The College Conservative’s Chelsea Gruenwald is taking a very dim view of the media’s reasons for promoting an exceedingly flawed story by saying it will start “discussions.”

Last month, the Rolling Stone magazine released an article telling the story of Jackie, a brutal rape victim from the University of Virginia. Since its release, the veracity of many of the victim’s claims has been challenged, and much new evidence has come to indicate there are many falsehoods in her story. However, despite this, the University of Virginia continues to punish all members of Greek life. More troubling, though, is the feminist reaction to her story. Many claim that despite its lack of truthfulness, it is okay because it has caused a discussion of rape on campus…

…First, the assertion that “the costs of wrongly disbelieving a survivor far outweigh the costs of calling someone a rapist.” While I believe every accusation and victim should be taken seriously and given the help they need, I think the jump to automatically assume they’re telling the truth and the accused is automatically guilty is somewhat problematic. The United States was built on a system of justice and fairness, believing the accused to be innocent until proven guilty. This jump to automatically take the side of the accuser, while not first gathering evidence and bringing the case to a trial of one’s peers, goes against this core value. Furthermore, assuming that being falsely labeled a rapist isn’t a costly move is ignorance at best. Many people lose jobs, friends, and reputations from being accused, even if and/or after these claims are proven false.

Next, the suggestion that anyone doubting or questioning Jackie’s stop is saying, “all women who say they’ve been raped are evils liars.” No one is claiming this. Wishing to come to the bottom of a fishy story has nothing to do with other rape victims. And if her story is proven false, it will not end the seriousness of rape in America.

Finally, the claim that the existence of false rape accusations is a “myth.” This is a lie. Not only is it a lie, it’s a harmful one. This goes back to the statement that  “the costs of wrongly disbelieving a survivor far outweigh the costs of calling someone a rapist.” It simply is not true. Assuming that every rape is real without evidence is a disastrous trend and can easily lead to abuse of the system. Furthermore, this statement has been proven wrong many times. Many feminist groups cite a popular 2% statistic, without attribution, however, this statistic has, for the most part, been proven false. One peer-reviewed study found that as many as 41% of rapes were false accusations. Generally, it is agreed that the actual number of false rape accusations is not, and cannot, be known, it is just important to recognize that it can, and in fact does, happen….