we all remember, or should remember, that famous quote from Dan Rather, who when confronted with the fact that he'd just presented four forged documents alleging George W. Bush's dereliction of duty while serving with the Texas Air National Guard, stated that his documents, "were fake but accurate." It didn't matter to any of the journalists working for CBS at the time, that they could find no actual evidence of President Bush's shirking of his military obligations, 60 days from his reelection bid for a second Presidential term in office. It only mattered to them that 60 days prior to that election, they wanted to present that story, the one where a younger version of President Bush had been a miscreant and a spoiled child, unworthy of the office he currently held. Facts be damned, the narrative reigns supreme.
Another life lesson learned while matriculating at that small trade school in Columbus, Ohio was to be very weary of militant feminists. Their agenda, their narrative, is all that holds meaning for them, and they are quite willing to destroy anyone, if expedience demands such. I didn't take any of the Women's Studies classes offered at The Ohio State University, but I have a friend who did satisfy 5 of his required 15 credit hours within the field of Humanities via a 5 hour survey course covering that revered discipline. He of course got an A in the class, and his description of every test given might lend a clue as to how he so easily earned that grade.
All men are,
D. All of the above
The past two weeks have been a case study in what happens when these two groups of leftists get together.
Now, I really don't mind these lunatics much, nor even really care that I am sharing the Oxygen found in our atmosphere with them in general. I only really care about them when they meander into positions of power in our society, when they hold sway over our institutions of thought, governance, and laws, such as they do currently. (By lunatics, I of course mean both groups mentioned above, journalists and rabid feminists.) For those of you who've wondered what might happen when these two disparate groups finally found each other, wonder no more. Today you see, we live in a brave new world where facts don't matter all that much, because all white conservative men from the suburds were created equally guilty of waging a war on women, which includes a rape culture of the most egregious magnitude.
If you've followed the link above, it took you to an op-ed which ran at Politico. What it points to is just exactly how far in the crapper our collegiate standards have fallen, how far in the crapper our society as a whole has fallen, and how meaningless the rule of law has become. If you were able to read the essay the first time through, I congratulate you. If not, may I humbly suggest that you return to do so again.
Here's the background on how and why that Op-Ed found its way into a national publication. Rolling Stone Magazine ran an article about a year ago in which a Freshman at the University of Virginia detailed the accounts of a brutal gang rape. Apparently, for the past 164 years, members of Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity, founded in 1852, have included as a part of their initiation process, the gang rape of unsuspecting young women. All of this apparently, with no one figuring it out, or breathing a word of it to anyone, not even through death bed confessions. While the Rolling Stone Article did not specifically designate a political philosophy to our brutal assailants, they were very careful to tie the entirety of Greek Letter Societies found at our nation's collegiate institutions to the group of crazed miscreants known as conservatives, or more generically, those who might actually, gasp, vote Republican.
The story as presented by Rolling Stone by the way, has since been proven to be a complete fabrication, or at the very least, not in any way a resemblance of what actually happened to Jackie on the night in question.
Now, you may be of the belief that our original journalist's story was the result of her accidental discovery of this terrible tale of misery, torture, and crime, and you'd be wrong. Sabrina Erdely started off searching out women across the country who would be able to corroborate her desired narrative, one formed even before she'd started thinking about writing her story or researching it, that a rape culture existed on America's college campi. Facts be damned, the story would be true, not because truth matters, but because Sabrina felt it should be true. After all, who would be hurt by a little white lie that would bring attention to the evil that presents itself when affluent privileged white conservatives are left roaming freely among decent intellectuals?
As a result of the Rolling Stone article, those members of Phi Kappa Psi attending the University of Virginia have had their lives imperiled, reputations tarnished, and all Greek Letter Societies at UVA have been shut down by the School's Administration. That's real damage. Either Jackie's story is completely false, in which case she's a narcissistic kid who's clearly mistaken sympathy for healthy relationships and attention. Which means "Jackie," needs the benefit of a shrink to council her privately, and not the national publication of her fantasies, which apparently involve bizarre rituals of group sex. Or, "Jackie's," story is based partially in reality, and had been extensively embellished by Sabrina Erdely. If that's the case, she needs the benefit of a shrink to council her privately, and not the national publication of her traumatic assault.
The Politico piece, contrary to what you might expect when one of these rape culture stories falls apart, (and yes this type of thing is very common indeed,) zeros right in on the, "fake but accurate defense." The author, one Julia Horowitz, grouses about how terrible it is that this story was proven false, not because innocent affluent privileged white conservatives were accused of a terrible crime, but because it might cause people to question others telling similar stories, rather than just blindly accepting them. If they give up their mob mentality after all, what will they have left?
Before we go any further, let's debunk that whole one in five college women get raped lie now. According to national crime statistics, if 90% of rapes go unreported, that indicates the the odds of your daughter being sexually accosted as a part of her college experience to be about 1 in 1000. This is still too high, as any such chance would be, but that's not at all out of line with any statistic for violent crime in any jurisdiction in the world. The only reason I brought this up, is because the 1 in 5 statistic seems to be the only argument in defense of what's been going on with respect to the, "pro lying is good for society in general crowd."
This passage in particular caught my attention:
Ultimately, though, from where I sit in Charlottesville, to let fact checking define the narrative would be a huge mistake. “These events undoubtedly do occur here,” first-year Maddie Rita told me. “And while this report has clearly had factual flaws as well as rhetorical missteps, there are plenty of other fully corroborated accounts not only at this university, but at every university around the country.”
Only eight to nine percent of sexual assault reports, at most, are later determined false. This statistic will not change, even if Jackie does lie with the minority. One of five women will be assaulted while in college. One case, however prolific, does not change how it felt to lie in my friend’s bed and have her tell me through tears what her “first time” was really like.
How exactly do you debate with someone who states right up front, "it would be a mistake to allow facts define the narrative?" What actually happened or did not happen to Jackie is of no importance. Mind you, something terrible may have actually happened to Jackie, as those who know her are all sticking close to the something happened statement, just not what was reported. Descriptions of Jackie's behavior are most certainly consistent with someone who's been a victim of a violent assault. If that's so, I truly hope Jackie heals, and almost as important, that if there are assailants, they should face justice for their crime. Phi Kappa Psi, its membership, and the Greek Letter Society as a whole however, should never have been painted as guilty, no matter how inconsequential a group Sabrina Erdely feels them to be.
The problem now for Jackie, and any others seeking Justice is that the lie is already out there, the narrative once again finding supremacy with respect to actual facts. The statement above that while this account may have some flaws, being provably false chief among them, that doesn't mean that the over all narrative, that our college campi are teeming with white, privileged, affluent, conservative male rapists constantly on the lookout for victims, isn't every bit as solid today as it was when first posited in those women's studies classes starting back in the 1970's. So, if there are plenty of corroborated tales of this very thing happening, as Julia Horowitz promises, why then haven't any actual cases been truthfully reported? Why was it necessary to take Jackie's tale, and change it sufficiently to cast serious doubt?
The true casualty of this story's unraveling however is not that women in general will be afraid to come forward and report rapes, but that stories like this are destroying the slim chance that such assaults will be successfully prosecuted, or even believed when actual victims do come forward. The police have a hard enough time collecting sufficient evidence to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt as it is. Adding problems like this certainly does not help.
You may have noticed the second paragraph in the above snippet, where Julia Horowitz admits that 8% or 9% of reported rapes are fabrications, and then summarily dismisses that number as inconsequential. Putting aside for the moment that this compares with 2% of every other variety of crime, as reported to authorities, and that this number admitted to itself points to a real problem in terms of investigative techniques when perpetrators are sought, it is also far off of the mark. The true number is astounding.
In the only peer review study conducted of such phenomenon, it has been estimated that a full 41% of all reported rapes are complete fabrications. That means that every time we ask the authorities to investigate this terrible crime, they are beginning from a place where they know, before anything else has been looked into, that 2 out of every 5 women alleging the crime, are lying to them. As far as the authorities are concerned, with respect to the professional accomplishment of their sworn duties, women coming forward to report rape is not the problem. Their first huge hurdle is how to separate out the fabrication from actual crimes that have been committed.
In the end Ms. Horowitz, Sabrina Erdely and Jackie didn't help encourage women to come forward, they've only succeeded in increasing the trouble victimized women have with being believed. That's the true tragedy. It's not a rape culture that's ruining our society, but a culture of dishonesty, or as my leftist friends would postulate, our culture of subjective truth.
Lying, even if one believes it to be for a good cause is still massively destructive for a society. The members of Phi Kappa Psi at UVA did not deserve the backlash received for what happened to Jackie. If it happened, her assailants have gone free, with their freedom being guaranteed by the Rolling Stone Article. They will never be brought to justice, and that is Sabrina Erdely's fault. Innocent people suffered the consequences, and have undergone their own assaults, both in terms of violence and in terms of their reputations, which can never be fully restored.
Lena Dunham, if you're reading this, your crime is actually worse. Your lie was told solely to sell a few copies of your book and to bash Republicans. You don't even have the fig leaf of lying for a greater societal purpose. I like the idea of falsified allegations carrying the same punishments as the crimes falsely alleged. Perhaps Ms. Dunham's next book should be about her imprisonment in max security.