Rachel Baker’s Really Bad Idea: Shame First
Aug. 27, 2015 (Mimesis Law) — Rachel Baker, by contemporary accounts, is a hero to the modern college student who should never feel threatened or hurt by allegedly harmful actions, words or deeds. She is the embodiment of Marvel Comics’ “Ms. Marvel” wrapped in the American Flag and christened with the twin titans of “equality” and “social justice.”
The Ohio University student became so upset with the problem of sexual harassment that she decided to start her own special registry of people who allegedly harass other students on campus with a special Twitter account, @SpeakUpOU. If you feel you’ve been sexually harassed on campus at Ohio University, all you have to do is mention the alleged sexual harassment encounter to her Twitter Warrior and you’ll get a retweet.
If Rachel Baker can get it, she will have no problem publishing the alleged harasser’s full name on Twitter, because in her eyes it’s the appropriate thing to do, and such claims have never been wrong in the past.
Considering the fact that we live in a society where a man can be accused of raping a woman and, whether he did it or not, can be found not guilty and go on to get a sports scholarship, putting it out there probably won’t ruin their life.
Really, I trust the people who would be sending these things because it’s an important issue.
Yes, it can be an issue, despite the fact that inflated rape and harassment statistics have been debunked more times than James Randi debunked Peter Popoff and Uri Geller. Never you mind that, according to Rachel Baker, because making sure people know there’s even the potential someone claims to have been the victim of rape or harassment is far more important than the accusation being determined to be real by a court.
Nothing bad could come of this. No false claims that would impugn her quest to rid the world of rape and sexual harassment have happened. Even if there were, The Narrative is more important than the truth, at least from Rachel Baker’s point of view. And isn’t that all that really matters?
A review of this nascent story begs the question whether Rachel Baker will manage to give a cursory review of the Ohio Revised Code before she deems alleged perpetrators worthy of public shaming as rapists, sexual abusers or harassers on @SpeakUpOU. Will she cite the appropriate statute? Will she name the offense allegedly suffered by the putative victims, and why it’s appropriate to brand the accused with a social media scarlet letter before the claims are tested in a court of law? Or will this be another scenario where feelings trump facts and the law, and those who want to have their “marginalized” voice gain yet another platform with which to rake those who allegedly wronged them across the coals?
Will we get retweets from Ms. Baker over matters such as the solicitation of prostitution, pandering of obscene material to others or juveniles, or evil adult film shops near Ohio University unlawfully operating viewing booths depicting sexual conduct?
After a review of her blog and Twitter account, it’s difficult to say that Baker would manage to include such offenses. She doesn’t seem as taken with the world as it actually occurs rather her life viewpoint, which comes from the notions of “male privilege,” the thought that all men need to be taught not to rape, and even the slightest uncomfortable speech makes for a valid claim that sexual harassment happened absent a legal finding or even cursory review by a prosecutor for potential charge. It’s a nice notion in which to wrap yourself when surrounded by the shield that is academia. It’s another thing entirely to support your claims, or those you echo from others, in a platform that never goes away.
Baker claims she will report any and all instances of aggrieved parties experiencing sexual harassment or otherwise, regardless of gender. However, her past twit history tends to suggest this may be lip service to those who think her self-created Ohio University Harassment Registry might be more slanted to those whom she sees as historically imbalanced in the world.
Here is the dirty secret no one in positions such as Baker’s wants to admit: Technology makes people dumber, and allows for the placement and publication of rash decisions. Her ability to provide a platform for the propagation of poor life choices doesn’t mean she’s a hero for justice and equality; it’s made her a potential target for those whose claims are eventually unfounded and end up in a court for statements that harm the reputation of others to the point where their lives are irreparably damaged based on her campaign of social media shaming since equality and justice prevail over what is set in the law.
Words mean things. Those words have consequences when slung about, despite what those in the ivory tower of academia say. Rachel Baker doesn’t get a pass on that, and I hope she learns the lesson before suffering an adverse consequence. Or else, I hope she finds a job earning a lot of money so that she can pay off the damage awards for the massive libel suits that will surely come her way.