Raising Questions on 'Rolling Stone' Article on U.Va.

December 3, 2014

Several articles have appeared in the last two days raising questions about the recent article in Rolling Stone in which a woman describes being gang raped at a University of Virginia fraternity party. The Rolling Stone article has shaken the U.Va. campus, with many saying that it has exposed a campus culture that has looked the other way as women have been raped and mistreated. The critiques of the article that are appearing criticize the Rolling Stone piece's author for failing to contact the men described (without their names) as rapists. The New York Times summarized the criticism, while also quoting some journalism experts defending the piece. Here is a skeptical take on the Rolling Stone reporting from The Washington Post. The magazine is standing by the piece.

An essay in The New Republic, while agreeing with some of the criticism of the Rolling Stone article, compares the backlash against the article with the way some people are treated when they report rape. The skepticism "is symptomatic of exactly the patterns of incredulity and easy dismissal of rape accusations that keep many assaulted women and men from ever bringing their stories to authorities or to the public," the New Republic article says. "Turning away allows us to take the onus off not just alleged rapists and universities that offer them cover, but off the broken civic and criminal structures that serve different kinds of Americans different scales of opportunity and justice."



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