Scott S. Alexander on false rape allegations: Spotted on Brute Reason but liked and reblogged 35,000 times: Five Things More Likely To Happen To You Than Being Accused Of Rape. A man is 631 times more likely to become an NFL player than to be falsely accused of rape! Thirty-two times more likely to be struck by lightning! Eleven times more likely to be hit by a comet!
Needless to say, all of these figures are completely wrong, in fact wrong by a factor of over 22,700x. I’m not really complaining – missing the mark by only a little over four orders of magnitude is actually not bad for a “story” of this type. Nevertheless, it will be instructive to figure out where they erred so we may be vigilant against such things in the future, and perhaps certain moral lessons may be gleaned in the process as well.
Scott S. Alexander says: Feminism is a memeplex that provides a bunch of pattern-matching opportunities where a man is in the wrong and a woman is in the right. To give a very personal example, I mentioned a few days ago how I was close friends with a woman until I asked her out and she then decided to have a fit and cut off all contact with me. Normally everyone would agree I was in the right and try to console me and maybe even her own friends would tell her she was overreacting. But thanks to feminism she has a superweapon – she can accuse me of being a Nice Guy (TM) and therefore Worse Than Hitler (TM). The appropriate cliche having been conveniently provided, enough people decide to round to the nearest cliche and decide that I am in the wrong that the incident raises her status and decreases my own.