Sabrina Rubin Erdely's Rolling Stone piece about an alleged gang rape at the University of Virginia was immediately incendiary, and the magazine's partial retraction feels much the same way. From a source in Charlottesville, here's a sample of what students at UVA are currently saying on YikYak, the anonymous gossip app that collects posts within a 1.5 mile radius.
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As for me, I think that Jackie's story was always "doubtable," as all stories are doubtable. All stories are unrealistic if your lived experience is sufficiently distant.
But, with what statistics are available about rape reporting, false accusation, and actual conviction—combined with a lived experience (at the University of Virginia and in the Greek system, no less) in which many girls I knew were assaulted and only one came forward to the system, and in which none of the frat boys I knew were ever even vaguely accused, let alone falsely or formally accused of rape—I long ago made a choice to err (if I'm erring) on the side of believing women. Others are voicing agreement via #IStandWithJackie. To me, the retraction discredits Rolling Stone, their reporting and their editorial clarity above all.