I could never take UVAgate seriously.
To be unapologetically blunt, even if it was all literally true, all those lurid accounts of broken glass and so forth… so what? There are about 15,000 homicides in the US every year. Rapes are an order of magnitude higher; around 250,000 per year as of 2011, according to the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS). Though as no other than Steven Pinker himself pointed out, that is probably on the high side:
Under pressure from activist groups, common definitions of “rape” and “sexual assault” have recently been broadened to include, for example, a man verbally pressuring a woman into sex, and a man getting a woman drunk and having sex with her; even, in some surveys, sex that the woman regrets afterwards.
Why was that story so important anyway? Why does it justify a multi-thousand word account in a leading magazine and not the 249,999 other rapes? The vast majority of which do not, incidentally, take place on college campuses, which are in reality some of the safest places for young women – and for people in general – in the entire world. Sure if it happened it would certainly be bad and the perpetrator(s) should be punished but what purpose does a huge magazine article (as opposed to, say, a police report) actually serve?
Speaking specifically of UVA, there were a grand total of 14 recorded sexual offenses on campus in 2013, which translates to a rate of around 70/100,000 rapes when adjusted for just its 20,000 student body. That is lower than the overall US rate of around 100/100,000 according to the NCVS, even though a campus, which becomes truly striking when you consider their respective demographic profiles and the fact that 75% of all rapists are under the age of 25. Age-adjusted, the rape rate at UVA, and pretty much all other schools for that matter, are probably something like an order of magnitude lower than the US average. This would be very surprising to the typically mentally unbalanced ideologues who rant about campus rape culture, but it would not be surprising to Bell Curve-aware people who understand that places with average IQs of 115+, such as UVA, are simply not all that rapey.
So why was this an issue? There are a few reasonable answers, not mutually exclusive.
First, advancing said narrative was in someone’s or some group’s interests. Second, man bites dog stories are good clickbait (though this is a questionable point, because it presupposes that people have the common sense to know that men don’t usually bite dogs; as Cochran pointed out, we can’t actually take that for granted). Third, colleges are a pretty easy target for the SJWs, as illustrated by this brilliant cartoon from the #shirtgate days.
— ak (@akarlin88) October 25, 2014
After all, it’s much safer to rant about “campus rape culture” from an actual campus full of white knights and beta orbiters happy to humor you than from within some inner city ghetto, let alone from some Third World country where there actually is a rape culture.
In any event, what UVAgate and Jackie Coakley’s lies – yes, name and shame, proudly! – did, is inadvertently illustrate what can only be called false rape culture. It is almost as prevalent as real cases of rape – my statistical reasoning can be found here – but it is almost never punished, even though a false rape accusation can ruin lives just as surely as actual rapes.
We see this in action here. The “journalist” who broke this story, Sabrina Rubin Erdely, isn’t even getting fired. So far as Western MSM is concerned, it is okay to display epic journalistic malfeasance, slander people and institutions without even bothering to get their side of the story, make life tougher for real victims okay that isn’t actually going to happen, and follow up with a pathetic nonpology when the whole thing comes crashing down. But do something really bad, such as criticize Israel, report on possible Neo-Nazi war crimes in Ukraine, or contribute a few articles to Takimag, and you’re FIRED!
What should we call this? Maybe… privilege?