THE University of Virginia gang rape story published by Rolling Stone has proved to be, if not a hoax, so suspicious that even the Washington Post and the New York Times have taken notice and a public apology of sorts was issued by the junky journal. However, the story fit so well into the script of privileged, white villains and innocent, deflowered maidens (characters who do exist in real life but whose numbers are exaggerated for political purposes) that we can still treat it as true.
The Times says the story, exaggerated as it is, is still basically true.
Whatever happened or did not happen to Jackie, campus sexual violence remains all too real, and false reports are rare.
Karen Straughan writes by e-mail:
The UVA circus will end as it always does—once all the dust has settled, the school will release a statement saying the incident was a hoax, it will reaffirm its commitment to keep [female] students safe from sexual assault, and will enact more mandatory “consent training” for male students, and more regulations and procedures that allay the panic people feel when they ask themselves, “Okay, but what if it HAD happened? What if it WAS real?”