A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
How Sleeping with the Wrong Woman Might Turn You Into a Rapist
I had a conversation recently with someone who told me that her son had been accused of rape. Not only had he been accused, he pleaded guilty to the crime as part of a deal with the state. I wasn’t sure if the man was guilty or not, but his mother seemed convinced that her son would never do such a thing. I hope she’s right.
According to the accused, he slept with the woman during a one night stand, and the woman accused him of sexual assault as a way to get revenge. She says that her son only took the plea deal because he was being tortured by having to stay in a jail cell with violent felons. I listened to the story patiently, but since I was not the judge, attorney, or prosecutor, my opinion really didn’t matter. The fact is that, no matter what I think or anyone else, in the eyes of society, her son is a rapist.
It doesn’t matter if he goes to church, if he has a family, if he is a medical doctor or even if he’s innocent. The state has given him a label that he will never be able to shake for the rest of his life. And for all I know, he might deserve it. I wasn’t in the bedroom when he chose to sleep with that woman.
What does matter to me, however, is the answer to this question: What if he really was telling the truth? It’s not as if we don’t know about countless black men being incarcerated for things they didn’t do, it happens all the time. I also know of a separate case where a man was falsely accused of sexual assault as a form of revenge. You may have heard of similar cases yourself. In a world of political dichotomies, we are often not allowed to discuss the nuances of male-female interaction, but we all know that not everything is as cut and dry as Melissa Harris-Perry might want you to believe.
But despite all of the situations where an innocent man has been falsely convicted, it is difficult to know who did what. Even if a man has been your best friend for 20 years, you still have no idea how that person behaves in the bedroom. So those who vehemently defend friends who are accused of sexual assault are vulnerable to deception and doing a huge disservice to the victim.
So, I’m not talking to rapists. I’m talking to men who would never have sex with a woman against her will and never want to be caught up in stupid situations that can be easily avoided. I’m talking to brothers who care about their future and also have common sense.
My warning to young men is to be extremely careful about how, where and with whom you spread your seed. The dumb a** music on the radio sends a message that every time a beautiful woman opens her legs for you, you’re supposed to “take it.” They don’t remind you that some of these women may be diseased, and that stripper/jump off/random woman you slept with on a one night stand might possibly end up being the mother of one of your kids.
Even beyond the simple hazards that come with lying down with a woman who could destroy your life in a heartbeat is the fact that some women are FLAT-OUT-CRAZY. You might think you’re in control because she’s sweet, sexy and hangs on your every word. But you also run the risk that she may decide to punish you by dropping an ugly allegation that could send your entire life into a tailspin. I won’t even talk about how often brothers go broke from paying a ton of child support.
We live in a world where, for some crimes, the mere accusation is enough to bring you down. When I had a friend falsely accused of rape (the evidence strongly supported his claim of innocence), he spent three weeks in jail, had to drop out of school, lost his job, was arrested at work, and spent $3,000 he didn’t have fighting the charges. The saddest part of it all is that the woman who made the accusation was a pretty girl at work he slept with during a drunken one-night stand.
So, the question for my friend might have been, “Was it worth it?” I can’t answer that question for him, but I’d guess he would say that it was not. Sex is a wonderful and powerful thing, but with anything that powerful, there comes a great deal of responsibility. Slinging your “stuff” at any pretty girl who comes along is a great way to end up with a bunch of problems you don’t want. Believe me, I’ve seen it far more times than you can imagine.
Deep down, I’ve always felt sorry for the Idris Elbas of the world, who have woman bowing at their feet. The temptations are great and the risks of infection, unwanted pregnancies and false accusations are extremely high. So, I concluded a long time ago that having whatever you want is not always good for you, and you have to be extremely careful about who you allow into your life.
So, as you enjoy the spoils of being young and the fact that it’s easier than ever to get women to sleep with you, understand that all that glitters ain’t gold, and you have to respect your body. But even beyond that, respect your future and don’t put it in the hands of a stranger. She might be a wolf in freaks clothing.
Dr. Boyce Watkins is the author of the lecture series, “The 8 Principles of Black Male Empowerment.” To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.