It ain’t what was claimed, and yeah, it’s Rolling Stone’s fault – not “Jackie’s” fault.  If you have a big league media platform, you’re the one that does your journalistic gatekeeping – not your interviewee.

That’s not to say it’s obvious that ‘Jackie’ is a delusional liar.  The author, Sarah Rubin Erderly, is acknowledged as having campus and victim shopped for a rape setting that was sufficiently bourgeois and mid 20th century antebellum.  In choosing UVA, Erderly set the piece to contrast certain tropes against certain stereotypes.  But with this understood, and now also that the rape as reported in RS is at a minimum semi-fiction, I don’t know why we’re to be restrained to not think the entire piece is BS.  There’s some hedging that maybe the details came out wrong.  Nah.  There’s no reason it can’t be complete baloney, and there’s no reason anyone should assume it isn’t.

Gimme a break.  To believe this piece you have to be in embrace of this secret society, occult-ish view of fraternities.  Now, I’m not all that worldly, and I had no exposure to frat life in particular.  But for this to be true, you have to believe undergrads, 18-22 year olds, are maintaining this organized but secret frat rape ritual.  It defies credulity.  You can’t suspend disbelief there.

On this rape shopping…  Erderly selected this story because frat as perpetrator ostensibly sets up an  antagonist that’s,  ya know, representative of white male patriarchy and thus completely unsympathetic.

We’re talking stereotypes.  Thing is, this stereotype is wrong to all but a very small group.  Notwithstanding that most people don’t analyze the world through a feminist prism, they generally like the idea of frats and are predisposed to think of them favorably.  This is the world Animal House and Revenge of the Nerds gave us.  People think frats are cool.

The exception is probably, yeah, Women’s Studies departments everywhere and then retrograde Marxist misanthropes who read Rolling Stone.  It’s understandable or at least explainable that they will embrace negative stereotypes about frats.

The article has been critiqued as reading like the script of an after school special.  There’s that, it’s very cornball if not ham-fisted.  But these stereotypes used to construct the narrative are terribly outmoded, they ring false.

It is curious, I’d like to note, that it’s apparently within bounds to reference negative stereotypes about frats.  And the real hazing and drinking abuses are no joke.  But it’s not within bounds of polite discussion to reference a stereotype for the psycho / fragile girl on campus who has a rape story that is alluded to in every conversation.


One thought on “UVA \ RS

  1. pm1956

    Clearly the article was, from the first, problematic. Gang raped on a bed of broken glass with no cuts? And it started to fall apart pretty quickly. Main problem is with the editors at RS, whose BS detectors failed them. Frankly, going any farther than that is allowing your prejudices to get the better of you.

    That said, there is a market for these frats done bad stories. Because there is more than a kernel of truth to them. Also, because so many (but by no means all ) of the women involved are (to be perfectly unPC) apparently willing participants (not simply victims). Look no farther than this: http://www.tuckermax.com/books/ihtsbih

    this is clearly a problem. I don’t know about UVA, but it is referenced in Tucker Max’s escapades. He is basically a Southern Frat Boy, but there are northern versions as well (http://www.wsj.com/articles/book-review-confessions-of-an-ivy-league-frat-boy-by-andrew-lohse-1408742685 a hostile review, but i have significant personal experience w/ dartmouth Frat Boys, who all tell similar stories).

    Even the best schools have similar problems (http://www.wsj.com/articles/book-review-confessions-of-an-ivy-league-frat-boy-by-andrew-lohse-1408742685_). That is a story that i happen to know pretty well, as i have a son at Princeton. This is a serious issue–one that i think is caused because men on most campuses have too much power (the general college campus is 60/40 female now, and women are competing for the available men…and competition appears to drive some to underbid the others).

    Oh, as to your other issue…it is real. i also have a step daughter who is at a very good school who was accused by one of her female roommates of “emotional rape” because a male orthodox jewish friend of hers told the female roommate that she was “jewish in name only” after she bragged about skipping out on temple services, even though she told her grandmother that she was indeed attending temple regularly. Now I am not jewish, but when you brag about lying about stuff like that, i think that the charge kind of sticks. And when you react to being called out on a lie (when you are indeed a liar) by invoking “emotional rape”, you are belittling every rape victim that ever existed, and making it even harder for rape to be taken with the seriousness it deserves. Clearly there is a “crying wolf” problem, and not all college students are emotionally mature enough to handle these issues.

    But that is the problem colleges face. Kids who are kids experimenting with drugs and sex, making mistakes, committing crimes, having regrets, trying to be adults and only succeeding part of the time.

    Just wait till your kids hit the campus….


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