Lazy Saturday Reads: #IStandWithJackie


Good Morning!!

I’m feeling very overwhelmed this morning, and I’m sure I’m not alone. Between the police killings of civilians and the UVA rape story, I don’t know where to turn for relief.

Last night I escaped for awhile by watching the season finale of “Z Nation,” which is a very violent show about a group of survivors of the zombie apocalypse that almost seems like a metaphor for our sick society.

Why are people so fascinated by zombies at this time in history? Is it because so many of us are dead inside, with no empathy for our fellow humans? Hatred of anyone who is not a white, wealthy, straight “christian” male born in the USA has taken over so many of us and transformed our culture in so many ugly ways.

It’s as if a virus was loosed on the population–in the Reagan years?–and those of us who still care for other people and dream of equal rights and protection for all people are left fighting just to stay conscious–like the survivors in “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.”

Where will it all end?

I was planning to write about the backlash against the Rolling Stone story on rape at the University of Virginia in today’s post, but I don’t think I have my thoughts together enough to do a thorough job of it yet. When I first started thinking about it, the main backlash was about author Sabrina Rubin Erdely’s choice not to locate the accused perpetrators and get their side of the story.

WTF?! As Columbia journalism Prof. Helen Benedict told the NYT, a reporter doing a story on a university refusing to deal with a robbery or mugging on campus wouldn’t be required to hunt down the perpetrators and get their point of view on what actually happened.

The Rape of the Sabine Women, by Ceri Richards

The Rape of the Sabine Women, by Ceri Richards

But rape is different. Any woman who reports being raped in the good old USA must be scrutinized in detail, because she probably was asking for it or is lying. She must tell what she was wearing, whether she was drinking, whether she knew the perpetrator, whether she is just claiming rape because she regrets having sex while drunk, and on and on and on.

Then yesterday afternoon Will Dana, managing editor of Rolling Stone basically threw Erdely’s source “Jackie” under the bus, suggesting that she had fabricated her story. Dana apparently took the word of members of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity that “Jackie’s” story was untrue.

As someone who was traumatized as a child and who has had to deal with posttraumatic stress disorder for much of my life, I took it personally. At first I could not stand to read the accusatory articles, so I went to Twitter first. There I learned that many men and women were pushing back against the media victim-blaming. They had started posting tweets with the hashtag #IStandWithJackie. Reading many of those tweets gave me the strength to read some of yesterday’s backlash articles.

violence women1

Because I’m really not ready to write a coherent post right now, I’m just going to link to some articles that you may want to check out.

The story that triggered yesterday’s backlash was by T. Rees Shapiro and published at The Washington Post: Key elements of Rolling Stone’s U-Va. gang rape allegations in doubt. Shapiro, like Rolling Stone’s Will Dana, accepts the word of the accused fraternity that there was no party on the date given by “Jackie” and the word of a man she accused that he never met “Jackie.” Jackie’s compelling story is apparently eclipsed for the Post by these unproven assertions by unnamed men who have every reason to lie to protect themselves and their fraternity.

Here are some “key elements” of the WaPo story for me:

Jackie, who spoke to The Washington Post several times during the past week, stood by her account, offering a similar version and details.

“I never asked for this” attention, she said in an interview. “What bothers me is that so many people act like it didn’t happen. It’s my life. I have had to live with the fact that it happened — every day for the last two years.” ….

Jackie describes her interactions with Erdely and Rolling Stone:

Overwhelmed by sitting through interviews with the writer, Jackie said she asked Erdely to be taken out of the article. She said Erdely refused, and Jackie was told that the article would go forward regardless.

Jackie said she finally relented and agreed to participate on the condition that she be able to fact-check her parts in the story, which she said Erdely agreed to.

“I didn’t want the world to read about the worst three hours of my life, the thing I have nightmares about every night,” Jackie said.

About the article itself:

Jackie told The Post that she felt validated that the article encouraged other female students to come forward saying that they, too, had been sexually assaulted in fraternity houses.

“Haven’t enough people come forward at this point?” she said. “How many people do you need to come forward saying they’ve been raped at a fraternity to make it real to you? They need to acknowledge it’s a problem. They need to address it instead of pointing fingers to take the blame off themselves.”


Trauma has powerful effects on the brain, and it’s not at all surprising that survivors’ memories can be confused and inconsistent. In fact, even normal human memory is not designed to recall every detail of events with precision, and expecting that from a rape victim is ridiculous and unfair. But that’s the way it is.

“Jackie” did not even report her rape to the police, because she felt she couldn’t handle the backlash. Now a magazine that didn’t stand by its own story has made her vulnerable to attacks from all over the world.

Where is author Sabrina Rubin Erdely? Why isn’t she defending her story?

Last night on Twitter, Jamison Foser called attention to the fact that the WaPo story originally claimed as fact that Jackie was lying. Then they changed the line in the story without noting they had made a correction. That’s a pretty big “mistake” for a newspaper that has been busily trying to debunk “Jackie’s” story for the past couple of weeks.

Wonkblog (at the WaPo) posted a story on the Twitter response last night: #IStandWithJackie: People on Twitter are criticizing Rolling Stone and supporting UVa student.

Now some important articles that push back against the backlash, yesterday’s WaPo story, and Rolling Stone’s betrayal of “Jackie.” Some of these were published before the RS reversal, but I still think they are relevant.


Mother Jones: Don’t Let the Rolling Stone Controversy Distract You From the Campus Rape Epidemic.

Think Progress: Gang Rapes Happen On College Campuses.

Thank Progress: Actually, The Link Between Sexual Assault And Alcohol Isn’t As Clear As You Think.

Melissa McEwen at Shakesville: Today in Rape Culture.

About Reporting: The backlash to Rolling Stone’s story about rape culture at UVa

Alexandra Brodsky at MSNBC: Rolling Stone scapegoats rape victim, makes matters worse.

Ali Safron at Buzzfeed: Victims’ Memories Are Imperfect, But Still Perfectly Believable.

Libby Nelson at Vox: Rolling Stone didn’t just fail readers — it failed Jackie, too.

Amanda Taub at Vox: The lesson of Rolling Stone and UVA: protecting victims means checking their stories.

Media Matters: Rolling Stone And The Debate Over Sexual Assault Reporting Standards.

Rolling Stone before the sudden reversal: Rape at UVA: Readers Say Jackie Wasn’t Alone.

Katie McDonough at Salon: “It makes me really depressed”: From UVA to Cosby, the rape denial playbook that won’t go away.


That’s about all I can handle writing this morning. I have some links on other stories that I’ll post in the comment thread. I hope you join me there and share your own recommended links.

62 Comments on “Lazy Saturday Reads: #IStandWithJackie”

    • NW Luna says:

      Agree. This is just another excuse to heap shame and disbelief on rape victims, and excuse the perpetrators.

    • RalphB says:

      Frank Serpico really doesn’t like the cowardly “shoot first” police culture.

      NY Daily News: Serpico: Incidents like Eric Garner’s death drive wedge between police and society

      Was I surprised by the Staten Island grand jury? Of course not. When was the last time a police officer was indicted?

      This is the use of excessive force for no apparent reason on a guy who is selling loosie cigarettes; what is the threat to your well-being? If a police officer’s life is in danger, he has every right to use every force in his means to defend himself.

      In the old days, they used to put a gun or a knife on somebody after a shooting. Now they don’t even bother. …

  1. bostonboomer says:


    The New Republic and the Beltway media’s race problem

  2. bostonboomer says:

    Dave Wiegel at Bloomberg:

    How a Conservative Backlash Silenced #Ferguson Reporters for All the Wrong Reasons

  3. janicen says:

    But for the staunchest of UVA supporters here in Virginia, everyone I have spoken to about this has believed Jackie’s story and knows that there are lots of other Jackies whose stories have not been told. We all know what has been going on at UVA and it should be apparent how powerful this university is by how swiftly and effectively it has discredited this story. We will keep fighting for Jackie.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Thank you, Janicen. That’s really good to know.

    • RalphB says:

      That’s really good to know. People shouldn’t forget UVA was being investigated before the story and that investigation won’t stop. The good old boys club has money and power but probably not enough to derail it.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        UVA and the campus Frats have a lot of very powerful men as administrators, alumni and advocates. Is it any wonder that the victims of these crimes are reluctant to report the crimes? This young woman breaks my heart.

        And in some ways this sort of reminds me of Bill Cosby and his success at fending off his accusers all these years because of his tremendous personal power and influence. Not until the number of accusers became so overwhelming that the conclusion could only be “not all of these women are lying” did the MSM take the Cosby accusations seriously.

    • Fannie says:

      I was on the phone to the UVA, and like you and others here, remain a strong supporter. I am so pissed off at the media, and RS. I really want to pull my hair out, cause it’s the same old story. They refuse to accept Jackie’s story, but believe Jack and Joe’s story. You all know me, I flip out, and can’t breath when it comes to gang rape.

  4. janicen says:

    I’m very sorry for the abrupt change of topic but with all of the crappy news to read about I just had to share this. Apparently this story is a year or so old but I just became aware of it because a local hospital, VCU Medical Center, has been running ads with the story. Little Dylan was born 11 weeks premature and battled infections during his stay in the NICU. When he was around a year old, his mothers became aware that he suffered a hearing deficit. They took him to VCU Medical Center to be fitted with hearing aids and filmed him hearing for the first time. Watch and enjoy. This has given me something to smile about during these troubled times.

  5. RalphB says:

    Don’t let the title throw you, this is a good article by Laura Kipnis about her Rorschach effect on certain people. It says a lot about those people.

    TPM: A Deformed Woman: Hillary Clinton and the Men Who Hate Her

    • bostonboomer says:

      Good article, but I have to disagree that right wing men were the hardest on Hillary.

      • RalphB says:

        They were during the ’90s I thought. Later on it became more general as “brogressives”, and their female enablers, latched onto a lot of the same BS garbage and made up more of their own.

  6. ANonOMouse says:

    This is a happy Video. It’s a spirit lifter

  7. ANonOMouse says:

    Here’s something that made me smile.

    Bill Cosby’s walk of fame star vandalized

  8. dakinikat says:

    I hadn’t see this outcome. I knew about them shooting a young black man walking down the street with a sword. They said he “swung the sword at them” so 2 officers shot him in the back 3 times each. We certainly must have some pansy ass police officers out there if they are afraid of what’s basically a theatrical sword.

    But the Utah County Attorney said Monday that no charges would be filed against the two officers, who each shot Hunt three times after he swung the sword at them.

    Hunt fled after Schauerhamer started shooting, and the officers continued shooting as they chased him toward a nearby business.

    “I don’t find it reasonable to require that [the officers] permit a person who is armed and has most immediately attempted to wound or kill police officers to escape into a presently populated retail area,” said Utah County Attorney Jeff Buhman.

    Hunt’s family has described the cosplay sword as a toy, but Buhman said it had a sharp tip and blade and was not “intentionally dulled.”

    Buhman said the first two shots likely wounded Hunt, who “continued to carry in his hand the unsheathed samurai-type sword.”

    He said police feared Hunt would “hack the first person he saw” as he fled the officers.

    • RalphB says:

      Pansy ass doesn’t begin to describe that behavior! It seems to me that white cops now are just fucking terrified of young black men. Every one of them should be fired because, if you are that big a coward, there’s no way you should be a cop, It’s ridiculous.

  9. NW Luna says:

    How predictable is the weather in your area? Meteorologist and professor Cliff Mass has an interesting post on this. He focuses on the NW, but covers the rest of the country too.

  10. dakinikat says:

    Psychologists Have Uncovered a Troubling Feature of People Who Seem Nice All the Time

    Well, rebellious lefty ladies, it seems we’re the least likely to be NAZI sympathizers, collaborators, and do nothings.

    or an eight-month period, the researchers interviewed the study participants to gauge their social personality, as well as their personal history and political leanings. When they matched this data to the participants’ behavior during the experiment, a distinct pattern emerged: People who were normally friendly followed orders because they didn’t want to upset others, while those who were described as unfriendly stuck up for themselves.

    “The irony is that a personality disposition normally seen as antisocial — disagreeableness — may actually be linked to ‘pro-social’ behavior,'” writes Psychology Today’s Kenneth Worthy. “This connection seems to arise from a willingness to sacrifice one’s popularity a bit to act in a moral and just way toward other people, animals or the environment at large. Popularity, in the end, may be more a sign of social graces and perhaps a desire to fit in than any kind of moral superiority.”

    The study also found that people holding left-wing political views were less willing to hurt others. One particular group held steady and refused destructive orders: “women who had previously participated in rebellious political activism such as strikes or occupying a factory.”

  11. RalphB says:

    Here’s another needless escalation of a situation by police which ends in a civilian death.

    tp: Los Angeles Police Shoot, Kill Man Amid Crowd Of Tourists On Hollywood Walk Of Fame

    Los Angeles police officers shot and killed a man Friday night at a busy intersection in one of the city’s tourist hotspots while onlookers ducked into nearby stores for safety or recorded the aftermath of the incident on their phones.

    Conflicting stories surrounded the shooting on Friday evening. Police sources told local reporters they were investigating an assault with a deadly weapon nearby when officers shot a man armed with a knife around 7 p.m. Friday night at the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue. “When he saw the officers, he approached them and an officer-involved shooting occurred,” Detective Meghan Aguilar told KTLA. A bucket drummer who witnessed the shooting said the man put his hands in his pockets when officers “ran up on him,” drew their guns, and killed him. …

  12. bostonboomer says:

    Former Obama Official writes about his experience with DC police.

    The Day I Used Eric Garner’s Voice, by Joshua DuBois

  13. bostonboomer says:

    Seattle police officer who broke handcuffed woman’s eye socket with punch not charged

  14. bostonboomer says:

    UVA Rape Survivor Liz Securro: Don’t Doubt a Victim’s Story Just Because It Sounds Horrific.

  15. RalphB says:

  16. dakinikat says:

    John Newton became a born-again white evangelical Christian on March 10, 1748, but he did not cease to be a slave trader. He simply became a slave-trader who no longer drank, swore or gambled.
    That was the effect of Bible Christianity. But this was not a side effect, it was the purpose of the thing. This was the effect that the anti-hermeneutic of Bible Christianity was designed to produce — a form of Christian piety that defended unjust structures, slavery in particular. Bible Christianity defended slavery because that was what it was designed to do.

    The politics of any religion should be questioned when it starts with a list of who should obey … slaves, wives, etc and it all points to the same damn few men.

  17. dakinikat says:

    Well, it didn’t even take them 10 minutes to name Mary the loser … we’re fucked here.

  18. bostonboomer says:

    Former UVA Fraternity Member Hires Lawyer Who Specializes In Sex Assault Cases

    • bostonboomer says:

      Interesting comment on the story:

      No? Chris Pivik was a lifeguard (“senior swimming coach”) so that would at least cast doubt on the frat’s claim none of their member was one.
      Second paragraph: We are excited to welcome back Blair as our coach again in his
      second season in charge. He is joined by former Gator swimmer, Tim Daniels, as assistant coach. Dani Humphrey and Chris Pivik round out senior coaching staff.

  19. bostonboomer says: