December 29, 2014
In the wake of the Rolling Stone’s sexual assault reporting gone wrong, Amanda Hess, of Slate.com, offers insightful analysis of rape culture and the misogynistic myths that go with it.
However, it isn’t just the trolls that Ms. Hess is concerned with. She also asks readers to consider the danger of overstating of an incident or betting a movement’s narrative on a single anecdote, especially when the veracity and details of such a feature begin to unravel. Feminism is not made or shamed by any single event.
“…it is clear that Rolling Stone failed to meet its basic journalistic requirements many times over [in this article]. There is also compelling evidence that Jackie herself fabricated all or parts of her story. Neither of these scenarios serves to dismantle the anti-rape movement. Journalists have messed up reporting on rape since they began reporting on rape. In addition, there have been false rape allegations in the past, and there will be false allegations in the future….
The idea that fully investigating or truthfully reporting on rape claims boils down to a simple ‘belief’ in a victim’s account is simplistic and offensive, as Rolling Stone itself realized after it claimed that its trust in Jackie was ‘misplaced,’ and it was swiftly and rightfully shamed for saying so.
Whatever really happened at UVA one Saturday night in 2012 cannot possibly undermine a social justice movement because any understanding of justice must accommodate the truth.”