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  • There is so much wrong with this editorial.

    First: “It’s a topic that is ethically undebatable, similar to global climate change.” Nonsense. Of course, it’s debatable. It is not settled science. For example, let’s examine one “fact” in the editorial: “one in five women are sexually assaulted in college.” First of all, the correct fact from the Campus Sexual Assault Study is that 13.7% of college women are sexually assaulted, not one in five. The one in five comes from adding in attempted assaults, which brings the percentage to 19%. This study, which had a very liberal definition of “sexual assault,” also found that over half of the women who were “assaulted” did not think the incident was serious enough to contact law enforcement, or that they were at least partially responsible. Why are these “facts” always left out of the discussion? Contrarily, the recent Rape and Sexual Assault Victimization Among College-Age Females 1995-2013 study by the Department of Justice found that only 1.6% of college women are sexually assaulted—not anywhere near one in five. Of course, one assault is too many, but that is not an excuse for fear-mongering the problem to the most extreme extent, which seems to contribute to a goal of feminism: to demonize men. There is room for debate and the editorial’s attempt to shut it down is ethically deplorable.

    The editorial also seemed to be going through some very awkward gymnastics to avoid saying something key. Weaselly phrases like “law en¬forcement officials were unable to find evi¬dence that supported Jackie’s story,” or “a story that may or may not be true,” or “a story about faulty information,” or “forcing a questionable story through,” or “due to a lack of journalistic best practices,” seem to imply that the story was about Rolling Stone not following journalistic standards. Yes, that was part of it, but your editorial avoided the bigger point: that Jackie LIED. (Her last name is Coakley, but I doubt that you will print it.) And this is as undebatable as climate change. She LIED. At first she said she was forced to perform oral sex on five fraternity brothers, but this story later changed to being raped by seven men. She said she was pushed onto a glass coffee table which shattered, and she was then raped on broken glass, and that she was punched in the face, but she had no injuries. She said her date was a member of the fraternity who was a lifeguard at the rec center, but the fraternity had no such member. The fraternity did not have a party on the night in question. She lied about conversations with three friends about the incident. She made up her date, using a picture of a boy from her high school and sent herself emails supposedly from him. The police also found that she lied about a separate incident in which she claimed to have been attacked by two men on the street. How could the editors read the report from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and miss this?—she LIED.

    This editorial is just as guilty as Rolling Stone in being more interested in promoting feminist ideology than in telling the truth. Just as Erdely tried to find the perfect victim who was maliciously raped by, of course, the ultimate symbol of the patriarchy, members of a fraternity, and whose victimization was ignored by her college, the Western Front editorial tried to hide Jackie’s lies so that the whole affair could be blamed on Rolling Stone’s poor journalistic standards. In this way feminism and the Western Front could continue the current witchhunt concerning sexual assault and not deal with “ethically undebatable” debates like one in five, women never lie but we shouldn’t reveal their identity even if they do, and men are scum.

    (By the way, if you want more women who lie about being sexually assaulted in order to demonize men, google these: Mariam Kashani, Desiree Nall, Michelle Gretzinger, Tanya Borachi, Mindy Brickman, Meg Lanker-Simons, and Michaela Morales. And here’s one from WWU: http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2013/10/11/3254807/wwu-student-retracts-report-of.html#storylink=cpy. See how the Western Front covered up this lie in the 10/25/13 edition.)

    Evidence of this bowing to feminist ideology appears in the very issue of the Western Front that contained this editorial. The effect of sexual assault’s fear-mongering is made real by the article titled “New Legislation Addresses Sexual Assault.” Also, a woman’s letter to the editor accused the Western Front of perpetuating “rather sexist views toward men.” The paper also promoted the movie Women Without Men. It seems like every issue of the Western Front has at least one article promoting feminist ideology. After the Columbia report excoriated Rolling Stone, the magazine refused to fire anyone or change any of its policies. Similarly, I suspect the Western Front will learn nothing from this fiasco and continue to pander to women and feminism.

    The Western Front and its editorial board are deep into perpetuating ideological myths, closing down debate on these myths, and distracting attention from their deceit. It’s kind of an odd attitude for a college newspaper to have.

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