Listen, I’m the first one to say that I believe women until there is clear and compelling reason not to. Far too often, women (and girls) who are raped or otherwise beaten by men are not believed, mocked, ridiculed and/or attacked endlessly until they finally ‘recant’ at which point because they ‘recant,’ those who were defending the accused rapist/abuser suddenly say, “See, I knew he was innocent!” Think Kobe Bryant, Mike Tyson, the Duke Lacrosse team, and so many others.
But in this case, something reeked of untruth from the minute I read about it:
A John McCain volunteer in Pittsburgh who said she was robbed and sexually assaulted because of her political views has admitted to fabricating the story and will be charged, police said Friday.
20-year-old Ashley Todd, of College Station, Texas, “stated that she made up the story which snowballed and got out of control,” Pittsburgh police said in a statement, adding that she would be arrested and charged with filing a false police report.
It wasn’t just that the story seemed untrue (how many white women have said some ‘dark’ or ‘black’ man have kidnapped/raped/hurt/etc them/their children, only to find out it’s not true?), but more that when I saw the woman’s face–I’ve seen both women who were truly beaten by partner AND people who cut themselves, or who have been cut–and I can promise you, that is one mighty well shaped B to have been done by an attacker against a struggling woman.
All the news stories say that the woman may have mental health issues–and I certainly wish her the very best in finding treatment and help. But I have to wonder, what would have happened if this woman was black? How would she have been treated? I remember when the Duke Lacrosse case was at the center of the blogging world, and that woman had her identity revealed as well as just about everything else you could think of. She was called names that make me sick to this day to think about, AND even though she *never* recanted her story (it was a lack of evidence which prevented the case from going to trial, which is NOT the same thing), there was a vociferous crowd of people who demanded that SHE be charged in the case.
I don’t mean to suggest that I hope that this women is on the receiving end of that crap too, I don’t. I don’t think the worst liars of all liars should be subjected to that.
What I do mean to question is why are there differences in how these cases are being treated? Why is a white woman accusing a black man news, but ok, whatever–but a black woman accusing white men–that’s not just news, that’s enough reason to go out on a internet lynching campaign?