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Last month, Rolling Stone published a story titled “A Rape on Campus” by Sabrina Rubin Erdely, which described a brutal gang rape of a woman named Jackie at a University of Virginia fraternity house; the university’s failure to respond to this alleged assault – and the school’s troubling history of indifference to many other instances of alleged sexual assaults. The story generated worldwide headlines and much soul-searching at UVA. University president Teresa Sullivan promised a full investigation and also to examine the way the school responds to sexual assault allegations.
In the face of new information, there now appear to be discrepancies in Jackie’s account, and we have come to the conclusion that our trust in her was misplaced. We were trying to be sensitive to the unfair shame and humiliation many women feel after a sexual assault and now regret the decision to not contact the alleged assaulters to get their account. We are taking this seriously and apologize to anyone who was affected by the story.
“In the face of new information” — that “information” being “the other side of the story.”
The most pathetic aspect here is that there are feminists who are actually pissed about it. I mean, I can totally understand the anger directed at Rolling Stone for the shoddy report on such a serious allegation, but those who are only mad because they were using that particular story to slam “the patriarchy,” and now they can’t, are pathetic.
It’s come to this:
I can't state this more emphatically: If Jackie's story is partially or wholly untrue, it doesn't validate the reasons for disbelieving her.
— Melissa McEwan (@Shakestweetz) December 5, 2014