Monday, January 26, 2015

The Left is Still looking for a Modern 'Rape Culture' Poster Child

From Ashe Schow, at the Washington Examiner:
The term “rape culture” entered the English lexicon in the mid-1970s, but has never really found a poster child, a name that could be pointed to as an example of this supposed epidemic of sexual violence toward women on college campuses.

Liz Seccuro should be the best example of this, although hers was a gang rape by a stranger who (20 years later) would go to prison for his act of violence. Since rape culture has come to more generally refer to a new, blurry definition of rape that involves he-said/she-said situations, non-strangers and usually alcohol, Seccuro’s case does not fit.

But today’s activists have needed someone that proves police and school officials still don’t do anything about sexual assault accusations, even after decades of information campaigns. Even better if the alleged rape was perpetrated by white athletes or fraternity members who came from wealthy families.

And they have so far failed to find their poster child.

Activists thought they had her in Crystal Mangum in 2006. She was a young working mother and student (the media portrayed her as) who claimed she was gang raped by multiple (in some iterations of her tale as many as 20) members of the Duke lacrosse team. Her story turned out to be a complete lie, yet rape activists at the time claimed that her story was indicative of a very real problem.

But the activists needed a sensational, but true, story to trumpet. They had to wait years for the Duke backlash to settle down, but in 2010, they thought they had their premier victim.

That year, National Public Radio and the Center for Public Integrity produced a report claiming sexual assault was as prevalent on college campuses as underage drinking and as ignored as the lone guitar player on the quad. The report told the story of Laura Dunn, who alleged she was raped by two friends after she drank too much at a party. A year and a half after the incident, Dunn reported the assault. A philosophy professor had discussed rape in class, prompting Dunn to come forward.

Since the alleged assault was reported so long after the incident, the university had no evidence to go on other than he-said/she-said. So Dunn turned to the Department of Education, which also found there was not enough evidence to show an assault happened or that the university handled her case improperly.

Despite Dunn’s story differing between what she told NPR and the Department of Education and the fact that she continued to see the alleged attackers after the incident, Dunn’s story was used as the basis for the Obama administration’s “Dear Colleague” letter that prompted the current hysteria surrounding campus sexual assault. Dunn has been on TV and at White House events involved campus sexual assault, but because the details of her story (the long time to report, continuing to hang out with her alleged attackers and her differing accounts of what one of the men said to her at a party after she reported) keep her from being that quintessential poster child.

So the activists kept looking and thought they found a heroine in Emma Sulkowicz. But Sulkowicz isn’t the best example either. Columbia University found the student she accused “not responsible” for sexual assault. And only after the university failed to find the verdict she wanted, after she told her story to the media and began carrying a mattress around campus and after people began asking why she hadn’t gone to the police did Sulkowicz file a police report. But the police don’t appear to be pursuing the case (Sulkowicz might say its because of police bias, others might say there was no evidence outside of he-said/she-said).

Having Sulkowicz as a spokesperson for campus sexual assault is kind of like having Al Gore as the spokesperson for global warming: They tell people what needs to be done to solve a problem but don’t take their own advice.

Sulkowicz is no longer pursuing charges against the man she accused of raping her. She finds time to go to the State of the Union address and tell her story again and again to major media outlets and MTV and promote her college art project (carrying around the mattress) but won’t do what needs to be done to get the man she accused, who is, according to her, a rapist, off the streets and away from other potential victims.

Finally, the activists thought they had the perfect story. Young college girl? Check. Brutal gang rape (similar to Crystal Mangum and Liz Seccuro)? Check. White fraternity members? Check. A university indifferent to such a horrific tale? Check, check and check.

Also, she had a name that was easy to remember and easy to name a law after: Jackie...
Hmm... Jackie?

You know where this is going, but keep reading anyway, lol.