12/08/2014 Jonathan Taylor

As UVA case unravels, Feminists scramble with damage control but maintain presumptions of male guilt

Sabrina Rubin Erdely

Sabrina Rubin Erdely

Three weeks ago Rolling Stone published an article by Sabrina Rubin Erdely. It chronicled the story of a young woman named “Jackie” who was (allegedly) “brutally assaulted by seven men at a frat party.” According to Erdely, “Jackie” tried to get the University of Virginia to take her (alleged) sexual assault seriously, but the university was indifferent because it wanted to protect its reputation.

It is hard to overstate the degree of exposure this piece achieved. Nearly every major media outlet reported on it (examples: CNN, PBS). Sweeping reforms were demanded at UVA. The university president Teresa Sullivan (who had actually resigned as president in 2012, only to be reinstated later) suspended all Greek activity at UVA.

Massive hatred was poured upon fraternities through a plethora of channels. The frat house itself was vandalized, and the members were demonized (see the various pictures in this post for examples).

The Kool-Aid drinkers were out in force, lashing out at men as a group, at fraternities writ large, and university administrations. Simply read through the comments section of the RS article and see for yourself. Or go to the #istandwithjackie Twitter feed to see for yourself.

One small problem: Sabrina Erdely at Rolling Stone, at the behest of “Jackie,” never contacted the men she claimed assaulted her to get the other side of the story. That should have been a red flag that “Jackie” quite possibly didn’t want them to get the other side of the story. Call it a rookie mistake, but award-winning “freelance journalists” like Sabrina Erdely should know better.

Perhaps she thought she could get away with it. And granted, if this were the 1990s, she very likely could. But we live in 2014, an age when information is not only much more free, it also travels much more quickly.

Since her initial article in mid-November, more facts discovered by other news organizations have come to light that do not support “Jackie’s” story, let alone Erdely’s article. The cumulative impact of these facts has prompted Rolling Stone to write a retraction in which they said “we have come to the conclusion that our trust in the accuser was misplaced.”

What are these facts? Let’s list a few:

  • The person “Jackie” named as the “main rapist” was not a member of the fraternity where she claimed the rape occurred
  • There was no frat party on the night “Jackie” claimed to have been raped, nor that entire weekend
  • “Jackie” herself is now “unsure” whether the man (“Drew”) who (allegedly) lured her into the room where the (alleged) rape occurred was a Phi Psi  brother. As it turned out, “Drew” was not a Phi Psi member; he belongs to a “totally different fraternity.”
  • None of the frat members worked at the UVA pool in the fall of 2012, whereas Jackie claimed that she and “Drew” both worked there as lifeguards at the time
  • A friend of “Jackie’s” later told Rolling Stone that “he found Jackie that night a mile from the school’s fraternities.” She did not appear injured, despite her claiming that she was grabbed from behind by a large man who fell on her and “crashed [with her] through a low glass table” that night. She also appeared uninjured despite emerging from this “party” (the party that never happened) being “”barefoot, disheveled…face beaten, dress spattered with blood,” according to Erdely’s article.
  • She also never went to the hospital on the night of her severe “injuries,” nor did she ever report the matter to the police
  • “Jackie” did not want the newspaper to contact the men she accused of sexual assault to get their side of the story

When taken altogether, these discrepancies look very bad for “Jackie’s” story. And it’s not just the facts that make the story look bad, although they are indeed primarily what does.

Oh by the way, here are the noble kool-aid drinkers crusaders:

uva-fraternity-bigotry-hatred-rape-sabrina-erdely-virginia

Note especially the posters on the top: “Let’s smash patriarchy” on the top left, and “Burn the frat houses down!” on the top right.

Let’s take a look at how Erdely wrote the story in Rolling Stone. Take this passage, for example:

She remembers every moment of the next three hours of agony, during which, she says, seven men took turns raping her, while two more – her date, Drew, and another man – gave instruction and encouragement. She remembers how the spectators swigged beers, and how they called each other nicknames like Armpit and Blanket. She remembers the men’s heft and their sour reek of alcohol mixed with the pungency of marijuana. Most of all, Jackie remembers the pain and the pounding that went on and on.

“Armpit and Blanket” were what these frat members called each other? What, they didn’t just call each other Lunkhead #1 and Lunkhead #2? I thought all frat boys were lunkheads? The point being this: Erdely’s story is so caricatured and saturated with stereotypes that we should immediately question it on that basis alone.

Take a look at the next passage:

“One of my roommates said, ‘Do you want to be responsible for something that’s gonna paint UVA in a bad light?’ ” says Jackie, poking at a vegan burger at a restaurant on the Corner, UVA’s popular retail strip. “But I said, ‘UVA has flown under the radar for so long, someone has to say something about it, or else it’s gonna be this system that keeps perpetuating!’

The language here is so contrived that it looks like the entire conversation was manufactured for political purposes. We are led to believe that “Jackie’s roommate” plays devil’s advocate and takes the side of the university, despite her having no real interest in doing so. And all of a sudden, “Jackie” – who never went to the police or the hospital despite supposedly suffering severe injuries – now talks about how it’s everyone else’s fault that the issue has “flown under the radar” for so long.

Feminists are now redirecting their crusade toward criticizing Rolling Stone for publishing the retraction. Don’t get me wrong: they don’t disagree with Rolling Stone presuming the guilt of the accused men. Feminists are just fine with that, and they are maintaining their practice of labeling “Jackie” a “victim” and a “survivor,” even though we not only have no real evidence that she is either of these things (but have strong evidence that she is not).

Here’s what one Feminist, who writes for Slate, Salon, and other online media, says:

amanda-marcotte-uva-false-rape

In a sense that is true that people don’t have to have a perfect memory to have a case; people can easily mess up on dates and times. I do it myself occasionally.

But there is a matter of degree as well. Expecting accusers to have a perfect memory is one thing. Expecting accusers to not tell a story that is overwhelmingly contradicted by evidence is another. Messing up on 10% of your story – a 10% that doesn’t call into question key events? Ok, maybe there’s something we can still work with. Messing up on 90% of your story? Expect to get called out on the carpet.

Yes, some people have accidents. And for others, “accidents” happen with remarkable consistency. And “Jackie” clearly falls into the latter category.

Here’s another gem:

Titanic-uva

Feminist Zerlina Maxwell recently wrote an article for the Washington Post. Note the title:

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

 

The word “automatically” was later changed to “generally.” Here is what she has to say in the article:

We should believe, as a matter of default, what an accuser says. Ultimately, the costs of wrongly disbelieving a survivor far outweigh the costs of calling someone a rapist. Even if Jackie fabricated her account, U-Va. should have taken her word for it during the period while they endeavored to prove or disprove the accusation. This is not a legal argument about what standards we should use in the courts; it’s a moral one, about what happens outside the legal system.

Ah, you mean like what we did back in the days of slavery, right? Back when we acted “outside the legal system”?

This is why Feminists, with their bigoted due-process-be-damned mentality, do not deserve a seat at the table in these issues. It’s not just that they get it wrong in “one or two cases.” They are hostile to the basic concept of not presuming a man is guilty, because they are hostile to men as a group. No, not just “a few men who happen to be rapists.” All men.

The utter hypocrisy of Feminists like Zerlina Maxwell – to be presuming guilt on the basis of one’s arrangement of chromosomes, and then lecturing those who disagree on “morals.”

Here is what a leading Feminist website Jezebel thinks when a user doesn’t say the rape accusation is false, but merely questions whether it’s possible for it to be:

 

jezebel-uva-rape-story-2

Feminists & Friends are now all a-twitter at #istandwithjackie. Why do they stand with Jackie? This Feminist, author of the book Full Frontal Feminism, founder of the uber-popular website Feministing (popular among Feminists & Friends anyway), and columnist at The Guardian tells us why in a simple tweet:

jessica-valenti-trust-women-uva

Well, too bad – I do not trust women. But then again, I also do not trust men, white people, black people, or any other “group” period. I trust individuals. I don’t presume that individuals are good or bad, or trustworthy or untrustworthy, based on what group they happen to be born into. Unfortunately, we cannot say the same for Feminists like Jessica Valenti.

Feminists say they trust women, but in fact they only trust the women who support their narrow, dogmatic, and generally anti-male worldview. They hide behind women as a group – indeed they use and exploit women – to throw venom-tipped spears at men and boys.

I must give a shout out to The Community of the Wrongly Accused, which describes the implications of this case expertly in a must-read article:

The Rolling Stone debacle did not happen in a vacuum. The sordid saga of the infamous article about a supposed gang rape — the fact it was written in the first place, then published in a mainstream magazine, and then unconditionally believed by so many — is the product of a culture that has allowed gender extremists to dominate the public discourse on sexual assault.

These are people who demonize college men and reduce them to vile caricature; insist that college campuses are rape pits; claim with a straight face that women don’t lie about rape; and preach that due process for men accused of rape on campus is a luxury college women can’t afford. In short, they buy into “rape culture.”


Indeed, the presumption of male guilt by Feminists & Friends is nothing new. We have seen it at Duke during the 2006 false rape case. We have seen it at Ohio University. We have seen it at Columbia University. We have seen it at Eckerd College. We have seen it at Dartmouth. We have a warehouse of statements from these people, demonstrating clear as day that their mindset is not one of equality and justice, as the public has erroneously been led to believe.

castrate

The 2006 Duke lacrosse false rape case. Note that these people are trying to demonstrate how they oppose gender-based violence, but then actively promote gender-based violence by carrying around a banner reading “castrate.” Such is the mentality of the average campus social justice warrior.

It is beyond clear that “Jackie” is not just an “imperfect” accuser; at this state in the game (which is no short time of two years) she is an accuser with near-zero credibility. And the possibility that she was never a “victim” or a “survivor” in the first place just might be why she never went to the hospital, or to the police, and forbade Rolling Stone from interviewing the men she accused to understand the bigger picture.

Is it still possible that “Jackie” was a victim of rape at a frat party on the UVA campus? Highly, highly unlikely – and that’s where my “judgment” will rest.

When this story broke a month ago I was tempted to do a writeup on it, but felt that waiting would be better. As we have done in the past (see here and here), this website will continue to maintain a policy against presuming guilt simply on the basis of sex. We will leave the less morally-inclined Feminists to shoot themselves in the foot over cases like these.

The time has come to seriously reconsider the prominence Feminism has in conversations on gender. Rape is a significant issue on campus, just like false rape accusations are a significant issue. But neither is an “epidemic,” and the kind of bigotry and hatred that Feminism advocates should not lead the way.

We do not need to punish students who have not been found guilty of a crime, and the time has come to leave it up to the real professionals – the criminal justice system.

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 (32)

  1. I’m also going to throw this video out there. I wouldn’t normally link to Roosh, but this one is pretty good:

     
    • DukeLax

      interesting…ive never thought about that…the rape accusation now being used as a weapon. But is it not also perverse and unconstitutional for federal dollars to be given to state law enforcement …….to enable and foster false rape accusations to such a degree…that women now feel safe to use them as weapons???

       
    • Jack Strawb

      0:40 – “Any time a woman goes to the media before going to the police she is using the rape allegation as a weapon” (and the allegation is false).

      That sounds extreme, but we live in a “false rape accusation culture,” where false accusations are rewarded, and go unpunished when discovered; extreme measures are necessary.

      2:20 – the narrator adds something essential, that going to the media cannot be claimed to be safer for the accuser than going to the police. One cannot argue, I don’t believe, that an accuser didn’t go to the police–but did go to the media–out of fear for safety.

       
  2. Malcolm James

    Two years is but the blink of an eye in terms of rape allegations surfacing. What would have happened if the alleged rape had occurred long enough ago for there to be no record of whether a party took place that weekend and no-one who could verify, or disprove, the story could be traced?

     
    • I Art Laughing

      That isn’t working out so good for Lena Dunham.

       
      • NotoriousPAT

        I don’t know if that’s a good example, since she confessed to her crime unbidden.

         
        • I Art Laughing

          Nah, I’m talking about her accusation of the campus conservative “Barry One”.

           
  3. pierceharlan

    Thanks, Jonathan, for this great piece. And thanks for mentioning COTWA.

    One difference between my site and the feminist sites you mentioned: COTWA does not run stories based solely on people’s claims that they were falsely accused. Do you know how many of those I’ve gotten over the years? A lot — some are very compelling narratives, and while I am sympathetic, I don’t assume that I’ve got the whole story.

    Keep up the great work.

     
    • No problem! Thanks for maintaining the high standard. Refraining from presuming guilt is a great differentiator for advocates for the wrongly accused; it makes us look at lot more sincere than the opposition.

       
    • Sports Droppings

      Jonathan and Pierce. Superb work in recent days by both of you. I have an idea I want to CC you guys on. Retrieve my email addy from Dean Esmay at AVFM

       
    • NotoriousPAT

      COTWA does great work, I’ve been reading it since almost the beginning. Thanks for keepin on, Pierce.

       
  4. Charlottesvillager

    The fraternity said that there was no member of the fraternity that worked at the pool. That report was spun in the media into “the main rapist was not a member of the fraternity”. Subtle difference, but it’s a jump in logic. They could conceivably say that the main rapist in the allegation therefore could not have been a member as described, but hat report from the fraternity could support the idea that there is no rapist as much as the idea that the alleged rapist was not a member. This spin is not being reported anywhere, but it is an essential, yet illogical stealth tactic, employed to continue to bias the narrative over neutral objective investigation.

     
    • Eagle_Eyed

      Right. Remember, in the story the rape was contextualized as part of the fraternity’s initiation. “Don’t you wanna be a brother?” “We all had to do it.” Why would a non-member be part of an initiation ritual?

      But there is any easy way to clear this all up–have Jackie give up the real identity of “Drew” to a reporter who can let find out what relationship, if any, he had with either Phi Psi or Jackie. This is what someone who knew she was telling the truth would do, if at the very minimum to clear her own name.

       
    • Allan Kirk

      I’m not sure that I would even call this subtle except of course it is one thing to examine a statement once it has been put under the spotlight and another to have the modified version slipped-in so that a reader quickly scanning text gets the wrong impression.

       
  5. NotoriousPAT

    “The cumulative impact of these facts has prompted Rolling Stone to write a detraction”

    Don’t you mean “retraction?”. I only bring this up because of all the people whining about how RS is being mean to the accuser for saying their trust in her was misplaced.

     
  6. disqus_ArQv6e31it

    Feminst hatred has no bounds! Shades of another ideology that came along in the late 20’s early 30’s. They use a lot of the same tactics as well.

     
  7. Democritus

    “I trust women.”
    -Jessica Valenti

    I trust evidence.

     
    • I Art Laughing

      I don’t trust Jessica Valenti, or anything she writes, ever.

       
  8. Will Jones

    With minimal digging into Rolling Stone’s comments one discovers her homosexual ritual bonding gangbanger “pals” of Zionist mobster-son Mikey Cantor – including an Hispanic Phi Psi “lifeguard” whose obvious guilt forced him to flee the country and his former good looks – were the Roman Catholic sons and grandsons of the insular CIA: so it’s no coincidence God-fearing adherents of Truth seeking Justice for “Jackie” are getting the same gaslight and derision we’ve gotten since the CIA’s adjudicated assassination of JFK (viz. ‘Hunt v. Marchetti’), and with their fellow papists of the FBI, and atheist Zionism’s Mossad – 9/11.

    Hopefully rather than threatening or effecting another “Michael Hastings,” the same satanic Fifth Column Mr. Jefferson called “an engine for enslaving mankind,” “the real Anti-Christ,” has this time simply paid off “Jackie” with a mid-seven figure sum.

    Quite a blot on America’s Prophet and Founder Mr. Jefferson’s, now sodomite, former university.

     
  9. JP

    Verdict First, trial later.

    I am reminded of that novel, Bonfire of Vanities. Justice wasn’t served, and in the end, Master of the Universe got his comeuppance. Thirty years later, we have made entire industries of victims. There are literally tens of thousands of grievance peddlers that must make their mark – either through cable TV or the social media. The more outrageous the postings the better. For grievance peddlers have to eat too. Getting noticed not only is good for the ego, but it translates into a decent payday.

     
  10. bmanoc

    The railroading is sickening. I figured these liberal feminazis would remember how poor black men were falsely accused of rape and hung. The more this unravels, the more it seems there was a vendetta against men in general.

     
  11. Chris Thompson

    The Rape Cultures constructed on college campuses began at the University of Montana in 2011, I believe, and quickly spread from there. Last year it reached my alma mater and, similarly, addressed two unfounded “rapes” to immediately punish hundreds of male students for “guilt by association”…

    http://montana.ncfm.org/2013/10/03/double-secret-probation/

     
  12. Louis Bricano

    “…poking at a vegan burger…” All I need to see to know the entire thing is politically motivated horseshit.

     
  13. Jack Strawb

    Let’s keep in mind the context for all this, too: Rape has been in significant decline since 1992, and…

    COLLEGE WOMEN ARE SAFER THAN NON-COLLEGE WOMEN.

    See, “Violence Against College Women: A Review to Identify Limitations in Defining the Problem and Inform Future Research,” by Callie Marie Rennison and Lynn A. Addington.

    The abstract can be found at http://tva.sagepub.com/content/15/3/159.abstract

    The report is summarized at
    http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2014/12/college_rape_campus_sexual_assault_is_a_serious_problem_but_the_efforts.html

     
  14. ZeroZeroOne

    I think this would be a awesome story for some investigative journalist to sink his or her teeth into. That is: the number of rape convictions that are proved true when an alleged victim goes to the media rather than the police. It would be breath taking I suspect.

     
  15. Allan Kirk

    This is what a thoughtfully considered, fair, well documented and eloquently written comment looks like! Congratulations.

     

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