Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Double standards

I have just read an article about two men - one of whom committed suicide - who were accused of rape by the same woman. The man who committed suicide was never charged and was told by the police that there would be no action taken against him. The second one was found not guilty by a jury and the judge made some very trenchant comments at the end of the trial as in his opinion that case should never have got to court because the the woman had previously made a similar accusation against another man.

I'm not going to link to the article (Daily Mail) because it really does not need any more publicity in my opinion. The reporter obtained a few comments from Miss X who wisely refused to give up her anonymity, but the rest of the article consisted of a few comments from the man who was found not guilty and from the mother of the man who committed suicide saying how much he'd suffered because of the allegation.

Now I have no means of knowing what actually happened in either of these cases but the comments on the article and the way the article is written suggest that the majority view is Miss X is guilty of perjury and should go to jail. Yet many also criticise the way alleged rapists are pilloried before the trial and treated as though they are guilty.

So trial by media is not acceptable - but they're willing to try MissX that way because she's been judged a woman who tells lies. Double standards? Seems so to me. In any case shouldn't they also run a story about women whose allegations were not believed before John Worboys - the rapist taxi driver - was finally convicted?

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