Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Second-rate Feminism failed Jackie

If one has not read the news in some time, one may have missed the ongoing discussion surrounding a poorly executed article about an alleged gang rape at the University of Virginia. The story consists primarily of the experiences of a woman named Jackie.

Several details of the story were challenged, and Rolling Stone (and Sabrina Erderly) provided woefully unsatisfactory responses and revealed that story development was rather slipshod in a number of ways.

The result is that Rolling Stone gave Jackie's story a platform without bothering to fix several things that may have been simple errors of memory. Now readers are left wondering if Jackie can be at all credible. Several believe it could all be a hoax.

If it were not a hoax and Jackie's story (or something similarly terrible) was true, then Jackie is twofold a victim. Once having been subject to horrific sexual assault, then again when being subjected to a nation thinking she is a compulsive liar that is unbalanced enough to falsely accuse someone of rape.

The ongoing argument on Twitter is one of good versus evil - presumably those that believe Jackie are strong proud feminists, while those that think there is no way that most of a fraternity is guilty of rape are victim blaming misogynists that further abuse survivors with their cold disbelief.

The thing is, bad feminism is what created skepticism.

Let's go over some cases:

These are some examples people point out as hoaxes. The details of some of the cases were so alarming that it's easy to suggest that they were obvious fantasy - and then use this methodology to dismiss the allegations that appeared in Rolling Stone.

But let's add two cases - that of the Central Park Five and the Norfolk Four - to the list. In these cases, it is undeniable that a crime occurred, but the persons put in prison were either proven to be or likely to be innocent.

What is interesting is that modern "feminism" discusses all of these plausible scenarios in precisely the same way - condemnation of the crime, public shaming of the suspects, and prolific discussion about violence against women and factors in our culture that allows such violence to propagate.

This is all well and good - until it comes time that just a handful of high profile cases turn out to be hoaxes. The world turns inside out - suddenly it is the men that were abused by the allegation. "Feminism" loses its words, incapable of making a display of sympathy that does not seem contrived. Artists of activist opinion even go as far as to reinforce their previous support of the accuser-now-perpetrator, citing belief in "victims" without question is what will bring more reports forward. 

Forget the lives of all the other people involved, what is important is some grandiose realization of a culture where women feel unafraid to bring a perpetrator to court. Apparently what is going to bring victims to the police station is knowing that an online cabal of unconditional belief will be immediately created to ruin the perpetrator on social media.

The problem is that "feminism" has scuttled its credibility. It rests at zero. One simply cannot bet on the wrong horse several times and then pretend it never happened - or more perversely, that it did not matter anyways. Duke lacrosse players did not get a grovelling apology from all the bloggers that thought they were gang rapists. Those that put forward that Conor Oberst was guilty have not bought his newest album as recompense. Even basic elements of justice are out of reach - people that are entirely innocent of charges rarely receive something as simple as the title of "victim" when the subject is discussed.

Put simply, nobody believes a rape allegation lifted by "feminism" as it's now taken for granted that it is propaganda that ignores the humanity of the accused. People assume that feminist activism is blindly supporting Jackie as that is the role that this "feminism" has created for itself.

In the case of the UVA allegations, the damaging nature of this brand of feminism is the reason the Rolling Stone article exists in the first place. Sabrina Erderly essentially wrote the Rolling Stone equivalent of a Tumblr post - a long credulous narrative from one perspective of questionable veracity.

Blind faith both published the article and had already created the legion of skeptics (and trolls) ready to take it down. 

Terrible "feminist" rhetoric failed Jackie.

It need not be this way.


  1. "Duke lacrosse players did not get a grovelling apology from all the bloggers that thought they were gang rapists."

    Not only that, they will claim with a straight face that getting accused of rape 'isn't a big deal'