ASHE SCHOW: The Left is still looking for a modern ‘rape culture’ poster child.
The term “rape culture” entered the English lexicon in the mid-1970s, but has never really found a poster child, a name that could be pointed to as an example of this supposed epidemic of sexual violence toward women on college campuses.
Liz Seccuro should be the best example of this, although hers was a gang rape by a stranger who (20 years later) would go to prison for his act of violence. Since rape culture has come to more generally refer to a new, blurry definition of rape that involves he-said/she-said situations, non-strangers and usually alcohol, Seccuro’s case does not fit.
But today’s activists have needed someone that proves police and school officials still don’t do anything about sexual assault accusations, even after decades of information campaigns. Even better if the alleged rape was perpetrated by white athletes or fraternity members who came from wealthy families.
And they have so far failed to find their poster child.
If there were really a problem, you’d think they could find a victim who wasn’t, you know, made up. Meanwhile:
As activists search for the perfect victim, due process advocates already have several. One doesn’t need to know the names of the Duke lacrosse men charged with rape to know their story and remind people of what mob justice can do to innocent lives. And thanks to Jackie, members of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity have also become victims of false allegations and political pressure.
And if one needs actual names, look no further than Patrick Witt or Brian Banks. Witt was a star athlete and potential Rhodes Scholar who was smeared as a rapist and struggled for years to create a new future for himself outside of the opportunities taken from him due to a false accusation.
Banks, another star athlete, spent more than five years in prison for an accusation that was later recanted. He did have a brief stint as an inside linebacker for the Atlanta Falcons, though he was cut several months after signing.
The problem rape culture activists have in finding a perfect victim is the trouble with defining rape in he-said/she-said situations, when the lines are blurred and there’s rarely any evidence for either side. That is a tough situation in which to find a sympathetic character.
But the narrative demands it.