t matter to liberals one bit. All they care about is political power – achieving it, maintaining it, and wielding it. And rape is just another tool in their arsenal to achieve their goals.