The bogus statistics behind the “rape epidemic”

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Occasionally good things actually come out of bad things. Two bad things happened recently. Rolling Stone accused several men at a University of Virginia fraternity of a violent and brutal gang rape a part of a pledge initiation rite. That accusation seems, now, to have been concocted out of whole cloth by an amoral and avaricious writer preying on a troubled young woman. The second thing was that the icon of sexuality for chubby, plain girls, Lena Dunham, accused a man she barely knew of raping her in college. Both of these fit into the broad feminist narrative of the infantile female who is unable to cope in a world occupied by rapists men. As Jonah Goldberg points out, they are also part of a raw power-play on the part of radical feminists to impose a feminist orthodoxy on college campuses using the bizarre and and patently unconstitutional guidelines being issued under Title IX of the Civil Rights Act:

So what’s going on here? Beyond the hysteria and legitimate concern, this is a power grab. It’s no coincidence that the Rolling Stone article spent a great deal of time advocating for the expansion of federal involvement in higher education via Title IX of the Civil Rights Act.

As chronicled by Jessica Gavora (my wife) in her book Tilting the Playing Field, feminist activists, with the aid of sympathetic journalists and allies in the judiciary and the federal bureaucracy, have used Title IX as a “far-reaching remedial tool,” in the words of the New York Times, to reorganize higher education to their ideological agenda.

They started with women’s sports, but the model remains the same: Interest groups foment outrage, then enlist sympathetic activist journalists who rely on the testimony of deeply invested “experts” while partisan politicians exploit the allegedly systemic problem to advance an ideological agenda and demonize opponents as sexist bigots or rape apologists.

The UVA story was the perfect — too perfect it turns out — outrage at the exact moment the Obama administration was pushing new Title IX regulations that would erode the presumption of innocence in rape cases on campus. There’s no reason to expect this fiasco will even slow that effort.

To rationally discuss the issue of rape you have to be able to hold several thoughts simultaneously. Amanda Marcotte, editors and Jezebel: you can stop reading right now because this exercise is beyond you.

  • Rape exists.
  • Rape is a horrible experience.
  • Rape …read more    

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