#IStandWithJackie – Your Guide To This Week’s Internet Shitshow

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Dumpster Fire

On Friday of last week, Rolling Stone released a statement essentially disavowing their own reporting on the alleged fraterity gang rape of “Jackie,” a Junior at the University of Virginia who claims the assault took place her Freshman year. This came after Rolling Stone faced several days of heated criticism from the Washington Post and others regarding the ethics of the piece’s reporter in declining to interview any of the individuals Jackie claimed had taken part in the gang rape or conduct other fact-checking through corroboration.

However, the entrenched parties who A) believe Jackie absolutely must have been raped in some way and those who believe B) Jackie is a liar and there’s never any rape ever have continued to clash in a hellish maelstrom of self-serving arguments, made up on-the-spot statistics, and general cranial density the likes of which have not been seen since, well, just a few weeks ago with #GamerGate.

Even better, a majority of those tweeting on both sides of the topic (found here) appear to have never read the original article or know what discrepancies led Rolling Stone to back track on their story.

Behold, the internet’s latest shitshow, #IStandWithJackie.

Weird that the YWCA has taken an official stand on the issue but they have.

Low bar?

20% rape statistics are based on an small sample size anonymous web survey at two universities. Actual stats are 13.7% experienced completed assault and 12.6% experienced attempted assault. I’ve seen worse studies on different topics but I’ve seen a lot that are better…actually, most studies are better (more complete, large sample size, etc) than this one. 

Note the distinct lack of retweets. Now is not the time for actual data.

Unfettered hatefests/slapfights. Like the locusts of old, these are everywhere and eating everything.

Hedging on the issue, RAINN released a very cautious statement allowing that there was some controversy to the Rolling Stone story but encouraging those who were victims of sexual assault to come forward. It was signed Scott Berkowitz, the President and Founder of RAINN.

This only made some people angry and resulted in the statement being edited to say almost nothing.

And some, therefore, decided that RAINN was basically a part of rape culture despite all the good RAINN does and has done for victims and victim advocacy.

“Always” throw women under the bus…jeez.

Think Progress discussed the “epidemic” of gang rapes among fraternities on college campuses.

“Gang rape has become somewhat of an epidemic on college campuses,” explained a 1991 review of that book published in the American Journal of Sociology. “The victim, often rendered unconscious by spiked drinks or drugs at a fraternity party, is unable to resist. Afterward, the men rationalize the event in terms of a sexual encounter that brought them together as brothers.”

And, of course, some took the opportunity to claim that women are basically always liars who lie.

And the Twitter account Male Tears @MT8_9 appears to be tweeting out every false rape accusation ever.

All this reminds me of when I was a kid and I’d see or hear of adults going on these moralizing crusades (often religion-based) to protect the children when what they really wanted to do was push their own beliefs on others behind the shield of their own kids.

This really seems much the same. If Jackie is lying about what happened to her during her Freshman year then that’s horrific but not nearly as horrific as if she really was gang raped.

But keep it classy, internet. You never fail to disappoint me with your reading comprehension failure, ability to erect strawman arguments at a breathless pace, tendency to deflect your own terrible qualities onto others, and willingness to weasel your way out of exhibiting any sort empathy for anyone outside your own social group. TC mark

featured image – Chris

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