Hi. Welcome to the site. Please check out the About Us, and if you have a question about crime and/or punishment, perhaps look at some previous questions along those lines first.
Welcome to Anarchy101 Q&A, where you can ask questions and receive answers about anarchism, from anarchists.


+4 votes
Yes there are, they play out all the time, sometimes in ways that make the anarchist headlines and gossip mill, sometimes in ways that are more isolated(ing).

5 Answers

+4 votes
yes. some of us have been around false allegations of rape, as well as just unclear scenarios where the accuser has changed their mind on further reflection.
we have also heard stories of rape accusations as part of cointel-pro like efforts.
relationship conflicts are too complicated, and accusations are too easy to make, for there to be any kind of automatic or knee-jerk reaction.

edited for clarity.
by (52.5k points)
edited by
I've upvoted this because I think it addresses what the question was implying, but I also feel like it is important to, at risk of sounding like a broken record (actually do broken records repeat? NO! broken record players maybe - irrelevant!), say that in my experience, while things sometimes do play out this direction, far more often, women (or anyone, regardless of gender) are raped or sexually assaulted and the reaction is to A)ignore or minimize it, B)Engage a half-assed "accountability process" (and there are many worthwhile critiques of how these often look), or C)the other party throws up the sort of argument seemingly implicit in this question to deflect attention. Rarely the issue is dealt with in a manner that leaves anyone feeling okay about the process. Then again, why should anyone feel okay about accusations of rape, true or false? They shouldn't.

This shit is confusing, and it is messy. And that is really the problem. No one should be believed simply because of their gender (or their race, or whatever), but I think the trend towards dismissing feminism and identity-based politics (I hate that term, but am using it for short-hand) wholesale can serve to reinforce the entrenched systems of domination.
sure. but unthinking *anything* serves to RtESoD. that was the point i was trying to make but didn't, apparently.
all accusations have to be taken in context, and taken seriously, because there is something serious going on, even if it is not what is being claimed (and often it *is* what is being claimed).
–3 votes
Everyone who comes forward as a victim of wrong doing or injustice is assumed to be true.  

Rape is a horrendous wrong doing on male or female, and deals with woman who are less likely able to defend themselves.  Many wives may possibly suffer ongoing rape.  

Also there is a degree of rape in a woman or man coming forward to make that act known.   This would assure women or if applied to men more assurance to endure the embarassment of the ordeal.  

The only problem is, is if a woman is lying or accusses the wrong person.  To go further does our system of justice really work other than the notion to punish the wrongdoer or for the victim to have satisfaction of revenge.  It does not fix or deal with the real issues and creates a class called criminals where many may have only made a bad choice or dont know how to make better ones.
by (2.0k points)
afunctionalworld, i just want to say why i downvoted this response. a) it doesn't answer the question. it more or less repeats the question (or perhaps it would serve as an introduction to the question).
b) you use "rape" in a way that i consider to be part of the problem: "a degree of rape in coming forward"... all abuse, all horrible treatment, is not rape.
c) you call something "our system of justice", which i strongly reject no matter what "system" you're talking about. i don't have a system of justice. and if you're talking about the legal system, then even more is it NOT MINE, and not yours either, i expect, but that's your call.
+1 vote
Yes, there are and should be (there should be conflicting opinions on everything ;) )

I think part of the problem with the current anarchist understanding/practice of 'justice' and 'accountability' is that they mirror the ideas of 'justice' that are in place in the judiciary system, in too many ways. But one worth addressing here is that it is a game of 'who is right' and 'who is wrong', of whose reality is more 'truthful' as though 'truth' were a static thing that with enough questions and speculation could be unearthed. That one persons perspective can be applied to all sides of the situation without account for other's understanding of reality. It is necessary to address the this accusation is this person's truth, and the the accussed's understanding of the situation is their truth. These may be the same, they may not.

The forcing of one person's truth onto another becomes a game of blame, where one person must be unequivocally right, the other unforgivably at fault at at the mercy of the other's perspective. The problem with this is that it takes attention off of the problematic behavior/ off of the problematic incident and onto the victim or wrong doer that can lead no where but to ad hominem attacks that rarely address what needs to be addressed. And if the goal is to change behavior and address the problem, this can't be done when the accused is faced with the option of disregarding their own reality and submitting entirely to the others, or being on the defensive.  And folks who are assaulted should be supported in ways that don't put them on the defensive or in a place of submitting to another's reality.

(This, for the record, is mostly about the common forms of sexual assault where the assaulted knows the assaulter, and where lines aren't so clear.)
by (5.4k points)
+1 vote
In an earlier comment dot mentioned that someone accusing someone else of rape should always be taken seriously, and I agree. That does not speak to the truth of what happened, but that something is going on and needs to be tended to.

Part of what complicates our response to these things is that the word rape is a tricky one, and we don't always have concordant ideas of what it means. Legal terminology and the definition of mainstream society have proved inadequate to approach the complexities of life and realities of trauma (duh.). In response the concept of rape culture has taken some roots in the anarchist scene, and it takes a heavy word and spreads it very thin. Things like advertising, and interrupting, are a part of rape culture,  and etc etc. I understand the utility of that, but in a framework of allegations and accountability it is not always helpful.

Sometimes people who are raped don't use that word because they do not want to claim the response that is expected to go with it. Sometimes people use the word rape because they need support around something else entirely. Sometimes something really confusing happens. And on...

Instead of thinking in terms of truthfulness in relation to the word rape, at least initially, perhaps we can try and explore what happened, what someone is feeling about it, what they need, and why they are reaching out. Part of that will be letting go of knee-jerk justice, and that's ok with me.
by (1.5k points)
edited by
+1 vote
Where I live, recently, we were facing different cases of (young) men and womyn alleging about rape in the anarchist background and other close "militant circles" (of people who know at each other in these circles). In much cases, it happened to be true, and in most of the cases : rapers were protected, and victims or survivors (use the word you prefer) were systematically accused to be liars...

And sometimes, there is no logical explation to people who lie about serious shit and we have to face it. But that doesn't mean that we can't react and act in consequences when we hear this kind of stories. That doesn't mean that anti-patriarchy isn't an important issue, or that (anarcha-)feminist tools and practices are to blame, but just that we have to use violence or exclusion carefully when it's needed and with possible self-criticism, and try not to act for someone else but with and in solidarity. And that's the kind of best arguments that anarchist feminists or other feminist friends gave me about this kind of situation.  
As dot wrote it some months ago, I think that in any case we should always take this kind of accusation seriously even we don't have any "proof". Which doesn't mean that the individual who is accused have to pay for something (s)he haven't done, but that maybe it's better to put someone in trouble for a little while and apologize if you realize that it wasn't true than to do nothing just because "sometimes, women lie about rape" (which is a very common misogynistic cliché).   

More than this, I recently read this terrible text called "Safety is an illusion" by anarcha-feminist Augustia Celeste in her book "the Broken Teapot".

It's a must read on this topic. On the one hand she have a radical and large definition or rape that she don't define in terms of the judicial system, and make a difference with abuse, and advocate the possibility of being violent to reject a rapist even after it happened, and on the other hand, she have a very critical point of view on some usual methods, practice and claims we often met in radical, feminist and anarchist circles about rape. Especially arguing that there is no real "safe space" (and that such claim is reactionnary - the obsession for "safety"). I trully think that this shouldn't discourage ourself to create spaces where it's more and more difficult for men or even people in general have dominant or oppressive behavior, but that as Augusta explain it : it's not all about "behavior" (jesuit/behaviorist mentality) or education. It mostly about systematic oppressions and balances of power and forces so strong that they couldn't really be challenged by anything but an abrupt and radical revolutionary type of social change.

I trully think it's part of the answer because we couldn't really answer this question in facing it only on a micro-social point of view. We would never have enough "guides" and "critical manuals", and the "critic of the critic" to solve such questions. We have to destroy rape culture and sexism as social "relationships" (some feminists even define it as "non-relationship"), and to do so both trying to think and act here and now about these questions in our "communities" or backgrounds, but also to attack and shut down the whole statist, heteropatriarcal and capitalist society.
by (2.1k points)
edited by
okapy - this is probably a language issue, but i'm curious what you meant by "terrible text" (re: "safety is an illusion"). you dont seem to mean that the text is bad... which is what "terrible" usually means...
I'm sorry about that. What would be the english adjective for "a very good text" that troubles you in the good sens of the term ? In french, when something is "terrible", it should also mean that. But now I remember that it's a faux ami. That's maybe because here we still don't consider "La Terreur" as something entirely bad. :-D (no, I joke). I think it's something like "incredible" or "brilliant".
thank you for clarifying. (i am reminded of enfant terrible, so i kind of knew you meant something else anyway.)

since we're talking about terrible, do you have thoughts on this question and the single existing answer to it?

edited to add that i wish that we had a word that meant that!
Infact, as I had the opportunity to say on other topics, "tiqqunians" and people who have revered their writings, and the rhetoric that goes with it, tends to make me nervous or cause critical mood swings. But as I also said elsewhere, I'm not saying that all their writings are to be discarded. And it seems to me that "The terrible community" ("The terrible community") had left a good memory at the time I read it. And I also remember that the text is a contribution which denoted a bit compared to the rest. As soon as I  read it again, I'll answer the question. ;-)
also okapy, by "take seriously" i didn't mean that we should take the accusation at face value. i meant more that (as both you and shark.heart address), something has usually happened, and addressing that fact doesn't have to take the form of following up the accusation, but it does have to take the form of not ignoring or calling the accuser names.

glad i got aimed back at this thread. i'm disturbed i didn't say this closer to the time.