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NeoNotes — Witch hunts without due process

Originally posted on a thread on reddit.

Back in the days before Trump, not long after the Duke lacrosse rape accusations, there was a online project to create a voluntary sexual ethics code for pagans.

Sometimes we pagans take our sex way too seriously.

Anyway, I wasn't thrilled, but I figured I'd join and hopefully head off some of the worse impulses. Anyway, it got written (several pages long!), and while no one was perfectly happy with it, we decided that it was about time to take it to the "greater community." Almost as an afterthought and with the Duke case (and similar cases) in mind, I suggested one addition. Just because someone was accused of rape, that didn't mean that they were guilty. Sometimes people lied about being raped.

Well, all the others thought that was a good thought, so it became part of the document. We took it public and invited comment.

Guess what part got flamed beyond any possible afterlife? There were almost no comments on anything else, just that one bit about accusations not necessarily meaning rape.

The document got removed, and I think I'm the only one who still talks about it. I always admit that I'm the one who got it derailed, even if I had the best intentions. Looking back on it, I'm not so sure that is a bad thing.

Anyway, back to the topic. Before the Weinstein mess broke, we already saw cases on college campuses where the accusation was enough to ruin lives, even if the evidence didn't support the accusation. I think this will be the basis of a lot a witch hunts.

Of course sexual harassment and rape are very real. But just because someone is accused doesn't mean they did it. Each case should be investigated on it's own.

NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.
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