Guest Post: Consent and the Derail of False Accusations
Also, for some reason the title makes me imagine that Consent is the name of a steampunk adventuress, examining why the train of Accountability derailed at the town of False Accusations.
Maybe I’ve been doing waaaaay too much of this and need to step away.
Consent has become the topic of the week again, and for good reason. However, when those of us start to try to address issues of abuse and predators in the scene – there always come a slew of derails in the form of the “I agree but (false accusations/ manipulative bottoms/ what about the [men/ doms/tops]).
Here is what I need to know, honestly and truly. To those who are saying these things, is that what you really think of us? Is this what you really think of your fellow people in the scene?
This may seem like a weird topic, but I need to ask it. Those of us who are spearheading this discussions are coming from a place of reality and shared history. We are coming from direct personal experience. We are coming from pain. We are coming from abandonment, apathy, and downright hostility from our community. It is real. It is current. It is now.
We have lost safety. We have lost friends. We have lost lovers. We have lost time. We are still losing by taking on this conversation. But we do it, because we know what its like and for me, I will do everything I fucking can to make sure that no one else has to lose.
Then the masses come in. What about false accusations, they say. Well, what about them? Its a hypothetical. Yes, it can happen however it is rare. In the meanwhile, we are seeing slews of stories of abuse. So I need to ask to those who are worried about false accusations to look around you. When you say that someone may falsely accuse, therefore the consent efforts are harmful- it is implying that this is a problem in Boston. That this is a real problem in our scene. So tell me, who you do think does it? Why do you think it is a problem? Can you tell me via private message who these people are so I don’t play with them? Please, do this. I really want to know where this epidemic is happening because somehow my ladybrain has missed it.
Or do you think that once we get a consent culture, your friends, lovers, play partners are such manipulative, selfish people that we’ll start seeing a slew of false accusations appear that moment that a consent culture becomes an actuality?
Here is the thing. Our society teaches us that some people are inherently untrustworthy. That women are hysterical and overemotional and manipulative. We have these things for all marginalized identities. This is where the myth* of false accusations comes from.
When there is a discussion on rape, abuse, predators and survivors and people come in and say “but false accusations”, it is saying that the discussion over false accusations is more important and takes more precedent over the discussion of abuse- despite it being incredibly rare and despite abuse being reported left and right. Take into accounts that many reports of “false accusation” are actually true events that are just not believed and then the derail gets even more insulting. Also, in my world- rape is a much more serious crime than slander.
Look, I care about reality. I care that almost every person that bottoms in the scene that I know has been abused. I care that these people are suffering. I care that it is a very very small number of people doing a great deal of harm. I care that this is an real, current problem. No, I do not care about hypotheticals right now. No, I do not want to hear about how “well yes, these are good things but someone could lie!” I care enough about those who are suffering now that I will take that risk. If this community is serious about consent and serious about supporting survivors, you all need to take that risk with me.
*I use myth of false accusations in reference to the idea that false accusations should take same weight as abuse and that it is a major problem like abuse is.