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  • Writer's pictureGrow Some Labia

How Not To Report A Rape And Compromise Your Own Credibility When You Do

Not to mention make it harder for other alleged victims to be taken seriously.

Look, I don’t know what really happened and neither does anyone else. Only two people do, and anyone who hasn’t talked to them doesn’t know much either.

When a woman reports a rape we need to take the allegations seriously, meaning it needs to be properly investigated before passing judgement.

A woman has accused a well-known writer of having raped her in June of 2021, and that must be, I repeat, investigated before we pass judgement on the veracity of the accuser or the accused.

Celeste Marcus, a managing editor for Liberties Journal, has accused writer Yascha Mounck of the alleged crime.

The only problem is, she hasn’t reported it properly.

Instead of filing a report with the police, she took her accusation to The Atlantic, where Mounck was a freelance writer until they ‘severed ties’ with him because of the allegation.

No police report. No lawyers. No formal accusation except on X, Marcus’s unnamed testimonial on Liberties Journal, and that which The Atlantic reports.

Let me be clear. I am passing judgement on neither party. My goal is not to persuade you as to innocence or guilt; I don’t know nor do I have an opinion. At least, not yet. But the way this story broke bothers me greatly. Marcus didn’t go to the police; she accused first on X. Her post included an email exchange with Atlantic editor Jeffrey Goldberg, in which she named Mounck.

Hours later, Mounck was cut loose from The Atlantic.

No trial, no jury, and as I must remind you, no police report.

Marcus’s essay on Liberties Journal (there’s a paywall) in which she claimed she didn’t report it to the police because she was ‘feeling broken’ and could ‘barely function’, is a pretty common response to being raped, but it proves nothing.

I render judgement instead against Marcus’s lousy judgement in how she handled this. She’s had two and a half years to think about it. If she has the labia to publicly call out her accuser, she has the labia to file a police report. Even now is a perfectly fine time to do it.

But you DON’T report a rape first in the court of public opinion since, if Mounck is ever brought to trial, it will be extremely difficult for him to receive a fair one. Due process: I know it’s unpopular with feminists and the more extreme #MeToo corners, but it applies to everyone, even accused rapists. Even, I would remind us, to a certain ex-President.

Full disclaimer: I subscribe to Yascha Mounck’s Persuasion newsletter on Substack. I listen to his podcasts sometimes. I like him, but I’m in no way Taylor Swift-level superfan.

If I replace Mounck in my brain with someone I really can’t stand—say, Alex Jones—I would still write this commentary.

Because questionable ways of reporting an alleged rape for the first time, and compromising one’s credibility up front, hurts all rape victims, and no one deserves to be maligned in the public forum without due process. No, not even Alex Jones.

It makes it look like there might have been a political motive behind it—Mounck’s accuser strongly appears to have set out to get him let go as an Atlantic freelance writer, which is a very prestigious website to write for.

It sets a bad precedent for women who want to report, but are afraid of the backlash.

She’s said on X, “I will not be raped with impunity.” She succeeded, but she harms the believability of rape victims and herself in the process. This wasn’t the way to do it.

She probably doesn’t have much of a court case after two and a half years and no forethought to save anything that might genetically link him to the alleged crime. If she really was raped, she has the highly understandable desire to not let him get away scot-free.

Whether he’s guilty or not, Yascha Mounck’s reputation is now permanently linked to a rape charge online, whether proven or not in a court of law. If he’s not guilty, she’s potentially created a new enemy for rape victims, and Goddess knows they have a hard enough time being believed. Some will take her accusation as sacred writ. Thou shalt not disbelieve, especially on hyper-polarized social media and office water cooler discussions. But she’s just invited a whole bunch of angry males fed up with unsubstantiated rape accusations to move closer to the far right, where all women are lying whores, and unless she takes Mounck to court, they remain unsubstantiated.

Not all her new enemies will be right-wingers, men’s rights activists, incels, and other hyper-partisans who already uncritically believe Mounck didn’t do it as uncritically as some women believe he did. One side requires no evidence, the other won’t believe it if it exists. Some recruits will be those with serious doubts about extremist feminism and willy-nilly rape accusations.

Certainly Jeffrey Goldberg and The Atlantic gang didn’t require any evidence, just one woman’s say-so.

This is how people got horribly murdered in medieval Europe: Unsubstantiated accusations of crimes, which people just believed, and countless people were hideously jailed, tortured, and executed without a shred of evidence against them, just ‘witnesses’ who testified to the most outlandishly unbelievable ‘satanic’ acts of offense against their neighbors. From which we get the term ‘witch hunt’.

This is how black men got hideously lynched in the South for many generations: On the evidence-free accusations of white men or white women, ostensibly for having raped a white woman or some such other nonsense.

This is how people get murdered in the Middle East today, customarily called ‘honor killings’. Its victims are mostly women accused of some sexual impropriety which could be as minor as talking to an unrelated male. Or vicious gossip by other women who want to ruin or eliminate her. Men uncritically believe what they say and let the stoning begin. Or, in other places, pushing accused gay men off buildings.

Here’s the thing: We don’t know what happened between Mounck and Marcus, as it was two and a half years ago. It sounds like something happened, however consensual or not, because Mounck responded, “That wasn’t rape,” not what you reply when you haven’t had any sexual contact with the alleged victim.

Whether Marcus was raped or not, and I emphasize yet again I don’t know and neither do you, if she can’t prove her claims she will be forever linked to what some could call a spurious rape claim, another black mark against rape claimants. If you’re inclined to excuse her ruination of Mounck’s reputation because you think he probably did it, or he’s a white guy so he must have done it, or so what because so many innocent women are raped, remember:

Unsubstantiated allegations work both ways.

While I don’t expect too many men will accuse biological women of raping them, there are many other he-said-she-said crimes of which they could be accused. Like issuing threats to him or his family. Or fraud. Or physical assault. Or abusing their children. Once something’s online, it’s forever.

If you want to get back at your rapist, if you want to punish him for his crime, there are far more responsible ways to do it:

  • Report it FIRST to the police.

  • Preferably shortly after, but if you don’t, BEFORE you make it public.

  • Take him to court if you can. Even if you don’t get a conviction, rape trials are pretty damn punishing and shaming, and not just for her.

  • Keep any DNA evidence in a plastic bag. You never know when you might change your mind about going to the police, and your credibility will be much higher.

It’s not what women and rape victims want to hear, but denying a person their due process rights by making unsubstantiated allegations in the public forum is dead wrong. If feminists are serious about wanting to end rape, there’s no way out of properly reporting it and going through the legal system.

Yes, it’s very hard on the victims, but it will never change if more don’t do it and we don’t hold the legal system accountable and force them to evolve with each case. But we must remember: Due process is for everyone.

No immunity from it for people you don’t like, like accused rapists. That, too, works both ways: No immunity from it for you, either.

Taking it to the public forum first looks very, very bad for the accuser. It lacks seriousness and reduces her credibility. Learn from this.

Do it right the first time. Even if it’s years later. Don’t harm other rape victims.

If you’ve been raped and don’t know what to do next, please call your local rape crisis hotline. The (U.S.) National Sexual Assault Hotline (24/7 & confidential) is 1-800-656-4673. In Canada it’s 1-844-750-1648. For First Nations and Inuit it’s 1-855-242-3310.

Did you like this post? Would you like to see more? I lean left of center, but not so far over my brains fall out. Subscribe to my Substack newsletter Grow Some Labia so you never miss a damn thing!




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