04/08/2015 Jonathan Taylor

The UVA rape hoax: aftermath and lessons for us all

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I hope many of us are familiar with what is now called The UVA Rape Hoax. Back in November, a “journalist” at Rolling Stone named Sabrina Rubin Erdely published an account of a woman named “Jackie” who was allegedly gang-raped at a Phi Kappa Psi frat house. As we pointed out (among other things) in December 2014, the rhetoric with which Erdely described frats was so caricatured that it bordered on being a transparent farce.

Erdely’s account has since been discredited in its entirety. More than being merely “baseless,” virtually every claim made by “Jackie” and chronicled by Erdely in Rolling Stone has been objectively proven false. After a four-month investigation, Charlottesville police declared they had “exhausted all investigative leads” and that there is “no substantive basis to support the account alleged in the Rolling Stone article.”

As the final nail in the coffin, The Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism released a scathing 13,000-word report claiming that

Rolling Stone‘s repudiation of the main narrative in “A Rape on Campus” is a story of journalistic failure that was avoidable. The failure encompassed reporting, editing, editorial supervision and fact-checking. The magazine set aside or rationalized as unnecessary essential practices of reporting that, if pursued, would likely have led the magazine’s editors to reconsider publishing Jackie’s narrative so prominently, if at all. The published story glossed over the gaps in the magazine’s reporting by using pseudonyms and by failing to state where important information had come from.

Sabrina Erdely issued an “apology” on April 5, 2015 to “Rolling Stone’s readers, to my Rolling Stone editors and colleagues, to the U.V.A. community, and to any victims of sexual assault who may feel fearful as a result of my article.” She made no apologies to the falsely accused young men – an apology that is deeply owed, and the omission of which is a telltale sign of the lack of moral character that underpinned and motivated her extreme lack of professionalism.

uva-university-virginia-rape-case-jackie-coakley-sabrina-rubin-erdley-rolling-stone-false-rape

The vandalized Phi Kappa Psi fraternity

Rolling Stone, however, has decided not to fire Erdely. They have also not declared that they will make any policy changes in light of what they have “learned.” As one commenter on Reddit put it, “No one fired, censured, suspended, no pay checks docked, delayed, or denied, not even to pay for the broken windows at the frat house.”

Nor did the avalanching evidence that Erdely’s story was a massive farce stop “social justice warriors” – Feminists being prominent among them – from continuing their deranged crusade to destroy the reputations and livelihoods of the young men at Phi Kappa Psi, and to use the occasion as an excuse to demonize men and masculinity in general, and college men in particular. These Feminists held (and still hold) incredible influence in the media and even the legal system, and to this day they have neither retracted their positions nor apologized for their unvarnished bigotry.

Now Phi Kappa Psi plans to sue Rolling Stone, and I hope they clean them out. An example needs to be made out of people who do this kind of thing. If Rolling Stone wants to shelter the likes of Sabrina Erdely and give a free pass to the kind of prejudice she foments, they deserve to go down with her.

Feminists are still clinging to their guns, however. For all of their claims of “but Feminism helps men too” none of them have dissented with the likes of Jessica Valenti and other Feminist media mobsters by putting forth the idea that maybe – just maybe – assuming guilt on the basis of sex is the exact opposite of what equality is about. These Feminists continue to publish articles about how “something” must still have happened.

Someone should let them know that April fools was a week ago.

The question now becomes: how can we take this catastrophic failure of social justice and turn it into something positive? How can we take the regressive, stone-age mentality of Feminists & Friends, and make progress toward something that resembles real equality?

First and foremost, when it comes to issues like this, we must create a culture of compassion for the wrongly accused. We also must not shy away from acknowledging the fact that when it comes to rape, 99% of the wrongly accused are men. And we must familiarize ourselves with their experiences and hear them out in their own light.

Men whose are falsely accused of rape often have their reputations destroyed. Their livelihood is turned to shambles. Their friends are alienated or turned against them. Their families fractured. Their confidence and sense of security are shattered. They are falsely imprisoned for months if not years, where ironically they stand a greater likelihood of actually being raped. They suffer from vigilante attacks and vandalism. And they experience suicidal thoughts and tendencies borderline on suicidal tendencies.

In short, they experience every form of suffering that victims of rape experience. And that means we have every reason to say that false rape accusations can be just as harmful as rape itself, and victims of false rape accusations deserve our compassion, attention, protection, and care.

"Social justice warriors" at Duke University, calling for sexual violence against the three falsely accused lacrosse members

“Social justice warriors” at Duke University, calling for sexual violence against the three falsely accused lacrosse members

It is beyond obvious by now that Feminism cannot create this culture of empathy for the wrongly accused. Far from it; overwhelming evidence strongly confirms that their modus operandi is to demonize the wrongly accused simply for existing in the first place. They have not learned anything since the Duke lacrosse rape hoax, the Bryan Banks case, the Hofstra rape hoax, the Meg Lanker-Simons rape threat hoax, or any of the other many rape hoaxes that have come to light in recent years.

And that brings us to one of the most important lessons, one that non-Feminists need to learn as well: if we have not learned by now that Feminists will never learn from their mistakes, I fear we have learned very little indeed. They will continue – as they always have – to destroy the lives of innocent men simply for being accused, and will not stop until the power to do so has been seized from their grasp, and until they are effectively marginalized from the discussion on gender issues.

Enough of the senseless deflections of “but Feminism is about equality,” “not all Feminists are like that,” and so forth. The actions of these Feminists speak far louder than such fairy-tale wants and wishes of what Feminism would be, could be, or should be.

When it comes to what Feminism is in the real word, this is what Feminism looks like, and it will never change. It is irredeemably corrupt, and it’s time to toss it into the rubbish heap alongside other historical bigotries and failed ideologies.

And if you need pictures to remind you, just take a look at the key AVFMS page “The Face of Misandry in Academia” (excerpts below). This is what Feminism looks like:

zerlina-maxwell-washington-post-rape-uva-virginia

 

jezebel-uva-rape-story-2

 

jessica-valenti-trust-women-uva

Ottawa WRC

 

HU - SFY

 

Dudetip

And all that, of course, is just a sample.

Jonathan Taylor
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Jonathan Taylor

Jonathan is Title IX For All's founder, editor, web designer, and database developer. Hailing from Texas, he makes a mean red beans n' rice and is always interested to learn new things.
Jonathan Taylor
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About the Author

Jonathan Taylor Jonathan is Title IX For All's founder, editor, web designer, and database developer. Hailing from Texas, he makes a mean red beans n' rice and is always interested to learn new things.

Comments (36)

  1. Dan Slezak

    NAFALT. Yes they are!
    And not all feminists are women. Sad, really. A movement that’s supposed to be about equality, would have stopped its attack on men a long time ago.

     
    • I agree – so many programs that say “believe the victim [accuser]” and are at best indifferent to the wrongly accused. There needs to be a balance.

       
      • Tony Tang

        That is exactly what is happening in most of universities. Gender advocacy groups in my unversity are promoting “sexual awareness month” too, and yesterday I saw they use similar slogans in KSU and other universities, such as “Stop And Listen!” ,”Believe Women!”, and “Real Men Don’t Rape!”. Since I am in a male-dominated STEM university, I presume that those female-dominated unversity are in a worse situation. There is a powerful system behind all of these. Until we take down the system, there is no chance to prevent future rape hoax and take back our basic respect of male students.

         
  2. tuesdayprichard

    Holy cow. These women are NUTS! Plain and simple. These stories are about mentally ill women who have daddy issues. They need therapy and maybe some jail time for those special ones who take things too far.

     
  3. David Pearlman

    This is not tone policing. This is a factual dispute. This was not a hoax. Deliberate lies would have been much harder to disprove. This case bears all of the marks of post traumatic memory dysfunction, group think, and confirmation bias, and none of the marks of a calculated lie.

     
    • “post traumatic memory dysfunction”

      Right. The kind of trauma that makes virtually all your substantial claims completely, totally false.

      Kind of like the post traumatic memory dysfunction George Bush could have had when he lied about there being weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. He was traumatized that Bush Sr. didn’t get to Saddam first, he just didn’t know how to tell the truth.

       
      • David Pearlman

        Your arrogant sarcasm makes the fact that your thoughts are not very thoughtful all the more satisfying to point out.

        Yes, all of Jackie’s claims were completely false. Does this indicate a calculated lie? Much the opposite. A calculated lie would contain elements of truth, and the fallacies would have been much more subtle and difficult to judge.

        A good example was the WMD lies. Thanks for pointing that out. Why’d you edit it out? Note the consistency of the message, the unfalsifiability of the false claims, the disciplined manner in which all of the liars stuck to the same story. These are all indicators of a hoax. Indicators that are not present in Jackie’s story.

        Post traumatic memory dysfunction is a real thing. A thing that you should be familiar with if you were really in line with this site’s supposed value of compassion towards rape victims. An article with this language should never have passed the editor’s desk.

         
        • Giving accusers the benefit of the doubt is not in line with the ideals of due process.

          People do remember things differently due to trauma, but there is a question of degree as well. It’s one thing for a few things to be wrong and a few right, but the UVA case is different entirely.

          Also, accusers of all crimes (not just rape) have a responsibility to fact-check themselves as well. The onus is on them to make sure they are not giving in to flights of fancy. On a lesser note but similar in function, I remember very nearly writing an article condemning one of my former professors, but then I revisited our old emails and thought about it in a different light, and held back. And it was my responsibility to do that.

          “Unfalsifiability” is indeed a consistent element of a hoax, and it’s also a consistent element among false rape claims. “Something *must* have happened to Jackie – prove it didn’t!” people say. “Give the accuser the benefit of the doubt.”

          No.

           
          • David Pearlman

            You make the claim that the case is a hoax. That shifts the burden of proof onto you. A fallacy is only a lie if you can demonstrate intent, which you have failed to do. You are overreaching.

            I am careful to begin my article on a speculative note. “More than likely.” I have already noted, earlier in this thread, the factors that make me think she is likely sincere.

             
          • Assuming that she was a victim and that all her false statements were actually post-traumatic memories is not evidence. You need actual evidence, not assumptions and theories.

            The intent of the false accuser here is about as relevant as a rapist’s intent. A false rape accuser “misunderstanding” her memories is about as relevant as a rapist “misunderstanding” consent. A hoax can be a hoax for all sorts of reasons, even “understandable” and “good” reasons.

             
          • David Pearlman

            Actually, intent has everything to do with whether or not something is a “hoax.”

            http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/hoax

            “1. something *intended* to deceive or defraud”

            You are the one making assumptions. I am the one pointing out that they are unfounded, by describing a much more likely counter narrative. The fact that I can’t provide any direct evidence for my counter narrative does not mean that you have supported your initial narrative. Since you are the one making a positive claim, that this is a hoax, the burden of proof is on you.

            If Jackie were deliberately lying, why not pick a day when the frat was actually throwing a party? Why not pick a name that actually matched the name of someone in the frat? While neither of us has direct evidence, my narrative matches the available information much more neatly than yours does.

            You appear to be stretching in order to make the most damning accusation that you can. It all being false isn’t good enough for you. The fact that everyone swallowed a false story without reservation isn’t good enough for you. Your ideological opponents need to be liars. It’s partisanship gone beyond where you can support it.

            So I step in to my usual role of explaining to someone that I broadly agree with that their commitment to their ideology has led them astray.

             
          • The dictionary definition isn’t the end-all-be-all. I can cite definitions that support my stance as well:

            “to trick into believing or accepting as genuine something false and often preposterous”

            http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hoax

            Note that it says nothing about intent.

            Also, you still need evidence for your claim that “something likely happened to Jackie.”

             
          • David Pearlman

            But it does mention “trick,” which implies intention.

            http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/trick?s=t

            “a crafty or underhanded device, maneuver, stratagem, or the like,*intended* to deceive or cheat; artifice; ruse; wile.”

            Once again, I’m not making assumption. I’m pointing out that you are. There is no evidence that this is a hoax. We both agree that her statements have been proven false. Neither of us has much evidence about her intentions.

            But as I initially pointed out, this case has all of the markers of a faulty traumatized memory and none of the markers of a deliberate lie. You can’t explain why a liar would tell such a terribly obvious lie.

             
          • “Tricky” is a very fuzzy definition. And also, appealing to the dictionary is a fallacy in itself; the dictionary also says Feminism is about equality.

            To get right down to it, I really don’t care to what degree Jackie was so “vulnerable” that she indulged in flights of fancy and projected her delusions onto the world around her. Again, I care as much as I would care about a rapist’s flights of fancy that his rape victim actually consented.

            In essence, we need to stop coming up with rationalizations to exonerate false accusers. “Jackie” will be excused on this platform as soon as we start excusing rapists by blaming their rapes of others on their own mental problems that were “beyond their control.” Which is never.

             
          • David Pearlman

            You’re floundering. Pulling out logical fallacies that you don’t understand and aren’t applying properly. Here is a decent description of the appeal to definition fallacy, if you care to broaden your understanding. As you can see I have not fallen into it.

            http://www.logicallyfallacious.com/index.php/logical-fallacies/27-appeal-to-definition

            I was using definitions to illuminate the implications of your loaded language. If the implication were unintentional, that would have been an opportunity to edit yourself for accuracy. It turns out to be an accurate analysis of your intended meaning, as you have expressed in this thread.

            Well, I’m glad that we’ve finally gotten down to it. You really don’t care. Also known as a lack of compassion. I’m tempted to speculate as to what is going on in your head, but I will refrain.

            You do seem to agree with the feminist opinion that compassion for the falsely accused and compassion for the raped are in a zero sum contest. This is neither true nor conducive to constructive dialogue.

            As far as what this platform will and will not be used for, the submissions policy is quite clear that this is meant to be a very broad tent. But evidently towing the partisan party line ought to be one of the requirements. There’s nothing wrong with that, per say. But it would be more honest of you to say so up front and save people the bother of submitting articles that contain ideas you don’t agree with.

             
          • No, I don’t care about exonerating false rape accusers, just like I don’t care about exonerating rapists. And that – holding people accountable – is a good thing. Tell me, how much compassion do you have for rapists?

            It’s not a zero-sum game, but if you can’t hold false rape accusers accountable, you are a part of the problem.

            Is it true that some false rape accusers were victims of some kind of horrible trauma? Yes. Is it also true that many rapists were beaten as children, neglected by their parents, scoffed at by society, and so forth, but constantly bringing that up when the main point of discussion is their choice to rape is not just a red herring, it’s negligent and dangerous.

            Being compassionate to the harm done to people is one thing, but when it reaches the point of glossing over the serious crimes they go on to perpetrate, it becomes wrong.

            Jackie is a false rape accuser, and your entire posting history here is a red herring. Whatever Jackie supposedly experienced is irrelevant to holding her accountable for a false accusation of rape.

            And please, drop the skeptic act. You need more than “she accused someone of a crime” to assume “something likely happened to her.”

             
          • David Pearlman

            You are mainly concerned with the personal responsibility of traumatized rape victims. I am discussing the truth value of the usage of the word hoax.

            I actually need no more than “she accused someone of a crime” to conclude that “something likely happened to her,” because Occam’s Razor.

            What you are doing is jumping from “she said something untrue” to “she deliberately lied.” You want to paint her as a deliberate malicious actor, but you simply don’t have either evidence or theory to get you from one to the other. A deliberately malicious actor would likely have been much more effective.

             
          • “You are mainly concerned with the personal responsibility of traumatized rape victims.”

            I’m concerned with the responsibility of rape accusers. Let’s say she actually was raped by someone else somewhere else. Well, someone who is raped by one man and then falsely accuses another should not escape justice in my book. It is not, and has never been proven that “Jackie” is a rape victim, and the evidence is far more strongly against her than for her.

            In contrast, you are focused on semantics and wordplay.

            She did lie, but whether out of malice, selfishness, a “cry for help,” I don’t know, and it’s a secondary concern and a red herring at this point. And yes, I believe that if someone deliberately allows themselves to be overtaken by flights of fancy to the point of being negligent and reckless that they are still liable for telling things that are blatantly untrue when they had good reason to believe otherwise.

            I don’t buy the whole “I was traumatized, so I created a totally false story” line in this particular case. It’s one thing to say something untrue *one time* on the fly when someone catches you off guard and you don’t have a chance for introspection and response. But that’s not what happened here.

            In Jackie’s case, she methodically laid out a story riddled to the core with false statements to a reporter not once, not twice, but over numerous occasions over days and weeks. That strains the intellectual foundation of such a claim, and asking someone to believe it is essentially asking them to be gullible – especially when you have zero evidence that she actually was traumatized by something else, and when all the evidence is against her.

            No sir, even when being charitable, the evidence is against both your claim and Jackie.

             
          • David Pearlman

            Jackie didn’t do anything methodically. Her story was fragmented. It changed dramatically, and was inconsistent with readily available evidence. What you don’t seem to realize is that this exactly what you would expect from a victim of trauma.

             
          • Fair enough, it wasn’t methodical. But a lack of method does not a traumatized victim make. Crystal Gayle Mangum, for example, was far less methodic, and changed her story very many times.

            Lying is not always like a script. People often haphazardly come up with lies to bury other lies, and have a hard time keeping track. And people can be amateur liars as well.

            You are making the assumption that Jackie would have to be an expert liar to lie, and to lay out everything perfectly to lie at all. She need not.

             
          • David Pearlman

            Well, she’d have to be a complete idiot in order to make up a lie like that. A frat initiation during the wrong season. A party on a night that there was no party. A specific name of a person who isn’t even in the frat. A job for the person that no one in the frat works. Does this sound like someone chasing one lie after another in order to cover her tracks in the face of skepticism?

            The scandal here is not that she made a false accusation. People do that all the time. Sometimes they do it maliciously and intentionally. Sometimes they do it because their memories aren’t fitting together right. It’s hard to distinguish one from the other reliably, and so we’re both speculating. I am at least labeling my speculation as educated speculation, with, I think, a fuller understanding of memory construction than you have.

            But this argument is missing the point. The question isn’t why she made false statements. The question is why they were believed so readily, and why skeptics as the story broke were demonized.

            When people make false accusations in court, there is at least the pretense of due process. But what we have here is a confirmation bias machine. Men are punished, by having their education derailed and in the court of public opinion, without even the pretext of examining their cases skeptically. With skepticism itself demonized in the court of public opinion. That’s the scandal.

             
          • James Ratliff

            You sound like a fellow that has been accused. More than once?

             
          • James Ratliff

            You protest to loudly to not be!

             
          • You’d be the guy back in the 1800s wanting to see a black man stretched out on a tree simply for being accused. And of course, if someone protests that kind of treatment, they would be”rapists” too in your view.

            How enlightened.

            Not interested in talking to or giving a platform to bigots and idiots who think presuming guilt is a virtue. Some people are on board with human rights, but you don’t seem to be one of them; you seem to be of the mindset that human rights only belong to the groups you like.

            Values are only values when we apply them to all people. If not, they are not values but prejudices. Try doing that and you might actually being progressive for a change. Until then, you fall short.

            See ya.

             
  4. srsly

    You should go to the frat and offer space here for members to talk about their backgrounds and about how they felt when they happened to get in the way of a crazy woman backed by the media and a mob of social justice idiots. This story was put forward as their best case because all fraternity members are presumed to be privileged, white, and wealthy, while real cases are discussed only as numbers because the perpetrators are usually mentally unhealthy, lower class, and uneducated. If any of these students are willing to come forward and state where they really come from, I think it’s very likely that even the most usefully idiotic people would find them very human. If they can’t dehumanize you, if your point of view isn’t “problematic”, then they can’t justify their willingness to harm you without meaningful examination of the facts.

     
  5. Reason

    The word “hoax” is inaccurate. Perhaps “hate-fraud”, “male lynching” or something else will do. A hoax is a prank, this is a felony.

     

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