Monday, April 25, 2005


On April 8, the president of the Brevard, Fla., chapter of the National Organization for Women was charged by the Florida state attorney's office with filing a false rape report and making a false official statement. She could be imprisoned for one year on each count and forced to pay for the police investigation she incurred. The case has far-reaching implications for gender politics and for women who report sexual assault in the future.

The facts are as follows. On Nov. 17, 2004, part-time Rollins College student Desiree Nall reported being raped in a campus bathroom by two men. The Winter Park Police Department put Rollins on `high alert,' advising students to remain indoors when possible. The dean immediately dispatched a campus-wide email to assure students that extra security measures were being taken. In a Sandspur article entitled "A Rape Hoax is No Way to Get Attention,"Jean Bernard Chery relates how the incident impacted campus life. "It was a nightmare for every female student and faculty/staff at Rollins. They were afraid to go to the bathroom or walk on campus alone after dusk..The incident prompted a candlelight vigil on campus in support of the alleged victim [then unnamed]," Chery wrote.

The police had reason for skepticism. Nall could not assist with composite sketches, offered inconsistent details and did not wish to press charges. An examination at a sexual assault treatment center after the alleged attack produced no evidence of foreign DNA. Due to publicity and campus panic, however, a police investigation continued at a final estimated cost of more than $50,000. The report of rape was judged a hoax. According to police, on Nov. 19,Nall phoned and asked to have the case dropped. When Detective Jon Askins questioned her original report, Nall reportedly confessed that she was "not a victim of a sexual batter." The police speculate that Nall, a vocal feminist, may have been trying to "make a statement" about violence against women. The allege raped occurred during Sexual Assault Awareness Week, which was intended to highlight the issue of sexual violence against women......

NOW apparently wishes to maintain distance as well. As of Monday, searching it's website for the term "Nall" returns no results. After all, NOW has argued that women do not lie about rape. Catharine MacKinnon--a founding mother of the gender feminism that NOW promotes -- stated in her book, Feminism Unmodified, "The reason feminism uncovered this reality [of male oppression], its methodological secret, is that feminism is built on believing women's accounts of sexual use and abuse by men." If this methodology is debunked, if women are viewed as no more or less likely to lie than men, then the foundation of gender politics collapses.

Assuming that Nall lied, she has achieved the opposite of what I believe she intended. By "crying rape" she has made every woman who is a victim less credible and less likely to receive justice from the police or the public. She has made women less safe. Rollins student Elizabeth Humphrey states the point simply: "Lying about that story is absolutely horrible because women are victimized every day. And if we get the reputation of lying, then people won't start to believe us if it does happen."

Instead of publicizing sexual violence against women, Nall has spotlighted the problem of false accusations against men. Her case also raises the question of whether NOW-style feminists encourage false accusations when they flatly insist that women must be believed.

More here


The Interpreter," a new movie starring Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn, is a thriller about a terrorist assassination plot at the United Nations. The Wall Street Journal's "Hollywood Report" ran a piece last week detailing how the picture has been "changed" since it was first conceived about 10 years ago. Nothing unusual about that - finished movies almost never resemble their original concepts. There was one major change in the story that I found interesting, however.

The terrorists in the story, as originally written by two screenwriters, were to have come from a fictional Middle Eastern country. Throughout the 90's the script bounced from producer to producer, each claiming the story just wasn't ready to be filmed in its present form. Finally Kevin Misher became interested in the project and the plot was reworked.

Because of the 9/11 attacks by Middle Eastern terrorists in 2001, Misher didn't want to make the terrorists in his movie Middle Eastern. "We didn't want to encumber the film in politics in any way," Misher said. So now the assassination plot involves a fictional African country called Matobo. Matobo - great name.

Did you get that? He didn't want to "encumber the film in politics." What is he talking about? Middle Eastern terrorists have been blowing people up all over the world for years. Are there terrorists that come from other regions? Yes. But the preeminent terrorist danger to the civilized world right now happens to be oozing out of the Middle East, not Africa, not Northern Ireland, not Antarctica. Besides, in the original treatment the Middle Eastern country mentioned was also fictional. Why is it okay to have terrorists from a fictional country in Africa, but not from a fictional country in the Mid East?

Is Misher afraid of offending Middle Eastern Islamists? Is he scared for his life? Does he want to avoid Arab "racial profiling?" My sense is, the guy is in liberal Hollywood denial over Islamic Wahhabi terrorism. If he doesn't want to "encumber his film in politics," then instead of making a film on terrorism maybe he should have produced the next Benji picture. No politics? Almost every movie to come out of Hollywood in the last fifteen years has had a leftist political bent. Who is he kidding?

This isn't the first time Hollywood changed the ethnicity of terrorists from Arab to something else in a movie. Who are they afraid of insulting - Arab terrorists? Funny how they've never worried about changing the ethnicity of Italian Americans in all the gangster/Mafia movies they made.

The fact is, Hollywood does not want to make movies about Arab terrorists, or the Iraq war, or radical Islam's jihad against the western world. As far as show biz is concerned the World Trade Center's Twin Towers fell down because of high winds. The Pentagon was hit by a gaggle of crazed geese. And all the Americans that were killed were killed by Republicans living in Orange County.

Funny how things have changed. Movies didn't have any problem in depicting the rotten Germans in World War I and II. No problem in calling the Japanese our enemy for bombing Pearl Harbor. There have been plenty of films made about the cold war with no hesitation in referring to the Russians as Russians. Imagine a producer making a cold war spy picture and saying he "doesn't want to encumber the film in politics in any way." Why then, this current reluctance to call a Muslim terrorist a Muslim terrorist?


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