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Monday Links: "Jackie," the UVA mess, and believing rape victims. Bonus: How birth control lowers divorce rates


As most of you no doubt know, the story that a UVA student known as “Jackie” told Rolling Stone of suffering a gang rape at a UVA fraternity is coming unraveled; a number of key details in the story appear to be false.

There are a couple of things to keep in mind, though:

1) After reluctantly speaking to journalist Sabrina Rubin Erdely, Jackie asked to be removed from the story; Erdely and Rolling Stone refused to honor her wishes. Ultimately, Erderly and Rolling Stone are responsible for the story, and the story’s errors, not Jackie.

2) Friends of Jackie report that in the Fall of 2012, after the night in which the assaults allegedly took place, she displayed many of the symptoms of someone who had been sexually assaulted, growing withdrawn and depressed and ultimately returning home before the term was over. I still think it’s very likely she did indeed suffer some sort of sexual assault.

3) A right-wing “journalist” has doxxed Jackie, posting what he says is her real name and other personal details.

Here are some useful pieces on the whole sad mess:

The UVA Mess Is Now a Full-Fledged Shitstorm, by Anna Merlan at Jezebel

A letter from a friend: Jackie’s story is not a hoax, by Emily Clark at The Cavalier Daily

No matter what Jackie said, we should generally believe rape claims, by Zerlina Maxwell at the Washington Post

Who is Jackie? Rolling Stone’s rape story is about a person – and I believe her, by Jessica Velenti at The Guardian

UVA Rape Survivor: Don’t Doubt a Victim’s Story Just Because It Sounds Horrific, by Liz Seccuro at

And a few other pieces that have nothing to do with UVA:

Divorce rates keep declining. Thanks, birth control and abortion! (The teen pregnancy rate is at its lowest in decades too.) by Amanda Marcotte at RH Reality Check

Einstein’s letter defending Marie Curie shows just how long trolls have been slut-shaming women in science, by Scott Kaufman at Raw Story

On David Denby’s creepily salacious review of Wild, by Barbara Herman at International Business Times

56 replies on “Monday Links: "Jackie," the UVA mess, and believing rape victims. Bonus: How birth control lowers divorce rates”

It should be fairly obvious that Rolling Stone didn’t give a shit about accurate reporting for the sake of Jackie and other UVA sexual assault survivors ignored by the university. They wanted to sell magazines, so they needed the most shocking and salacious story they could find to publish. Even worse, they ignored their source’s wishes, published when she asked to be removed from the story, then pretended that she lied to them all along and they had no idea the printed story had accuracy issues. Fuckers.

That makes me so glad I canceled my Rolling Stone subscription two years ago. Not going back.

Kittehs…I think the “snow white” looks more dangerous! Lol! Thank you to WWTH for that. My cat would definitely lay on my face and smother me in my sleep if I tried to do that.

I concur with what Pocket Nerd said. The misogynist movement has been given an early Christmas present. Not only that, but this woman’s story is not a false allegation, she clearly had something horrible happen to her. But all they will do is drag her through the mud forever. Sickening.

Anyhow, I’ve been spending the week tending to family; my mother’s brother died so I’m too busy to point out who called who an asshole first.

Crissa, if you were posting in good faith, you’d explain or re-word what you meant and/or apologise for any misunderstanding (hey, it happens, meaning can be a difficult thing to get across on the Internet), not immediately begin name-calling, gaslighting and nailing yourself to the fucking cross. That’s abusive behaviour.

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