The rape epidemic and Nicholas Kristof's cognitive dissonance


In the wake of the notorious Emma Sulkowicz graduating from Columbia University where she made an academic career, as far as can be told, of falsely accusing a fellow student of rape, the New York Time’s Nicholas Kristof has an interesting offering: When the Rapist Doesn’t See It as Rape. He starts with the story of  Brian Banks.

Brian Banks was one of America’s best high school football players when, in 2002, at age 16, he was accused of rape.

The accuser, Wanetta Gibson, said that Banks had forced her into a stairway at their high school in California and raped her.

Expelled from school and then later convicted of rape, Banks served more than five years in prison. He became not a professional football star but a registered sex offender.

Then, in 2011, Gibson recanted. There was no rape (apparently she made the accusation to prevent her mom from learning that she had been sexually active). Banks was eventually exonerated and his conviction overturned, and, at 28, he played briefly for the Atlanta Falcons. But, after a decade away from football, it was too late to catch up.

That kind of nightmare is what many Americans have in mind when they fear an aggressive clampdown on sexual violence. It’s a legitimate fear.

It is more than a legitimate fear. It seems to have become a competitive event in the Feminist Olympics. We all know about the Duke Lacrosse case and Rolling Stone’s bald-faced fabrication of a gang rape at the University of Virginia. But just two months ago police descended on Venice (CA) High School for a mass arrest during class hours:

Los Angeles police descended on Venice High School on Friday, arresting nine students in connection with a series of sex crimes that began more than a year ago and involved at least two female classmates.

All but one of the arrests were on campus; authorities were attempting to locate five other students. The investigation began after a parent reported the allegations on Tuesday.

But earlier this week:

Los Angeles County prosecutors won’t file criminal charges against 15 boys suspected of sexually assaulting two girls on and off a high school campus.

The district attorney’s office announced Wednesday that there was insufficient evidence to file charges. Spokesman Greg Risling says one case was rejected in March and the others on May 8.

I can’t even begin to imagine how weak the evidence had to be before a prosecutor would abandon a high profile case that will make him politically radioactive.

From that point, Kristof goes on to discuss some cock-and-bull story told to an author by a white guy who, naturally is in a fraternity, and rapes underclass women for sh**s and grins:

One of the most chilling sections of Krakauer’s book quotes a fraternity brother, “Frank,” describing his technique to a researcher, David Lisak:

“We’d be on the lookout for the good-looking girls, especially the freshmen, the really young ones. They were the easiest. … Then we’d get them drinking right away. … They’d be guzzling it, you know, because they were freshmen, kind of nervous.”

“Frank” recounted how he targeted one young woman, plied her with alcohol-spiked punch, and then led her to a bed. “At some point, she started saying things like … ‘I don’t want to do this right away,’ or something like that. I just kept working on her clothes … and she started squirming. But that actually helped, because her blouse came off easier. … She tried to push me off, so I pushed her back down. … I mean, she was so plastered that she probably didn’t know what was going on, anyway. I don’t know, maybe that’s why she started pushing on me. But, you know, I just kept leaning on her, pulling off her clothes.”

“Frank” said he kept his arm across her chest, by the base of her neck, to reduce her squirming as he had sex with her. When he was finished, he dressed and returned to the party.

And the woman? “She left.”

Actually, the most chilling section of the book is a young man who has his life completely changed by a woman lying about rape. One gets the feeling that Kristof is trying desperately to balance out a documented case of a false rape accusation with a nebulous and completely unsubstantiated case of a sexual predator. In fact, it today’s academic environment it is hard to shake the notion that this story is completely made up or it is just someone pulling the leg of a credulous writer.

No one in their right mind will deny that rape happens. Likewise, it will come as no surprise that there are some men who are sexual predators (though women are getting with the program these days). But the pendulum has swung too far. We have moved from a legal environment where any shadow cast on a woman’s chastity was sufficient to defeat a rape allegation to one where it is virtually impossible for a man to not be charged with rape no matter how flimsy or non-existent the evidence. This situation is much more ambiguous in a college environment where co-ed dormitories and underage drinking are the norm, where the hook-up culture is alive and well, and where the feminist gestapo either control the administrative machinery or have heavily co-opted it to their purposes. Gone is the notion of personal responsibility. Gone is the presumption of innocence or even an appearance of due process. The concept of rape and sexual assault has been so debased that a post-facto unwelcome advance at a social event is tagged as a part of the “rape epidemic.” (How does this work, anyway? Is rape a virus?)

Under Obama’s Education Department, universities condemn students a rapists without a shred of physical evidence and often months after the fact. Men are expelled from college, their lives ruined, and done so on the basis of hurt feelings or personal pique rather than what any police department or jury would call a rape… which is the reason why no rape complaint is filed.