The adage “if it bleeds, it leads” needs some modification in this new age. It should now be, “If a White man caused it to bleed, it leads”. It is just great sport to pin the blame for every last ill in the world on White men; it is today the socially acceptable thing to do, and the world is all about social acceptance in this age of hyper-socialized media.
So, when an old media publication like the Rolling Stone came out with a story about a group of White fraternity guys savagely gang raping a University of Virginia co-ed, you can bet that was its lead. Problem is, in their rush to garner eyeballs they could sell to advertisers, they sorta didn’t do such a good job of discerning the probity of the accuser. And it now appears that “Jackie” may have made the whole thing up. Here’s the Rolling Stone retraction:
Last month, Rolling Stone published a story titled “A Rape on Campus” by Sabrina Rubin Erdely, which described a brutal gang rape of a woman named Jackie at a University of Virginia fraternity house; the university’s failure to respond to this alleged assault – and the school’s troubling history of indifference to many other instances of alleged sexual assaults. The story generated worldwide headlines and much soul-searching at UVA. University president Teresa Sullivan promised a full investigation and also to examine the way the school responds to sexual assault allegations.
Because of the sensitive nature of Jackie’s story, we decided to honor her request not to contact the man she claimed orchestrated the attack on her nor any of the men she claimed participated in the attack for fear of retaliation against her. In the months Erdely spent reporting the story, Jackie neither said nor did anything that made Erdely, or Rolling Stone’s editors and fact-checkers, question Jackie’s credibility. Her friends and rape activists on campus strongly supported Jackie’s account. She had spoken of the assault in campus forums. We reached out to both the local branch and the national leadership of the fraternity where Jackie said she was attacked. They responded that they couldn’t confirm or deny her story but had concerns about the evidence.
In the face of new information, there now appear to be discrepancies in Jackie’s account, and we have come to the conclusion that our trust in her was misplaced. We were trying to be sensitive to the unfair shame and humiliation many women feel after a sexual assault and now regret the decision to not contact the alleged assaulters to get their account. We are taking this seriously and apologize to anyone who was affected by the story.
The apology came several days after the initial story, long enough for fellow media denizens like the New York Times to weigh in at how horrible is this epidemic of campus rape, etc., quoting the oft-cited statistic that one in five women suffer rape in their lifetime. If it were true that one in five women were forcibly, violently raped in their lifetime, it would constitute an epidemic of violence of epic proportion. But it’s really not like that. The statistic comes from self-reported instances of rape in surveys conducted or commissioned by the Centers for Disease Control, which also reports that 4.8% of men claimed to have been forced to penetrate someone at some time in their lives. How is that even possible? A penis must be erect before it can “penetrate” anything. Presumably the man to whom the penis is attached has some input over whether he gets an erection. (Or, come to think of it, maybe not. I can’t count how many times I’ve gotten an erection when I wished I hadn’t.) But really. To make a man penetrate someone he doesn’t want to penetrate would imply the person he is penetrating (or who is penetrating themselves?) has restrained him in some manner. I can’t visualize it any other way. Are that many men being tied up and made to “penetrate” someone they don’t wish to penetrate? Doubtful. And so is the notion that a fifth of all women have been raped.
What is really happening is that the definition of rape is changing to include any instance of reluctant sex. So, something like 100% of married women with children can legitimately claim to have been raped by their husbands. In a marriage, the before-child sex is probably, mostly, consensual, maybe even desired by the woman. But for women who have had children? Not so much. After the kids, or just after a certain period of time if there are no kids, and all marital sex is reluctant sex on the part of the woman, unless she is sufficiently inebriated. Then she can at least more readily imagine she’s doing the deed with someone else. But she can’t be considered to have voluntarily consented if she’s drunk, so that too is rape.
As membership in a fraternity while attending college at places like UVA is almost always the sole purview of White males, campus “rapes” are also the most heavily sensationalized. It fits the meme that the locus of evil in the modern world is wherever the White and male people can be found. But the concern is limited to when rape is perpetuated by White males.
Jameis Winston, Florida State’s Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback, was accused of raping a White girl. Fifty years ago, that sort of allegation would have been good for him getting shot while trying to escape a prison farm, even if the white girl had seduced him, and no actual sex had taken place (alluding to Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird). With Winston, it was ignored for so long as it could be ignored. Nobody wants Famous Jameis to have his football career interrupted by a silly little incident of perhaps, maybe, reluctant sex with a White girl who was a member of a band of females who were devoted to having sex with athletes. When did the girl quit wanting to do it? After she was on her knees with Winston’s buddy videoing her? Had, however, Winston been White, even a star White football player (yeah, I know how silly it sounds), surely the outrage would have built to a crescendo enough to make him wish he were gay.
Because it is White males with whom the White females are doing battle. This whole rape as reluctant sex meme doesn’t even apply to the Black culture. Listen to some rap music if you don’t believe me. To say rap music is misogynistic is to give misogynists a bad name. Yet the White girls love it. But every time a White girl has sex with a White guy and a contract of consensuality hasn’t been executed, it’s rape. Yes means yes, and nothing else will do, in White on White sex. But the White girls love to listen to the rappers telling how dey treat dey bitches. I know. I’ve got a teenage daughter who listens to the garbage.
The riots/protests/gaggles-of-people-milling-about in Ferguson, Missouri and New York City and elsewhere attest to the idea that White males are fair game as objects of derision. Think about it. Would there be any consternation if the cops who had killed the two Black guys had also been Black? It would have been considered an unfortunate affair–two cops doing their jobs–but well, that niggah in New York was obviously resisting arrest, and who knows what the brother in Ferguson was doing. Instead, it was White male cops, oppressing the black man again. Never mind that one was in fear for his life, and the other had no idea that the perp who was resisting arrest had severe asthma trouble. It is because it was a White male cop that Ferguson erupted in riots and continues on a razor’s edge. And it is because it was a White male cop in New York City that people there are feebly trying to follow Ferguson’s lead. And the media just eggs the whole thing on. Post-racial after Obama’s election? To laugh. If anything, we’re now hyper-racial.
Eventually the day may come where White males are as persecuted for being White and male as Jews in Central Europe were persecuted for being Jewish. But if this idea that the locus of evil in the modern world resides in the White male heart is perpetuated much further, the White females and Blacks who are perpetuating it risk creating a White male coalition for fighting against it. White males do not comprise any sort of identifiable cultural group at present. But enough attacks upon them, and they will become one. Their power is dispersed and diffused right now. But White males still comprise about a sixth of the population, almost as large as the proportion of women who claim to have been raped by them. If they ever come together under the yoke of vilification, they will be a force to be reckoned with.