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Fear for Our Sons: A Mother’s Hell in an Age of Scandal

Ever since Christine Ford publicly leveled accusations of attempted rape against Judge Brett Kavanaugh, everyone in the media and politics has felt the need to tip-toe around the obvious for fear of being called sexist. “She is brave,” they opine. “She is to be believed,” they assert.

Allow those of us who are mothers of boys one moment here, please. Indulge us, because you are not likely to hear this in the public square, though it is rumbling in private discourse, on social media, in emails, at dinner parties, and ladies’ lunches all around America. And this point of view needs its moment in the sun. Why? Because it just might be true.

What? What might be true?

It just might be true that Professor Ford did falsely accuse Judge Brett Kavanaugh. There – It’s been said. We get that this is politically inappropriate to think or verbalize — let alone publish. But it’s not like falsely accusing a man of sexual assault is unheard of, is it?

Here are seven words that send shivers down the spines of every one of us mothers who are raising boys to be men:

Tawana Brawley, Duke lacrosse, William Kennedy Smith.

Brawley is an oldie, but in many ways is the gold standard regarding concocted stories bound to make someone else’s life miserable. At the age of 15, Ms. Brawley was found in a trash bag, covered in feces and with racial slurs written on her body. Who did it? Why, four dastardly white men – a few police officers and a prosecuting attorney.

Tawana Brawley

The hue-and-cry over Miss Brawley’s case was heard from sea to shining sea. But there was a problem with the case: A grand jury concluded that Brawley was likely not a victim, but that she staged the false attack – complete with the accouterments – all by herself.

Fast forward to 1991 and let’s peek into the William Kennedy Smith/Patricia Bowman case. This was much less crude than the Brawley affair but still oh so damning. Yes, even the Palm Beach elite at Au Bar on Good Friday must answer the charges of the accuser. Indeed, the second child of JFK’s sister, Jean, vehemently protested his innocence. Even Uncle Teddy took the stand to say that, while he admittedly wasn’t the best role model, his nephew was no rapist.

In the end, Smith was acquitted of all charges.

And that brings us to case study number three: Duke lacrosse. Liberty Nation’s Legal Affairs Editor Scott D. Cosenza followed the trial closely and tells us why he believes this to be one of the most egregious cases:

“The Duke Lacrosse case is particularly scandalous because of the multiple profound corruptions that took place to carry the allegations through to a trial.  Yes, there was a false accuser, but the system should have caught her lies. Tara Levicy a ‘Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE)’ at the hospital believed all women.  She did so despite the lack of physical evidence and perjured herself claiming there was physical evidence.

Then Durham Police Officer Mark Gottlieb got involved.  The case supervisor, he was known as a ‘Dukie-basher’ who loved to throw students in jail for petty offenses, Gottlieb conducted an investigation designed not to investigate, but to fabricate.  He committed suicide after leaving the department.  After all that, Mike Nifong was the District attorney.

Nifong, a true believer social justice type before the name was popular, thought he could ride these frat boys right into re-election.  Duke students don’t vote in Durham you see, and the largely black population was calling for blood over the fantastic reports of the gang-raping rich white boys brutalizing this local black girl.”

Mike Nifong

The lack of any demonstrable facts supporting the rape claim in the Duke lacrosse case — and the mountain of exculpatory evidence – did not deter Nifong in his hot pursuit of these young men. Nifong lied to the court about the DNA tests, which showed evidence in and around the alleged victim’s private parts of at least six unknown men – but none of the Lacrosse players. He was willing to sacrifice their very lives for his political gain.

Lest you believe these situations only happen in high profile cases, here’s the proof it could happen to anyone. My pal from California sent her son to an Ivy League school, only to see him brought up on sexual assault charges before his freshman year was out. This family forked over cash they didn’t have to mount a defense. In the end, he was exonerated because the Judge saw the hundreds – nay thousands – of text messages this obsessed young lady had sent to the boy, who gently but firmly said he wasn’t interested. Hurt and angry, she took her false grievances to the school and made my friend’s life a living hell for over a year. In his final decision, the judge reprimanded the college girl for falsely accusing the young man. But “sorry” and “It’s finally over” is about all they “won” in the end.

In a recent discussion with one of my sons, my husband recently asked him not to tell any woman – young or old – that she’s pretty. “It’s a strange sexual climate that we are in,” he said, “and I don’t want anyone to misunderstand you or think you are making an untoward advance.” As paranoid as that might seem, it’s sound advice considering both recent news and these earlier cases. This, my friends, is a sad reality, is it not?

Now before I get roasted on a spit by progressive women, allow me to say that I understand sexual assault. You don’t get to be my age without a few sexual rodeos that you have to deal with from bosses, boyfriends, and bad boys. I get that every male is not a saint and every female does not falsely accuse men of rape.

But …

We must have some semblance of fairness and respect for the truth in this country. We can’t merely damn all men as guilty until proven innocent. It’s not just unfair to them – but to those of us who sweat and bleed and have survived a culture that seems to have a finger of guilt pointed at our sons. And it is long past time we stand up for our boys and say enough is enough.

Read More From Leesa K. Donner

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