Who’s the Rape Victim in the “Jackie” Story?

University of Virginia President Teresa Sullivan suspended until January the entire fraternity system at UVA. She did it on the basis of a newspaper story whose author—Sabrina Rubin Erdely—and which paper’s editor—Will Dana—consciously and openly stated that they had done nothing to fact check the claims made by this “Jackie” person and which Erdely published.

On the heels of that, we get Zerlina Maxwell writing in another newspaper article headlined

we should generally believe rape claims

That headline, incidentally, originally appeared in the online edition as automatically rather than generally, but apparently The Washington Post thought it better to weasel-word things a tad. What Maxwell said in the body of her article, though, remains unaltered:

We should believe, as a matter of default, what an accuser says. … Even if Jackie fabricated her account, U-Va. should have taken her word for it….

Which UVA did: not only the allegedly involved frat was suspended, all of them were. As far as I can tell, as of my writing of this the fraternities remain suspended, even with the “Jackie” story exposed as false. I’ll be happy to update this article if someone can show me that Sullivan has lifted her suspension prior to 9 Jan 15.

As a result, particularly of Sullivan’s actions, but actively aided and abetted by Maxwell and triggered by Erdely’s now known to be false story, an entire institution and every member of it has been irretrievably smeared. These young men have had their reputations trashed, or alternatively will no longer be able to claim affiliation with their fraternity or any part of the Greek system.

Worse, the victims of real rape now have an additional hurdle—credibility—to overcome as a result of these three women’s…behavior. Actual rape victims are being raped a second time, in advance.

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