Meredith Maran, in writing about falsely accusing her father of molesting her, has been lauded for her bravery, compassion, and honesty by no lesser literary lights than Anne Lamott, Elizabeth Loftus, and Michael Chabon. One must wonder, however, whether a memoir by her father about the torment of being falsely accused and alienated from his grandchildren, particularly if Ms. Maran had maintained her story of abuse, would have received the same sympathetic interest, never mind the same critical acclaim.
Thanks to how Google News is prioritizing its returns for the search term “false accusations,” I came across a Salon.com interview the other day (published in 2010) that speaks significantly to how false claims of abuse, even “false memories” of abuse, can be socially coerced. What it relates exemplifies why how we talk about violence is a very big deal.
More than 20 years ago, Meredith Maran falsely accused her father…
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