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.

Author: allehall

I am a writer. I write to explore childhood: literary essays and short fiction, journalism, and three haiku. My published work expresses my belief that everything which did or did not happen to me as a child is manifesting in everything that is or is not happening to me today. More importantly, it is also manifesting for my children. I believe funny is the new navel-gazing, and that the best funny keeps a penny's worth of serious in an accessible pocket. Little-known fact: I have a completed novel decorating the inside of a desk drawer. Perhaps it is not funny enough.

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