When Christine Blasey Ford came forward with rape allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, the #MeToo movement made sure to publicly back her and her story.
Despite allegations from two other women, an additional hearing with the Senate Judiciary Committee and an FBI investigation, evidence could not be found to prove Kavanaugh was guilty. On Oct. 5, he was confirmed to the Supreme Court with a 51-49 vote from the Senate.
Following his confirmation, many people took to social media to start their own #HimToo movement, claiming their desire to shed light on the issue of angry women who make false claims against men to ruin their careers.
Most were men or mothers worried for their sons, and they discussed how many men are now afraid of women and of dating because they think they’re going to be accused of sexual harassment or assault.
The idea that false accusation cases are just as prevalent as sexual assault and rape cases is dramatically overestimated. Statistically, men are more likely to be sexually assaulted themselves than be accused of sexually assaulting someone else.
Rigorous studies from the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS) show that only between 2-8 percent of reported sexual assault cases contain false information.
Using this data and data from the 2010 U.S. Census, Twitter user @carlatomsmd calculated that the chance of men being falsely accused of sexual assault or rape is less than one percent.
In contrast, research has found that around one in six men is a victim of sexual assault or rape, approximately 17 percent.
Yet still, #HimToo supporters are stuck on the idea that women make false claims to ruin mens’ lives. “Why would someone come out with a statement years after it allegedly happened?” they ask.
What they fail to realize is that almost everything is acting against survivors when they try to accuse their assailants. Women are already afraid of being called liars by police, by judges, by the public.
If their rape doesn’t fit into the stereotypical (and incredibly false) idea of what rape is – like that it was committed by a delusional stranger, and there is a significant amount of physical evidence – then it often becomes invalidated.
Not only that, but more often than not, rape cases don’t lead to a conviction. Out of every 1000 rapes, only six rapists will be incarcerated, according to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN).
That’s less than one percent.
And sometimes, even when rapists are convicted, they serve only minimal sentences.
Need I mention Brock Turner, who raped a drunk, unconscious woman behind a dumpster and was sentenced to only six months in prison after the judge stated a felony offense would have “a severe impact on him”?
Even when a woman has proven that she was raped, people worry about the men and their futures.
What about women’s futures?
Why does everything always come back to men and what affects them?
Men have held privilege since the beginning of time, and when a movement emerges to beg for awareness on women’s issues, men immediately have to draw the spotlight back on themselves.
Allow women to speak. Listen to women. Believe women.