#MeToo — it was always going to end in tears

#MeToo — it was always going to end in tears. By Janet Albrechtsen.

In January, Canberra woman Sarah Jane Parkinson was jailed for three years after staging a fake rape that sent her boyfriend to prison for four months until ­charges against him were dropped. Last week, Cherie Renee Bolton from Arkansas pleaded guilty to trying to frame her husband as a pedophile by downloading child porn in his phone. Women lie.

This central flaw at the heart of #MeToo presumes to wave away legal rights and a legal system premised on the presumption of innocence. If #MeToo’s vocal advocates had warned of this inherent danger, counselled caution and called for due process, the movement may not have become a train wreck.

In a stark contrast to the wild courts of social media that tainted men across the world with unproven allegations of sexual harassment and sexual assault, defined so loosely as to include bad jokes or even bad sex, the NSW District Court delivered a cool-headed, legally grounded response last Friday. The evidence was presented to court, tested by lawyers, and 12 objective people from the community decided the claim of rape was not proved beyond reasonable doubt. …

And on the increasingly trendy notion that feelings should dictate policy and even outcomes:

In a damning assessment of our age, it is bad enough that discomfort is used to stifle ideas that challenge young minds, to no-platform speakers who veer from the orthodoxy, to inhibit students from learning and thriving from free and robust discussions, to infantilise them, too, with safe spaces and trigger warnings. As Alan Dershowitz wrote recently, “feeling unsafe is the new mantra for McCarthyism”. In a case of how culture seeps from one arena to another, discomfort is being used to dislodge fundamental legal principles. …

Abandoning centuries of evolved law in the recent feminist power play:

Where has reason gone? … As English jurist William Blackstone, said: “It is better that 10 guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer.”

The #MeToo movement inverts these fundamental legal principles. If all women must be believed, and some lie, it follows that innocent men will suffer.