Two days ago, Ezra Klein, the editor of Vox.com, penned what may be the most repulsive article yet on the subject of affirmative consent laws. Klein’s argument in a nutshell: yes, these laws are overbroad and will probably result in innocent men being expelled from college over ambiguous charges. Which is good, because the college rape crisis is so terrible and the need to change the norms of sexual behavior is so urgent that this requires a brutal and ugly response. Or, as Joe Stalin was fond of saying, “When you chop wood, chips must fly.” That’s the Russian equivalent of “You can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs.”
Toward the end, Klein writes:
Then there’s the true nightmare scenario: completely false accusations of rape by someone who did offer consent, but now wants to take it back. I don’t want to say these kinds of false accusations never happen, because they do happen, and they’re awful. But they happen very, very rarely.
The whole point of which was to rebut the idea that false accusations of rape are so infinitesimally rare that they needn’t be a serious factor in deciding whether laws dealing with sexual assault are unfair to the accused.
I wrote a piece (extensively fact-checked, I might add) arguing that wrongful accusations of rape (either deliberately false or based on alcohol-impaired memory and mixed signals) are not quite as rare as anti-rape activists claim, and that we need to stop using their alleged rarity to justify undermining the presumption of innocence in sexual assault cases.
And Ezra Klein cites this very piece in an article that justifies, pretty much, throwing the presumption of innocence out the window.
Is there a word for having one’s writing hijacked to support (in an egregiously misleading way) the very point you are arguing against?
I suggest “voxjacking.”