Remember the Rolling Stone article that detailed a horrific gang rape at University of Virginia, only to be quickly retracted when “Jackie’s” story didn’t add up? Even when it became clear that Jackie’s story was not true, advocates insisted that something bad had happened, that women simply don’t invent rape allegations from thin air, that Jackie really was somehow traumatized. Well, now there’s more to the story, and it’s not looking good for women.
The Washington Post reports that the rape allegations grew out of an elaborate “catfishing” scheme; Jackie wanted to win the affections of classmate Ryan Duffin, so she invented a fictional male student, “Haven Monahan.” Then one night, she told her friends… including Duffin… that Haven had forced her to perform oral sex on five frat brothers during a date gone horribly wrong.
“That fall night, Duffin was among a group of friends who rushed to be by Jackie’s side as she cried; Duffin described her as being hysterical and appearing traumatized… she declined to go to police or the hospital that night to report the assault. Jackie became the central figure of a sensational 9,000-word story published two years later in Rolling Stone…. But the account in Rolling Stone differed significantly from the facts she relayed to Duffin in 2012. She told Rolling Stone that the attack involved nine fraternity brothers participating in a hazing ritual. And the name Jackie later gave of her alleged attacker also did not match the Haven Monahan identity she gave to Duffin in 2012.”
So, do women lie about rape? Yes. Yes, sometimes they do, and that is why a victim’s mere word must never be the sole evidence that convicts someone, or that causes academic careers to be derailed by college administrators. We have said it before and Lila stands by that statement.
So what’s the right answer to all this campus rape culture we keep hearing about in the news? Lila has a thought about that too: if you have been raped or assaulted, go to the police. The real police, not the campus police, not the college administration, not your friends. Go. To. The. Cops. Immediately.
This accomplishes two things: 1) If you are a victim, you will get justice. Your accuser will have to face charges; if there is sufficient evidence, he will go to trial, be convicted, go to jail, have a sex offender record. 2) If you are the accused, you will not be railroaded by a college administration, or have your academic career and future derailed on the mere say-so of your classmate. If there is insufficient evidence, you won’t face charges; if there is sufficient evidence for charges, you will have your day in court.
Oh, wait. That’s really only one thing: actual justice in the, you know, justice system.
As for the “rape culture” of college campuses today, I leave you with this meme to ponder… which showed up in my news feed just one day after the Post article. Perhaps the pendulum is finally swinging from hysteria back to some semblance of rationality?