Anybody remember the story of the young woman who claimed she was gang-raped at the University of Virginia for three hours? Well, I’m disappointed in myself. I should have written something about it, because as soon as the story came out I said, “You know, it’s horrific and all, but what exactly was the school supposed to do? She didn’t go to the hospital. She didn’t go to the police. She didn’t go to university officials. She didn’t give any names. And she only spoke out about it long after anything that looked like proof could be cleaned up. If this is an example of rape culture I hate to see it but she’s one of the people contributing to it.”
So, let’s see the problems with the story:
- It plays into every pre-existing bias we have, from the concept of “rape culture” in general to stereotypes about the South to stereotypes about college men to stereotypes about fraternities. This should be a red flag.
- The accuser is unnamed, of course. Believable on its own, but it’s an uncomfortable fact.
- The only three people who would corroborate the story are unnamed.
- The accuser supposedly knows two of the rapists, but does not name them. The journalist does not try to find them.
- Supposedly gang rape is initiation for this fraternity. Nobody else has said anything, and they have somehow managed to keep this a secret. Pre-planned systematic gang rape is most common in war-torn countries.
- The scene itself is almost cartoonishly evil. She is punched. The men laugh. The smell of marijuana is in the air…hardly a violence inducing drug. The men call each other things like “Blanket” and “Armpit”, which is how she doesn’t know their names, you see.
- All of this is happening while she is on top of broken glass, which is digging into her back. Her friends advise her not to go to the hospital. Imagine having seven men, one after the other, on top of you for three hours shoving shards of glass into your back. How do you avoid the hospital? And how are the men not hurt at all by broken glass littering the ground?
- Jackie remembers every detail, despite passing out afterwards (right AFTER everybody left), and despite the room being pitch-black.
- She makes her way out of the party covered in blood but with her dress apparently intact enough to wear. Nobody notices her.
- Her “friends” are apparently cartoon villains who warn her to avoid going to the hospital or to the police, because rape culture. This after a gang rape, and after broken shards of glass have been shoved into her back.
I want to emphasize that I got that all from the two linked articles. The inferences were not originally mine. But I really do regret not having posted my suspicions first. Man, I would have looked clever.