Amanda Marcotte: The face of rape hysteria

The past few weeks have been unkind to the social justice warriors battling “rape culture” on our campuses. It started out well for the Social Justice Warriors; after Rolling Stone published their exposé on Rape at UVA, protestors descended on the campus; the university suspended all fraternity activity until January; Virginia’s governor and her two senators weighed in. Then, inspired by Worth magazine editor Richard Bradley, T. Rees Shapiro began poking around, and the story collapsed under scrutiny.

First, the accused fraternity revealed that they did not have a member that matched either the name or the description given by Jackie. Second, those who actually met Jackie the night of the alleged rape recalled a significantly different story, and a significantly different Jackie, from the one in the Rolling Stone piece; no injuries, no frat house looming in the background, no friends telling Jackie not to report a rape, etc.

When Shapiro eventually revealed evidence showing that Jackie had invented her rapist as part of an elaborate hoax, it looked like the story would be quietly forgotten. Demonstrating that sometimes the best defense is a good offense, Amanda Marcotte went on the attack, publishing “’Princeton Mom, Kevin Williamson and the revolting rise of the rape truthers.”

“There’s been a shocking media feeding frenzy over the discovery that one of the young women claiming to be a rape victim in Sabrina Rubin Erdely’s recent Rolling Stone piece might be exaggerating about her experience or even lying about it,” writes Marcotte.

Amanda Marcotte could teach a class on the use of weasel words.

She continues, “Subsequently, even though there’s no real evidence for it, many people stand behind the myth that women routinely lie about being raped, which justifies preserving a status quo where men’s word is considered more authoritative and trustworthy just because they are male.”

At this point feminists can be expected to quote the same misleading statistics about rape, such as only 8-10% of rape claims are false. In reality, false rape statistics reflect only the number of rape allegations declared by police to be unfounded; the actual number of false rape claims could be much higher, but we have no reliable way of knowing for certain.

More importantly, the campus rape “controversy” generally does not concern cases that ever resulted in police reports. Rather, they concern cases adjudicated at the university level. Why are these cases handled in house? Because, they would be laughed out of court. The percentage of false rape claims brought to police likely differs from the percentage of false rape claims raised at the university level, with the latter being much higher than the former.

While feminists claim that only a small number of women make false rape accusations, they have done everything in their power to encourage false accusations. By demanding that colleges lower the standard of proof to 50.1%, they roll out the red carpet for false accusers. If an insurance company declared that they would no longer conduct arson investigations, they would go out of business within weeks.

Campus rape hysteria ultimately rests on two dubious propositions; that false rape accusations are a rare phenomenon, and that they could never become a major problem. Depending on how one defines rare, the first proposition is at least debatable; the second is patently absurd.

The past few weeks have been unkind to the social justice warriors battling “rape culture” on our campuses. It started out well for the Social Justice Warriors; after Rolling Stone published their exposé on Rape at UVA, protestors descended on the campus; the university suspended all fraternity activity until January; Virginia’s governor and her two senators weighed in. Then, inspired by Worth magazine editor Richard Bradley, T. Rees Shapiro began poking around, and the story collapsed under scrutiny.

First, the accused fraternity revealed that they did not have a member that matched either the name or the description given by Jackie. Second, those who actually met Jackie the night of the alleged rape recalled a significantly different story, and a significantly different Jackie, from the one in the Rolling Stone piece; no injuries, no frat house looming in the background, no friends telling Jackie not to report a rape, etc.

When Shapiro eventually revealed evidence showing that Jackie had invented her rapist as part of an elaborate hoax, it looked like the story would be quietly forgotten. Demonstrating that sometimes the best defense is a good offense, Amanda Marcotte went on the attack, publishing “’Princeton Mom, Kevin Williamson and the revolting rise of the rape truthers.”

“There’s been a shocking media feeding frenzy over the discovery that one of the young women claiming to be a rape victim in Sabrina Rubin Erdely’s recent Rolling Stone piece might be exaggerating about her experience or even lying about it,” writes Marcotte.

Amanda Marcotte could teach a class on the use of weasel words.

She continues, “Subsequently, even though there’s no real evidence for it, many people stand behind the myth that women routinely lie about being raped, which justifies preserving a status quo where men’s word is considered more authoritative and trustworthy just because they are male.”

At this point feminists can be expected to quote the same misleading statistics about rape, such as only 8-10% of rape claims are false. In reality, false rape statistics reflect only the number of rape allegations declared by police to be unfounded; the actual number of false rape claims could be much higher, but we have no reliable way of knowing for certain.

More importantly, the campus rape “controversy” generally does not concern cases that ever resulted in police reports. Rather, they concern cases adjudicated at the university level. Why are these cases handled in house? Because, they would be laughed out of court. The percentage of false rape claims brought to police likely differs from the percentage of false rape claims raised at the university level, with the latter being much higher than the former.

While feminists claim that only a small number of women make false rape accusations, they have done everything in their power to encourage false accusations. By demanding that colleges lower the standard of proof to 50.1%, they roll out the red carpet for false accusers. If an insurance company declared that they would no longer conduct arson investigations, they would go out of business within weeks.

Campus rape hysteria ultimately rests on two dubious propositions; that false rape accusations are a rare phenomenon, and that they could never become a major problem. Depending on how one defines rare, the first proposition is at least debatable; the second is patently absurd.