By: Brett MacDonald
Update: two more accusers have since come forward. While Political Wave stands by it’s belief in due process and habeas corpus, the situation looks ever more grim. We urge James Deen to move this conversation into the courts or come forward and confess.
Perhaps the Puritans are to blame for the muddle that engulfs any attempt at honest, forthright discourse concerning sexuality, intimate relations, and the violations that unfortunately arise when those with a sense of entitlement take what isn’t theirs to be had.
Despite our flagrantly sexual pop-culture and rebellious youth, Americans at-large seem ever reluctant to discuss what goes on between the sheets. Historically, we’ve strayed leagues away from our founders’ principles, opting for the greater evil of repression over an ever-growing necessity for a frank and uncomfortable discussion.
The path of least resistance is often the most attractive, most efficient, and sadly, the most unjust.
Thankfully, the sexual revolution summoned the resistance needed to give women a foothold, one that was just enough for the well organized ranks of otherwise disregarded feminist voices to be heard.
Today there is still much work to be done, women are disproportionately represented in the work-forces of America, they survive in a culture of hate, rape culture, and misogyny, and are marginalized by one of the most influential groups of men in this great country.
Stop trolling and get to the point, damn it.
Rape is a horrible crime, committed by those that are insecure, drunk off power, and seeking to rob the agency of others. Rape is about power.
Unless you’ve been under a rock or have a life, you’ve likely heard the allegations aimed at porn’s golden boy. If Christian Grey’s adoration isn’t enough evidence that women are finally coming into their own, free to express desires that would have left them ostracized in days gone by, then let James Deen settle the matter.
His scores of once-adoring fans were filled with feminists, some of which penned essays lauding his sensual performances. They went so far to claim him as their own even.
That is, until things changed quite abruptly.
Today, James is now, and forever more, to be labeled with a scarlet R. An “R” for rape, an “R” for reprimand, an “R” for revoke, an “R” for recoil, and an “R” for reviled.
And perhaps he should be. After all, not one, but four women have come forward to brace public scrutiny and risked their reputation in an industry where trust and integrity mean everything. Yes, I am still talking about porn.
As a result, his accusers Stoya, Tori Lux, “T.M”., and Ashley Fires, have all but guaranteed a verdict in the only realm that seems to matter today: the court of public opinion.
Yet there’s something troubling about this urgency to condemn without evidence — because anyone could accuse anyone else of rape at any time — that understandably leaves people, particularly men, concerned with the broader implications. After all, this urgency is so strong, it has prompted modern feminists to create a very, hem, “problematic” rallying cry: #IBelieveWomen.
It appears the path of least resistance, the path of greatest efficiency, and the path of the unjust is still just as attractive as ever — but that’s okay, so long as it is chosen for the right reasons, right?
Now if you are wondering what that hashtag stands for, it’s suggesting that women who accuse men of rape must necessarily be believed. The logic is that not believing those that accuse men without evidence will only make it harder for other victims of sexual assault to come forward.
Since rapes often occur when women are alone and most vulnerable, there aren’t often witnesses present to corroborate their stories and hearsay is not the strongest evidence in the court of law.
But, if I may be so bold to suggest, this case presents a very unique situation: at least two of the accusers have indicated that there were multiple witnesses to Deen’s crimes against them, and that means there is, for once, a greater chance of certainty to be found — not in the court of public opinion, but in the court of law.
Tori Lux, the second porn star to come forward after James’ ex tweeted out her accusation, writes that other people were “present and [failed] to intervene” when Deen straddled her face and beat her “five or six times.” The anonymous accuser going by the initials T.M. told the LAist that there were mutliple witnesses when Deen forced her to perform oral sex and violated her. Even Ashley Fires indicated that her story isn’t something she has been hiding, but has been speaking openly about to fellow colleagues.
This all indicates that in a court of law, subpoenas could be filed, witnesses compelled, and real justice served. For once, we can have some semblance of certainty.
The truth is, regardless of what may come of a court battle, many will still choose to believe whatever their confirmation-bias whispers to them. Yet, the court of public opinion is just as repressive as the one that condemned Hester Prynne, it isn’t progressive, it isn’t justice, and it brings us nowhere closer to solving whatever problems may, or may not, exist between the sexes.
It is not often that we are granted an opportunity to find real closure in these cases — but in the interest of justice, in the interest of all the victims that have been silenced, in the interest of all the accused that have been wrongly charged, in the interest of a nation creeping back towards the arcane seduction of censorship — I humbly call on the accusers of James Deen to step forward but an inch more, and compel those they say witnessed their abuse to speak on their behalf.
If it is true, you need not suffer alone. If it is true, I have faith that there is not one soul fit for jury duty that will not send him where he deserves to go. That is, if it is true. For despite what many will shout, scrutinizing the accuser is just as important as scrutinizing the accused, else we must return to the year 1214.
And if, we cannot come to grips with the harsh necessity of logic’s superiority to emotional impulse, then we must resign ourselves to the abandonment of reason, let innocence (not guilt) be proven, and perhaps shrug our shoulders and blame the Puritans.