Men Accused of Rape: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

By now, everyone has heard or seen something from Rolling Stone’s article regarding rape on college campuses, specifically University of Virginia. A certain story about the alleged gang rape of a college girl being referred to as “Jackie” grabbed a lot of attention. In this story, “Jackie” claims she was gang raped by seven fraternity brothers at a Phi Kappa Psi chapter party. Rolling Stone’s own Sabrina Rubin Erdely ripped apart the school’s “failure to act” and greek life at UVA suffered. And from what I understand, all fraternities were suspended from campus.

What Rolling Stone failed to report in the first place was the ridiculous failure journalism committed by the reporter. Drum roll please…there was no fact checking or overlooking of the other side of the rape story. No one checked to see if any of it was true before it was published, ruining the lives of the seven brothers of Phi Kappa Psi. 

Let’s go over all the things wrong with her story. All the quotes to follow are taken directly from the Rolling Stone article:

“Sipping from a plastic cup, Jackie grimaced, then discreetly spilled her spiked punch onto the sludgy fraternity-house floor. The University of Virginia freshman wasn’t a drinker, but she didn’t want to seem like a goody-goody at her very first frat party…”

Okay, so “Jackie” is at a date function at the UVA Phi Kappa Psi house, right? Actually, that’s wrong. That chapter had no such function on that date, and they released a statement saying.

She smiled at her date, whom we’ll call Drew…”

Also a no. To attend this function, he had to be a Phi Kappa Psi brother correct? Well, if Rolling Stone would have fact checked, they would have found that the young man that “Jackie” claims was the initiator of the rape was a brother at another fraternity, meaning he wouldn’t be at that party.

“She and Drew had met while working lifeguard shifts together at the university pool, and Jackie had been floored by Drew’s invitation to dinner, followed by a “date function” at his fraternity, Phi Kappa Psi.”

It was uncovered that no brother of this fraternity worked as a lifeguard at the pool during this time period. So, clearly, “Jackie” is confused about quite a few things about her beau.

“‘What, she’s not hot enough for you?’ Then they egged him on: ‘Don’t you want to be a brother?’ ‘We all had to do it, so you do, too.’”

At UVA, rushing does not take place in the same season as the party. The recruitment processes are over by the end of January, according to the UVA website. This party took place on September 28th 2012, so pledging clearly wasn’t going on.

I’m not necessarily saying that “Jackie” is a liar. I’m not saying she was not raped on that night. I’m simply saying that so many of the details do not ring true. There are just too many things wrong with her story.

Lena Dunham, famous for her show Girls on HBO, has done something strangely similar. Mrs. Dunham claimed in her book (which is a bit risque, anyway. Justifying the molestation of her sister as a mere expression of the sexuality of curious young girl etc.) that while she was attending Oberlin College, she was raped by one of her friends. But get this, he was a Republican. Lena explains she was not sober at the time and trying to relieve herself in the parking lot when the man she calls Barry walked up on her. She led him back to her apartment and “in order to force herself into believing she was giving consent” (her words) she began to talk dirty to the man. Lena clearly did not think it was rape at the time, because when her roommate confronted her about it, she merely laughed off the idea that it was non-consensual sex.

Actress Lena Dunham, creator and star of HBO's Girls, says she was raped by a college Republican in her book.

Actress Lena Dunham, creator and star of HBO’s Girls, says she was raped by a college Republican in her book.

Lo and behold this story ended up in the book. Apparently in an interview with Howard Stern, she was just able to come to terms with it all. A man who fit the description given in the book was tracked down, and it was uncovered that he was not in fact her rapist. Barry was meant to be printed as “Barry” since it was a pseudonym.

Personally, I do not believe Lena. I think after Barry was found, she realized that she needed to save face, so she tried to cover it up. Barry has struggled to get his name cleared and has used most of his life savings on legal fees to do so. That situation is a perfect example about how an accusation can ruin lives on all sides of the table. 

We all know Lena and her feminist, liberal ways, but using a rape story to call out a political party? That’s not only low, but really immature. Like I said about the UVA case, there is no proof whether she was or was not raped that day. But one cannot call out someone so blatantly without proof and complete certainty.

Rape is a horrific crime. It can ruin lives, and wreck a person’s whole existence. But so can false accusations of rape. Both of these are crimes. Both of these can cause detrimental effects to careers, friendships, relationships, and on into everyday aspects of life. But yet, it is clear that accused rapists are guilty until proven innocent.