The UVA rape hoax: Aftermath and lessons for us all

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,” almost 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.

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 avalanche of 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 by gender alone 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 Day was a couple of weeks 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 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.

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.

This article originally appeared  at and is reprinted here with permission.

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