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There's Only One Way This #MeToo Madness Truly Ends

AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File

When the #MeToo movement kicked off in earnest, there was an actual purpose behind it. There were some incredibly nasty, horrific practices in Tinsel Town concerning women and very powerful people. Actors, producers, and directors were sexually assaulting people and abusing their positions and influence to force others into sexual situations they didn't want to be in. It absolutely needed to stop. 

But like every mainstream movement, it was very quickly corrupted and used for political purposes or a hit of the spotlight for 15 minutes of fame and a payday. Who was actually guilty and who was innocent became muddled as accusations became a dime a dozen. It came to a head with the Brett Kavanaugh media circus, and the Democrats' desperation to prove he was somehow a mastermind sex trafficker at a young age despite all the evidence in the world pointing to the fact that he was one of the most squeaky-clean people walking the planet. All in an attempt to stop him from being elevated to the Supreme Court. 

By the time the dust settled, the #MeToo movement had developed a bad name and, for the most part, went relatively quiet. This doesn't mean it went away. The spirit lingers, and it readies itself to pounce on whoever it needs to when the moment is right. 

This brings us to Russell Brand, who is now being accused by three women of raping them, one of whom was a minor at the time of the alleged activity. As I wrote earlier on Monday, the accusations against Brand are years old at this point, and the attacks on him are now coming at a time when his star as a political commentator is becoming hard to ignore for the left. 

(READ: Lauren Boebert and Russell Brand Are Proof the Media's Gun Only Points One Way)

Whether or not Brand is guilty is currently unproven, and, as of this writing, there has been no evidence brought forward. Just claims from three women that the media is jumping all over. 

I hope Brand is innocent for several reasons.

For starters, it's my deepest and sincere hope that three women didn't suffer rape in any way. Rape is devastating on multiple levels, and no one should have to endure it. I also hope Brand is innocent because I hope that a guy I've come to respect and listen to hasn't ever sunk that low. 

But I also hope it's not true because we, as a society, need to start having a conversation about false and/or politically timed accusations. 

Even before the #MeToo movement, false rape and sexual assault accusations were putting people  — namely men — in dire straits whether they were guilty or not. A really good example of this is the Rolling Stone article "A Rape on Campus," which accused an entire fraternity of raping a girl going by "Jackie." It was all false, but before it was proven that "Jackie" was a serial liar with an attention problem, the members of the fraternity were subjected to all manner of harassment, death threats, and destruction of property. 

Then there was "Mattress Girl" Emma Sulkowicz, who claimed to be raped at Columbia University and carried the mattress she was allegedly raped on around with her as a way to raise awareness about the American rape culture that's being ignored. Without evidence, the university expelled the man she accused of raping her, but if they had delved into it, they would have found that Sulkowicz was likely lying through her teeth

These are just two examples of men being punished by women who falsely accused them. There are many more, and some men don't just suffer a blow to their reputations. Some rot in prison for decades over these accusations while being completely innocent. 

Every state needs to institute harsh punishments for false accusations. This "listen and believe" nonsense is another way of saying "guilty until proven innocent." This approach our society takes when it comes to claims of rape and sexual assault isn't just destructive to the lives of innocents; it encourages a society that doesn't wait for evidence. Moreover, it encourages the weaponization of accusations for the purpose of political expedience. 

To be clear, I think women who have been raped should come forward, but they should come forward immediately after it's happened. I don't want rapists to get away, and I want very badly for women (or anyone) who were wronged in this way to get justice. 

However, too many people are suffering life-destroying accusations based on nothing but an accusation. Anyone who makes a false accusation should suffer the same penalties the person accused of would. Lying about this should come with severe punishments. 

Rape isn't a tool to be used for personal or political gain. It's an awful crime that should be taken seriously, but in order for it to be taken seriously, we have to start coming down on those who lie about it. 

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