#MeToo: Accountability gap amplified - Badger Talk 17

For the last few weeks, we’ve been discussing the accountability gap, a gender disparity in social perception of people’s culpability for the impact of their choices on themselves, and on others. We’ve pointed out that it manifests in conjunction with male disposability (people’s tendency to subordinate men’s welfare and interests to those of others) and gynocentrism, (people’s tendency to prioritize women and their interests.) This leaves us with a society which tends to sacrifice men for the perceived benefit of women whenever there’s conflict between the two, or to shift accountability for the consequences of women’s actions to the nearest or most involved man. 

A particularly blatant accountability gap is found in the legal and social response when the nature of a sex act is in dispute. This manifests in several ways, including consent standards which presume a female gatekeeper, male seeker dynamic and treat men’s end of flirting as a predatory act, social perception of female predators as innocent victims, and support systems, including laws, which presume sexual assault perpetrators male and victims female. 

In part, this stems from the historical approach to marriage in middle and upper class society, back when it was mainly arrainged. Intermarriage and childbearing cemented contracts and other agreements between families, with childbearing and fidelity being part of the contract. This made sexual violence, which would have been strictly defined as contravention of a woman’s refusal, an affront to her honor and an attack on her whole family or tribe… and the impact was that it made her an unmarriageable burden on her family. It essentially inflicted a disability. That is what differentiated it from other, equally violent types of assault, and it’s also why society had a different response when it was done to a woman than when it was done to a man by a woman. It wasn’t because such violence had no physical, emotional, and psychological impact on guys, but because of the social and economic impact it had on the woman and her family.

We don’t live in that environment any more. Western social norms and laws don’t limit a woman’s prospects based on any man’s willingness or unwillingness to take responsibility for her. We have control over the direction of our lives, and marriage is a choice. Courtship, however, has always been treated as a man’s responsibility, involving initiation of contact, pursuit, and persuasion. The woman’s role in that is simply to judge and make a choice to accept or reject her suitor’s advances, a decision that once would have been up to her father.

While women’s advancement has evolved society’s perception of sexual violence to that of a crime against the individual’s person (as in, a violation of bodily autonomy,) because of the aforementioned dynamics, it remains seen as a gendered crime. 

That’s all before feminists began exploiting social reaction to it for political power and money. For decades, mainstream, organized feminists have pushed society to define sexual violence not as a perpetrator’s act of contravening the victim’s refusal, but as a male sex seeker’s failure to properly babysit a prospective partner’s state of mind. Even adamant verbal confirmation can be later considered coerced just by the guy having asked for consent... and in today’s world, that defines his response to it as sexual violence. The movement has successfully convinced many women and far too many institutions that a woman’s withdrawal of consent after she has participated in a sex act can change the man's status from participant to rapist.

A man's consent, however, is presumed a given whether his female partner asked for it or not.  

What does that mean in terms of accountability?

A woman can be considered a victim of her own choice to engage in consensual sex.
A woman can be considered incapacitated under circumstances that would not be considered incapacitating to a man.
A female perpetrator of sexual assault can be considered a victim of her own choice to engage in sex with a person who is incapacitated, or not old enough to consent.
A female perpetrator of sexual assault can be viewed as harmless, even if she uses force or her victim is underage.

One result of this is that a male victim of sexual violence is far less likely to be considered a victim if his perpetrator is female. He may even be held responsible for her behavior.
Any complaint made by a male victim of female-perpetrated sexual violence puts him at risk for being castigated or mocked rather than eliciting compassion and gaining him any recourse.
A female perpetrator may react to her concern that her male victim might make a complaint by preemptively falsely accusing him.  

A female sexual assailant therefore has a strong chance of avoiding arrest or conviction, and even if convicted she has a strong chance of receiving a lighter sentence and far less of a hit to her reputation than would a male assailant who committed the same offense. She may even be convicted of a lesser offense for the same act.

Another result is the “listen and believe” standard. A male victim of a false allegation of sexual violence is obligated to prove his innocence, rather than his accuser being obligated to prove his guilt… and even proof of his innocence may not save his reputation.

Yet another stark double standard occurs when there is a mutually engaged drunk sex act - the presence of alcohol is automatically perceived to invalidate the female partner’s capacity for consent, but not that of the male partner, imposing the perpetrator label on him and the victim label on her regardless of their choices.

This manifestation of the gap sees society in general, and especially feminists, treating women as powerless objects whose behavior is shaped only by external pressure, wherein nothing one does matters. Women face little to no accountability standards in heterosexual relationships, while as with reproductive rights, a man can be criminally liable for how his partner feels. Women aren’t really responsible for either establishing and enforcing their own boundaries or respecting those of others. 

Feminist advocates, having turned heterosexual sex into a political football, have exacerbated these issues rather than providing solutions. Partly as a result of this, there are growing numbers of men who have simply turned their backs and walked away, limiting themselves to the most superficial levels of interaction with women. The feminist temper tantrum over this has been predictably self-centered and gloriously illuminating: It’s an undisguised, but inept claim of ownership over men. I’ve asked before: Ladies, what honest, compelling reason can you offer to counter the existing circumstances which provoked this response? My personal answer is, none… and I’ve had nothing from women’s advocates to counter it. 

The naked truth is that the removal of accountability negates the value of anything else women have to offer men, as without it, the risks far outweigh any benefits of seeking intimacy. There are men with whom the rift between the sexes is deep, insurmountable, and permanent. Women’s only chance at rebuilding the connection between the sexes with those who have yet to be pushed that far is firmly rooted in growing up and taking equal responsibility as consenting adults… and it’d better happen soon, because that rift is being cut deeper and wider every day by agitators making demands in women’s name.