High-Profile Sexual Assault Victim Criticizes Me over Posts on False Rape Claims

Los Angeles, CA–Speaker/victim’s rights advocate/blogger Liz Seccuro criticizes me extensively in this recent blog post. In 1984 Seccuro was drugged and raped while she was a college freshman.  Seventeen years after the rape, the rapist contacted Seccuro to apologize to her, claiming that he acted as he did in part because of his alcoholism.

Employing this confession, Seccuro had him prosecuted in a highly publicized 2005 case, and finally secured a punishment for the rapist.  To learn more, see the MSNBC story The letter.

I comment on Seccuro’s post below.  To read her post without my comments, click here.

Seccuro writes:

I love a good argument and a spirited exchange of ideas and, contrary to the belief of this guy’s commenters and followers, am not a feminist. I am a humanist and believe in the betterment of all people and the cessation of violence towards men, women and children. I gotta admit, however, that Glenn Sacks offends me and I am sure he wants to. He spends much of his time highlighting the .03% of cases where rape is falsely reported, loves to show how women are bad parents, etc.

Contrary to what Liz states, I have no particular desire to offend her or anybody else — I’m just telling the truth as I see it. Seccuro criticizes some men’s rights activists for inflating the rate of false rape reports.  She may well be right.  On the other hand, she commits exactly the same sin in the opposite direction, claiming that only .03% of rape claims are false.

Evidence we’ve discussed in the past shows that the rate is considerably higher than this, though I do not claim that there is definitive evidence as to what the rate actually is.  Also, it depends on how a false rape claim is defined.

It is not my purpose to “show how women are bad parents”–my purpose is to bring some balance to the discussion of mothers and fathers.  Fathers have been vastly over-criticized over the past several decades, whereas mothers have largely escaped blame for child abuse and family breakdown.  I focus more on good fathers and bad mothers in order to try to bring the discussion back into the center.  If mothers someday are being criticized more than fathers, I will change what I write.

Seccuro writes:

He has these genius followers who claim that “it’s proven that over half of rapes since the 1980s are false reports.” Huh? Oh, and they love the Innocence Project! Where are the reports of murdering fathers and husbands?

Quickly Seccuro goes to what I have called “the feminist intentional walk.”  The feminist intentional walk is when, rather than accurately quoting me and honestly confronting my arguments, critics of mine instead seek to associate me with other men’s rights activists or commenters on my blog, some of whom are not quite sane.

Seccuro writes:

What makes it lacking grace or humility is his perverse glee and egging on of really sick commenters.

Actually, some of my commenters are often mad at me because I criticize misogyny and lunacy in the men’s rights movement and among my blog commenters when I see it.  And, as I have stated on many occasions, there is plenty of misogyny and lunacy in the men’s rights movement.  That being said, most of my readers are reasonable, thoughtful people.

Seccuro writes:

No doubt, he has a following, but I wonder what he would say when a real rape or DV survivor called him out.

I’ve met plenty of survivors of male violence during my years in my current profession and also during the many years I worked in and around the feminist movement.  What exactly is it that I’m supposed to be “called out” about?

Seccuro writes:

His Neanderthal commenters refer to women as “gold diggers,” “false reporters,” “inferior,” “whiners.”

Another intentional walk.

Seccuro writes:

His complete and utter lack of respect for women is astonishing.

I’d ask her to quote one thing I’ve ever written or said to support this, but I’m sure I’d just get something a commenter or other men’s rights activist said instead.

Seccuro writes:

Simply put, no matter the format, the media wants to bash girls and women for bad behavior. When a girl/woman is jailed, a bad parent or goes to rehab, the press rakes them over the coals, whereas the man is hailed as someone who is taking care of business. Why the double standard?

This is the feminist view of the media and its biases.  She’s certainly entitled to her opinion, but I can’t say I agree.

Seccuro writes:

It’s interesting that he hasn’t blogged about my case – what could he possibly say? That I falsely reported it?

I’ve never blogged about her case because I had never heard of her case.  Having heard of it, all I can say is that it is a tragedy.

Seccuro writes:

He likes to highlight extreme cases that are outside of the norm and paint them as commonplace – a very dangerous place to go. He really does rape survivors a disservice, too and that burns me.

This is a common feminist criticism of me — that in focusing on false allegations cases, particularly false rape allegations cases, I’m taking a handful of extreme cases and portraying them as common.  In reality, my readers send me stories about these false rape cases constantly–so many that I don’t have space for all of them, and many of them end up sitting in my e-mail box. This is consistent with the research, which shows that false allegations of rape are common.

As for “doing rape survivors a disservice,” the people who really do rape survivors a disservice are those who make false allegations of rape.  Advocates for rape victims would be considerably more effective and credible if they would honestly confront the problem of false rape allegations, instead of sweeping it under the rug.

Seccuro writes:

He doesn’t know the stats, he lets his commenters run wild with false stats…

I wish my critics would make up their mind — I’m continually criticized both for moderating my blog too much and not moderating it enough.

I have posted My Rules on Blog Comments and do make an effort to enforce them.  On several occasions, radical masculist commenters have become enraged at me because I will not allow them to spew their misogyny unfettered on my blog.

Of course, each of them is convinced that they are saying some vital, crucial truth that I quake in fear of allowing to be heard.  Or they’ve deluded themselves into thinking that I somehow owe it to them to provide them a free forum to spew as they wish.  Few seem to understand that they have as much right to throw trash on my blog as they do to throw trash in my backyard — none.

Even so, usually the only people who get bounced are those who have been warned and then either: repeat what they have been warned not to post; take steps to evade moderation; or send me screaming, hate-filled letters which I’m sure would be fascinating were I to read beyond the first sentence, which I don’t.

In general, the radicals are a minor annoyance, the equivalent of an occasional stone in my shoe. I do allow a lot of freedom on the blog, partly because I’m trying to allow reasonable free expression, and partly because I don’t want to take the time to thoroughly read everything.  I receive over 15,000 e-mails a month.  My computer guy recently transferred a couple years’ worth of e-mails from my old computer to my new computer, and there were 370,000 of them.  That’s right, 370,000.  My desire to thoroughly read through these is very limited.

Also, in the standard posting on every blog post I include the following:

“The views expressed by some readers in the reader comments do not necessarily reflect those of Glenn Sacks. Their views are theirs alone–if you want mine, look at the blog post, not the blog comments.”

Seccuro writes:

[He] hasn’t allowed equal time on his blog.

Of all the statements that Seccuro makes, this is the most ill-informed.  I set up the “Feminist Dissident” series for the specific purpose of allowing feminists to speak directly to my audience unfettered.  In each posting, I make an offer to other feminists who would like to post.

Also, I have several regular feminist commenters who have post on my blog.  Very few of these comments are sympathetic to me, yet these comments are almost never moderated.  If Seccuro would like to write a “Feminist Dissident” post for my blog, I will print it exactly as it is given to me.  She may contact me at

Seccuro writes:

His bio claims he is happily married. Poor girl. He seems awfully bitter for someone who has pictures of himself with babies and children and quotes from Gloria Allred. Where on Earth do these folks come from?

I am happily married and have nothing to be bitter about–I have been extremely fortunate in my life, particularly in my family life.  Sadly, many fathers have not been so fortunate, and it is my desire to help them.

Seccuro concludes:

Enjoy the night, and be sure to read some of the comment posts on his blog. Once again, I love to hear the other side and am the first to denigrate any idiot, regardless of sex. He’s just too extreme. Sadly, he has quite the following.

Again, she doesn’t quote me but instead criticizes me by referring people to the blog commenters.  In fact, in her entire piece criticizing me, I am not quoted once.  That hardly makes for a convincing argument.

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