By Sean Bw Parker . . . With the rolling out of the #MeToo-inspired “consent” push in the late 2010s, the majority of allegations of rape went from being one of intentional sexual violence to one of highly-disputed and finely-nuanced messaging.
The corruption in the MeToo movement had been bubbling since the signing of the Title IX “Campus rape” order in 2011 and eventually ran into the Depp-Heard trial in England, which went against Depp; the outcome of this was the exoneration of Depp in the trial in America and the finding that Amber Heard had lied in her allegations of physical and sexual abuse against her ex-husband.
The question of what domestic violence was, and who perpetuated it, had been forever changed in this mega-watched Trial-by-Media, with one conclusion being absolute: Loving relationships could easily turn toxic. The case also turned the idea of consent on its head.
Sexual activity which traditionally had been called sexual misadventure, regretted sex, or sex-gone-wrong has recently been industrialized with almost total demonization of the alleged perpetrator.
Toxic activism in academia was destroying the reputations of already prohibitively expensive universities from Stanford in the U.S. to Cambridge in the U.K., and these new radicalizers’ messages were eagerly amplified by a largely responsibility-free social media landscape.
Lawyers across the English-speaking world would cry the equivalent of Nil Mens Rea (No guilty mind) in court, desperately trying to protect the futures of promising PE students and football players. The heavily subsidized Time’s Up campaign, originated in America, was then merrily shipped across the Atlantic to continued profits in England.
Over the course of two decades, the traditional crime of rape had moved from being a surprise act of forced, sexual violence to a glittering spectrum of intimate situations, from drunken sex to “friend rape” to statutory rape, or “statch” as it is called in the new youth parlance.
The mothers and partners of the accused, waiting for years while their loved ones were arrested, investigated, trialled, convicted, and imprisoned, would be told, “He’s lucky to have you!” on a regular basis as they stood by the men they loved.
The media would increasingly conflate the terms of sexual assault and the various categories of rape, winnowing out the power of either of the original terms. Its overuse was starting to be recognized universally as nearly everybody soon knew someone in their community who had at least been accused of rape. A paper published by SAGE over the summer of 2022 showed empirically that between 16 and 25% of all young Americans knew people falsely or spuriously, either or both, accusing and accused of some degree of sexual assault.
Sex trials in a time of consent anxiety were a much more efficient way to get rape conviction statistics up, with government grants for crisis centers becoming something of a cash cow, and little investigation or evidence was needed to pluck the low-hanging fruit from a by-now very desiccated tree.
“Male equity now!” screamed (some) young American women following the Depp trial verdict, while the allegation remained as bad as the conviction for those who were affected by the accusations.
The seventies radical feminist dictum, “All men are rapists,” had become fact by stealth, and tenure and pensions of the prominent men on the receiving end weren’t going to change that any time soon.
Twenty-plus years of justice activism had successfully led to toxic power feminism having legal dominance in an identity politics-obsessed field where the traditional crime of rape had morphed from being a very serious act of intentional sexual violence to something where twelve people now had to first work out what it was — and if they’d in fact been guilty of it themselves the weekend before.
Sean Parker is a writer, artist, and lecturer in art, cultural theory, and justice reform. He lived in Istanbul for ten years and lectured at Istanbul University. He has published or contributed to a number of books, been published in many publications, both hosted and been a guest on a variety of television and radio shows, won six Koestler Arts awards, and won a Perrie Lectures essay award in 2019. Parker is editor of False Allegations Watch for the Empower the Innocent Organization. He currently lives in England.