Rape Fantasises and Rolling Stone: sticking to the narrative in place of facts and truth
Sabrina Rubin Erdely’s story on gang rape at the University of Virginia was all about the narrative. She looked for a tale that would fit her agenda. Even when JAckie asked for it to be pulled, Rolling Stone and the writer oushed it through. Not need for facts, proof nor a right to reply from the men accasued of rape.
The story was quickly picked up nationally. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., cited it as a reason to pass federal legislation on campus sexual assault. People who questioned the story were accused of sexism. And University of Virginia President Teresa Sullivan suspended the entire Greek system — not just the fraternity in question — in response. The U.Va. campus was rocked by protest, the fraternity house was vandalized, people were arrested, and U.Va. faculty members even staged their own protest.
The above image is by artist Sabo, who wants us to look again at Lena Dunham, UVA and Bill Clinton in fake Rolling Stone Covers:
In an email, Sabo told The Hollywood Reporter: “Remember (Dunham) accused a Republican of raping her in college, and that story is falling apart. Then you have the politics of Hollywood with her, Cosby, the Rolling Stone article that is being detracted. Last but not least, our beloved Bubba Clinton’s blast from the past and the double standard of why Rolling Stone didn’t run with his rape allegations but they ran with the UVA false story.”
Natasha Vargas-Cooper nailes it:
Here’s something that’s also sort of “unfair:” not talking to seven unconvicted, alleged criminals about their involvement in a purported horrendous crime! It is not rude, shaming, or belittling to seek quotes from alleged rapists. Actually, it is what a responsible journalist does, even when it makes said journalist’s source uneasy. And if making a source uneasy makes a journalist uneasy, it’s time for the journalist in question to find another profession.
Truth is about finding out things you do and don’t want to know.
If the reporter behind the Rolling Stone story, Sabrina Erdely, would have spoken to the seven alleged rapists about their version of events — or even just a couple of them! — the magazine could have avoided airing “Jackie’s” strange, hard-to-believe, increasingly doubtful story. Or if one of her assailants said, “HELL YEAH WE DID AND SHE WANTED IT!”, that would have been good to know: that guy is a pig. Or maybe one of the seven accusers attempted to stop the assault? Or tried to help Jackie? Or fled the room for help? Maybe we should talk to that guy?
There is a horrendous, hidden bias in Rolling Stone‘s reporting: the premise that none of these guys would tell the truth if asked. Whether it’s because they are white, or in a frat, or were even possibly directly involved in the act, the notion that the only things these men would say are lies is a stupid and cowardly assumption.
If you are a front-line warrior in the war against patriarchy, know this: facts, no matter how complicated or unpleasant, should not be obscured because they “help the other side.” Ask yourself, soldier, is the cause of equality so weak that statements made by the frat boys would destroy it?
A few paragons of the feminist left have condemned Rolling Stone‘s statement for discrediting their source. As well as brushing off inconsistencies in Jackie’s story as exposed by The Washington Post. “It’s as if survivors are expected to go to victim finishing school,” tweeted Durga Chew Bose. Roxane Gay, author of Bad Feminist, added, “My next book will be Bad Victim.”
But they conspicuously have not chastised Rolling Stone for their unwillingness to fact check Jackie’s story and enter into a losing bargain with a source who refused to have her severe accusations scrutinized.
It is remarkable and depressing how many SlutWalkers, members of The Progressive Internet, and Earnest Feminists, believe that good reporting somehow equates to victim shaming. If you believe that putting the screws to alleged rapists is somehow anti-feminist then you are an intellectual dwarf.
You want truth? You can’t handle the truth…