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Dear @John: Letters printed in The New York Times

John writes: Many people believe that innocent men have nothing to fear. That is incorrect. Even innocent men have everything to fear, at least in terms of the destruction of their livelihoods and reputation. If a false allegation is made, then an innocent man will be presumed guilty. If the allegation lacks verifiable details, even an innocent man will be unable to defend himself. In these times, true innocence is no longer an adequate defense.

In response, I write: There are too many studies that show that false accusers are rare, and their accusations take on distinctive patterns that trained investigators can usually spot.

The numbers of women who falsely accuse men of rape are so far outweighed by the numbers of men who get away with rape, assault, and sexual harassment that it is almost not worth tracking.

I encourage you to understand that your fears are real. You can no longer treat women however you please, without having to consider the consequences.

Just as I always have to take care in how and when I walk to my car at night, you better keep your distance as you pass me on the way to my car.

Just as, at house parties and bars, I always needed to take a girlfriend with me to the Ladies’ room, you stay clear of the Ladies’ room.

Just as I always had to keep my mouth shut when men make comments, now, don’t make comments.

These are the new rules. We are not going back.

By Alle C Hall, writer!

Alle C. Hall’s flash fiction placed as a finalist for The 2020 Lascaux Prize. Longer work appears most recently in Dale Peck’s Evergreen Review; as well as in Tupelo Quarterly, Creative Nonfiction Magazine, Brevity (blog), and Another Chicago Magazine. Formerly an associate editor at Vestal Review, Alle's additional “wins” include: a Best of the Net nomination; First Place in The Richard Hugo House New Works Competition; and finalist or semi-finalist in the contests of: Boulevard Magazine, Creative Nonfiction Magazine, Hippocampus, and Memoir Magazine.

Claim to fame: interviewed Leonard Nimoy. He was a bit of a pill; disappointing.

• Twitter: @allechall1
• Facebook: Alle C. Hall
• Alle blogs at About Childhood: Answers for Writers, Parents, and Former Children. (

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