What I didn't know until earlier this week (thanks, Reddit!) is that this comic was later updated with two additional panels:
Let me TL;DR that "What Went Wrong?" article for you: what went wrong was throwing due process of law completely out the window and adopting a "women are always honest and men are always guilty" mentality. THAT'S what went wrong.• Last November, Rolling Stone magazine published "A Rape On Campus", in which journalist Sabrina Erdely wrote about the harrowing story of "Jackie", a girl at the University of Virgina who said she was raped by several members of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity on campus. The story was intended to push the narrative about an epidemic of sexual assault on college campuses.
• Several other journalistic organizations, including The Washington Post, began looking into the article, and questions immediately arose about holes in the story, which in turn raised doubt about whether or not Jackie's version of events was true.
• Most prominent feminist publications immediately jumped on those criticisms, with claims of "victim-blaming" and sexism, and claims that criticizing stories like this are an example of "rape culture". They referred to the critics as "idiots", and made the case that women should be believed by default in rape cases.
• Further investigation by Rolling Stone concurred with the discrepancies that were being found in the original story, and in early December, the magazine issued a partial retraction of the story.
• Finally, on April 5th of this year, Rolling Stone issued a full-blow retraction of the article, and published a new story called "What Went Wrong?" detailing the multitude of journalistic and ideological failures that went into the publication of the original story.
GEE, DO YOU THINK SO?Yet the editors and Erdely have concluded that their main fault was to be too accommodating of Jackie because she described herself as the survivor of a terrible sexual assault. [...] "Ultimately, we were too deferential to our rape victim; we honored too many of her requests in our reporting," Woods said.
Even more terrifying, some proponents of these policies see that "men are guilty until proven innocent" mindset as a feature, rather than a horrifying, sexist, unjust flaw. Here's Ezra Klein, from Vox:The goal must not be simply to go as far as possible in the direction of preventing anything that some might characterize as sexual harassment. The goal must instead be to fully address sexual harassment while at the same time protecting students against unfair and inappropriate discipline, honoring individual relationship autonomy, and maintaining the values of academic freedom. [...]The university’s sexual harassment policy departs dramatically from these legal principles, jettisoning balance and fairness in the rush to appease certain federal administrative officials.
"Men need to feel a cold spike of fear"? How goddamn Orwellian is that? No one should ever be afraid of consensual sex. And is Klein's stance really all that different from the people whose idea of birth control is "women holding aspirin between the knees"?If the Yes Means Yes law is taken even remotely seriously it will settle like a cold winter on college campuses, throwing everyday sexual practice into doubt and creating a haze of fear and confusion over what counts as consent. This is the case against it, and also the case for it. Because for one in five women [Ed. note: this statistic is very widely debunked ] to report an attempted or completed sexual assault means that everyday sexual practices on college campuses need to be upended, and men need to feel a cold spike of fear when they begin a sexual encounter.