when i was in eugene, some folks i knew were involved in an accountability process involving a guy that had been accused of raping his partner (of that time). i was not involved in that process; it always seemed stacked against the accused (which was never, to my knowledge, a woman), and was always driven by the most aggressive of the (so called) radical feminists that virtually dominated the town at that time.
as the topic of this process came up in my own discussions (with some of the folks involved, including the accused), i found that there was actually no act of rape (even stretching the term, the way some seem to do these days) ever involved in this particular situation, and everybody i spoke to acknowledged this (some more readily than others). but the process continued, as the accused man went (over some time) from being a fun, confident individual, to a beaten, insecure shadow of his former self. he was like the whipping dog of the eugene feminists. it was actually quite sad.
i never heard a reasonable explanation for why this all happened. especially when there were so many supposed anarcha-feminists involved.
then again, eugene was the only place i lived for any length of time (only a bit over a year) where i was immersed in a "scene". i tried to avoid it, but every one of my friends was involved in that scene, in some way or another.
i have been peripherally around 2 or 3 other situations where accountability processes were invoked. to my understanding, not one of them worked for anyone other than the accuser(s) and their crews, if that.
as has been mentioned on this site (probably several times), an accusation - especially when leveled between friends/lovers - must be taken seriously, but blind acceptance of the accuser's story alone is insane. as dr. greg house says, everybody lies.
in that same eugene scene, i was poo-poo'd for loving to dance to james brown songs. "he beats his wife," i was told, condescendingly. i said, "could be, and if so, i probably wouldn't want to hang out with him; but the motherfucker made some super-funky dance music, and i love dancing to it!" of course i was then attacked for using the word "motherfucker".
those conversations were with folks that i actually considered friends at the time (though more friends of friends, mostly), and so i wanted them to understand where i was coming from, rather than just saying/thinking "fuck you", and bailing immediately. because these were showcase identity politicians, language was the weapon most often wielded by them, and what comes naturally out of my mouth was frequently not appreciated. eventually, i approached the 2 people that i cared to maintain a relationship with, and said something like: "i find your use of language oppressive as hell, and your attempt to control mine is seen as such. but because i care about you and still want to spend time around you, i will try my best not to offend you."
those relationships didn't last anyway. :-)
sorry for rambling on so.