Mr. Brightside wrote:CBrachyrhynchos wrote:You know, I probably would have initially suspected Penny and Sara because:
1: False reports are very rare.
2: There's no magic rapist profile to exclude them.
When you hear hoofbeats think of horses and not zebras. We as readers know Charlotte was a zebra because we have the benefit of multiple perspectives and character development of all the principles involved. But from a limited perspective I'm not convinced that it so terrible to give Charlotte the benefit of the doubt until more information was uncovered. When confronted with evidence that Charlotte was a zebra rather than a horse, Daphne took responsibility for her mistake and apologized.
Concern about not "convicting" Penny and Sara is misplaced because they're not on a jury. It is entirely reasonable to cut a person out of your social circle on the accusation of a sex crime, and I've done so on multiple occasions.
Lesbian rape is also very rare. Charlotte was already a zebra. Add in that most of the cast knew her to be unstable, and specifically to have a history of trying to set people up for serious crimes...
Trigger Warning: homophobic & transphobic language
First, I don't want to call it "lesbian" rape. Straight women are capable of raping other women, straight men are capable of raping other men, orientation does not always play into that. Sometimes, (particularly with straight men raping men?) if anything, it's done when finding out the person is gay/bi or trans as punishment because "you like that, don't you, you freak, that's all freaks like you are good for".
Now, it is very rare, but are the rates of false accusations significantly higher in woman-raping-woman cases? Because that's the point CBrach is making here, false reports are very rare. Not "rape is so common!", although later posts do say that, but "false reports are very rare". And the effects of not believing a genuine accusation of rape, and I don't just mean when taking it to court we aren't talking about that, are horrific for the victim.
Ideally the people who know Sara would've confronted her about it seriously. Not storming off in tears, refusing to think she might be innocent, but "Look, you were accused of this- and while I don't want to believe it's true, and the source is way less than credible, but it's a serious accusation and I don't want to just write it off. What's your side?". Because this sort of thing should be treated as serious even if it's by someone you hate because rape sucks and it's way too often dismissed without any evidence that it didn't happen with "[alleged rapist] is cooler than you so STFU". (I'm pretty sure Penny was only referenced as her girlfriend and justification because "we own the school", not accused of doing it herself)
Also, ideally someone who Charlotte didn't hate (so... maybe Fred or Duane at that point?) could talk to her gently to get her side as well. Considering who Charlotte is, I don't think anyone would expect her to be an awesome actor so if directly asked "Did Sara really do that to you?" (again, gently, no matter how much you want to believe Sara and dislike Charlotte just remember how horrible it is for real rape victims who aren't believed) it'd be obvious if she was lying or not. It might even make it clear that she was being abused, so while Sara didn't do that to her, someone did and, given Aggie, maybe they could've done something about it sooner.